Thursday, December 30, 2010

And How Are You?

“How are you?”
Echoes across the unattended miles of space
And fended off by quick faux smiles
The words skipping off the surface
Tense and defensive
Like a stone
Flat and worn
Cast across some lake superior
Whose volumous depth hold
Secrets, stories, and worlds
As the stone skidders to the safety of the far shore
And we secretly pray for some swirling vortex
Yearning for some wanton whirlpool
To open up
And draw us down
Down and in until
We live more fully in the drowning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

As Solstice Approaches

I am returning to my creature-self.
The tug of the night-season’s tide draws me down.
December nights
-Crackling cold
Wind moaning-
Finds me circling in my bed
Like a dog settling restlessly
And then relenting finally.
My half-eye open struggles against the sure slide:
There is nothing more that I can do
Or want to do
Except to yield,
Seeking what warmth I can find
And accepting what has always been.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Old Shoes

Old shoes
Have paid their dues
They have truly walked the walk,
Stories, tales and adventures tell
If their tongues could only talk.

Heals down
They’ve covered ground
Toes pointed to the west,
Hilltops climbed and wooded trails
And now they are at rest.

Newly shod
On paths un-trod
The road yet to be taken,
Somewhere round a pleasant bend
The spirit re-awakens.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Path of Less Resistance

I give,
Yield and otherwise capitulate
I mean I surrender give up
I’m backing off
Selling out
I mean everything must go
You win
You are the victor
And so to you the spoils
Rich and sweet
I taste defeat
I give
I quit
Game, set
Without a catch
We will hold a parade
In your honor
My under belly
I expose
My epitaph I compose
My parting words are written down
And without regret or even frown
I give for certain my gun and sword
You have crossed the goal
Here’s your reward
A trophy with your name inscribed
A ribbon blue so feast you eyes
An “ A” atop your final test
I give up.
(What sweet success.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The puddle is filled
Drops splashing from above
Small splotches and dampnesses
Joining in rivers
Flowing they grow
And pool
Salty rivulets following along the creases
Etched and folded
Testing the watershed
Looking for the path
Not resisting
Not insisting
Only settling in the low places
Only waiting
Mostly wishing
Probably praying
That a warm breeze and white hot light
Will gently lift the liquid
Empty the puddle
And so evaporated
And so emancipated
Go on.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

God did his thing- this thing-
But beseech-able
I think not,
Because it is all there or here
-The prayer already answered-
All about us and within us
To misuse
Or to glorify
In our own magnificent way.
Carpenters and spinners have given us the tools
So that we can build and sew
Then observe
And reconstruct
Again and again
In humble emulation.
As beauty breaks its given bonds
It takes a form shaped
By hand and mind
Wind and water
Guided by hope and trust
Challenged by random fortune
Birthed in nature
Bathed in light and tempered in time
Again and again.
Have you come across it?
And energy once fused
Then freed
Moves in a hoary race
Though the cosmos
Bound on an infinite self-celebration
Of being
And manifesting too,
In such a timeless dance
Again and again
Wild and provocative
Yet supremely pure.
A simple smile
So purged of words
And freed of context
And given freely
In a random moment
Gains in momentum
Grows in purity
When it is transformed
From your lips to mine.
The genius said
I do not know so much…
But I appreciate what I have learned
And I am not afraid
-He said with a smile-
To try and understand
A little more.
I stood by the garden fence
Stopped by an odd movement of leaves
And saw thrashing -threshing there about
Two sparrows.
And upon casual observation
I notice that they were gleaning seeds from
Broken zinnia flowers,
Browned by frost and bent down to deposit
Their hopes,
Their part of the future
Upon the loamy soil.

And so upon the list I casually keep
I add the fact that these birds eat these seeds
That I inadvertently put there for them.
And that I inadvertently planted
For myself as well
The answer to a question
Of the things I’ll never know.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What's in a Name?

