Friday, July 31, 2015


I slice my scythe in circles through the wheat
As sweat slides down my chest and down by back,
Refracting rainbows from the sun. I clear
Away this golden grass with which we feed

The world, will one day feed the world once wheat
Is owned by each who owns the land. One day
The farmers will not need my back, and few
Will feed the many. Then we will be freed

To work in what we want instead of what
We need to do. Until that time, I slice
The wheat within my fields so I can feed
My family with flour through the snows.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Walls of ugly light blue,
Floors of false-wood tan.
The waitresses are all alike --
They look the same, they're all the same age,
Whether thirty or fifty -- all thin and fifty,
Uncaring whether they get a tip,
But hoping.
Older customers treated with love
From years of sitting,
Sharing their past
Together, drinking their coffee.
Nothing would taste right here
Except coffee or Dr. Pepper,
Apple of pecan pie for desert.
Nothing, no one else, belongs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Working at Days Inn

I wait behind the desk for customers,
A line of people checking in their rooms.
I never learn a thing of them, from them.
They need more towels, more soap, more batteries
For their remotes, and still there's nothing learned.
I want to learn their stories, histories,
And lives. I know I never will. They don't
Have time or care to tell a man like me.
I'm never worth their time or words. They think.
Who knows what they (or I) could learn from words
They heard or shared. But they will never share.
And I will only wait behind the desk.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On Hardy Street

A coffee shop in an old theater,
a cacophony of voices discussing
the nature of thoughts, the concept of time,
why they like the word "fuck" so much,
muses by muses with spiked or orange hair
while we listen to music so alternative
it's almost noise with voice-overs.
How can we be here without smoke, dim lights
making writing difficult? I'll smell of smoke
and coffee when I leave. But now's the time
To read my poems, share my verse, no worse
Than any I have heard so far. These words
I've written here do not belong this time --
I'll bring them back when I'm away
From this cafe, the lack of light, dull din.
I'll bring them back when I have learned to live
With all the words which I have written here.

Monday, July 27, 2015


By the road I once saw a dead deer --
It was swollen and writhing -- my fear
That the maggots would burst
After slaking their thirst
Came to life -- are those flies that I hear?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Woman Dressing Her Hair

A grotesque, heavy thigh
lies supporting her fat body,
right breast hanging
under her arm,
left breast thrust upward,
exposing dark-lined ribs.
Her hands reach behind her head,
twisting her hair. Her nose is skewed,
thrown almost off her face, away
from her mouth.
Eyes as orange slices
pulled down at the sides,
One wonders why
she sits in her green-walled box,
blue floor under her legs
heavy feet
pushed out at us.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Girl Before a Mirror -- 1932

A woman stands,
arm outstretched --
caressing her reflection.
Her face is yellow, orange,
warm from front,
her profile pink and cool
as her breasts, made
as circles, her belly full in front.
She gazes at a face,
dark in orange and purple,
breasts and belly jaundiced,
striped in green,
blue and purple hair
hanging loose,
in contrast with her true
blonde hair
flowing gently from her head.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Project for a Monument to Guillaume Apollinaire -- 1962

A drawing
made of steel rods,
filling space.
A small circle, eyes,
nose as dots.
Oval sketched body,
bisected triangle arms
extend to hands as arcs
grasping space.
Apollinaire stands,
in six-legged tricycle stance,
two infront,
two on either side,
a rust-painted sketch
seen from all sides.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Head of a Sleeping Woman -- 1907

A head, light
almond-shaped and colored,
long nose over small mouth.
Wide almond eye
lids, brow prominent
above the left.
Hatchmarcked forehead,
lined cheeks, as walrus
whiskers. Arm held high
above her read. A blue
drapery to her
left. Lines in blue
And tan. A painting
of lines and arcs
like an African mask.

Monday, July 20, 2015

To America's Immigrants

Please do not come into our country just
To act like us. We have enough rude people
And idiots who hate to learn and work.
We have jackasses stacked up to the steeple --
We do not need another kind of jerk --
Please do not come here if you plan to rust.

Please bring our country habits that are good,
Good attitudes -- please teach us to respect
Each other, be polite. I'm certain you
Do not throw epithets that I suspect
Would've never come to mind. Instead, be true
Because our leaky ship could use your wood.

Please come if you are tired and you're poor --
We're home for homeless, those who would breathe free --
Contribute, and you'll find with us a place --
Good habits aren't the things you ought to flee --
Don't come here and become us, a disgrace
In attitude, beating down every door.

Please leave the things you flee in your homeland --
Corruption, anti-market attitudes,
Your racism and your religious laws --
But bring your culture, honor, and your foods,
Contribute with your virtues to our cause --
I welcome you with my extended hand.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Free Lunch

A valley-girl hippie nerd -- black, thick-
Rimmed glasses, pointed at the outside corner
Top -- orange skirt, too thin to walk in, covered
In five-inch rainbow pansies, white-crepe blouse,
Embroidered all along the edge, with scalloped
White flowers along her thin chest and shoulders.
She's far too thin for such a face, so plump
Above her anorexic arms and neck, red hair
Tied up, her nasal voice is squeaking "Like"
With leftist language, saying Christians shouldn't
Require sermons in return for food
They give the hungry, acting like she wouldn't
Expect a thing from them herself if she
Should feed them meals. The payment she demands?
Their gratitude for all her food and pity.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

American Women

The women at the cafe seemed to young
To him - all still in high school? -- all the men
Were older, early to mid-twenties, fourties
For one, at least, and all were flirting. Girls --
All hairless, shapeless, flat, too-thin -- perhaps,
He thought, they could be women -- too-young dress
On women bringing pedophiles joy.
There's nothing for him here, no full, mature,
Well-rounded women, no grown-ups to converse
With here to fill his mind. Just children, lust,
And animal desires -- children's toys
To keep the mind distracted, without hope.
There was no place for him to go to find
A mature woman with a mature mind.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Friends and Lovers

Alone, their lives walked through the fire --
Each knew, but knew not of the other,
Entertwined each with others' lives,
Though their hearts knew nothing of desire,
Each settled to keep loneliness
At bay. But as they wandered through the fire,
Each blindly ran into the other,
Then both their eyes, they filled with wonder,
And wondered how they'd missed the other.
They saw with opened hearts and eyes
New friends, new lovers, their new lights,
And letting go grabbed to each other,
Then flew out of the flames together
To soar on love's wings ever higher.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Horse's Milk

Mongolian bride weaves wraps on plain's edge,
Attentive to each warp and woof,
Horse milk in her clay pot,
Brought in to feed her children, her husband
Lies bruised black from a fierce hoof kick.
He has broken ribs, she's sure.
She brings him the mare's milk, its sweet strengh
Will surely bring him back to working health.
The north wind whispers that he brings his brides,
They gallop from the north, deliver milk
That's death unless the mare's milk does its work
Upon the man who groans beneath
The rainbow blanket she wove on their wedding day.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Your Fate

The morning wants to sigh
She sees the roses die
The frost that came too late
Has sadly sealed their fate

The sun has turned eclipse
We barely see his lips
The shadow of his mate
Has sadly sealed his fate

The worm ate at the root
He's crushed beneath my boot
The worm's choice what it ate
Has sadly sealed its fate

The visage of the moon
Will not be present soon
The lock upon the gate
Has sadly sealed her fate

The rot has settled in
Much like your darkest sin
The Devil dealt your date
Has sadly sealed your fate

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hurricane Season

Spring is the time for love
To disintegrate, the passions
To prevail, the passions pushing
Feelings farther than they should
Until something breaks. Marriages
Called off (not postponed), women
Leaving, tempers tapping into hidden undertows
Discovered only when you're pulled below.
A hurricane is forming between couples,
Friends, colleagues, acquaintances, the clouds
Arcing across the sky in heavy bands of gray.
The wind disorients us, making us wonder
What is happening, when hurricanes
Are Summer, Fall phenomena.
Perhaps we'll try to keep, embrace
What little we have left, perhaps we'll try
To forge anew with what was left behind.
Perhaps we'll settle for the peace
That only lies within the eye
And only lasts a season.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

At the Corner Table

He should go home and be alone
And not be lonely at a bar --
He knows his presence just appears
To create loneliness unfelt
When he's at home, alone. A thin,
Attractive waitress, long, dark hair,
Approaches, says, "Are you alright?"
He answers, "Lonely." Her smile
Is lacking in all sympathy.
He raises up his glass and says,
"But besides that, I think I'm good."
Her thin legs, thrusting from her black
Required miniskirt, just stork
Her off to other customers
Who promise they will be far less
Honest to her pre-scripted subtext.
He looked about the bar. The people,
They all moved in Brownian motion,
Their movements each affected by
The motions of the others, never
In straight lines, impossible here
In a bar so full. Everyone
Tonight in semi-dress, the men
Were looking nice for women wearing
Their tight-and-easy-to-removes,
The frozen margaritas, gins,
And something red with cranberry
Juice -- all were trying very hard
To help the man forget and give
Him hope and courage. Yet his hope
For meeting someone new had walked
Out earlier. He really knew
He'd random walk back home alone
Instead of doing what he ought,
Like standing at the table next
To his where three attractive women
Were talking to each other. Fear
That they would turn him down. Or not.
He never did expect the "not,"
So he refused to speak to them
Or anyone. Instead, he sat
Alone, again, and lyrically
Lamented to himself on scraps
Of paper, words preventing him
From action and from action words
To dissipate his loneliness.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Nighthawk

I wonder where the wary whip-poor-will
Is sitting, singing -- I can clearly hear
It calling through the humid night -- I fear
Its song that creeps in past the window sill.
Across my skin I'm feeling a slight chill --
I pull the blanket up -- must I appear
As I am not on such a night, so clear
That I can hear a bird sing on that hill?

