Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Nature's Sacrifices

The oil slicks across the sea, the black
Refracting rainbows. Death for fish and birds
Who get caught up and wrapped in oiled waves.

It's easy to forget this oil means
The great wise whales aren't hunted near to loss
For oil that they carry on their flesh.

The sea gulls whisper that they welcome life
Made by their sacrifice when, rare, it's asked.
The sardine schools are surfaced in great thanks.

Around the windmill generators birds
Are sacrificing selves to keep the seas
Clean of the oil. Feathered bodies pile up.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Home Cooking

I grew up in Kentucky with a mother
Who was a picky eater. Spices rare --
Just seasoned salt -- we dared not have another --
The cupboard for the spices was most bare.

A little Southern (for my dad), a bit
More Northern (mom, who cooked), we ate Ragu
Spaghetti, chili bland of chilies, flit
From biscuits sopped in sausage gravy, stew

With carrots and potatoes to fried eggs
And toast, corn and mashed potatoes with cream
Gravy, fried chicken (breasts, but not the legs)
All filled the kitchen table, curling steam.

I learned to cook with spices when I went
To college. There I tried cuisines that I
Had never had the change to even scent --
To Chinese, Mexican I had to try.

And now, a marriage later, on most days
I'm making tacos, enchiladas, corn
Tortillas wrapping chicken, spicy trays
Of food, hot peppers used like I was born

In Mexico -- or Texas at the least.
My mom would find it odd I feed my brood
Such meals -- but honestly we do not feast
On Mexican: we only call it "food."

Friday, October 2, 2015


A name is magical, a spell --
A name converts a verb to noun,
Turns constant change to being -- cell
To truth, it fools you like a crown.

Your name is your illusion you
Are who you were and who you'll be --
When you are not, are never true,
But always changing what we see.

And yet a tiger names a thing
With stripes, sharp teeth and claws, and death
Will follow your dismissal, bring
You down to being without breath.

Becoming turns to being -- worn
Upon its feedback, being's born.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Our poetry is missing monsters -- delve
Into the mind to find the rind of thought
And you will soon divine the synthesis
Of all with awe to thaw each thought we sought.

The serpent, lion, eagle, flame emerge
To fearsome dragons, awesome concepts drawn
To sum our fears, to tame our tears, to bring
Us courage through the breaking of the dawn.

The dawn divinified as exposed breasts,
The sun a chariot drawn by a god,
The stones are spirit-filled and fairies, sprites
Are found in trees and nights as our eyes nod.

The tree of life, great Odin's horse, the tree
Of knowledge of what's good and evil, fig
And pomegranate, sacred groves once filled
The forest of our minds, which once were big.

We think our minds are open and are free,
But they cannot contain the multitude
Of monsters that our minds once loved and grew --
Our minds now merely make a sickly brood. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Leaves of Absence

The grass is crimson as the sun's curve dips
Below the  Earth's -- the crimson purpling
An instant after the sun falls, the drops
Of light enough to see the shadows spring
Into a fading black. The cardinal ships
Its final song to cue the crickets sing.

The wind whistles the grass -- you cannot see
The waves of regularity that sweep
Across the surface our eyes make, agree
Is there, although it's only what we reap
From flowers, leaves that move independently
Beneath the wind that grows as dark grows deep.

The old forest fades black in the new moon --
It disappears before the prairie lands --
And we are left with sounds -- a fat racoon
That chirps and rustles, dips its little hands
Into the stream, a tiny splash -- a loon
Disturbs the night -- the frogs call their demands.

And all of this will fade as our eyes hide
Behind their lids and our brains close each ear
As we fall into rhythmic breathing, slide
Into a consciousness too many fear
To bring into the sun. They will reside
In darkness, fearing it will reappear.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To the Demons

Our Master asked for me to write this note
That we should concentrate on those who gloat
That they are wiser than all men and so
Deserve to lord it over others. Grow
Their power, let them feed the envious
And fill their bellies with that poison puss
So they will gladly give their powers over
While cursing what would feed the divine clover.
We must empower parasites who feed
The envious -- together they'll indeed
Destroy the good that grows on Earth. A plus
If you convince them hate is virtuous,
So long as envy is the driver. Hate
Is always what we aim to make -- debate
Replaced by accusations and the lie
Each honest disagreement would deny
You of your dignity, your right to what
You've chosen to believe is true. The cut
Of challenge we'll make look so deep, they'll fear
The slightest disagreement -- they'll give ear
To none who would correct what's wrong in life --
Or even little things -- they'll feel such strife
At any challenge, they'll demand that all,
Including they themselves, be made to fall
In line with those they deep their betters. Ditch
Descending on the pastors, priests -- no, switch
To lifting demagogues who preach that sin
Is virtue, theft is giving -- all to win
A vote. Yes, do take note that power grants
Us ease in what we do. Prudes drop their pants
In lust when power comes their way. Let's trust
That power does corrupt, that all men lust
For power to corrupt their souls to Hell
And we will surely see our numbers swell.
Just have our preachers preach that coveting
Is virtue, wealth is stolen -- that will bring
The world to us, and Hell will dwell on Earth.
Persuade men that a gang of thieves is worth
Their love and worship -- men of demon stock
Should be considered as the solid rock
On which society should build itself.
Now, do not think that we are going to shelf
The great reforms we made with Screwtape. No!
Those petty things are genius! Although slow,
The little things will eat away with time --
We do not have to concentrate on crime
To lure a person far from God. We tease
And make it so there's nothing that can please,
No matter how good they may have it. Lust
For more and covet, envy, lose all trust,
And slowly break the bonds that make men good --
Help them destroy their culture, neighborhood,
Society by making them mistake
These things for government -- for goodness' sake! --
It is pathetic how these can
Go wrong, be led astray since time began
For them. I think with this we found a god
For them -- a god of men to whom they'll nod
And bow before. They'll think they have a Father --
They will -- who rapes then treats them as a bother.
Do this and it's our Master you'll most please.
Sincerely yours, sirs, Mephistopheles.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Sociopath