I really don't like the "murder of crows" designation.
How about:

A raucous of crows
A road block of crows
A nightfall of crows
A guffaw of crows
A gleaning of crows
A pulse of crows
A wave of crows
A contemplation of crows
A tide of crows
A furlong of crows
A commute of crows...?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Their Own Wise Ways

My million year old gut
Loves the feeling
Safe, seemingly, in my house
A thousand years of technology in the making
Protecting me
From the wind wild
The elemental weather,
Billions of years in the coming
A creation of sun and water and air
Chaotic as it flaunts and flails
Randomly demonstrating and demanding.
I would not want to be a Chickadee on this day
Clinging to a tree.
But they have their own wise ways
And likely a rising in their guts too,
Now don’t they?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hair Falls

When the last hair falls,
Will Jim rise up from the grave and walk the avenues of Paris?

When the last hair drops,
Will Pearl strut the streets of Texas with a bottle of Southern Comfort
Tucked in the waistband of her bell bottoms?

When the last hair swirls in the drain,
Will Jimi haunt the night electric down at the crossroads?

When the last hair blows,
Will John still imagine a time when we give peace a chance?

When the last hair falls,
Will there be another to take its place?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Enemy

Ok, let's declare the winners:
Our side or your side
We're the best
We have the biggest and most
Pat ourselves upon the back
And now turn to the work
And deal with the rest.

Our GNP has a cost
Our cars and food and toys
   have an expense
Cheap things
   aren't cheap.

Our standard of living
   isn't standard.

   we compete
   we defeat
   they retreat.

Poor and getting poorer
   sick and getting sicker
   we bring them war
   and leave them in pollution
Fed-up, but not fed.

Yes, we win
We are fat
They are thin.
But they deserve it
Because they are the enemy
And we fear them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Act Two

Now I have found two of you
Or at least you have shown yourselves…
Like in the second act of a play or pageant
Acted out in the hot days of summer.
And the second act is full of dialog:
A discussion back and forth
A call and response chorus
Of an operetta,
For I hear the music
But do not speak the language.
But by the staging and the costuming I can infer
That perhaps you are parent and child
In the throes of avian adolescents
Working out the final solution whereby wings
Flap and you separate
Both greater for it?
Or maybe you are siblings and squabbling
Over turf or food or the keys to the coming kingdom?
Pleasantly distracted by the drama,
I am keeping my ears keen and my eyes
To the sky.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Calls and Tokens

It is tomato season.
Vines are pendulous with fruit
Colored like the margin of a rosy sunrise
Crowning above a forest canopy.
It is an expectant time.
Overhead you continue to call out.
-It has been several weeks now-
You give out a two note crescendo
A half-step up
Sounding like it is issued from a rusty slide-whistle,
A squeaky garden gate,
Not songful
Just barely an exhale.
Who do you seek?
And what do you want?
You are young perhaps
Needing to let go, but fledged forlorn,
Willfully abandoned and sent on your way…
You glide across a sky light
And then perch, showing yourself.
I raise my hands full of tomatoes
And offer them in a fruitless gesture:
I am with you
But I cannot come to your aid.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Taking Chances

I am the frog
Sitting upon a lily pad
Floating on a pond
Of expectation
And anticipation.
I do not know how deep it is
Or what may lie within its waters.
I bask in the green glory
Of the mid-summer sun
And bathe in the wild water
From which I was sprung.
I am the frog
And I must take my chances.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29

Late July’s warm rain
Makes the barefoot walk to the mailbox
Feel like swimming in the Caribbean.
Clover blossoms stick secretly between the toes
Lungs inhale a lusty moist zephyr
Hair hangs in seaweed locks.
A catbird follows overhead
Lofting with some labor
From branch to branch
She sings and sings
Hoping I will catch the tune and join in
The sly sylvan chorus.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Best thing I ever did
Was to sink eight cedar posts into
The soil upright,
Stubbed off at five feet.
A garden fence.
Catbirds and Wrens bird-hop the tops
Back and forth.
Peering towards the potatoes
They issue a silky call
Then drop down.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Celestial Bearings