I've grown to love the whip-poor will's dark moan --
It's lonely in the woods -- it wants to find
Companionship, a love and warm delight.
I chose to take its song, make it my own --
And, using it, I found that I could bind
Myself to you, and finally take flight.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Swim

I swim out to the open sea, but find
That I am carried back with each new wave.
I wonder why the waves won't let me die
Alone here in the endless sea, why each
Insists on bringing me back to the shore
To die a slower death. Why must they bring
Me to the light that's spread upon the sea
In reddish light the darkened, eclipsed moon,
Red face reflected on the foam that may
Yet drown me here, just inches from the shore,
Sands swirling at my knees and washing west
The pale blue jellyfish surrounding me
And stinging, bringing me awareness, life
In painful flesh. How can I die in waves
Of living pain? I float now with the kelp
And jellyfish and uneclipsing hope.

Monday, July 6, 2015

That Day I Didn't Do Anything

I woke and fed the boys their cereal,
Bananas, milk, and juice. I made my coffee
And, hungry after having been awake
Two hours, finally could drink some coffee.

I have to answer questions, stop the fighting
And dry the tears. Perhaps a bite to eat?
Last night's clean dishes in the cupboard,
The dirty dishes now I must defeat.

I have to write a paper, write my book,
And meet my obligations I have made --
I've research, reading, a review to write --
The kids are eating all the food I made.

A load of laundry, fold the towels and put
Them all away. I have to wash the boys
And get them dressed -- the bus will come at noon --
I get one on the bus, one plays with toys.

Banana and more milk and P.B.S.
Is always on. I can't write poetry
With noise and boys and toys and constant mess
And stress -- no plays, just tiny poetry.

The bus arrives and time to see his work
And give him snack, perhaps prepare for dinner.
Then you come home. Another kid. A kiss
and hug hello -- and now to make the dinner.

I fix the food -- demands for drinks -- I stop
To meet demands -- and dinner takes two hours
To make -- and then at last we sit to eat.
With luck on luck the evening will be ours.

And now I put the boys to bed. I dress
And change them, tuck them in, give hug and kiss.
Then go sit down, then right back up to quiet
The boys so they will sleep. It's you I miss.

At last the kids are all asleep and I
have plenty more to do, but won't. My stay
Is short. You come complain, "You really ought
To work like me. What did you do all day?"

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Limits of Our Language

There is a chasm which cannot be crossed,
No bridge, no path below then leading up,
No links, connections, any place to touch.
It seems that things are different over there --
Not necessarily better, just different --
Yet there's a longing just to catch a glimpse,
To see the other side, explore this place
That's new to us, kept separate by space,
Deep drop preventing passage. Yet we see
Old bridges and false starts along the lip --
But somehow something seemed to always keep
Attempts at bay so no one ever finished.
Some even stretch out quite a ways, then stop
There in the air like arms that had their hands
Cut off, just teasing us with promises
Of true connections they left unfulfilled.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I cannot see you with my open eyes,
Although my vision's clear. Your eyes are blind
As mine, and yet you tell me what you see.
We know it's nonsense -- you have shown you know
My mere appearance, nothing of the truths
I've offered you. Perhaps I've done the same.
Where can we go? We started nowhere, based
On mere illusions we created, lies
We tell ourselves before we told each other.
Perhaps we cannot ever show our truth
And shine it through the fictions we prefer.
Perhaps we're always nothing but facades.
And while we think we're clever with our sell,
We do not differ in the lies we tell.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Like everyone he wants to emulate,
He's dressed in black, his shoes are black with gray,
"Blacktops" in white across the sides to break
The solid blackness. Shoestrings tied in knots
Where they had broken. He slides in his feet.
Clad all in black, from shirt to shoes, he grabs
His black jacket and matching black umbrella
And leaves to walk the city in the rain.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


The field is full of clover flowering
To feed the bees that with their buzzing sing
Across the grasses trading water held
By them for nitrogen the clovers bring

The soil -- a fertilizer from roots swelled
Out to protect bacteria who've dwelled
There in their homes they're paying for by trade --
The field is flourishing from what's expelled.

The hive arrives to what they have surveyed
To take the nectar and the pollen, paid
By pollinating all the clovers, red
and white above the field of trefoil jade.

In nature all increase is made widespread
By trade, and every species thus is wed
By root and flower, water, wind, and wing --
And from this networked system all are fed.

Monday, June 29, 2015

To Wash in the Light

I hate to watch as people will not learn,
To watch as people bathe in ignorance,
Ignore the putrid stench and in turn spurn
The jasmine joy I offer as a rinse.

Does knowledge, beauty, insight bring them pain?
Are they afraid their prejudices will
Soon fall away? Will they let others reign
Because they will not climb the slightest hill?

And yet I understand my love's unique,
That love of knowledge, wisdom, beauty are
Not found in most. Rare is the one who'll seek --
More common are those who would quench his star.

I shine the light -- it's you who will not see.
You want to learn? You'll have to come to me.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Conversing With Asperger's

I cannot turn off background sounds
I cannot help but hear
The chatter that is out of bounds
To every normal ear

To hear you I must first ignore
The fact that you are there
Pretend the rest out on the floor
Speak words I want to wear

I promise that I'm listening
To every word you speak
I look away to hear you sing
And warble from your beak

Don't turn away I'm interested
I want to hear each word
I promise you that I am fed
I eat just like a bird

A bird you know appears to peck
And barely seems to eat
But food fills double to its neck
Your words they are my wheat

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Crazy Words

"I love you." Words he said to her he thought
Were meaningless. He said that he loved chocolate,
But was she chocolate? He said he loved walks
In nature. Was she walks in nature? Paths
Presented themselves to him, both toward
And equally away -- they circumscribed.
"I love you but I cannot say I like you."
Could he love chocolate and not like it either?
To say such syllables would be insane --
But when he told her that about herself,
She said that it made perfect sense to her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Wrench

You went down to the coal mines every day
To give my mother her dream house and van,
To give us luxuries we never saw,
And college to your sons, as was your plan.

While putting in a bolt to hold the ceiling --
Your job was to protect the little clench
Of miners from a fall -- you did not see
The curtain slip between the bolt and wrench.

A canopy meant to protect you from small rocks
But blinded you to danger from a draft
That blew the curtain put there to protect
The  miners from gas buildup in the shaft.

The turning wrench wrapped well around your wrist
The curtain, jerked you off of your machine
And snapped your wrist so you would pull your hand
From off your arm, left in that bloody screen.

But even now, with but one arm, you go
Down to the coal mines every day -- a tool
Is where your hand once was, but you
Kept mom in house and van, and us in school.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The gray boards of the outhouse creaked beneath
The weight of my grandmother as she stood
There on its roof, the leaves around a wreath
Of yellow, red, and orange and green and wood.

Her seven children stared between the spaces
The limbs and leaves had left; her shadow twins
Slid silently among the dappled dead
Upon the forest floor, paid for her sins.

The tears dripped down her turkey chin. Her husband
Was begging her to climb back down. And then,
She leaped, a belly-flop into the dirt
And leaves. Her husband helped her to her feet.

The pressures pushed and preyed out of proportion,
Yet failed to make my father an abortion.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Call to Poetry

What good is verse to one who won't believe
In Muses or the God who gave them birth,
When none believe in prophesy or saints
Or heroes, geniuses, lives of great worth?

Perhaps the lack of worthy subjects stains
Our poetry so no one wants to read
The doggerel we write. Who can delight
When envy, blame, and hate is all we feed?

You can't lift up by tearing down, no bridge
Is dynamited to connect the shores --
Thus we can't bridge ourselves to virtue's lands
Insisting all are syphilitic whores.

But why have poetry when there's injustice?
Frivolities just take us off the path.
But, honestly, your anger is pathetic
Compared to great Achilles' awesome wrath.

And who of you would follow justice down
To Hades and insist on justice true
To itself such as Oedipus proclaimed
And punish when the one who sinned is you?

So do not say that poetry has not
A place today -- the serious alone
Find home in verse, find lessons to be learned --
The rest of you are cowards made of stone.

