SWIMMING UPSTREAM

YOU NEVER KNOW
WHAT LIES BEYOND
GATED WIRE FENCES
AND THE DANGER
ZONE
UNTIL ALL BARRIERS
ARE OPEN WIDE
AND SUDDENLY THE
SILVER FINS
HAVE NO PLACE
TO HIDE
IN A RIVER OF
HUGE
PROPORTIONS
RUSHING PAST
WITH SALMON
AND TROUT
COMING ABOUT
SWIMMING
UPSTREAM
IN THE FABULOUS
DREAM
OF PROCREATING
THE SPECIES,
RUSHING FAST
FORWARD
STRUGGLING
JUGGLING
DIVING
LOOPING
UNDER THE
WAVES,
WHILE HUGE
WIRE NETS
MAKE THEM
ALL KINDRED
SLAVES:
A HIGH
SEARCHING
TOWER MARKS
THE PROGRESS
(NOT THE
SADNESS),
THESE GUYS ARE
ON THEIR
WAY OUT,
GIVEN NO DOUBT
BY THE OFFICIALS
AND BADGES
AND WHISTLES
WHO WATCH
CAREFULLY
(THEY SEE YOU
AND ME),
HANGING OVER
THE WIRED FENCE
TO SHOOT
A PICTURE
OF CONSEQUENCE,

WHILE KIDS ROMP
ALONG
BELIEVING THE SONG
THAT ALL ENDS WELL
IT’S A TOUGH GUY’S
SELL,
FOR WHEN YOU
REACH THE
VERY LAST
GATE
WHERE THEY
GATHER IN CIRCLES
AND FINALLY
WAIT,
THE SILENCE BECOMES
LIKE A FAST BEATING
DRUM:
BEWARE
OUT THERE
FOR YOU MAY
BE NEXT,
LIMITING PLANS
FOR YOUR POPULAR
TEXT,
AND JUST LIKE
THE FISH
WHO FOLLOW
THE PATH
THE END IS
IN FRONT OF YOU,
COMING IN RESIDUE
DOWN THE MOUNTAIN
AND ACROSS THE
STREAM,
YOU MAY BE
THE TROUT
IN GOD’S FARCIAL
SCHEME,
SO SINCE NOTHING
LASTS
FOREVER,
SHINE ON
BABY:
IT’S NOW
OR NEVER!

©J.W. WINSLOW 12/1/17

Felt Cover

THE FELT COVER

IT CAME WRAPPED
IN PLAIN BROWN
PAPER:
A GIFT FROM
A FRIEND,
A MAN WHO
GOES
WAY BACK
WITH ME
AND CAN SEE
THE PATH I TAKE
ALONG THE MILES
OF LIFE,
HE HANDED IT
OVER WITH A
QUIET COMMENT
ABOUT
HELPING OUT,
BEING A PATRON
OF A POET
WHO IS CLINGING
TO THE CREATIVE
SCHEME
WHILE WALKING
DOGS
AND CATCHING
FROGS ALONG
THE LOS ANGELES
RIVER,
HE IS A GIVER
OF KINDNESS
AND BOUGHT
FOUR BOOKS
JUST TO
“COME ABOUT”
THERE IS NO
DOUBT
ABOUT HIS
INTENTIONS,
THEY ARE PURE
AND SURE TO
CATCH MY
ATTENTION,
AFTER I DISPLAY
MY DREAMY
COVER ART
YOU CAN TELL
US APART:
THE L.A. WRITER
AND ME,
SHE WHO LOVES
GIRLS
AND SWIRLS IN
THE DREAM OF
VAST SUCCESS

AND THE MISTRESS
OF MONTEREY
WHO HAS CHOSEN
A DIFFERENT
WAY
BUT WHAT
WE SHARE
IS THE
SWEET PINCH
OF A LINE
OR TWO,
(JUST FOR YOU)
SHE GIVES
ONE LITTLE
IDEA ON THE
PAGE,
A FEW
WORDS
AND I HAVE
COMPLETED
FORTY
CHAPTERS
AWAITING THE
SECOND DRAFT,
ARE WE BOTH
A LITTLE
DAFT,
OR JUST THE
NEWEST VERSION
OF THE KINGS
FOOL,
THE WONDERFUL
TOOLS
SUPPORTED BY
THE COURTIERS
AND DANCING
IN A STREAM
MOSTLY
IN OUR HEADS,
IT DOESN’T
HURT
TO BELIEVE,
SO DREAM ON
LITTLE BOOK
WITH THE
FELT COVER,
YOU AND I
HAVE BECOME
TRUE LOVERS.