We are reaching towards the summer sun
Its magical radiant magnetism draws us up
Zinnias screw ‘round in their party hats
Sunflowers crane and track
Potatoes stand on tiptoes supping
Snakes stretch prostrate on heated rocks
While turtles haul out in their Coney Island way.
I turn my cheeks
Both fore and aft
And tropistically adjust my celestial bearings
As if those beams might just charge and spark
My drawn down batteries.
Ah to be green photosynthetically keen
A sip of water and breath of air
And bask and bask the sun so fair
The whole planet is cocked and tipped on end
We wobble round, a top off-centered
This day, this June, the light, I swoon
We lean and stretch
Lusting and lapping each photon down
And after, glow both green and brown,
A blissful prayer we make to Ra and Rey
  Sustain us
    Maintain us
      Through night ‘til day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Out of the Blue

All the important events in life occur randomly.
Oh we attempt to schedule and plan
We wind clocks and “X” off days on kitten calendars
Hoping to put our stamp upon our course, and maybe that of others.
We carve our initials in tree trunks
And pile rocks on windswept ridges,
These things will stand for a time.
-But when sperm meets egg
When love meets love
And when we draw breath finally-
Such events are not driven by our choice, no
We are late comers to the long running game,
the fate less plan,
As if someone called out of the blue:
“I have tickets,
-The baby is sick-
Do you want them?”
There is an abandoned amusement to it, if you choose to
See it as such.
Moments memorable float in the sea of the mundane,
Chance is just so casual, of course, so
Smile, laugh and wait a second or two
The curtain is about to rise,
And look, this play stars
Me-and you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Catchin Up, Answering Questions

It’s really not so bad
Being haunted by a ghost at
9:30 in the morning.
I am drinking coffee while
In the kitchen the ghost boils water
In the kettle.
She died in this house I believe and
Now she benignly haunts here.
Why just last night she stood guard
At the back door, where I had carelessly left
The keys
In the lock.
Perhaps it is the spirit of my long gone mother
Who I have conjured up by thinking of her, poorly
While rummaging about the bleary past for her memory
But only finding fault.
We have never had a chance to catch up in these 43 years,
To make things fair.
She would want to see how I have fared since she cast me
And set me adrift,
And I would likely ask her for the answers to the questions;
Those that come on curious dreams
And startle me from my reverie
As I hear the kettle rattle.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I do not know if I will ever be a mature lover.
Perhaps it is because I do not see, I fail in understanding
Where the draw towards breast and buttock connects/separates? from
The selfless friend, the eternal soul mate.
How does this play?
I sense but do not see,
I understand but do not know.
I am immature born and raised
Directed and driven to the morality
Of care and kindness, love for sure.
But these seem of a lower echelon, the underclass of partner love.
Perhaps a breath and quiet mind will make it clear
And perhaps there is an answer found,
Not by looking up/out so much
As in the looking down/in.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Behind the Soft Green Curtain

Spring has drawn a curtain such
that I cannot see far or deep into the woods
and even though in February grey and brown
I long for her nubile leaves and exploring vines
that satisfy my need for renewal,
I secretly hold dear the moments
viewed on cold trails
or searching through frosted glass
peering past the rows of rough bark
and gnarled branch hoping to find
seeking to know
the secrets of the hills
and boulders,
caressing their broad shoulders
and cambered thighs
loving them and knowing that
they will soon drop behind the soft green curtain
finding their flirtatious privacy only
in the company of the growing chaos of the forest.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let It Go By

It’s a big dopey world.
Why doesn’t it make itself clear to us?
It has streaming oceans
Cacti strewn deserts
And grainy grassland.
So what does it want?
There are animals exotic
And waterways erotic
Floods, fires and volcanoes.
Pray how am I supposed to translate this
Into some meaningful message?
Where is the concordance?
Why do birds, sing and sing
Each passing day
And expect me to know just what they say?
There are seasons and lives
With chapters untranslated
Whispered in old talk and mumbled in new speak tied
In rooty knots so damn tight
My frustrated fingers soon fumble to
Loosen them from their amazement.
Do they laugh, it's so simple,
Turn the key
Come about and on by
Write it down
Not so hard
Not so hard
Let it go
Just let it go
Let it go