Friday, June 19, 2015


My heart opens --
A book, a rose,
The beak of a baby bird
In an old, bent apple tree --
Until I know, now
Its warmth is not wasted
On your door, cracked open.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Life

I sit at my computer, finding comfort in my chair.
Sometimes I lie or sit with book or clipboard, writing. Who
Can understand why I must write, why I must live this way?
My thoughts, ideas are hail storms punching holes in all that you

Have never wished to question. I can understand why you
Feel apprehensive, why you worry when such ideas, thoughts,
And goals keep dominating all my time. But did you know
That in it all I think the most of you? My heart is caught.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Cannot Wait

I cannot wait to see you every morning
I wake beside you. Shall we sit together
In our brown chair so I can hear the music
Ear on your back, of your heartbeat and breathing,
As fingers press into your belly, fleshy
And soft below your breasts? These hands of kindness
Just seek to hold, caress, and make you joyful
And safe from all your paranoias, worries.
I promise I'll take care of you, providing
All that I can -- what else is love and loving?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ode to My Love

I love each week and weekend that we have
Together. I cannot believe the joy
You bring me with your presence, body, love.
You, lover of my poems, stories, toy

As much as you would with my heart and I
Won't toy with yours. You leave me trembling, I'm
Without control. It's not just every feeling
Your body brings -- such little is a crime

I'd never dare commit. I tremble at
Your lips, your voice -- I have to feel your heart
Fill every space within my home -- my door
Is ever open for you, my life's start.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Walking in the Fog

The fog enfolds in bold suspended drops
The forest of my focus, which I flog
Against -- these barriers to sight, these stops
Of light, insights I'm wearing like a bog.

Such wet weight is my woe -- I cannot know
With blankets blinding, blinding -- I can't feel
With sharpness in the damp I feel below,
Above, around me, ground me, make me kneel.

I feel a worm, an eel, a serpent slide
Away across my feet -- a slug, a snail
Spreads slime to climb to try to find a bride --
I cannot see and trip along the trail.

But when you're with me, all this burns away --
The sun enlightens and I want to stay.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Desert Lion

The lean lion prowls around the desert plain
And lures leopard out upon the desert plain --
The grass greens the stain.

The mane mangled by past battles hands in ropes
That drag, dangling hair upon the desert plain --
The grass greens the stain.

He feasts, flesh ripped form the carcass that he made,
A vain vulture dead upon the desert plain --
The grass greens the stain.

The weak water trickles to his tongue. He tastes
The cool copper coat his tongue and desert plain --
The grass greens the stain.

The lame lion lurks along the filling lake
The rain wrought out of the ravaged desert plain
The grass greens, the stain.

The cat crawls along the muddy bank and drops.
He can't keep alive -- not where the desert plain
The grass greens -- the stain.

The bright bones are clean -- the lion licks his fur
In short shade -- a spot upon the desert plain
The grass greens, the stain.

Friday, June 12, 2015


He has such a tiny old prick
And he looks like he will make you sick
He crawls on your skin
He wants to get in
But you pluck off that nasty brown tick

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Quack

For diabetics there was a man said,
"You really should keep making bread."
Thus John Maynard Keynes
Gave us our full reigns --
"Who cares? In the long run we're dead!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


There once was a goddess named Venus
A beautiful case of her genus --
Without all her trust
She'd grind you to dust --
But why off of love would you ween us?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Lilac

The lilac bushes fill the yard with spring --
Sweet lavender fill up the branches' tips
Above the heart leaves -- the odors always bring
May in until the petals touch my lips.

I want to touch your lips, my fingers feel
The roughened smoothness as I seek to seal
Your breath a moment, feel the breath release
Around my finger tip a subtle breeze.

The breeze is bringing in the lilac smell
To permeate the house, to fill it well
And bring the garden past the window sill
To tell us secrets only it can tell.

The nightgown grips your hips in lavender
Silk wrinkles riding up to show your thighs.
Your body beckons as your tongue denies --
I only want our rhythms to recur.

You shut the window, cutting off the breeze
That brings the lilacs deep into our home -- a
 Soft scent that slowly dissipates until
We lose the sweetness, joy of its aroma.

The lilac rustles silently, attracts
The bees made silent by the glass that acts
Transparent as it closes off, retracts
The full experience, now rendered wax.

And who are you who used to love the garden?
And why have you denied us what we loved
When we chose this, our house, to make our life?
Why won't you smell the lilacs next to me?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Who I Owe

This house is mine and, being mine, I must
Insist that it be mine and I not its.
I must insist and cease to grouse -- the dust
Is building in my house, despite my fits.

These kids are mine and they must fit with me,
Not I with them, though I am duty-bound
By love to care for them and raise them free,
To give them wings, not be bound to the ground.

This wife is mine and I belong to her --
Her happiness my goal I daily fail
To reach, I fear -- I fear she would concur.
Shall I lose all my kingdom for this nail?

The ones I own are nothing I have bought --
They're who I owe, the owners of my ought.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Evening and the Morning

Beloved death, I call upon you each
Day that I live, pull you toward me, lust
For you with every breath. I'll be your dust
That settles on the lampshade. I will reach
Out to embrace you, everything you teach
Of darkness, shadows spreading on my bust --
I know that you are certain, that we must
Fall ever-forward to your awful breach.

Until that day, I celebrate the day,
Illuminating light-shafts through the clouds,
The hyacinth that burst with purple scent,
The running rabbits, leaping lambs at play,
The swarming, talking, ever-living crowds --
I will enjoy the days that I've been lent.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


The lightning is lighting          the stiff trees standing
Along the lane where          we lost ourselves, struck
By our lust and our strength          that stole through the stolen
Time laid before us, stripped          of the leers in our stares.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


The constant, cruel cacophony can crush
My nerves at times and overwhelm my days --
I long for days when I'd enjoy the hush
Of forest walks that kept me from the glaze
That cataracts my mind when music, voices,
Such overwhelming sounds come from my choices.

The constant tugging, pulling, neediness
Of everyone exhausts me, makes a haze
Through which all light seems blinding bright -- I bless
Those moments, ever-rarer, when I gaze
Upon a room of nothingness, where none
Is present, making their demands I run.

The constant pettiness that seems to fill
The days of everyone are like a blaze
Of heat, oppressing me. Do what I will,
Yet going through my days brings on a daze,
Where I cannot collect my thoughts, my self --
I feel a toy forgotten on the shelf.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

On Learning

I may not care if you should wish to learn,
But please remain in ignorance in silence --
Do not infest the world, don't make it burn,
Don't interfere with your slack-jaw-faced violence.

I don't expect that you'd respect my plea
As you don't show respect and you don't act
Respectfully, though you demand it, free
Of evidence of true desert or tact.

If humans are suspended in between
The angels and the animals, you show
You chose the animals, the low, obscene --
You interfere with all who want to grow.

If virtue needs true knowledge, there's no lack
Of vice in you -- you'll hold us all back.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Beauty's Drive

When I first gazed upon your face, I knew
That I must copy you, that I'd repeat
Myself in you, through you, with you -- make true
My image making you. The world would greet
With gladness making more of you -- I saw
This when I saw you walking up to say
"Hello," to me; we'd meet and eat and thaw
To love as we began our dance to play
Our first steps down our marriage hall
And to the time when we'd slow time and birth
Ourselves through you. And now we'll never fall
Into extinction -- we have proved our worth.
When beauty fills a maker's soul, he must
Ensure it's reproduced, transform his lust.

Friday, May 29, 2015


How like a dog I feel -- my loyalty
Remains unwavering -- I'd never stray
From you more than a dog would stray or flee
From his home pack -- I only want to lay
My head upon your lap and let you scratch
My scalp, my every itch -- I will protect
You and take care of you -- no, I won't snatch
The trust you have in my from you -- reflect
On all you know, on all you've seen -- you know
My loyalty remains unwavering --
There's nothing more that I should need to show
Or demonstrate or write or even sing --
Your needless doubt, it seems to always hound
Me if you're present or you're not around.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Smell of Spring

I love the smell of grasses' screams
Of warning to their neighbor grass --
But even they are drowned out by
The garlic who you can't deny
With their sharp-scented screech which steams
The air with every mower's pass.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To My Jealous Love

Is there another who I'd love to hold,
Love loving, find so beautiful? What bold
Or brave or bountiful deep beauty strikes
Vice down before it dares arise? The shrikes
Eat mice as gray as they; impaled on thorns,
The mice feel far less pain and fear than I
On days your jealousy arises. Why
Should you feel jealous when my body's true
Until relentless time brings death? Review.
Could one who is so loyal ever fall?
Know you're the only one I'll love, that all
You see is all of me at every time --
Oh, you will never find me in a crime.
Uncommon is my love -- I could not share,
Renew, or dissipate my love, my love,
Nor share this hand that belongs in your glove.
Insist that I remain within your gaze?
Prepare for me to never leave your side --
Lay next to me forever, I'll abide
Each night and day, I never will complain --
Say "stay with me" and I'll always remain.
Announce to me each day that all your cares
Now and forever will withstand all stares
Demanding explanation for the looks
Fixed on you from my soul -- for nothing brooks
Uncertainty for how I feel. Your face
Could make me cry with joy. My dear, embrace
Knowing my everything always belongs
Your own. And each one of my bird-like songs
Owe life to you -- I will not be a mouse
Undone upon a thorn. Here in my house,
Revere the reverence that I feel for you,
Perpetuate my love, give me my due.
Untouched by my protests in verse? Does this
Surprise you? How can it when all my bliss?
Suspends me in the air so all I see,
Yes, all I see of you, makes me feel free.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Your Happiness

I ever seek your happiness, but fail
In finding what to do to make it true
Beyond a moment's breath. A wind-filled sail
Is what I seek to speed out from the blue.

