Friday, February 26, 2010


I've no time for recreation,

discipline's my inclination.

Rewards come later, work is now--

knotted muscle, sweaty brow.

Write my story, scream my headline;

late the hour, near the deadline.

Who makes time for poems and fancy?

Bills and taxes keep me antsy.

Count the pennies, watch finances,

flee all risk, take damn few chances.

Trade your stock at close of session;

tomorrow will bring a Great Depression.

Rise at five to exercise,

floss your teeth and rub your eyes.

Plan each call and each word in it,

suck the money from each minute.

With joy and folly be not tempted

lest your goals are soon pre-empted.

Who has time for recreation,

family, music or vacation?

Friends and friendship rot your mind.

Those hours gone you cannot find.

Waste no water on a flower,

cut its cost to harvest power.

Dancing, art...worse, poetry

meter out no coin to me.

Someday, perhaps,
that strict I'll be...

Till then, the rich can envy me.

(c) Jon von Gunten, 2010


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spanish poerty 

Pobre María.
Dále la bujía
Para que la lleve
Por la vida breve.

Ella ya no sabe
La vida no es grave.
Después de estas luchas
De vidas...¡habrán muchas!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

St. Paddy's Day Troubles 

Oh, Danny boy, 'tis sad but true
Perception's all there is.
I went to bed on March 16th
And thought meself a whiz!

My nightshirt colored goldenrod
Would keep me body warm.
When I woke on St. Paddy's day
It suddenly looked orange!

To be in orange on that saint's day
Was more than I could bear.
I stripped it off my shoulders then
And shivered in the air.

I bathed three times and burned the sheets.
I cast the nightshirt out.
I phoned the parish and confessed
Tradition I did flaut.

He gave me no Hail Mary's,
No trips around the beads,
Assigned no chants or litanies
No prayers, nor ancient creeds.

He said, "Lad, you're in trouble deep.
Them's damn near mortal sins.
From now, you'll wear green every day--
To start your life's amends!”

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Please pity, God, the prostitute
who sells her love alloyed.
Illusion traded for sensation,
Her once-warm eyes now void.

Put love for her in someone's eyes,
One man she might respect.
From all her lovers, all her sons,
She knows not to expect.

Give her a hearth, a fire, a room
With supple sheets and roof above,
To warm her face, perhaps her heart
To pray for those once loved.

Jon von Gunten ©2004

Sunday, May 23, 2004


You, too, can own red Corvette!
Eat up Porsches with no sweat.
I drive her gently, you should meet her;
Corners like a hungry cheetah!
Suspension's made for twists and turning,
Leaves the eyes and stomach churning.
Slip into her leather saddle...
Her color's deep and candy-apple...
Power goodies all around;
Nice new rubber on the ground.

She's 18, born in `86,
Almost nothin' left to fix.
Brand new mufflers flash with chrome.
Her dual exhausts make throaty moans,
For eye appeal she has no match,
Just stow the glass top in her hatch.

I promise I won't tip the cop off
When you drive by with her top off!
She's always happy, doesn't fuss,
Her MPG is 18-plus.
Accelerate with torque that's rousin'
Mileage is one-sixteen thousand.
I've changed her oil religiously
So you arrive prestigiously!

This blueblood's price tag in the Blue Book
Is four to five grand in the new book.
I'll entertain some earnest offers
That needn't empty all your coffers.
Although I hate to let her go
My phone and email are below.
You have to promise—though I'll not meddle—
Just once a year, bud, punch her pedal!



Monday, December 15, 2003

Keep Heart 

Movies and songs go on and on about love
Little boys get all bashful while girls dream of.
From the very first date we all acted disarming
The guys wanted centerfolds. The girls…Prince Charming.

Then along came reality. With a sting it did teach
We should pull back burnt fingers and nevermore reach.
Till those of us who, till the last act it seems,
Held onto, and never let loose of their dreams.