Monday, May 24, 2010

And Then, Out of the Blue

What do you do when a lesbian tells you
that she thinks you are a hottie?
(OK by the way, she told me she was a lesbian,
seemingly as way of frameworking.)
· Say thank you.
· Blush, if you’ve got the corpuscles.
· Hmmm-smile-hmmm.
· Wait for it…wait for it…waits for it… …
· Feel complimented, not challenging her authority on such matters.
· Feel superior about your phenotype.
· Feel in your pocket for a quick gender check.
· Find a mirror and then look up sexually ambiguity.
· What me?
· Say thank you. It’s nice to be noticed.
· And of course, write about it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Angel Cup

I cracked the angel cup.
-Don’t make too much out of it.
How am I to know that?
-Well, it’s just a cup.
Ya, but… it was a gift.
-From her?
-But that’s history now, a long time ago, no?
Ya, but now it’s not…perfect, like it was.
Ya, it fit my hands just so, and the angel…
-Reminds you of her?
Ya, and how we were.

Yes Again

Yes again
I will say yes
If I trust you it will be yes
If I can find my strength the answer will be yes
If I trust myself it will be yes
It will bring me out
So I affirm with
A nod

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Everything is yes today
All my troubles will be far-away.
I trust you with the questions,
My answer is just simply
I’m sorry
Really sorry
But the answer
Is always yes.
No equivocating
No approximating
No hesitating

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kent State Meditation

I know things could be different...
this reality
this today,
both from this side out
and then folded back
and in again.
And even a visible dent
or a kink
just a scratch
or a smudge
would mean a nudge
has set something on course,
that on day one
might mean very little,
but stretched in time
(not even mine)
could grow to
a peaceful force.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I taste the orange juice
citrus sweet
and feel recharged and vitalized
except for a slight after-taste
that reminds me of the smell of oily pesticides
fogged on the trees one breeze-less morning
and the slight salt sweat taste
dripped from the brow of Guatemalan
illegals who bend and reach 10 hours a day
And there is a dank diesel stench
of freighters and trucks that haul
the fruit some thousand miles
and the carbide smell of war and revolution
of those who unwittingly protect this
precious fuel
and the slight hot paper waxy-sided
that keeps it fresh and clean
while water runs through those stamping machines
and gushes feted into the stream
so I may drink the product deep
and taste the juice
so bitter sweet.

Where the Psyche Meets Gaia

At the soft boundaries
Where my hard -self becomes connected with the cosmos,
Stand the guardians and the greeters
Bearing welcoming gifts:
A bird opens a door through song
A butterfly builds a bridge in color and form
A flower unfolds its petals
As it mirrors and mimes the universe.
These weavers beckon:
A transition, a resurrection
A reunion.

It's OK

I don’t know why or how it works,
But I need you to tell me that it’s OK…
Somehow that small gift
Can sooth and smooth away
This burden that I bear
That rises in the night
And asks me if I dare
Search my past, my days,
and judge
Have I used my time, well?
Have I shared my gift,
Have I lived with virtue
Have I been alive?
I hope, then fear, that I have not
Neglected the rightful call
To live, meaningfully,
But I am unsure
And I am visited by dreams and wishes
That pluck at me
That worm so deep…
So I need you to know
That you can do for me
What I hope I have done for you:
Tell me that it’s OK.

Everything Goes On

No whining now
Please don’t complain-
Everything goes on
Except you.
At least in your conventional form-
Elbows and eyebrows
Thighs and sighs
You will be dismissed
And on your way
Like the sun baked shadow
Of yesterday.
So why the tight grip?
And even now as we feel the slip
Can’t we just be content and smile
Accept this verdict without the trial?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Existential Boy Scout

So God it seems is an existential boy scout.
Mischievously striking matches of creation
then tossing them into the either, the void, the cosmos
permitting them to combust; burn wildly or fizzle,
grow warm and beautiful or sizzle and spit.
And after each ignition God turns a back to them
and benignly leaves these sparks to the winds of fate, the random forces,
and the will of each creation to make what they might
out of their moment of energy manifest into their moment of reality.

