Two more poems of mine were posted on the Dead Beats Literary Blog: "Walking North Beach" and "The Fruit You Offer Me," although I'll have to admit that based on the e-mail the editors sent me, I don't think they intended to post the latter poem. It wasn't separated out with the title in bold, but rather was presented as if it was an appendage to the "Walking North Beach." No matter. Any posting is a good posting.
I'm glad they selected to post "Walking North Beach" as it seemed so apt for their site. The poem came to mind as I was, as the title clearly suggests, walking through North Beach in San Francisco. North Beach was, of course, the hang out of the Beat poets. Whenever I am in San Francisco (which so far has been all of two times), I go to North Beach to buy a book or two at City Lights Books, to eat dinner, drink coffee (or beer), and simply hang out soaking up the ambience and the history that is there. The poem is a rumination on being out of place and out of time; of not quite fitting in; of being out of step with peers. You can read it here: http://www.deadbeats.eu/post/37797018778/walking-north-beach-by-michael-ratcliffe
"The Fruit You Offer Me" is a poem of a different nature and theme compared to "Walking North Beach." I wrote it for my wife, Kathy. It draws upon the story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. At one level, it's a love poem. At another, is a poem of defiance, in which the speaker is essentially saying he doesn't care that blind obedience to God will result in a life of simplicity and bliss, free from want or toil, he will risk expulsion from paradise in order to exercise free will and live life to its fullest. You can find the poem at the link above, after you walk through North Beach.