©J.W. WINSLOW 11/1/17


NIRVANA IN LABOR

SOMETHING TELLS
ME
NOT TO LET
YOU GO
THE TIME
IS NOT YET
UPON US:
WE NEED TO
CREATE MORE
GENIUS BEFORE
I TRADE YOU
IN FOR A NEW
MODEL
I REALLY DON’T
WANT,
WHY DO WE
ALWAYS HAVE
TO HAVE
NEW
WHEN THE
OLD
SOFT
HAPPY
EASY WAY
IS AVAILABLE,
IT COMFORTS
MY SOUL
TO KNOW
THAT EVERYTHING
I NEED
LIES WITHIN
YOUR REACH
THE MESSAGE
IS SLIPPING
THROUGH THE
CRACKS:
TO SAY THAT
RENEWING
THINGS WILL
NOT FIX
MY INDECISION
MY TEMPER
OR MY PASSIONATE
LOVE
FOR CREATING
A MOMENT
TO SHARE
WITH THE
EYES OF THE
WORLD,

YOU’VE BEEN
THERE
WHEN I HAD
THAT YEN
IN THE CHILLY
WINTER OF
FORBODDEN
CITIES
AND THE SUMMER
OF MY FANTASY
WHERE I SAW
IT FROM THE
OUTSIDE,
GAZING FROM
A MOTEL
WINDOW
I KNEW THAT
MY CITY OF
DREAMS
LAY FAR
NORTH
OF THE SANDS
AND BANDS
OF SUNSET LOVERS,
IT ALL DISAPPEARED
WHEN I WAS
SO SURE
I WAS IN HEAVEN
BY ACCIDENT,
AND NOW I
WILL REPENT
AND STAY
WITH YOU
MY HEART
MY MIND
LEAVING THE
DAY BEHIND
WHERE I
LISTENED TO
ANOTHER VOICE,
I HAVE A
CHOICE
AND I CHOOSE
YOU…
I DO.

©J.W. WINSLOW 10/1/17


THE WAKEUP CALL

THE GRINDING
SOUND OF WHIRLING
MACHINES
IS ABOVE ME
TODAY,
THE ROOF IN
REPAIR
AND CHANGE
IN THE AIR,
THEY FINALLY
CALLED AND
FIXED UP
THE BACKUP
SO MY BOOK
WON’T BE LOST
(IMAGINE THE COST),
AND TODAY MY
POOR ARM
THAT WAS
SWOLLEN AND
RED
AND SET OFF
ALARMS
HAS RETURNED
TO A NORMAL
STATE
BUT I HAVE TO
WAIT
FOR SEVEN MORE
DAYS,
THE STITCHES
PLAY HAVOC
AND PULL WHEN
I STRETCH, SO
I CAN’T DO
MY YOGA,
I’M SUCH A
SAD WRETCH,
WHILE THE
CROWDS SWARM
AND PLAY
KEEPING CAR WEEK
AT BAY,
WE CANNOT MOVE
MUCH
(ALL THE TOURISTS
AND SUCH)
SO PERHAPS
I MUST NOW TURN
TO A PERTINENT
BURN: A NEW SET
OF COMPUTERS
BOTH LAPTOP
AND DESK,
WONDERING IF
THE UNIVERSE
WILL GIVE ME
A REST,

I TURN TO MY
WRITING
COMPOSING
AND FIGHTING
TO STAY IN THE FOCUS
NO HOCUS POCUS,
BUT WHEN I TURNED
ON THE NEW TV SHOW
THE SERVER WAS OUT
YOU JUST NEVER KNOW
AT THE END OF THE DAY
WHAT STRANGE
WILY CIRCUMSTANCE
WILL BE
COMING YOUR WAY,
SO GET READY
ON MONDAY
FOR THE TOTAL
ECLIPSE,
A SIGHT FOR THE EYES
AS WELL AS
THE LIPS,
I WILL STAY
IN THE FLUID
AND ROLL
WITH THE PUNCH
HOPING THE
OUTCOME
IS NOT OUT
TO LUNCH,
AND I HAVE
A FEELING
THAT WHILE
YOU ARE READING
AND NODDING
YOUR HEAD,
THE CRAZINESS
SMASHBOX
HAS ENTERED
INSTEAD,
LIKE IT OR NOT
THIS IS ALL
THAT WE’VE
GOT,
I ESCAPE TO
THE GARDEN
FOR A SWEET
TINY ROSE,
AND TAKE
A DEEP BREATH
TO JUST DECOMPOSE,
AND SEND YOU
THE SAME,
IT’S THE NAME
OF THE GAME!