It seems I cannot read the weather's signs
If storms are certain in the coming days.
I stand upon the deck, a rope entwines
My arm -- I hope it's firm and never frays.

Yet all my happiness I find within
Your quiet eye. I hope that I can steer
To keep your wall clouds and your lightnings' din
At bay, for losing you's my only fear.

Perhaps true happiness can't live with strife --
Together we should seek out joy in life.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Madman

Warm madness is a self-indulgence I
Imbibe in toast to my self-serving lie.
As I divest responsibility
And marry it to others foolishly
Agreed to by the ones who love me, I
Embrace her tingling warms, set myself free.

I dance upon my mountaintop alone,
Insist my cave is really my earned throne --
I look down on the stupid hoi polloi,
Reject the morons who all but annoy
And scorn those who would love to live alone --
Where are the fair ones I would dare enjoy?

This network maze dragged me down to my id,
A chaos where I finally am rid
Of every asshole, every stupid slut
Who I let close enough to make me cut
Me, bleeding, down to this self-centered id.
But who is -- they or me -- the idiot?

Oh, why won't those I love to love love me?
I overflow and wish to set them free
To leap as satyrs in the flowered fields,
To drop their armor, weapons, and their shields,
And come embrace the peace and love that's me.
They let me embrace all the darkness yields.

Oh, lovely madness, don't you know what I
Have sighed for your embrace. Please know that I
Have grown to love you more than I love me.
I know you love me more than they love me.
This loneliness. I think and therefore I
Embrace the world encompassed but by me.

Friday, May 22, 2015

On the Usefullness of Poetry for Learning

There was a time when people realized
That poetry was easy to remember
And people wrote in verse -- yes, essays too --
Because the rhythms and the lines which were
The same length as their short-term memory
Allowed them to remember what was written.
That's also why so many plays were written
In verse, to help the actors memorize
The plays more easily. As we have moved
Away from rhythmic verse, we've also heard
Complaints about our students' memories,
How they don't seem to know a thing, it seems.
Perhaps if we were teaching everything
In blank verse lines so that our rhythmic brains
Could map the rhythmic lines more easily
Onto themselves, then we could memorize
Far more than we do now. The science is
Most certainly behind me on this thesis.

There was a kind of poetry intended
To teach the reader, which has fallen out
Of fashion. Once didactic poetry
Was well-respected. Alexander Pope
Wrote his Essay on Man not in dull prose
But rather in heroic couplets. Just
Consider these few lines of his knowledge:
"Say first, of God above or Man below
What can we reason but from what we know?"
Epistemology has never been
More clearly stated, or more beautifully.
We have as models of this kind of verse
The likes of Hesiod and Ovid, Virgil
And Shelley. Why have we rejected use
And information as an aim of verse?
It seems the very worst that Modernism
Contributed was the idea that
All art -- and even the humanities --
Should be completely useless. Art for art's
Sake, nothing more. Indeed, this freed
The arts, allowed proliferations of
Such forms as we had never seen in such
A short time period. And yet one has
To wonder why the usefulness of some
Art could not be retained. The structure of
Our brains allow the regularities
Of poetry to easily deliver
The information and ideas which
Bombard us in high qualities today,
So much of which we need to know to do
The complex jobs we have, to understand
The world in its complexity, which we
Did not evolve to really deal with. Yet
We have a tool -- a tool which we discarded --
Which lets us learn so much so fast that we
Could even understand this world we live
In better and in much more depth than we
Do now. Can you imagine what we could
Learn more than we now think is possible?

Perhaps you don't believe the things I say.
Well, let me ask you this: how many lines
Of prose can you recite? How many songs?
A song indeed is poetry, and you
No doubt can sing a couple dozen songs
Without a note to prompt you. Why is this?
Perhaps it is because all that I said
Is true. The rhythms and the rhymes of songs
And formal poetry get stuck and play
Themselves on your brain's rhythmic circuitry.
When we get earworms, it is never prose,
But always songs which we hear in our heads.
Our memories are rhythmic and work best
With rhythms when we want to memorize
For quick recall. Imagine too the new
Ideas which our brains could formulate
If we in fact made use of what our brains
Could really do by taking full advantage
Of how it works. It is too bad that we
Don't take advantage of the usefulness
Of poetry to learn about the world.
The sciences and the humanities
Could all be easily accessible,
Could easily be learned if we could just
Present it to our students in blank verse.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Daniel's Song

It's Daniel, it's Daniel --
He's cute as a cocker spaniel --
He likes a warm hug,
He's cute as a bug --
When he's hungry he sure can yell!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Tale Retold

She was more beautiful than anyone
He'd ever seen. Her bright blonde hair flowed back
Across her shoulders, brought forth the soft features
In her round, perfect face. Her eyes were black

In pools of blue, her body such perfection
Description fails. Her long, smooth legs flowed out
Beneath her skirt. Her calves and buttocks rose
Above her tall stilettos. There's no doubt --

A perfect woman. Then she glanced at him.
Her dainty smile lit her face. His heart
Leaped to his throat. He looked at her; she him.
She reached up, hand to hair, let out a fart.

Her hand slid to her purse. She lifted out
A cigarette and lit it in her mouth.
And somehow all her beauty disappeared --
He told himself his heart had drifted south.

He turned to walk away, his interest lost,
But still he glanced again back at her face
In time to see her belch into her hand --
And then his lust left him without a trace.

What had he seen in her to make him stare?
Her stringy hair, the tattoo on her arm,
Her legs too thin -- a woman not his type --
He much preferred true beauty, grace, and charm.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

True Love

I love you enough
To want you for myself
So I know for sure
That you are safe
And loved.

Friday, May 15, 2015


A tender heart,
A love-filled soul,
Loves rock-n-roll.
Who loves to touch
And hold my hand --
When I'm upset,
Will understand.
A hug, a kiss
To show our love --
A love of God
Who reigns above.
A love of science
And natural things,
And loves to read
'Bout everything.
Will love and care
For me my life --
This woman is
My perfect wife.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Past Imperfect

Am I my past, and must I be defined
By things a different me has done? The sky
Is ever-changing with clouds that wind
In whirls that come together just to cry.

No atom in me is the same as those
In the old me that met you. The old me
Is doubly gone -- this me is he who knows
A love that me could never know nor see.

Yet you insist that I, whose love has grown
For you, remain the same in essence. Stories
From past selves are but myths, and all have shown
A character in all his pains and glories.

The thing to know is, when it come to you
My every thought and action will be true.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Souls' Wings

You wonder why
You wonder why we all fly by
Day or night
Live for flight
Delight in the sight
Of living just to try
Trying just to live
For a love of life
Overcome, overdone over some
Freedom our secret souls
Desire without a sigh
require a life without a lie
Will not relinquish nor deny
Our souls' desire just to fly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The spirits fled -- no one believed in them.
The gods all died -- no one believed in them.

How many green ideas yellowed, browned
In drought because no one believed in them?

The Megatherium and dinosaurs --
Extinct. Nature has not believed in them.

A field of particles and energy
Not here -- no universe believed in them.

How many poems, music, arts have died,
Been lost because no one believe in them?

How many stories, poems, works of mine
Have died because I'd not believed in them?

And I would die a little death if you
Should say, "Your work? I'd not believed in them."

Monday, May 11, 2015


The circumstances of the murder were
Mysterious -- it wearies us to find
We cannot find a body -- growling cur,
The murderer -- pretending to be kind --
He sought stability, to order things
That he could not afford, that could not be
Made orderly like quartz -- the throat that sings
Was sliced to let the music out, to free
The sweet, soft song from its confining space --
His love he lied he loved was not allowed
To live, because to live was his disgrace,
So greatness had to die -- he was too proud --
He sought the crowd -- the crowd denied his worth --
And so the only body that we found
Was far too tiny, never came to birth,
Was torn out of the absence, on the ground
Beneath a cherry tree weighed down in white --
Three bodies imply chaos, and his house
Was kept at ninety sharp degrees, a fright
Of order brought to danger by his spouse --
So he aborted everything he'd made --
And we are left impoverished -- the trails
He left are ice -- he lounges in the shade
While everyone around him rails and fails

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cayo Bolivar

The corals grow upon the rocks, lay down
Their gemstone homes at polyp pace. They fold
And branch and with their holes provide a crown
Of dwellings -- fish and shrimp and snails with gold
And purple shells -- a place alive with bright
And flashing color, fish swim hard to hold
Their place in swirling currents' crashing waves.
The butterfly fish all pretend they're bold.
But from the sky, out of this reef we'll see
A seeming simple shape our minds will mold
Upon the turquoise Caribbean Sea:
A butterfly's light sea foam wings unfold.
From everything our minds make metaphors,
Connecting all through our perceptions' doors.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Below the Weather Vane

The classical rotunda set atop
The modern, otherwise undecorated
Brick building looks like Zeus came in to drop
An out of place reminder that we're fated
To have the gods around. We can't escape
The gods -- they will not die -- they will not flee
For long -- and that is why Zeus came to rape
This building like Achaean Leda. He
Touched someone's memory -- the architect
Despite all sense, became enthusiastic
For ancient Greece and felt he should select
White columns for the top. His orgiastic
Choice stands where few can see it well -- a blight
In my ninth story window line of sight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

On Censorship

Is poetry important? Yours is not
If no one wants to censor you or burn
Your manuscripts. If no one wants them hot
Off the presses and no one will spurn

Your verse, then it is unimportant. Death
Comes early to the dangerous who dare
To challenge worlds. Your long life and your breath
Condemn your frivolous words. We don't care.

