Monday, August 22, 2016

One Benefit

I think you’d better go
She said.
I did not understand then
Nor do I now.

If I had it to do
I’d take that girl
In my arms
And never let go.

Things always look
Looking back
Than they do
In the moment.

The passing of time
Provides greater
I’m unsure whether that is
A blessing or

Of course
There is no
Going back.
Time prohibits that
Probably for the greater

Time does give us
One benefit.
It makes us better at



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Later Life Crisis

It’s just a small spot.
We’ll run some tests.
No worries, he said.
I’ll know in a few days.
It’s probably nothing.

Yeah, they say there’s
A problem.
The accountants are
Doing their thing.
It’s probably nothing.

Sixty, you say?
That’s kinda late
For a career change.
What could you do anyway?
It’s probably nothing.

She said she’s leaving.
Don’t try to stop her.
It’s too late for words, she said.
No matter what I say
It’s probably nothing.

I tried to make my mark.
I really made an effort
To leave some kind of legacy.
But I have a feeling
No matter what I’ve done…

…It’s probably nothing.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Oats and Apples

The Winchester
Made a soft
Sliding sound
As it settled into it’s
Leather scabbard.
I slung the saddle bags in place
And strapped down my bedroll.
The cinch strap was tight
But not too tight.
My canteen was slung
Over the pommel
The long hemp rope
At my right knee.

I walked my pony easy
Through town
Just a drifter
Nobody paid much mind
Not even Duffy
Sweeping the walk in front
Of his saloon.
He looked up
Then quickly back to his
More interesting dust particles.
I still felt last night’s whiskey
Burning its way
Into my stomach.

My mind went to all those
Western tales
Where the handsome rider
Leaves behind a grateful village
And a broken-hearted lass.
That’s why it’s called

My pony didn’t much care
Where we were going
As long as it ended in
Oats and apples.

Maybe it’s just that simple.

Where a man comes from
Who he is
What he’s done
Where he’s going
Don’t mean a thing
As long as
For him
And everybody else
It all ends in
Oats and apples.

Monday, August 8, 2016


It’s the sounds I miss.
The sure metallic scrape
Of her key
Opening the lock
On the kitchen door.
The gentle scuffing
Of her shoes on the tile

I miss the shuffle
Of her purse settling
In a chair by the table.
The light-hearted hum
Of a song
Only she hears.

I miss the slow
Warm sound
Of her brush
Swimming through
The river of her long hair.
Of her body moving
Against fresh cotton
Bed sheets.

I miss the rhythmic sound
Of her deep-sleep breath.
The sound of her arms
Her legs moving naturally
Against the blanket.
The soft click
At the back of her throat
As she dreams of mystery
And marvel.

I miss the sound
Of her easy
Morning yawn
And the wakening move
Of her body
In the golden morning
Flooding our window.

I miss the sounds.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Perspective and Time

The Hunter
Appears as
The Hunter
The Scorpion
As The Scorpion
As Orion
And The Dipper
As such
Because we say they do.

Perspective and time
Account for everything.

In fact
Perspective and time
Coupled with the keen eye
Of the observer
Assume responsibility for every detail
Reported by the eye of man.

Return to your telescope in a million years
And the universe will have scattered
Like dice
Tossed in a back alley.

She said she loved me
But that was when the universe
Perspective and time
Joined together
For a temporary alignment
Causing the appearance
Of love…

…if you squinted hard
And held your mouth just right.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


People walk before city shops 
Bus stops, aprons to alleyways

Heads down
Thumbs blurring
Above digital letters
On bright screens.
Have no expressions
They, collectively
Have no visible emotion.

I lean against the brick front
Of a shoe store.
At the counter a woman taps a tablet.
A co-worker pauses in the doorway
To the back room
Bent over a device.
Attend to business elsewhere
It having nothing to do
With shoes.

Traffic stops at the corner.
A teen driver in a new Ford
Brakes hard
Retrieving her cell phone
Upon which she quickly taps
A message
Exactly like the approaching bus
In which passengers
Do the same.

Across the boulevard
Pedestrians mimic the actions 
Of others
Afflicted with the same virus.
Submerge themselves in
Digital dialogues
The whole of which
Are shallow and meaningless.

Millions of tap-tap-taps
All furious

Information is making us stupid
Rather than intelligent.

Have turned our thumbs
Into the principal instrument
Of inquiry
Into a world meant for immersion
In things
Other than digital.

We are digging our graves with our thumbs.


She came out of the cornfield
The way she went in

Head bowed
Collar up
As though the blades of stalks
Were rain
And she must fend off the spray.

As she exited the long
Narrow row
Her eyes rose to mine
Where I leaned against the fender
Waiting her to finish her crazy need
To investigate field corn.
Between her lips
White teeth shone
As straight as the corn rows
She’d explored.

What? No corn?

Of course not.
They aren’t ours, goofy.

I already knew her answer
But asked just the same.

Then let’s go buy some.

She smelled like green things
As she got in the car.
Like fresh soil.
Like earth.

Her smile remained
As we hunted a farm stand
For corn.

Years later, that morning
Returns her to me
Bracketed in corn
And smiling like the sun.

Monday, August 1, 2016

I See You*

I see you.

You stand so still
Before me.

My hand stretches
Toward your face.

I trace my fingertips
From your hairline
Over your closed eyelids
The flaring of your nostrils
The valley between your lips
Your chin
To your throat
Ending in the hollow
At the base of your neck.

I take much time
Gathering your contours
The way snow lightly falls
Pooling in secret corners. 

I see you
Requires no vocabulary
Save that of my fingers
Navigating your face
Assuring you are forever mapped

I see you.

* Monarch

Friday, July 29, 2016

Night Terror

I saw a deep craggy cave
In a tall rocky wall
In a forgotten canyon
A thousand feet tall.

All manner of evil
Every fevered child’s dream
Clung to the rocks
Like the bile in a scream.

The cavern yawned wide
Like the entrance to hell
Like the entry to perdition
In a molten red well.

Or, was it but a vision
Of all I once craved
All packed in a dank hole
In a bottomless cave?

No matter, dear friend.
I know it was real.
And I will not return
To a grave I did seal.

Monday, July 25, 2016


If you patiently wait
Just before the tawny sun
You may kneel upon the shore
And listen to the
Sing his love song to
The waning moon.

If you patiently wait
In the blush of ochre
You may cast your eyes
Upon the bashful
And behold her pale
Receding gaze.

If you patiently wait
The shameless orb will
Beyond the eastern sky
And chase the virgin
Into her dark and
Distant bed.