Poetry Niche – July 2023

Don Beaudreau has lived at Lakeside with his husband Juan Rivera for 10 years. They share their home with 7 dogs, 2 cats, and a white lab mouse. He is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister, and a retired English and music teacher. A professional jazz and ragtime pianist, Don has raised money for numerous social justice causes. He has two daughters and 3 granddaughters.

Don Beaudreau

A Randy Death

Science lies to the sacred,

But it is dying we’re about

In this room of medical machinations:

The morphine drip clings to the lie,

The monitor’s bleep disguises the demise —

His accomplished, mine in process.

A randy guy


He went to the other side,

To the land of easy

And just as easy


He toughened,

The jester in him weakening,

The punch-lines slamming through

Before the lead-ins —

Making no sense,

Drowning in chaos.

Then I showed up,

Needy in my own way:

To care, to guide,

To control,

To be pulled into his vortex,

To lose myself.


Leading me to this room of machinations:

The drip,

The bleep,

The disintegration of self —

Created from false love, and insincere charity.

He waits for me now

On that other side of chaos,

His eyes see through mine



“It is time.”

 Crashing Through Moonbeams

 Mind, so raw

Gobbles me up,

Spits me out,


Whos the boss?

I forget

That I am the mind

The self that talks me

Into self-effacement,

The self that loses me

In the primitive place,

The self that informs me

I am not in charge,

The self that invokes the roar

From antiquity’s mist,

The self that arouses the Bacchanalian brain

To unleash the satyr’s blood,

The self that sets this man-equine of mine

On fire…

A creature now beyond self,

Ablaze with power —

Who rips off his chains,

Mounts the night-time sky,

And crashes through moonbeams

After his prey.


Remembering The Gay Night I Died

 It was festive!

When I was finally free

To continue the dance

Beyond fleshy limitations —

Where, earthbound by creative fiat,

The best I did was to question

And then create my own answers —

Lest I go mad with futility

While waiting for someone to give them to me.

A hard lesson to learn:

That with pursuit of reason

Comes mere rationalization

For those of us who wear the cloak of the discontent:

The village atheist,

The cynic,

The naysayer,

The outlier.

The heretic.

We learn, too, through our suffering the smug absurdities of others —

Those who desire to share their easy answers with us:

Who proclaim their rightness

While lighting the blaze to destroy us,

That what we fear: suffering and perishing

Is ultimately our liberation

Our ticket to the eternal dance.


South Florida, Gulf Side

 Part One: Gay

 The descendant roars his lionized self.

No one hears,

No one cares.

De Leon looking for youth eternal in a bottle

On this gay island of flowers.

Hidden in cloistered, smoke-filled rooms.

A gyration of souls, cloak themselves in fleshy jeans

While the room swirls and our savior breathes fire.

Are we lost then?

Hopelessly adrift on a darkening sea?

Do we do for naught?

No youth here!

But ghosts seeking ghosts;

Eternity capsized by chaos.

Part Two: Old

 All the while

Whitened bones brittling

On the golf green;

On the beach;

In the mall.

Battle the inevitable with shields of pills, potions, and preachers;

Therapy, talk shows, and tabloids…

The good life in the warmth — at last!

Freshly squeezed octogenarians dancing Latino rhythms on Sanibel,

Computing stock options in their heads;

The oldsters attempting to ward “it” off

With treasure hunts to Goodwill,

Bargaining on dead folk clothes.

Believing theyll never die.

Part Three: Young

The South Florida spring break:

Up with college romance!

Blitzed on booze and white powder;

Young hormones riding Harleys

Like fucking machines

Into the night of lost memories;

Trashing whatever and themselves in the process.

Covering up their future fears,

Staying young; hopeful —

If only for a moment more.

They strut in tight next-to-nothing —

A hunt of animal for animal

Shameless, unabashed,

Denying oblivion.

Part Four: Mesh

 Gay and Old and Young

Meshing in miraculous avoidance

Rushing toward survival,

We Ponce de Leons of the millennium’s closure

Still seek the elixir, wanting it yesterday.

This life eternal in our hip pockets —

More real than face peels

And pharmaceutical heaven;

More kick than bathhouse quick fix

And mid-week senior travelogues.

Not these! What we really seek is the fountain

Pure and fresh and lasting,

The panacea for all sorrow;

The revered potion to make us young forever.


At The White Horse Inn

 Lost in my twenties,

In the veldt of wicked weed and barrelhouse beer



Just-over-the-edge of “Beserkley” riding a white horse

Among the barstools…

Summer, I remember it was summer,

Hotter, and more humid that year: 1973.

In me, too,


On that white horse

Dripping my need in a gallop

Aided by blow and brew

Looking for a guy to ride into the sunset with…

And there, among the cowpoke waiting to be lassoed

Sat a guy

Kinda shy,

No drama, but mystery in that:

Newcomer to the corral.

“Howdy!” I whinnied.

Nothing in response.

Or had there been a flicker?

A final display of DNA before rigor mortis?

My hoofs went on strike,

Bringing me to a halt

At the dead man’s stirrups…

Later, back at the ranch,

Smelling of raw hide,

Kinda Shy Guy,

15 years my senior explained:

“First time…”

“Why?” said I.

“Religious stuff.”

As if that explained the mystery of creation…



“I won’t snitch.”


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Mel Goldberg
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