But if you say the meaningful and break
The colored classes that we wear, you'll see
Your words for their importance. When a lake
Of blood is spilled for words, then you'll agree

That arts' and humanities' import
Is such that only fools would dare abort.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Emptiness

I stand and stare at nothing; nothing stares
At me, entices me to make a move.
I'm open to the nothingness that bares
Itself to me, to nudge me from my groove.

Behind me are my parents, neighborhood
Of children, my experiences, hate
And love, abuse and sorrow, much deadwood
That block my river's flows and form my fate.

But why must I endure my fate? Am I
Not free to form it for myself? I stand
And stare at nothingness. I will defy
My past and form my future with my hand.

You find the natural flows, you'll gain reknown --
You push against the river and you'll drown.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Life Sentence

The man sat in the prison cell, convicted
For life. He saw the same four walls, the scene
Outside his window never changed, restricted
In life and all his views, he had turned lean.

He kept back from the door the guard sat near
And waited for the food to come to him.
He lived a life of ever-present fear
And only read by lights that faded dim.

The days, the months, the years all passed, the gray
Grew in his hair, and death approached at last.
His life was death -- he wanted no delay
To pay with life what happened in his past.

The guard stood up and opened up the door.
"It could have opened any time before."

Friday, May 1, 2015

Breakfast at the Hampton Inn, Bowling Green, KY

"I dropped my pill!"
"Well, where'd you drop it?"
"If I knew that, I'd find it."
Some shuffling feet, careful.
They cannot step on the orange pill.
He has to watch his sugar.
"I think I caused a consternation here."
An elderly pair on the floor, careful.
They're searching frantically.
"Oh, never mind."
She searches, still --
He stands, begins to walk away.
"I found it!"
She struggles up
Next to the table leg, her prize
In hand. He helps her to her feet.
The pill is placed into his mouth
And orange juice drinks it down.
The breakfast ends in silence.
She smiles.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

An Invitation

The evening news is full of fiction, false
As the reality that Bravo scripts
Or stars first learning how to do a waltz --
It's lying entertainment to our crypts.

I'd rather have true fiction's truth -- depict
Complexity and ambiguity,
Real humans in all that they contradict,
And into which the wisdom-seekers flee.

The poet's song of myth betrays the truth
In sonic salvos, raucous rhythms, rhymes
That tap into maturity of youth
And help us see that always of sometimes.

The playwright brings the audience its role
Of practiced practice, scripted falsehoods true,
Presented to those present with their soul
United in a psychic deja vu.

The satirists give all our news aslant
And thus remain the only ones we trust --
We know the liars never will recant,
So facts are gained from satire we adjust.

And on the internet the jackals lie
Awaiting all our cynical beliefs --
Conspiracies and Luddites which defy
All reason are the new nonsense motifs.

My friends, we poets wait for your return
To us and all the truthful myths we write --
I promise we forgive the recent spurn
You gave us -- we will not return the slight.

We want to welcome you back from the fake
Reality and to the truth of myth --
It's in our dreams you'll truly be awake --
Our lines will cut the lies down like a scythe.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

To the West

Don't whine about your superficial lives
Without a single problem, so you make
Up silly nonsense. Ease of life, it drives
The whiny wealthy of the world to fake

At having problems, fake at poverty,
Ignoring people who must work to farm
A patch of rocky soil they wish to flee
For factories so they are fed and warm.

Their children die of illness and must work
And everyone feels fear what little they
May have will soon be seized by cops who lurk
Like criminals and rob you in the day.

Lament the paper cuts of life and sigh
At minor bruises like you're going to die.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


I won't be married to my fate --
I won't let anyone berate
The who or what I am, define
My present or a future that is mine.

The golden grapes I guzzle down
Burn through my limbs and up my crown --
I love the smooth taste of my wine --
Their drops present a future that is mine.

This earth I dig with both my hands
Is everything this life demands --
These fruits I harvest are divine --
Their seeds present a future that is mine.

No toil degrades me -- find a fife
And make the music of my life --
My eyes are dripping joyful brine --
A present for a future that is mine.

There is no air above my head --
Nothing below me -- taste the bread,
The fruit, the meat -- we all must dine,
Enjoy this present: future that is mine.

Present the present of all life and shine
Your present love, a future that is mine.

Monday, April 27, 2015


She walks around dressed like a hooker clown
With four inch stilt that make her walk en pointe,
A miniskirt of shiny golden coins
That makes me wonder what man would anoint

With pearls the breasts that almost tumble out
The low-cut rainbow bandeau top, tightly
Enwrapping them so we can see they're cold
Or that the owner is excited. Nightly

She and her friend in pants with camel toe
So tight and obvious that if they were
The color of her skin she's be in jail
Go out to find a man -- and she and her

Best friend will settle every night for men
Who see them as two sex dolls who can move --
Their dress that makes me laugh at them is for
These men a signal for each one to prove

His manliness, as though to bed a woman
Who advertises her receptiveness
In neon, shiny gold and outlined breasts
And genitalia are hard to press

Into spread-eagled openness upon
A bed. She needs to learn this is a plan
That fills her emptiness with sour seed --
Soon she will say she can't find a good man.

Yet every night this hooker clown will come
To clubs to find a man who just hung up
With wife or fiancee to buy a drink
For her so he can fill her fleshy cup.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fishes, Worms, and Wine

On the barrel of a gun I come
and wander, winding with wine
imbibed inside, intestines
saturated, infatuated
find feathered fiends focused
forward, my man, forward
for fear cannot win.
I live, I love, I live for love,
I kill the dove,
peaceful wars killing souls
lifting goals, moles, rolls, holes
open in the sky,
swallowing the ground.
Wonder now wherever we are found
Shhh! I hear, don't make a sound.
Guns fire high, lie down low,
find for flowers, I feel too slow.
Loosely low, lung lungfish lightly
to breathe too deep
'til they're a fish no more.
Flap around upon the shore
eagles pick on them no more.
Glowworms light up
inner cave,
chase off darkness,
darkness' wave,
waves of water worms wiggle warily,
wander through the silt.
Picked off by sharks,
yolk sacks still attached,
moon glow lightened darkened yellow,
orange bloodveins
clearly seen,
stardust eyes to clearly see.
Wonder what that thing could be.
Flat snow falls,
lift light up high
through the sky,
dry night coming clear,
fishskin all is left to wear
while impaling, free sailing,
I don't know why I'm in this jail and
why no one here seems to care. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Language of Flowers

She walks along beside the flowers blooming
Beside the sidewalk, waving with her hand
At them and saying, "Hello, flower." Each
One gets a greeting, slowing down our walk.

What does she hear the flowers say, assuming
A modest silence to so many, grand
In speech to those who listen? They can teach
My daughter, just three months from two, to talk.

I walk beside her and the flowers, grooming
My daughter to keep listening, to stand
And proudly say that she can truly reach
The flowers -- petals, roots, and leaves and talk.

I hope her hearing never starts to sour
So she continues greeting every flower.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Human Moment

Well, I've decided that I'll write a poem whose line lengths are much too long.
It's true, you know,
That neither line, the first or second, should belong
Within a poem. Why
Does either line seem incorrect?
Ignore the ignorant who claim it's cultural,
That it all just depends on sect.
A line of poetry
In every language, culture, time
Has line lengths in a certain aural range
No matter what the rhythm or the rhyme
(Though both contribute to a poem's time).
Our  aural time, our very human-moment, is but three to five seconds long.
Too much
Or too little, and we feel the lines just don't belong.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


The flowers are winding in
red, tallness, foliage and rain
As airplanes taxi down to a
Road of electrical lines from Guatemala.
Through planets which
Smile at you, coffee mugs
Recline by making babies.
I repeat nothing. Again.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Eminent Domain

I think I found the cobra -- slithering
Between the chairs -- it killed my dog and wife --
I almost felt the venom of its sting --
Why should I worship enemies of life?