©J.W. WINSLOW 8/1/17


CLAUDE’S UMBRELLA

WE BROUGHT HOME
A QUEEN
A DREAMY MACHINE
MEANT TO POWER
AND ROAR
AND WASH IT
ALL CLEAN,
THE SLATE AND
THE ROCKS
AND ALL THE CEMENT
HAD ONCE BEEN
QUITE LOVELY
BUT NOW
IN DESCENT,
HE HOOKED
UP THE HOSE
AND STRUCK
QUITE A POSE
BLASTING
AWAY
IN THE HEIGHT
OF THE DAY,
IT DIDN’T TAKE
LONG TO SEE
THE RESULTS
WHERE THE
DIRT AND THE
GRIT HAD LAID
IT FLEW OFF THE
DECK AT THE
SPEED
OF BREAKNECK
FLYING INTO THE
GLADE,
SO I DONNED MY
WORK GLOVES
AND FOLLOWED ALONG
SLAVING IN
CONCERT
PULLING THE WEEDS
YANKING THE
OLD BULBS
THAT WENT OUT
TO SEED,
GATHERING
LIMBS FROM THE
VARIOUS TREES
STASHING IT
ALL AWAY,
WE BANTERED
AND LAUGHED
AND CHOREOGRAPHED
A PATH
THAT SURROUNDED
THE HOUSE,
MEASURING TIME
AND OPEN SPACE
IT WAS KIND OF
A FUN AND
DANGEROUS RACE

BUT WHEN WE
WERE DONE
AND THE LOWERING
SUN
WAS CASTING
A SPELL ON THE
PORCH,
I PICTURED A
PARTY
WITH THE FIRE
OF A TORCH,
WITH MUSIC AND
LAUGHTER
AND DRINKS
IN THE SHADE,
SO I WENT TO
RETRIEVE
THE OLD BATTERED
UMBRELLA
A RATHER GREEN
GUY AND
GAMELY OLD FELLA,
WHO HAD LIVED
OUT THE WINTER
UNDER THE TREES
WAITING FOR SUMMER
TO PROMISE A BREEZE,
AND SURELY ENOUGH
HE SPREAD HIS
STIFF WINGS
AND STOOD THERE
ABOVE ME
WITH TATTERED
BENT RINGS,
WAITING AT LAST
FOR CHANCE TO
SHINE
AND SHADOW
THE PEOPLE
WHO SIPPED THEIR
RARE WINE,
BUT THE FINAL SWEET
TOUCH I WAS
ANTICIPATING
A ROUND CLOTH
OF CLAUDE’S GARDEN
WAS FOLDED AND WAITING
SO I CLIMBED UP
THE LADDER
AND LAY IT ON TOP,
HOPING IT WOULDN’T
FALL OFF AND FLOP,
AND TO MY SURPRISE
THE COLORS WERE
PERFECT
FLOWERS AND VINES
MEANT TO PROTECT
AND SWEETLY ENTWINE,
THE ICING ON TOP
OF A GLORIOUS
CAKE,
A LOVELY FRENCH
CENTERPIECE,
MAKE NO MISTAKE!