I Drink the Juice

I taste the orange juice
citrus sweet
and feel recharged and vitalized
except for a slight after-taste
that reminds me of the smell of oily pesticides
fogged on the trees one breezeless morning
and the slight salt sweat taste
dripped from the brow of Guatemalan
illegals who bend and reach 10 hours a day
And there is a dank diesel stench
of freighters and trucks that haul
the fruit some thousand miles
and the carbide smell of war and revolution
of those who unwittingly protect this
precious fuel
and the slight hot paper waxy-sided
that keeps it fresh and clean
while water runs through those stamping machines
and gushes fetid into the stream
so I may drink the product deep
and taste the juice
so bitter sweet.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Vantage Point

It is a day like any other
But this day has a vantage point.

Not unlike
Climbing the tallest tree,
With hopes of a view
Closer to the farthest horizon,
Yet yielding nothing
But more trees
Beech green and gray
Oak stretching tall
Pine whistling secret melodies.

Their past is written
In concentric loops
Both tight and loose
Dendrochronologies stored in locked trunks,
They show nothing of the future
They offer no divining stick
Hedging toward a likely bet,
Their stories tell only what was.

A leaf drifts.
It wobbles down
Turning slowly on a brief breeze
Then lands upon a compass rose
Of other leaves and sticks
And points the way
On a map I know I know
But cannot read
And so I am left to discover
My course
Having been so chosen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dream Suite and Sour

• Child dream

Soft and warm
Alone but with you
riding furrow and troughs
on an ocean placid embracing nurturing
As it is so it has always been
so it always will be.

• Man dream

Stubble and sinew
Making his claim
Setting his aim
He puts a stake in the ground
rising then falling then rising again
And dying a little each time
Dying and then rising again.

• Woman dream

Irrepressible, she draws near
And I am well confined-
Free, but only subtly
To dispute her but not refute her
My course is always altered by her approach.

• Anxious dream

I know it is wrong
My choice
my face
my place…
And in that way I am so shaken
And I wake to find the pain
Still resonates
And tests its way throughout my day
A pill or prayed will not decrease
And only time will give release?

• Day dream

A thought releases random views
Following an unknown muse
A collage of memories untold
Castles in the sky unfold
A loose stitch pulled the nap unraveled
A passage welcomed yet untraveled
A word , a notion, a memory
A sketch, a twist on yet to be
These travels evoke a passive smile
This reverie may reconcile.

• Morning dream

We are epic
The grand triumph
The challenge met
The sweet repast
The thoughtless get
And still you give me one more chance
To rise and toil
To sing to dance
And trod upon
This sacred ground
To engage in prayer
To issue sound
To sup a breath
And blink an eye
To live this life
With one more try.

• Wishful dream

The fool and the beggar met one day
And shared a thought each in their way
And spoke of what they’d like to see
And longed for a brief fantasy
For burdens taken from their door
For comfort‘s gift they did implore
And knew that these they would not see
But pleasured in such company.

• Walking Dream

A solitary man walks on a woodland trail
He has a moderate pace
Although it appears there is no clear destination
He stops to look upon the ground-
A leaf, a stick, some secret trace,
Has drawn him to this time this place?
And then he wanders to the side
And sits down on a fallen trunk
And gazes off to perhaps regard
A distant, private landscape.

• Dying Dream

I will not know until my day
My turn I’ll take
My pass away
I've hints that previewed deaths arrival
I’ve seen the struggle for soul survival…
And when the moment surely comes
Under yet determined circumstance
One wish I have for that fine day
I’d like it to be a gentle dance…

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wishful Dream

The fool and the beggar met one day
And shared a thought each in their way
And spoke of what they’d like to see
And longed for a brief fantasy
For burdens taken from their door
For comfort‘s gift they did implore
And knew that these they would not see
But pleasured in such company.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Wash

New Years Day
In the morning gray
I am doing a wash
Best to start out clean.

