Love Thy Neighbor

Make no excuse
If sheer abuse
Is all you give
To those who live

Around you.  Own
That you alone
Must bear the shame
And take the blame

For having done
To anyone
The slightest wrong
That all along

You rightly knew
One shouldn’t do
To others.  What
Are neighbors but

Reflected light
From what is right
In open hearts,
Once fear departs?



Fit to Be Tied

For fear of lawsuits, and to make the clients
believe their interests were the main concern,
the doctor of the House, in full compliance
with every statute in the sovereign state
of old Nevada, did his best to learn
about conditions—pre-existent or
more recently acquired—that might create
a problem during stressful interludes,
the specialty the House was famous for
from coast to coast.  Humiliation, pain,
and bondage—not a room with giggling nudes
to fondle while they tickled—was the style
of satisfaction offered there.  Come rain
or shine, the parking lot was always packed
with cars.
_______If all was well, the doc would smile
and let the clients know a little bit
about his special kinks, and then extract
an inkling of their own emergent hopes,
before declaring them completely fit
for anything involving whips or ropes.

                                                                      First published in Lucid Rhythms




Every idea which does not become your ideal
Slays a force in your soul.  — Rudolf Steiner

If suddenly a powerful idea
Should strike us like a bolt of summer lightening,
Then, as when Russian soldiers stormed Crimea,
We may well find the matter somewhat frightening.

The ancient Indian theosophers
Have taught us that the active human brain,
Where bright and concept-laden thought occurs,
Is made to sense a higher world.  Refrain

From doubting what is obvious:  It stands
To reason that our insights are a gift
From benefactors far from trodden lands,
Whose purpose is to nurture and uplift.

What is it, then, that’s clearly seen or heard
By every human inward eye or ear
But plain impressions of the Holy Word,
Which thence will infiltrate the noösphere?

When first we reap such gifts we tend to falter,
But then we raise ourselves back up once more
And lay what we’ve received upon the altar
Where God minds what we’ve been created for.


noösphere: the field of human consciousness as it influences biology



C.B. Anderson was the longtime gardener for the PBS television series, The Victory Garden.  Hundreds of his poems have appeared in scores of print and electronic journals out of North America, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Australia and India.  His collection, Mortal Soup and the Blue Yonder was published in 2013 by White Violet Press.

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8 Responses

  1. Michael Pietrack

    I appreciated how the last stanza on THOUGHTS tied into LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

  2. James A. Tweedie


    A micro-ode to social self-responsibility;
    A stinging satire on solipsistic sexuality; and
    An affirmation of the intrinsic higher-calling of humanity;

    Each, in it is own way, cleverly ensconced in what I can only call ” the opposite of formless and void.”

    You must never get bored, C.B., because you most certainly are never boring.

    • C.B. Anderson

      Thank you, James, but, oh, could I ever bore you if I went on to tell you everything I know about Scotch malt whiskies. I’ll leave it to you to discover the moral and spiritual dimensions of what, after all, are just poems. The call to formalism and meaning is my only excuse.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    I don’t know anyone in the poetry world today who can do dimeters as well as Kip Anderson. And “Love Thy Neighbor” is expertly enjambed from quatrain to quatrain, the entire poem being a mere three sentences!

    As for “noosphere,” I haven’t heard that word since the 1960s, when Teilhard de Chardin was still a hot item in theology courses. It brings back memories.

    • C.B. Anderson

      I appreciate that, Joseph, but, frankly, I don’t think that many poets have tried. Just wait until SJB tries her hand on this. I’m happy to ring back an old memory, even if it’s not one of mine. I’ll probably hold back on my monometer poems, because I’m uncertain whether readers will be able to stomach them. And they might begin to confuse me with Kay Ryan.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    C.B., I always love your poetic take on life and these three philosophical wonders are most welcome. I particularly like “Thoughts” and will be relying on my “gifts” more often having read it… and, dimeters, here I come! 😉

    • C.B. Anderson

      You go, Susan! You have gifts enough, and you must certainly recall the saying, “From those to whom much has been given, much is expected.” I know you won’t disappoint.


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