He's charming, arrogant, and thinks
The rules do not apply to him, denies
Authority. And so each woman drinks
The soullessness that lies behind his eyes.

He could have been a C.E.O. and crashed
His corporation since his superficial
Charms could have lifted him until he cashed
His winnings and was paid for his dismissal.

He could have been a politician, ran
For Congress, won persuading everyone
He wanted what was best for them, he'd ban
For power for himself and just for fun.

Instead, he raped and murdered in each state --
That this was different is up for debate.

Friday, September 25, 2015

To the Prospective Poet

I want you to learn how to say
What can't be said,
The things that linger night and stay
Within your head
And will not turn themselves to words,
those can't-be-caged translucent birds
You deeply dread.

I promise you there's nothing worse
Than looking deep
To sing a song, to make a verse --
You'll want to weep
As you drag words out of your well,
Ascending out of your own Hell,
Whose steps are steep.

But here's a promise: when you're done
And you have made
A poem, you will find you're one
With your deep shade
And your bright sun. The poet's tree
Can help you make yourself free
And never fade.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fruit Bats

They flit up to their mother, mouths agape,
These little brothers begging for their treat
Then running off -- a game they play with grape
Or apple, peach or pear -- the fruit they eat
A favored sweet they beg for every hour --
Today they yell, "It's watermelon power!"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Work-a-day Lives

You wake up at five-thirty, pee and walk the dog,
You're barely dressed, you wonder if it's going to rain,
Your neighborhood and mind and wife are in a fog,
Then shower, kids to schools, wife to work, you to train.
Three hours' prep for work before you start your work,
Then constant deadlines, constant rush that keeps your mind
From higher things (and lower things) -- you ask the clerk
If you have days, but you have used them up. The grind
Of what they rightly call this life that's not a life,
When all you want is to get kids in bed and sleep
To do it all again. Your weekends free for strife
That built all week. You always sow, but never reap.
So that you can give up the life of being crawlers,
Sometimes the only thing you need's a billion dollars.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Love Song for Anna

If I fell into your arms now
And fell for all your charms now
Would you love me til I die?
I could live well with the knowledge
That you cannot get in college
That you'll love me til I die.

If I cuddled you for hours
And danced with you in showers
Would you love me til I die?
I'm so happy that we're married
We're each other's til we're buried
Cause I'll love you til I die.

If I gave into your kisses
And gave you all your wishes
Would you love me til I die?
You're my beautiful, sweet lover --
Let me meet you under cover --
Let me love you til I die.

Monday, September 21, 2015


I must rebel! I want to make a Hell
Of anything you've got! No, don't demand
I ever stand for anything -- don't tell
Me how I must rebel. That will not stand!
I will rebel for ignorance, I will
Demand to never know. And wisdom can
All go to Hell. And beauty is just swill.
I will refuse to ever be a man!

Conformist! Rebels do not deign
To reject riches of the mind -- they find
Their purpose there -- they want to breathe the air
Of freedom education makes, to reign
Over themselves, unfasten every bind
Of ignorance whose weight they cannot bear!

Friday, September 18, 2015


I'm sitting here with no distractions
While thinking of the world in fractions
It's constant flowy wavy actions
Emerging into many factions
Made from and making all reactions
The only thing that's not? Inactions
I give you this with no retractions

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Poet at Work

I have permission to be bored
And thus the visions flow
Imagine the imaginings
Of images that grow
When these constructal thoughts are loose
And flow at different speeds
So turbulence emerges hence
To different mental deeds

A poem here a story there
A dripping dew of thought
The strength of flowing moves a stone
Is giving when it ought
Connecting facts to new ideas
In fractal novelty
The lone controller at the help
A cybernetic flea

Beloved I can think of you
The censor has gone home
Now butterflies with shimmer scales
The cosmos in my dome
Discovers ways to link and think
Enjoys the subtle sounds
It makes and takes the rhythmic strings
To force its boundless bounds

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Madison's Moralists

The crowd
In the cloud
Felt they were endowed
With virtue to deem what's allowed
Hypocrisy hacked them showed none had lived as they'd vowed

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Do Not


Monday, September 14, 2015

Daniel's Name

His name is Daniel, don't call him Dan
He is a baby, he's not a man
His pretty mommy's his biggest fan
His name is Daniel, don't call him Dan

His name is Jesus with a strong Hey
Don't call him Jesus with a strong Jay
He likes to eat and he likes to play
His name is Jesus with a strong Hey

His name is Camplin -- and that's Camp and Lin --
It's never Campbell or Gamblin --
To make this mistake's a sonic sin --
He name is Camplin -- that's Camp and Lin

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Proposition On the Battlefield

I hate to have to be so blunt,
But hidden, you have what I want --
You know I'll find it if I hunt
In cover like an army grunt.