Why should I love the cobra? All the rats
Are gone, it's true -- but why should that bring love
To such a murderer? He killed the cats
That did the job. And now I need a glove

To find and fight the cobra -- I'll be wise --
I won't believe its lies -- I'll take its breath
Before I ever let it hypnotize
Me into loving its culture of death.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ideas Matter

Should we celebrate America with a Jingoist jingle?
Should we celebrate her with conservative rants against freedom of speech
Or leftist calls for constant crises and revolutions?
Once upon a time there was an ideal we have lost:
This country was founded on celebrating life and liberty and property.
We forgot that to be conservative here is to be liberal,
That the European left and right have no business being here,
That we are not nationalists, but integrationinsts,
That we're not for democracy, but anarchic republicans,
That we oppose resentment while helping others in times of need,
That we protect rich and poor, strong and weak in equal measure.
We should be proud that racism is a problem to us in this country,
Since in other lands, nobody has a problem being racist.
We should be proud that we live somewhere so rich
That we can be poets and scholars in comfort and wealth.
Does it seem trite to celebrate this way? to celebrate American with a song?
So be it! I will sing this song and celebrate our liberal soul
And celebrate the possibility that we can find it once again, improved
By all that we have learned and learned to see.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Roads to Home

When my eyes close
the white flashes turn
to low mounds of flower cups
swaying in the car-rush breeze.
White Missouri cups contrast
pink, light and dark, Texas --
Arkansas is oddly bare,
pine hills near, bluffs
over marshes winged with birds
spearing in shallows the fish and frogs.
And the cup-round deciduous Kentucky hills,
asphalt ribboning between dynamite cliffs,
welcomes me with her coal-vein arms,
a discomforting comfort
that can only be home,
a place far from this concrete
prairie that can only be home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tax Day

Today I have been robbed by a too-clever
And -wily gang. They said that I would pay
Them more if I refused to pay -- they'd sever
Me from my family upon the day

That I refused. They said they would arrive
With guns to kidnap me and shoot to kill
If necessary. No one would arrive
To help -- they'd do just what they want and will.

And worse, my neighbors think it's good and right
To pay these crooks because these crooks pretend
They're generous with money stole by fright --
And yet, these psychopaths they will defend.

No, theft is theft -- your morals are not bent
Because you call your gang a government.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Once warriors wandered through these woods,
Each searching silently for game --
the deer, the elk, the buffalo --
A land of prairies and tall trees
Once, unseen since. None lived this land,
This sacred hunting ground where spirits
Of animals and warriors roamed
And kept close watch, protecting trees
The game, the land. Red wolves once wandered
Here, hunting too, their loyalty,
Strong families and hunting skills
Commanding strong respect. These wolves
The warriors held in high esteem
Instead of fear. The rivers, sun
Embraced, providing for the soil,
The trees, the prairie grass to create
A land where wolves and warriors wandered.

Monday, April 13, 2015

East Tennessee

My wife, she went and run off on me
Took my truck and my dogs off to east Tennessee --
Left me with the kids so that she could be free --
Took my truck and my dogs off to east Tennessee.

I hear that she took off to live with a man --
Why not? I was her number three --
She took off without warnin' me of her plan
To live out in east Tennessee.

I thought that she loved me -- I was a fool --
And a fool's what I always will be
'Cause my love for her sparkles in the sun like a jewel
From the mountains of east Tennessee.


I'm left kickin' the dust as I walk on to work --
The coal mines are all that's for me
'Cause my heart will keep yearnin' and always will lurk
In the mountains of east Tennessee


The children keep askin' "Where's momma gone?"
And all I can tell 'em is sung in this song
About their momma in east Tennessee


Thursday, April 9, 2015

You Don't Have to Be Sexy All the Time, Honey

I see you're wearin' those cowboy boot again,
And your matchin' leather mini looks real fine --
Though we are together, lookin' at you feels a sin
You don't have to be sexy all the time.

You don't have to be sexy all the time, honey.
You don't have to be sexy all the time.
Relax, put on some sweats and sit right here by me.
You don't have to be sexy all the time.

I love it when your hair's all made up.
I love it when you wear that thing to bed.
I love it when you wear your make-up --
When we go out you knock 'em all dead.

But when we're at home and it's just you and me,
It don't matter, you always look fine.
So let's stay at home and just sit quietly --
You don't have to be sexy all the time.


Don't go out like that --
Come sit next to me --
You don't have to be sexy at nine.
Just sit down right here
And we'll party 'til three --
You don't have to be sexy all the time.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015


The Hindu is correct to say
That cattle are my brothers
We share so much between ourselves

The Jainists too know much to say
The lettuce is my sister
We share so much between ourselves

Our essence must remain the same
For us to keep existing
We all must feast upon ourselves

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


A child is born on warm waters and cleansed
In holy river waters yellowed dark
With all the sins of man -- the gods incensed
Against us, mad until the waters mark
The bathers' souls with psyche-cleansing powers,
That satiate the gods within their towers.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Merry Munchkin Song

Merry Merry Munchkin
Sittin' by the sea
Waves are lapping at her toes,
Sand upon her knee.

Merry Merry Munchkin
Sittin' in a tree,
Sittin' on a little branch,
Pretty as can be.

Merry Merry Munchkin
Sittin' here with me --
Such a pretty little girl
There could never be

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Truth of Easter

The dogwood with its crosses and central crown of thorns
Heralds in the Easter season.
Whether as white and pure as Christ Himself
Or streaked in pink by His blood.
Easter is not as we've come to see
With pagan rituals of rabbits and chicks.
The true meaning of the season is clear.
He is risen!
The Christ I worship died not on the cross,
There to stay forevermore.
He is risen from the grave
In victor over death
So that we may not perish,
But have everlasting life.
"He is risen!" let us hear the angels cry!
For had not God come as Christ,
Love, Faith, Peace, would be in vain.
But he has come, he is risen!
Let us forevermore remember it in the Easter season,
When the dogwoods with their white crosses bloom.

Friday, April 3, 2015

On Sonnets

There's something sonnets do to make a poet
Desire to write about true love. Red roses
Will bloom in every verse. What makes us show it,
These common feelings, images, and poses?

I don't want nightingales to flock my page --
I've never even heard nor seen the bird.
But neither do I want to merely rage
Against the form -- to do so is absurd.

I choose to write in form to increase choice
Of things that I could say -- I knew the rules
Would make it possible to find my voice,
To hone from rugged stones more perfect jewels.

What I'd not known was that using this form
Would dictate content to make its own storm.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Raise Your Hands

Red ochre hands are outlined on the cave's
Cold wall, this ancient art, five fingers out
As if to reach and grab our gaze, no doubt
To draw us back to sources our art craves.

White marble hands outstretched, more beautiful
Than all the artist's other works. Each one
Had loved the hands so much, a hammer won
An artist's whack to stop their awful pull.

Strong folded hands in prayer in centuries
Of sculptures, paintings, wisely decorating
Our temples, churches, facing mirrors mating
To bring us, asking God, far fewer worries.

And now these hands are bringing to these lands
This tapestry -- woof, weave from older strands.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Red ranges orange through blue and violet --
Our coalition is a meteor
You love to see across the sky we let
Govern the way we see. These metaphors

Bring God's good grace transformed to cultural
Instantiations unifying shades,
Varieties of brown, eventual
Redemption, love and peace which too soon fades

Or grays to discontented clouds. Remain
Young as a species and we retain hate --
Grasp others in true love, we will retain
Bright rainbow light to promise our true fate.

In what direction will this symbol bow?
Veils cover future loves we will endow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Off Track

We had not intended to travel here
Into Oklahoma -- the night too dark
And the flats not river enough for fear
That a full Red River would bring. Hank's bark

At the moon kept us in a laugh. We sang
With his nasal voice, the old country art
In its folksy blues that confirmed his twang,
The depressing songs that make warm the heart

And release the soul to allow the sole
A hard place to stand so the spirit's free.
In the moonlight wind-worn and stacked stones roll
In the fields the asphalt now splits. We'd be

Out in Texas where we belong if life
Had not interfered in our drive. The map
Cannot mark mistakes out or hide the strife
Between friends or husband and wife that trap

Us in places we in our ignorance
Accidentally found in traveling --
But without these paths, we won't hear or dance
To Hank Williams' songs, we would never sing

Of our loves we have or once had and lost,
And we'd miss the wonders of stone that rise
From the plains of life. What a wast -- the cost
Of such stringent lives cannot make us wise.

So we had not planned to travel where
The Red River flowed and the stones all rose
Into pretty piles on the plains that pair
Me and you, together in what life chose. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Beautiful Compulsion

The mountain lies there on the table, stone
And trees and snow, the alpine flowers showing
Between the cracks, up through the melting snow
That trickles down into rough rivers flowing.

The warrior sits there on the table, stone
In visage, stone in eyes, a weapon held
At ready in his steady hand, and proud
Of every enemy that he has felled.

My love for you sits on the table. Stone
Will wear away much faster than will my
Dark ruby love -- no! far above the price
Of rubies is my love, this lovely tie.

My poem lies there on the table, lone
In drawing my attention. The T.V.
Is on and yet ignored. This phonic fable
In verse and rhythms lives through harmonies.

The harmonies there on the table groan
For me to pick them up so I can read
The poems dozens more times than I have --
They draw me, drive me -- they are what I need.

The pen and paper on the table loan
A way for me to reproduce, to replicate
The beauties that I know and see in words:
The mountain, warrior, love, and poem wait.

