Sunday, January 31, 2016

Wounds and Scars

Trauma can rend
By cut and blow
While age it tends
To wear down slow
(And both will show)
By scar and mark
The changes wrought
By light and dark
We are the story
Of such times
Seen as blessing
Or as fines
They are the tales
Of our short days
And speak the truths
Of our small ways.

Chain, chain, chains

                   Chain, Chain, Chains

Igor Stravinsky says, "Art needs chains.”
Ya, like shackles, manacles, and handcuffs.
Fetter the better.
So to honor that idea
And to stretch it out,
I offer:
Ø A sunset colored from the eight color box of crayons.
Ø The Rites of Spring played on a comb and tissue paper.
Ø The three days of summer.
Ø A Harley with training wheels.
Ø A drive through sonata.
Ø Creation for under a dollar, or more “BANG” for your buck.
Ø A ten second love affair.
Do you have any others?
Like the three Marx brothers?
The Indianapolis 499?
Limitations are just fine
They discipline the random mind,
(And also create a working bind.)
And as for art, and rules, and me,
I’m sloppy
But I’m also free,
And chains are only binds you see,
With the lock and
With the key.


A Nice Cup of Tea

Rock and water
States of matter
Both kind and cruel
Run hot and cold
Chose warm and safe
The thin green line
We know as life
Hot rock is the domain of Pele
Wisps of sulfur
Purges of steam
Ice both clinks and crushes
Ice to vapor
Gas to fusion
And bang! it goes
Fast yields to slow
Given what we know
Of time
And gravity
As matter changes
So it goes…
Warm water can
Make a nice cup of tea.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How Is It?

How is it?
Is it like sitting down on an icy toilet seat at 3 AM?
Is it more like a stubbed toe or riding on a flat tire?
Which of these seems right?  A rocking chair, a heating pad, or thick socks?
When is the best time to surrender, now or a week from now?
Is it more like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a hot chili pepper?
Would you say it is a dripping faucet, a wobbly wheel, or a leaf fluttering?
Did you order the oven fresh bread or the homemade chocolate chip ice cream?
I mean when there’s a bear
What’s the best thing to do?
Stay very still or run like hell?
How is it?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

This House

Who built this house?
I think they knew me.
Perched on the lip of a lake
Broad windows and glassed doors so
I can see the grand parade
Of gray waves
And indomitable ducks
Dipping and diving
Sheltered in their feathered forms
Riders on the winter storm
An existence I can only
Dare to dream
As I pull the covers tight...
Yet another day
In this long winter’s night.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Barefoot in the Snow

I swing the door open
And I am walking
Barefoot in the snow.
It is a hard active thing I am seeking
Not a moment to contemplate, no
Keep moving,
Tracking forward to no clear relief
Reaching for the next best step
Focus far outward

There is a beauty of sorts
That surrounds the avoidable
Even the most torturous,
But I am no way near that.
Just another quick step ahead …
And then into a sudden clearing
The sun shining brightly
A window of cold fire
An open patch
Beautiful brown
An island of refuge
Where faint warmth creates a respite,
A pause to ponder:
Is the relief from pain
Just a prelude to
More pain?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Easy Street

There is a house on
Easy Street
Where you come to visit me,
Gifting me with your time
Wrapped in a hug-shaped bow.
And if fortune smiles
A gift of a story,
Perhaps contrived for the first
And only time
Fills the moment,
And spawns a smile
A tear
Some tea
And a laugh that echoes on.
There is a house on Easy Street
And you are welcome here.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The New Day

Come around easy
Or come around hard
There is a certain friction
Offered either way
And it offends
The attempt
It challenges the vested
And must be greased
By brow and vein
If it is to clear and unclutter
If it is to save safe
The better morning
Of the new day


Hot and Cool

Narrow focus burns hot
Broad focus burns cool
Naked is the better offering
The clearer view of stem and bud
Of hill and way
Deep cover offers shelter to grow
Secret and mature
Hidden with agenda
Goosebumps tingle
And tears fall
Driven deep by
The ovation
The warm hand
Both can revive then reset
Such burn hot and cool



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

What a Country

Well I’m sure it was an oversight
But the President failed to mention
In his SOTU speech
Just exactly how good life is
In the U.S. of A.
Such an embarrassment of riches
Our times and circumstance.
I cite for example the fact that
I sit in a warm house in January
Eating Strawberry rhubarb pie.
Yes, you heard that right
Strawberry rhubarb PIE!
There hasn’t been a ripe strawberry
Within a thousand miles in six months
And I just sashayed into the store yesterday
And found one,
No better yet, a half of one
Protected in indestructible plastic
For my dining pleasure
What a country!
And curious by the way
That  you can only eat the stems
As the rest of the plant will kill you!
(Wondering now who made that mistaken discovery?)
So here I sit fat and sassy
But sadly
With empty fork in hand and wonder:
Do you think Amazon Prime could send me
Another pie
And have it here
Day after tomorrow?
And what about pies delivered by
What a country.

Monday, January 11, 2016

There is a Tarry

As for me
And as for now
I am sitting still.
And drawn between being still-filled
And being outwardly engaged
I am mindful
Of my human being-ness;
A vessel in need of fulfillment
And a want for times of self-realization.
There is a flow
And there is a tarry in these times
Glassy still
That rides between such tides
Slack and Serene.
And as for now
This is what I know.




Sunday, January 10, 2016

Red Rocker

The wind is hustling and so
The red rocker deck chair pitches and yaws
And perhaps what was once (or is still to be)
A trace of you, or me
Pitches and sways there?
An atom or two of someone we knew
Slowed to encounter
This chair
This roadside attraction
A way-stop on a longer journey
Paused, resisted, and changed and then
Free again to move with such abandon
Free from being reigned in
Then locked
Bonded in some more solid body
Organic or inorganic.
Time will show such change
Both as loss and gain
And the blowing wind will offer an answer.



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Ripe Fruit

Pick one
They are the ripe fruit of our times
Pick one
Peace, justice, compassion and more
They are on this menu
Pick one
Eat it
Digest it
Not into fearful fat
But to engaged energy
Eat it
Then spit it out
And make it new
So much better
You know how
You know you know...
And if not you
Then who?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ducks Swim

It comes as no surprise,
Mallards do what they do.
“Ah, there’s ice on the water…
Let’s swim around it.”
I don’t mean to put words in their bills
Perhaps they had a pre-dawn meeting
And charted their destination
Set an agenda?
Something sends them this way
But likely not determined by their
“Executive function.”
No, something deeper drives them
A clock with no chime?
A compass with no needle?
A course with no plan?
Ducks swim
And humans wonder why.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Blue Beyond

The wind is scouring the steel -gray lake
Nature’s game of give-and-take,
The last of autumn’s sun soaked heat
It starts it ends and so’s complete,
Out of the chops the steam blows back
To the blue beyond on its own track,
This happens every day we know
But not so obviously a show,
Given free as if to prove
Of bigger things on constant move,
And so too a bit of me blows by
As I look on, cold too but dry.


Monday, January 4, 2016


Love today
Regret tomorrow.
Discretion is so devious
Fear fed
It steals
For survival’s sake
From what is
On behalf of what might be.