Thomas M. McDade is a 73-year-old resident of Fredericksburg, VA, previously
CT & RI (USA). He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT (USA).
McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare
Training Center, Virginia Beach, VA and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944)
and USS Miller (DE / FF 1091).

Senator Socrates

Al never dabbled in politics
Yet he swore he was a senator
While no proof appeared
In print or talk small or large
Among barroom sport mavens
Al claimed he was a solon

The variety that played ball
For the old D.C. team and
He leaked a rumor of a poster
Of himself fielding a line drive
On outfield grass as green as pond
Algae that sold very well one year

In the off season if his wallet allowed
He'd treat himself to quail every
Opportunity and a sizeable score
At Bowie Racetrack provided many
He loved their bones soft enough to chew
Dismissing as bunk gluttony danger

Due to the fact that the birds fed
On hemlock during migration
Al's kidneys failed to legislate


Just a honey locust out front but
the name of this Paris street café
translates to "Country Manor."
It's said that Jack Kerouac
often found his way here
hoping to charm away women.
Is the busker standing
where he stood riffing
poems in Québécois?
This musician, slim and smiley
grasps bow and fiddle by her side.
A grey-haired man asks in halting
English the name of the tune
just finished. "Four Strong Winds,"
she says breathing deeply
his strong cigarette smoke,
empty Gauloises pack on
his table, glass of Kronenbourg
soon to follow suit.
"I'll sing it if you like."
She continues a cappella
before he can answer.
When she's done, he recites a bit
as if the performance were a test.
Think I'll go out to Alberta
Weather's good there in the fall
"I've been there," he adds.
"I'll find my way sooner or later."
Shaking her hand, he deftly
palms a bill, or two.
Noting the wide, ragged scarf end
draped from under her buttoned
and faded jean jacket suggesting
a loin cloth he goes into his pocket
to increase the gratuity.
"When you visit please recall
our La Gentilhommiere moments,"
he asks, while pushing back his chair
where Jack Kerouac might have
sat delivering a similar request.

Pachyderm and Pearls

At the Chinmoy Restaurant
Photos of Sri are ubiquitous
He and Archimedes lift a baby

Elephant clear off the ground
The staff is divinely happy
Each smile fit for ten faces

The Guru's Bird art's for sale
Jasmine and Magnolia scents
Fuel silent vows to meditate

A woman, well inked with vines
Leans to sniff a salmon hyacinth
Her companion lips a fipple flute

Vegan plates are exquisite
Diners served like royalty
A man feeds his child tapioca

He and Archimedes bounce her
On a knee and she giggles, spits
A pearl brooch onto her aqua bib

Ham Salad Geometry

Never had any as a kid, tuna the only salad
ever spread twixt Tip Top or Wonder slices.
The ham variety debuted by way of the USS
Mullinnix. No mess decks fare, rather
a Navy Exchange Mobile Canteen choice.
The Messenger of the Watch passed
the word: "Roach Coach now on the pier."
(The treat was available in vending
machines stationed in kiosks too.)
The cellophane wrapped sandwiches
sat one half-triangle upon the other,
both cardboard buttressed.
If a shrink used several for a variation
of a Rorschach test, might have heard:
white caps, sails, cogs, pyramids,
mountain crests, cartoon dinosaur
molars or hats a crafty kid styled.
A mighty slim layer of minced
ham among hints of celery and onion
lived between those pallid covers
that could never hint an Easter meal,
yet addictive to this young gob.
If a 96 hour liberty
found me via Greyhound in NYC,
I'd hit a Horn & Hardart Automat,
Broadway or Forty-Second version
passable but not quite up to snuff
and ditto for the obtuse isosceles
at return trip rest stops,
such as Wilmington Delaware.
Later in life, I kicked the meat habit.
Hummus at times, the shade of my old
tri-cornered snack offered a weak
recall but no vision of a choppy sea
ensued in that desert of floppily
textured pita bread, no matter how
well braced, sliced or folded.

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