Friday, March 27, 2015


The old caldera slowly swells, fist
Beneath our feet. The rim is several dozen
Unstable miles across, and so we missed
This rise beneath us with eyes that have frozen

On dark, blue steaming pools that drain to stream
Through washes bright in orange and peach and yellows,
Bacteria resisting heat all team
Near geysers spraying up from deep hot bellows

That feel the lake the rising old caldera
Now pushes over into pine trees growing
Along the southern bank. In what new era
Will we expect the lava to start flowing?

We walk across the steaming world of heat,
Ignoring danger rising at our feet.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A New Life by the Bay

The broad bay window shows the sea
A blue arc bending in toward the house,
The white caps spray, deep water cool, arouse
A blue and white-streaked sky for you and me.

The light shines through the wide, reflecting glass,
And brightens blue berries beyond the bay
Window. Among asparagus fern spray,
Contrasting red-bright berries hide. Alas,

We cannot know what all is found around
The bay that bends away, now arcing out
Toward the open sea to sweep our doubt
Out with the tide, revealing the new ground

We've chosen nose to build this new-made life
Upon, with this new house, husband and wife.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Trees travel through these woods -- you see their tracks
And trailing cedar trunks hold growing rings
Of memories remaining light as fog
That creeps through streets, around the buildings' stones.
All rise, obscure the sky, the sun, the clouds,
The stars, the birds, the bats, the planes that fly
From port to port as some release small men
In parachutes who then drift down to caves
All full of calcium formations, cracking
Fantastic rising ceilings with their centered
Hot crystal chandeliers as clear as seas
Surrounding Caribbeans full of leaves
That fell from trees that marched into the water,
The fountains full of foam fragmented from
And into liquid crystal prism rainbows
That left their trunk tracks in soft sand they shaped
To glass-blown bubbles bursting into bright
Chaotic fireworks displays of trinkets
From places far away, on boats that sail
In, bringing branches from the distant West
To plant the places where the trees are gone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Malthusian Butt Fleas Secrete Liverworts Wandering On Stones In Firefly Bellies Until Volcanoes Sniff Eyelashes

As almost all arranged
Big beetles brag bright balloons belatedly
Carrying crawfish candid castles
Daintily down dreary doughnut droughts
Eventually evening everything elastic
For fierce frogs forgetting
Great ghastly gains given Gorky
His hero's hell however he
Is in it if it is
Just jeering jello jumping jellybeans
Kindly killing Kafka
Letting little legs lightly lift low
Measures more mightily must man move
Night near nothing
Opening our other optical ostriches
Perhaps privately picking powerful pears
Quietly quaking quaintly queer
Right rain really roves round rectangles
Sounding still serious smelling snake sewers
Telling tight tails terrible tales together
Until unguloid udders
Vary vermouth vacuums
Where wandering wonderwalls were working worth white worms
Xylophones xerox sylem
Yet yellow yetis yearn yonder
Zanzibar zaqqum zoos.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Red and Blue Verisimilitude

Sitting surreptitiously sans sound
We lit the lit the longest ledger loud and lingered,
Letting the little lemming see around the sound
That severed sacks of high hairs harrowing both here
And there and up, around and down
Through sound to get through these new blue
Criteria that seek verisimilitude.

"I wonder where the walnut walked?"
Wondered Wally, walking wearily
From fierce sleep, sneezing into the bowl of red jello
Hanging from the ceiling. Red, red,
Everywhere red, red casting
Its light, its sound, its life
Through men and women, making women unfil
Into life, their petals passing past each other. Love.
Love. Lust. Kissing, caressing her,
Such soft and supple skin all drenched in red, red light,
That makes her draw away.

You want to love, to love love, not no!
No touches. Touches tingle, tantalize and tug
On tortuous tendrils of feeling forward, focused
Fast on the ledger, letting love linger there,
If nowhere.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Creator of the Cult

You take the sacred raw material
Of poetry and find their deepest roots
And make of them genealogical
High-reaching branches tipped with greenest shoots.

You make their meanings new from oldest source,
From context you create as you relate
Each sound to meaning -- its emergent course
Traced out and followed, finding its own fate.

Each phoneme flows in fractal forms you frame
To make new meaning blossom fruits to swell --
Your love of morphemes transformed to a game,
A ritual of love for all you spell.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Oh, what did the gigglesnort know?
And how did he reach his toe?
Yes, upward he came,
He's barely insane,
Thinks he is a rake or a hoe.

An elephondonder he'll be,
Ate from the posquato tree
'Til outward he'd roam
And go far from home
And see a sweet sister or three.

A storm -- from the cavern it came,
But the gigglesnort slightly was lame,
So he had to choose
The umbersol's use --
If over his head, or a cane.

His sister was a flapping flitter
Wet, transparent, and all quite atwitter
She seemed a bit sappy
But very galappy
Perched high on her branch on her sitter.

The gigglesnort satalked long with her
And covered her with mallow fur
Then he said he'd attend,
Declared he was her friend
Then said that he'd have to defer.

The gigglesnort let out a laugh
Then found himself cleanly in half
Then whipping his claws
And licking his jaws
He called out for all of his staff.

The gigglesnort, with them he stood,
The Biznel and the peckerwood,
But the blue bilderclaw
Just couldn't recall
Whether on hand or his feet that he stood.

I wonder whatever we'll do!
Asked the biznel and all of his crew
Around they all walked
And blatheringly talked
'Til everything shistened with dew.

In three days they had to decide
If soon they scrietly would hide
The googalypus down
In a tree of renown
 And claim they knew not where he'd flied.

Then they all looked around and they turned
And to their surprise they had learned
That in the days' time
With the sound of a mime
Both the gigglesnort and flitter had burned.

They sifted carlowly the ashes
But soon and away their hope dashes
For the gigglesnort's tooth
And the flitter's farnooth
Were laying in some of the lashes.

Around the dark ashes aloud
A singular came from the crowd
Then a burst of flame
Engulfed all the same
And the gigglesnort and flitter came 'round.

Where've you been? asked the peckerwood crew
But the siblings just smiled at the view --
So they went, holding hands,
Vanished into the sands
Each sharing a bright purple shoe.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


He knew the way they acted was no show --
He knew they were his friends. They had said so.
He let them shackle him onto the boat --
He knew he could not know what they could know.

They pushed him out into the stream to float
In slowly spinning swirls. He had no coat
To keep off rain; he only had a stick
And satisfaction he had had a vote.

To stay unstuck the stick would do the trick --
To scare off snakes he'd give the stick a flick
Upon the water surface, and the splash
Would quench his thirst with every drop he'd lick.

So he was thankful for the stick -- he'd dash,
He knew, against the rocks without it, crash
Against the shore. And so he thanked his friends
For it and giving him his tiny cache.

That cache of food on which he now depends
Will last for weeks, but only if he lends
Most to his future self -- he has to trust
His present hungry self for what he sends.

His friends made no provisions for his lust
Or how he would wash off his grease and dust --
They only took care of what they foresaw
And did not care for everything they must.

The water, wind would make his skin turn raw.
The sun would burn him, but he saw no flaw
In his friends' plan to get him to the sea.
Instead, he smiled when he heard the crow caw.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


This cathedral I thrust up from liquid
Fire, foundation formed of flames. An absent
Ground of revery raise in reverence the eyes
Up the stone stairs that strain to the ceiling
Arching into the air to beams
Unfinished, fanning from feathery trees branching,
Leafing into the light, the luring sky.

We trace no trees' shapes traveling up
As acolytes or Arthurs in this absent forest --
The shade shelters even shodden feet
To keep them cool. I kick a loose stone
Among the many May apple blossoms,
Which wink their white petals warily as I pass.
A great, green, growing post
Holds up heave in halves or as one,
As cathedrals for crickets and caterpillars to worship the dew.

Beams have burned away to bare this spiral
Staircase standing in strength before me --
I rise, racing the rapid flames
This cathedral was thrust up from stones
The forest flumg before me across
This pitted path I past perceived was mine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cliff Dwellers

The searing sun shines, bronzing the bare breasts
Of women walking warily, grass skirts
Shift, swaying on their hips and showing thighs
With every forward step. The cliff face falls
Off to their left and rises to their right --
They do not walk with fright or lonely sighs.
The stone encloses the cliff's weathered faces
To form the family homes that face each other
Across the canyon. Mother, brother, all
Can face each other, read the petroglyphs
That spell out each dark spirit-loving space
So each can trace each other, spirit mother
Protecting corn crops, pine nuts, the rare fruit
Available in this dry desert if
You want to work to leave a legacy
That lasts in this bright echoing cliff aerie
Now ghostly silent. Serpents, lizards lurk
Here now, but nothing else. I walk along
Where pinon farmers played and prayed and failed
To change with their environment. the sun-
bronzed breasts are gone -- the guests who visit here
Are covered up despite the heat. Where have
These people gone? We do not know. But if
We see here what they've done, I'm certain that
With work we'll learn how we can wax and grow.