So throw open your heart! Let new friends and worlds in
As have these new lovers…They have proved you can win!

(c) Jon von Gunten 6.03

Money Gets a Bad Rap 

Now this here song is apropos
Of where the heck does money go.
Shopowner, charge me more of course
Cause folks you hire crave speed and horse.

I used to see a movie for a dollar,
But now my trip to the popcorn-waller
Costs twenty or more just to get in the door
Then another ten bucks fer Cokes and Ho-Ho's

I know as an employer, sir, you under lotsa pressure
To pay people more so I can really guess you're
Gonna pass the cost along to the dumb-ass consumer
The yuppies, teeny boppers and the hopped-up baby-boomer.

If I sleep on the job and I maybe sorta work
Then nuthin gets done. (What's it to ya, fat jerk!)
So I'm into the shop bright and early on Friday
Tellin' you how tuff it is to live from payday to payday.

So I slip in after dark and take some stuff in the night.
Sell to pally in the alley. Shit, I know it's not right.
Then I'm walkin' to the junkyard and put in my order
Knowin' half of my money goes south o' the border.

But in a way it works out, cuzz that money comes back
When the drug lord pays my cousin for your stolen Cadillac.
So it's a big circle jerk and who are the losers?
All the needle freaks, winos and pothead and boozers!

That money could be buying shoes or food and warm sox.
Maybe put a guy to work in Harlem or the Bronx.
But instead he's out rippin or maybe started tippin
Cuzz at 30 it finally hit him...He ain't NO Scottie Pippen!

Or my homie's got a job and comes in half wacked
He can't do nuthin right and he don't know how to act.
People run from the store and holler for the owner
But you're in back in the skirts of a too-young stoner.

So the guy in the Bronx ain't sewin' no shoes in.
The sewer aint sewin so the hollow needle goes in.
So nothin's on shelves, and people's empty themselves.
Santa done run outta presents, never runs outta elves.

But granny gets her check in the mail, good as credit
Puts the cash in her pillow where she thinks I can't get it.
So I slip to her side for a midnight withdrawal.
Kiss her sweet on the forehead and then say G'night y'all.

See, there's always a way I can be no account.
I can steal from my granny, go beg off my aunt.
You ain't givin' me none. I ain't earnin' my share!
I don't know where money comes from! ... Maybe outta thin air.

©Jon von Gunten. 12 August 2003

E-mail husband 

The E-mail Husband

I always put the seat down, see? I'm quite the ladies' friend.
I don't drink beer nor hunt nor fish nor bowl nor overspend.
I fix the things around the house with ease and facile speed.
I sometimes cook, I wash and dry, and clean up doggy deeds.

I'm nice to all your beaus of old and all my in-laws, too.
Your girlfriends think I'm super, like your office buddies do.
I do not live upon the couch for football on TV.
My Sundays all belong to you and not to NBC.

I hand you the remote (if asked) when Hallmark movies play.
I make us snacks, and even once brought breakfast on a tray.
I exercise, I bathe, I shave, use Arrid Extra Dry.
I change my clothes, throw out old shorts, and praise the clothes you buy.

I take the trash out, wash your car, and simply will not fight.
It’s like I went to Husband U and studied day and night.
But I didn't have to take a class, I just read those my e-mails...
The ones that shape the perfect man...from oh-so-flawed females.

© 2003 Jon von Gunten

Thursday, September 18, 2003

No Season for Poets 

Written after 9-11

This is no season for poets.
It is a time for warriors, doers.
When deeds are counted in sword notches.
Killers felled, hills taken, allies rescued,
Strongholds overrun.

If a poet stand up now,
let him be a warrior poet,
Bringing words to raise dead comrades,
Halter enemies, cajole turncoats.

That days may come when coarsest soldier,
Rough-handed plowman, warm-eyed wife
may scratch their small poems
into the dust or the cliff-face
with a charcoal stick
that was once an enemy mast.

© Jon E. von Gunten 2003

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