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The quiet sorrow

of a winter afternoon

pierces me deeply

8/4/92 Agoura CA

Tea in Chinese Camp

Duck Mary and China Sam

A cup of kindness

11/14/99 Northern Nevada desert

The autumn is sad

Red yellow and orange leaves

Melt into winter

8/17/92 Agoura CA

Different languages

All different colors and scents

My treasure of friends

9/14/92 Agoura CA

You made my heart blush

If only for a moment

I felt so alive

8/7/92 Agoura CA

The power of one

thoughtful lock of braided hair

The essence of you

8/5/92 Agoura CA

A letter from her

Like snowflakes kissing my face

I smile like a child

9/24/92 Agoura CA

Violet orange strokes

of God’s brush across the sky

A thankful moment

9/25/92 Agoura CA

Frigid living air

A deep breath of ecstasy

Cool air of autumn

9/25/92 Agoura CA

Two shiny steel rails

reaching to infinity

Waiting for the train

9/26/92 Simi Valley-Santa Barbara (Amtrak)

Faraway places

Midnight hair and almond eyes

Two ships in the night

9/26/92 Simi Valley-Santa Barbara (Amtrak)

A wooden foot bridge

Lazy tanning tumbleweed

Old brown western earth

9/26/92 Simi Valley-Santa Barbara (Amtrak)

No date for the prom

No kiss and no flowers

for the different drummer

9/26/92 Simi Valley CA

The steady rhythm

of the rain on my window

like drums in cadence

8/4-8/5/92 Agoura CA

Clouds are important.

They give personality

to a plain blue sky.

8/92 Agoura CA

What is happiness?

A collection of moments

The blink of an eye

8/7/92 Agoura CA

Asian legacy

Porcelain daughter with mom

sprinkled with aunties

5/5/95 San Francisco Airport CA

Crystals of music

Salt lake valley and mountains

Peaks of majesty

5/6/95 Salt Lake City Airport Utah

Far below the clouds

A geometric language

Signs in shades of brown

5/6/95 Between Utah and California

Red and orange earth

Alter of spirit and truth

The sun is rising

5/9/95 Sedona AZ

Just seven years old

A joyful spirit appears

and eases my heart

6/25/95 Agoura CA


She Dances On The Left


Walls behind walls

behind walls of no walls.

Perhaps my view

through clouded sight

Different angles, different light

She dances on the left and I on the right.


And though she dressing like the night

A red dress resides among the bunch

A hint of color where there wasn’t much,

At least on the surface

or as I perceive,

but for some strange reason

I can’t help but believe

the pendulums out of sync, fall in line,

and words out of tune seek their rhyme.

It’s always just a matter of time.


Joseph Curiale

August 29, 1993

Agoura California

(For Michiko Dixit)

The Art of Tea


We tasted the art of tea

And shared the movements of strategy

Sipping each moment so gently

Breathing the fragrance of simplicity.


Joseph Curiale

July 13, 1992

Tokyo-Los Angeles

(For Kit)

The Colors of Miss Wong


Strokes of brilliance

Shades of darkness

A dab of kindness

A pinch of tenderness

One part modesty

Two parts decency

Strands of black silk

Across a yellow canvas


A Zen being

Sharp as a razor

Soft as a sigh

Heavy as a broken heart

Light as a breeze

One of three

Second to none

Warm is her palette

And flowing are her lines.


Joseph Curiale

November 23, 1992


(Dedicated to Wong Tze Shiaw)

The South China Sea


Hung out to dry

Twelve stories high

The clouds rolled by

And catching their eye

Was my American fly

And to my surprise

Before the sunrise

Those jeans of mine

High on the line

Were washed by a stream

I thought it was a dream!


I shook my head and

Stumbled out of bed

Only to see

Two legs waving at me

Soaked through and through

So what could I do

Except change my point of view?


Now I see ships sailing through the weave

Threads of floating islands

Too gorgeous to believe

Dolphins in my pockets

Singing as they dance

Isn’t it a blessing

That somehow by chance

The South China Sea rained in my pants.


Joseph Curiale

June 7, 1993

Pasir Ris, Singapore 

(Dedicated to: Joanne and Colin Goh)

Blue Windows


His blue windows stare into infinity

perfectly framed in a smooth sacred temple

accented in gold,

deep in contemplation of Mars,

of the heavens, and the secrets of the stars

that he learns to remember.

A blueprint etched in kindness

and friendship, like the gentle rocking of

the primordial ocean;

soothing and healing to my cells.


A material shadow in a void of intelligence

A hologram of space and time

An expression of eternity

An equation



I often stare into those blue windows

looking for answers; a sign, a kind word,

and often see a temporary resident,

walking the universe, traveling a parallel reality

groping for the ground of being.

Pristine windows with no panes

revealing dimensions without dimensions

and an expanse with no edges.


Who is that

on the other side of the blue windows?

Who is behind the dots and lines?

Who is behind the aural rhyme?

The weaver of sound’s liquid glass

melting patterns into a river’s flow?

Sometimes I think I know.                                    

Joseph Curiale

May 17, 1993

Agoura, California 

(Dedicated to Mark Lewis)

The Recital

She gracefully swayed

to the rhythm of her tender heart,

as Valentine rose red as her top,

stretched like a canvas on an olive frame

brushed by the gentle pendulum motion of

her shiny fawn silk ponytail,

dusting powder-smooth the soft tones of her essence

sustaining in mid-air hovering above me

then gently laying to rest

on the outline of my astral body

that she traced with her presence.


Long before the yarn covered pickup sticks

snapped into formation and translated the

dots and lines she memorized with love,

long before the ballet of "Woods, Metals, Drums",

long before being embraced by

the waves of her ocean

ebbing and flowing across my shore,

she drew her bow across my heartstrings

and played me like a song.


Joseph Curiale

May 2004

(For Deanna)

Fall From Grace


I heard it said that she’s a grump

this judge and jury

a committee of one

to screen and weed

I enter “not guilty” as my plea!


I found her quite the opposite…

An endearing smile

and friendly way

A laugh that cries for

borrowed time...


I liked her shoes

They spoke to me

And how her toes played in her socks

And jeans that fit her

like a glove

painted snug.

A dialogue among the three

in poetic synchronicity

spared of words and conscious patter

that doesn’t matter.


Descript as my uneven rhyme

this time,

I just can’t seem to find a flow…

The evening tea refused to show

the she that I had hoped to know…

Guess for now I’ll let it go.

So out of tune,

my fall from Grace

came all too soon.


Joseph Curiale

December 1, 1992


(For Grace)

A Comedy of Errors


I tried to open up to you

about a poem that I had hidden

And as the words began to flow

you broke the spell,

shooing a bug that crossed your path.

It stung,

but what could I do

except retreat and laugh.


Just when I had found the words again

you managed to be there

right on time

to douse the fire with a shout

as you felt your neck go out.


I had to shake my head and laugh.

So much for wearing my heart on my sleeve.

But instead of raining down my rath

I should put this restless soul at ease.


I might be wrong,

perhaps short on long,

but sometimes when we dance Miss Chan

I find you just a bit

yin and yang.


Joseph Curiale

December 9, 1992

Between Singapore and Los Angeles

(For Kit)



The palette of impressionism

Soft tones

Light of a different eye

A blush of understatement

A smudge of perception

Shades of truth cast beyond

Shadows of doubt.


Joseph Curiale


New York City

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