©J.W. WINSLOW 8/1/17

A CAKE OF ROSES

WALKING THROUGH
THE PATHWAY
OF A PRISTINE
LANDSCAPE
LINED WITH
SEASONAL NATURAL
BOWERS AND
COASTAL FLOWERS
WE COME TO
A WALLED GARDEN
WITH A LARGE DOOR
STRONGLY CLOSED
AND NOTED TO BE
“A PRIVATE EVENT”
I GUESS THE
INTENT IS TO
ELIMINATE THE
UNINVITED,
BUT I AM AMONG
THOSE LUCKY ONES
TO OPEN THE LATCH
INTO A PARADISE
OF WILD CELEBRATION
FULL OF STREAMERS
AND TABLES
OF JOYOUS CREATION,
PLATES AND SILVER
NAPKINS AND GLASSES
BOTTLES OF WINE
AND BRIGHT SUNSHINE,
IT’S A BIRTHDAY PARTY
FOR MONTEREY,
HUNDREDS OF YEARS
OF HISTORY, THEY SAY,
A PLAN THAT HAS
LASTED THROUGH
TREASURES AND TEARS
THEY EACH HAVE A
PURPOSE
ATTENDING WITH
CHEERS,
I WANDER AND GREET
MANY GOOD FACES
AND INTERVIEW THOSE
WHO ARE OFF TO THE
THE RACES,
THERE IS FOOD TO
PREPARE
AND A PROGRAM TO
SHARE,
SENIORITAS AS QUEENS
IN THEIR VERY FIRST DREAM,

YOU FIND FAMILIES
AND FRIENDS
TIED IN RIBBONS AND
COSTUMES
SHARING OLD STORIES
OF MONTEREY GLORY,
WATCHING THE THREE
LOVELY GIRLS
PARARDE
POSE AND SMILE
IN LOVELY CHARADE,
WHILE FAMOUS
STRONG
MEN COOK
AND FROLIC AGAIN,
THERE ARE NAMES
YOU WILL KNOW
AND SOME YOU WILL NOT
BUT THAT IS
PART OF THE
HISTORICAL PLOT,
AS THE SCRUMPTIOUS
MORSELS ARE LAID
OUT FOR ALL
A PARADE FORMS IN
THE PASSION
OF HISTORICAL BALLS,
THEY EAT AND THEY
DRINK, WHILE WE
WANDER AND WINK,
GRABBING THEIR
STORIES
OF HISTORY AND
MYSTERY,
WHICH FINALLY
COMES TO THE
SUMPTUOUS END:
A CAKE FULL OF
ROSES
A SIGHT TO SUSPEND
AND KEEP FOR
A MEMORY,
DOUSED IN THE GLORY
OF FRESH BLOOMS
AND COLORS
ARRANGED BY THE
LADY WHO KNOWS
ALL THE OTHERS,
THE SOUL FREES
AND FLIES
WHILE SPIRITS WILL RISE
AND FINISH THEIR SLICE
WITH VANILLA
AND SPICE,
I LEAVE WITH
A MEMORY
TO KEEP WITH
GOOD CHEER,
AND A WISH
AND A PRAYER
TO RETURN
WITH MY LOVE
IN THE VERY
NEXT YEAR,
LA MERIENDA LIVES
ON FROM
THE DUSK
TO THE DAWN!

©J.W. WINSLOW 7/1/17

Birds

THE LIGHT AND THE DOVE

WE ALL HAVE
OUR ACHILES HEEL
SOMETHING THAT
MAKES US ROCK AND
REEL
MINE IS IMPATIENCE
AND ORGANIZATION
A TYPE OF CONTROL
A STEELY SENSATION
THAT AFFORDS THE IDEA
WE MIGHT HAVE A CHANCE
TO INSURE THE GREAT FUTURE
WITH A SIGH
AND A GLANCE,
BUT THE INFINITE WORLD
FULL OF OTHER IDEAS
IS OFTEN IGNORED
BY STRONG MINDED MEN
AND WOMEN WHO THINK LIFE
IS TRULY A GEM
OF STRATIGIC PLANNING
(JUST STEP UP
AND SIGN
MAKE A BIG LIST
BE RIGHT ON THE LINE)
THIS FOOLISH PHILOSPHY
FULL OF SWEET SYMETRY
WORKS GREAT
IN YOUR HEAD
THE VISION IS BRIGHT
BUT SADLY INSTEAD
WILL END IN THE NIGHT
OF TOSSING
AND TURNING
AND WONDERING
AND LEARNING
THAT THE SYNC OF
TIME
OF WORDS
AND RHYME
OF PLANS
AND SCAMS
PROCEEDS DOWN
THE LINE
AT A CREEPING
SNAILS PACE
SO HUNKER ON
DOWN AND
STICK TO THE RACE
LIKE THE TORTOISE
AND HARE
THE LONG SHOT
DOES COUNT
WHILE GRITTING
YOUR TEETH
BUT REALLY AMOUNTS
TO A WORTHLESS
AFFAIR,
BE KIND
BUT BEWARE