The rest are sleeping it seems
Keeping their thought to themselves in their dreams,

The birds come, chickadees,
And celebrate their luck
In a feast at the feeder.
The New Year comes for them
When they fly
Free to feed.
It falls to me the task of giving them thoughts.
As they keep their own
To themselves.

I drift in a moment,
Loosely contrived,
To the ledger of my year
And years,
And guilt-full,
Think about what has been
And yet might be.
I don’t revel in this thinking.
I’d rather keep my thoughts
From myself.
Yet I have been doing some house cleaning
Of late
Of a sort,
Throwing away
Giving away
Putting away
Which lead to inevitable ruminations.

And there I find things and places and people
Who are my favorites.
They brighten my days
And illuminate my dreams.
Each brings a tear.
And there too
Hidden in shadows and on front pages
Are things and places and people
Who darken my thoughts,
And cause me in public
And in private
To rail
And cringe.
They threaten.
Each brings a fear.
And I regret that I have not done more
Or at least done better…

Chickadee, I plea
Please explain your simplicity
And if you can
Reveal to me
Just one small thing
That makes you free.

And perhaps, instead
In days ahead
As a new point of view
A prayer, a plea
Drawn from these
The histories,
That I may not become awash
In painful doubt
And agonizing second thought,
But let it be
A wash
On this new day
And try the Chickadee way.
To celebrate
Without too much thought,
To be clean
And free,
And so self-taught.

Midnight Confessions

The door bell has been ringing since 1978. Not constantly, not consistently, but ringing, usually sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 AM. Late at night. It’s the ding-dong ring, so I know to check the front door. Usually, since I have been chimed out of my sleep, I rub my eyes, look at the clock, and then wait. If it really rang, the ringer will surely ring again. Right? So I wait and wonder. But it is a challenge, since my brain-state is at some wacky wave length that implores, “go back to sleep.” Sometimes, so I can eventually go back to sleep, I get up out of bed and prowl the house, peeking behind doors, looking in closets, checking in the tub. Hide and go seek. What would I do if someone was there?! And why would they ring the bell before they came inside? Hmm…There is little logic to all this…and fewer viable explanations… But I can’t sleep until I get the all clear signal. So far, so clear. And as I drift off, I wonder, why do I dream this? It’s my brain, so why the adolescent pranks?

Maybe this was some sort of practice, a warm-up to parenthood.
For some time I had teenage boys. They go out: When will they come in? There has been a designated time established to return, but we seem to only use it as a guideline, not a deadline. So I half-sleep, drifting restlessly, like an ancient ancestor, peering into the dark over the dying coals; waiting for the creatures of the night. I listen for the car turning off the main road. I listen for the turn of the knob. I don’t want to hear the doorbell; no, no, no! No neighbor, no officer, no, no, no! Those bell-ringers only appear to tell me to come get them (trouble) or where they are (bigger trouble.) Thinking back I wonder if I really slept at all…
Then there was a period of time when ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands would occasionally show up. (OK, I didn’t choose wisely…) Usually these sad-sacks, these beer goggled rear view mirror-ed looking late night lotharios wanted a do-over with their ex, my femme de soir. Not a pleasant moment at any time of day, but especially vexing in the wee hours. Rules of deportment, it seems, change after mid-night. After mid-night, we let it all hang out…

Speaking of wee hours…there is a dance that is done, in more recent years, only after midnight. The tinkle-dance dance (is that onomatopee-ah?), the shuffle little boys do when they have waited too long, might be the antecedent. This dance is done with eyes closed, goose-bumpy skin, and bare feet. The ruiner of reverie. It is a sliding shamble, running a gauntlet of dropped and abandoned items; shoes, belts, books, etc., the human detritus of the waking hours. Heaven forbid someone has altered the course, moved a chair.
Poor, poor, pinky toe!
Yes, gone are the days of sweet slumber.
Welcome sweat slumber,
Grinding teeth,
Thrashing in a bed with uncompromising pillows.
Dreams that jump-start anxiety,
PMs that come from a bottle.
Do not ring my midnight bell
I care not what you have to sell,
Please wake me only if you bear
The elixir that might take me there.