Monday, March 16, 2015


This land, it must be painted, it
Cannot be captured in a poem. How
Can anyone bring forth the wit
To describe mountains which could make you bow?
Could set you free,
Sequoias rising to the sky
Far closer than the spreading trunks should dare
Allow each other. Cones reply
To fires that char the trunks, the forest bare
To let the flowers
In hidden bowers
And mountain meadows bloom
In yellow, red, and blue and pink
While over them gray mountains loom,
Enthralling minds so they can't think,
All filled with revelry
And colors every
Enduring shade and hue and texture, shape.
The water runs in rivers, streams
And lakes reflecting deepest blue, landscape
We thought emerged just in our dreams.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Aeneas' Path

I sat, filled with Dido's grief, curled up
On my bed in darkness. I was crying,
A transient state, as my desire
For life was stronger than the Carthage queen's.
The source of such a love, such tragedy,
Had to be destroyed before an empire
Could be born, so a civilization
Could take the path it took toward strength, power,
Reason and pride. Could I find these? I search
For this strength of Rome, to overcome my
Deep Carthaginian pain- and grief-filled rage.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

For Sappho, My Muse

The Muses have been banished from the city --
So I revolt and call on them to return
And bring the music back so we can rise up
And begin to dance.

Amaterasu, the sun, hides in her cave
And puts the world in a most deadly darkness
Until Ame-no-uzume comes to her
And beings to dance.

Even poor Persephone in her mourning
Was brought back to life and made to smile at last
When Baubo came forward with such sexy moves
And began to dance.

I have been brought back to life and the bright sun
Shines again upon my face now that I see
My art and prose and poetry have music
And begin to dance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

On the Spirit of the French Revolution

The Revolution must succeed
So from these chains we'll all be freed
And virtue lives in every deed
And wisdom has its place

We'll bomb them all into submission
Cut out the tongue of hard derision
Always approve every decision
So all will win the race

The blood of all our foes will flow
And all of future man will know
The heat by which our glories glow
With every bloodied face

We'll kill each one who disagrees
Ignoring all their desperate pleas
We'll make the rest live on their knees
Change burlap for fine lace

You will fit into our machine
Or else our food will make you lean
We'll strap you to a magazine
You'll die without a trace

The Revolution must succeed
Into these chains we'll all be freed
While virtue dies with every deed
And wisdom has no place

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Solid Ground

This isn't where I'm meant to be --
A van stuck in the mud the pouring rain
Transformed the soil so suddenly --
Why am I mired? from fear? or am I vain?

I have to get to you, the land,
The rock on which I've built by life and home --
I need your ground on which I stand --
I'm thankful that I do not roam.

But mud is never solid ground
And being stuck and sinking is not safe --
A crowd does not mean that you're found,
And healthy beauty cannot be a waif.

Provide the ground for me I need
For traction so I can reach hope's bright seed.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Embodied minds in interactions made
Environments much more complex, that drove
Those brains to more complexity, to braid
A more complex environment, which wove
Those neurons tighter still so that we'd grow
In wisdom, beauty, love and what we know.

Friday, March 6, 2015


A tall persimmon tree spread its orange fruit
In sick-sweet droppings beside the white house
Where I was eight. It never once occurred
To me that I could eat the mushy fruit
That lay upon the ground -- they were sweet meals
For butterflies -- giant red-spotted purples
That flocked in numbers as dense as the fruit.
This old persimmon gave the only shade
Nobody ever wanted -- orange fruit stuck
In shoes and toes. The smell of rotting fruit
Replaced the air. Black butterflies few up
If we would come too close. The smell and mess
Made mother hate the old persimmon tree.
I loved it for the butterflies it drew.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


The sky is a mouse, long-
Haired, allergic to itself. It finds
Frozen to its fur fragments
of thoughts connecting everyone instantaneously.
A sneeze rustles my hair, twisting
Leaves and plastic bags up, startling
The wise grackles hopping
From sidewalk to chair, seat to arm.
Stars are hidden by facing star
Hidden by gray mouse fur.
I know what happens to the stars
Hidden by gray mouse fur.
I know what happens to the stars,
Thoughts connected faster than the light the stars emit,
Connected too to the light, connected
To the star. Thoughts scurry
Through the neural walls and halls, paths
Rarely disrupted by rare events
That send sparks scampering to other routes
That bring my eyes to see the sky
A long-haired mouse, thoughts frozen to fur.
The grackles watch and wonder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Biker's Song

We love our motorcycles and tattooed
Bisexual women, multicolored hair
And tongue rings, deep brown eyes that take us in,
Bright green eyes like murky pools in sunlight,
Thick legs that fill up leather mini skirts
And black thigh-highs, no underwear, and tight
Thin blouses holding heavy breasts that feel
The wind that whirls around them. Everything's
Exposed out in the motorcycle wind
Except their hair tucked under heavy helmets
That hinder vision. Fine, since we don't want
Too much exposed, no matter what they wear.
We like them dressed like that, are jealous all
The same. No one can look but us. We ride
Our bikes with arms and legs around our waists.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Hill Country

Prickly pears grow like grass
Beneath acacia trees
On yellow rocky hills
Throughout central Texas.
They're fence off from the road.
No cows or horses graze
Anywhere on these hills.
Who is afraid the green
Prickly pears will escape
And stampede passing cars?
Or get flattened by them
Like an armadillo
Crossing the road at night?

Monday, March 2, 2015

On Poetics

Write until you're finished telling us of trees
And wolves and great-grandfathers.
Find a focus, center on all you find important
(Not politics)
Like trees and grass and flower fields
With mostly goldenrods
And bumblebee moths (they do so look
Like bumblebees with backsides much too wide)
Which flit on transparent wings
(More common on butterflies and moths
That most would think) into some newly noticed flowers,
Light lavender tubes hummingbirds miss,
Too interested, as they are, in shades of red.

I see the sun.
It, too, is often red.
But hummingbirds aren't Icarus --
They won't venture close.

Would anyone notice if they did?

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Rainbow People

He's drunk at nine that morning -- it's nothing new --
He's been drunk since 1970, twenty years
And homeless since, a life he chooses here
Among his friends, hippies
On a religious quest, shamamism
Intertwined into their drinking.
Brother -- the name they know him by --
Says they do it to show the world that this
Is how we're not to live.
He says this sitting in his kitchen,
Blue tarp held up by tree branches,
A fire pit in the center, boiling water.
Twice as many here are in their twenties
Escaping . . . what?
Cities, civilization. Children
Blond and dirt-streaked, run and play.
Women with long hair, goateed men --
Half have dusty dreadlocks. Spaghetti
Cooks over a fire. Guitars and Beatles songs,
Standing up to every stereotype
As they spend the winter just off New York Road
Among the pines of Mississippi.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Through Arizona

Mountains rising, drifting snow
Falling on the trees in Arizona.
We don't see tarantulas
Walk in giant herds across the barren
Ground. My uncle gave me one
For a friend. The friendly lizards, Gila
Monsters, beady skin in pink,
Mottled black, are sitting, poised for biting
With their poison teeth. They're gone.
Gone, too, in the sun-soaked snow, the flowers
Waited on the cacti. All
Arizona seemed so lost and empty.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


When I was a boy I walked in fields
And woods behind my house,
Enjoying the solitude of the trees.
I would lie and watch
The water bugs, larvae, tiny tadpoles
Swim in streams and pools.
Jewel weeds with orange- and yellow-spotted
Cornucopia flowers hanging down
From thin stems under leaves on plants
Spread in large patches, crowding out
The poison ivy. May apples, thick
Stems with umbrella leaves,
Some split to allow a simple white flower
That swells to a yellow fruit --
More like a lemon than an apple --
But who'd enjoy the sound
Of May lemon over May apple
Or even want to try a taste?
The rest of the woods was dead leaves
Or tiny trees trying
To catch up with their parents.

Then one year, the farmer
Who owned the woods behind my house
Cleared the tiny trees and brush,
Leaving only open space
Between the taller trees.
I was angry when I saw it.

Then, that summer, I took a walk.
The streams, the jewel weed, the May apples --
All were gone.
But in the open space,
With all the extra light,
Bright blue lobelias and hot pink bearded orchids
Spread throughout the woods.
One set of beauty could not help
But soon replace the other.

A rarer beauty had taken over.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mother's Records

My mother taught me how to live
By standing on a stepladder
In the hall closet
Hiding her vinyl records
As I handed them up to her.
"Don't tell your father," she said
As she covered her records with a blanket
"We'll bring them back out
When your father gets over this latest fad."
We knew
When our church stopped preaching hard
Against all rock-n-roll that he'd forget
And mom could then retrieve
Her records. Elvis would
Fill up the air again.

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Winter Centerpiece

The moon is a bowl full of baby’s breath,
The tiniest sprays of pale white.
It sits on a shelf of the winter-bare trees
While shedding the barest of light.

The clouds move in, misty and cold, a haze,
They lead in the King of the North –
They hearken the winter, the ice and the snow
And call for warm coats to come forth.

The chill in the air is a spur to sight –
My mind is now crystallized, sharp.
The flowers are blooming across the night sky,
The darkness brought forth its faint harp.

I melt these distinctions that we insist
Upon, and the sky and the cold
Engrave on the mind all the changes I see –
The flowers and bowls that unfold.