THE THINGS THAT
MAKE DREAMS
AND LOVE SONGS
AND SCHEMES
COME AT A PRICE
YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE
UNDERSTAND
AND CONCEIVE
THAT WHAT SLIDES
DOWN THE ROAD
WAS MEANT
TO BE,
LIKE IT OR NOT
YOU MUST NOW
CONCEDE
THE POWER AND
FORCE
BY WHICH WE CREATE
IS QUITE OFTEN
LOST
IN A BUSINESSLIKE
STATE,
OTHERS MAY THINK
IN A PURE STATIC WAY
THAT LEADS TO
REMORSE
AND BRAIN DEAD
DECAY,
YOUR BOOKS
OR YOUR PLANS
FOR A FABULOUS
SCAM
WILL BE
OR THEY WON’T
SO THE TIME
YOU WASTE WORRYING
IS IN THE REMOTE,
BEST USE THOSE
SWEET HOURS
THE LOVE AND
THE POWER
IN FORWARD
GEAR,
RAISE A GOBLET
AND SOUND
A CHEER
FOR A SUPPLE
FINE FACE
THAT ACCEPTS
WHAT YOU GET
AND CONTINUES
THE RACE,
YOU’LL WIN
OR YOU’LL LOSE
WHATEVER
YOU CHOOSE
THE POWERS ABOVE
ARE THE LIGHT
AND THE DOVE.

©J.W. WINSLOW 6/1/17


MONTEREY POP

THERE IT WAS
READY FOR MY EARS
THE MUSIC ROLLING
IN FROM THE FESTIVAL
OF A LIFETIME
MONTEREY READY
TO CELEBRATE
ONCE MORE,
I CUED IT UP
AND LISTENED TO
SOME AMAZING
SOUNDS OF THAT
ERA,
WHERE JANIS SNAGGED
THE SPOTLIGHT
AND ERIC BURDON
SANG ABOUT ALL
THE BANDS
WHO TORE UP
THE BIG STAGE
AT THE FAIRGROUNDS:
BEFORE WOODSTOCK
BEFORE ANYONE HEARD
HENDRIX
THEY ALL CLIMBED
ABOARD,
AND I TURNED IT
UP TO FIFTY
BLASTING THE
WALLS AND BOOKS
THE MIRRORED DOOR
OF A HOUSE MOST
CERTAINLY AROUND
AT THAT TIME,
THE MUSIC
OF SAM COOKE
AND THE DEAD,
SHINING THROUGH
RASTY CHORDS
AND RESONATING
WITH CLAPTON
AND RUBBER LIPS,
KEITH AND THE BOYS,
“SOMETHIN HAPPENING
HERE”, BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
SHINING FROM THE SHORES
OF BIG SUR,
THEY STARTED AT ALL
THE RIGHT PLACES
AND LANDED TOGETHER
IN THE HEARTS OF A
COUNTRY HUNGRY FOR
HOT LICKS
AND NAKED CHESTS
FLOWER POWER
MUSIC THAT
CUT THROUGH
THE CRAP AND
MADE YOU STAND
UP AND SCREAM,

THE DOORS
RASTY/NASTY
PLAYING THE BARS
OF THE LA WOMAN
@ WHISKEY A GO GO,
I CLEANED THE
HOUSE AND
STOPPED IN MY TRACKS
AT THE SOUNDS OF
THIS MIX, KNOWING
THAT WE ARE GOING
TO CELEBRATE
AGAIN
THE GATHERING
THAT STARTED IT ALL,
WHERE DID THEY
GO,
WHERE ARE THEY
NOW,
AND WHO ARE WE
THAT RESIDE IN
THE CROWD
REJOICING AT THE
FREEDOM
NEVER TO COME
AGAIN,
WHERE MUSIC
AND GIN MIX
WITH HENDRIX,
THE BURN HOLE
IS STILL THERE
(THEY TELL ME)
LEFT BY THE
MASTERS
OF MONTEREY
FOR SOMEONE TO
POLISH UP,
MAYBE THE WHO,
OR YOU,
HALLELUJAH,
WE WILL BE
THERE THIS TIME
IN SPACE AND
RHYME,
T’WOOD BE A CRIME
TO MISS
A SWEET KISS
OF HISTORY,
AIN’T THAT
A SIN:
JANIS, PLEASE SING
SUMMERTIME
AGAIN!

©J.W. WINSLOW 5/1/17