Perhaps the military brass
Would frown upon my being crass,
But I know, hidden, in your grass
I'll find the place where I must pass.

I think you know that this is best --
And no, it's not how you are dressed --
But rather I feel very blessed
That I have found someplace to rest.

Perhaps you'll even get a kick
From me -- perhaps you'll even stick
With me. Now let me light this wick
To clearly see my lucky pick.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Dream of Order

The trees reflected in the window seem
To move more quickly than the trees in front of me.
The distance drives perspective to a stream
That flows in chaos under this slow dream.

There's nohting -- no one nowhere knows the fee
For what it takes to learn there's little that we need --
But who will referee reality
And understand the dreams that make us free?

Our minds are made of neurons' dreams -- each scene
There's imaging is their imagining. They leave
Imagined leaves upon their branches, clean
Of chaos, making everything to mean.

The cell's the dreams some molecules will weave,
Like jazz emerging from musicians' common beat,
Discovered in the fragments they retrieve --
Whatever's left behind, they won't bereave.

The train's sharp jerk makes reverie retreat
and I'll remember only what my mind will deem
Worth writing the neurons so this meat
I am can dream until I am complete.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


(For the 10 anniversary of my asking Anna to marry me.)

With this diamond, simple sparkling crystal,
Glance at linear eternity,
Bound upon this metal ring, its circle
Endless in its curve -- both making growth,
Growth of love as they bind you to me,
Flesh to flesh -- this shows the love that binds.
With this ring I ask that you please rob
Me of all my liberty, and let
Me take  all your liberty as well,
So we each can live and love with greater
Freedom than we each of us know.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Son's School Bean

The plastic planter
Grows a bean -- three leaves, three months
Of drought -- life persists

Monday, September 7, 2015


Should I oppress myself and live in chains,
Shackled to walls worn slick with drip and slime?
Why should my soul be slipped into the stocks,
And why should I cut out my tongue and mime?

And why should you insist to keep the key
That keeps me in the dungeon, safe away
From proper people and good company?
Why take the whip to me, begin to flay?

The red upon the metal cuffs are stains
Of rust and blood. My struggles are as clocks,
As regular and circular as time --
It's up to you if I should ever flee.

What kind of love would keep their love at bay
And never let their being out to play?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Prima Nocta

A crescent of blood sitting low in the sky
Alone in the darkness, too dim to deny
That the evening is heating the darkness tonight
So the demons are rising and death can take flight.

You demons are coming, I knew all along
that death was as certain as your lies were strong.
And the earth will now shatter in popular fear
So the people will crumble from what they revere.

The lies that they love are now living from lust
That greens our insides and soon molds all our trust
So we covet the good until we make it rot
In the fear that there's someone who has what we've not.

You demons are dreaming, but we'll make it real --
We'll murder and rape until we all reveal
That we do not need demons, that you are all dead.
Your last blood is now trickling off of our bed.

You lunatics promise the night will be day --
You promise that evil is tamed, it will play
And bring joy to the weakest and justice to all.
It's the promise the serpent made once -- in the Fall.

Our God is our Devil, we've merged them into
Utopian visions where virtue's run through
And left bleeding beside the night road to be found
By the good to revive and provide a new ground.

The sun will soon rise and we'll seek out new shade,
Where truth is then hidden -- the light that it's made
Will illuminate all of the grasslands. We'll see
That the farms all enslave and the natural makes free.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Watching the Window Washers

The window washers white against the gold
Skyscraper, twenty stories up, the sun
At morning hides behind the skyline. Cold
Is months away -- the heat has just begun.

The ropes are bending in the breeze that builds
Between the buildings, building energy
In complex bottlenecks. They're making tildes
Above the Spanish spoken silently

To those of us who walk the sidewalks, heads
Down, looking at our cell phones, brisk to work
In offices. What delicate long threads
For lives to need -- for cleaner, boss, or clerk.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Will to Beauty

The weakest like to exercise their power --
Abusers all lash out from lack of power.

The artist makes the world anew, makes life
Worth its experience -- that is his power.

Amoebas stretch their pseudopods to move
And eat -- a feat of their own will to power.

Beloved, I will always love you -- feel
My love in touch and kindness, love's true power.

Behold the rose's slow-unfolding flower --
Become entranced by its strong fragrant power.

Your brain is rhythmed by this poem's rhythm
And rhyme -- such patterns are a poem's power.

My readers get my best in lines like these --
It's here where I, Troy Camplin, find my power.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Blessed Rage for Orders

The human mind must always seek out orders
 In which to live and men bark out their orders.

The shells are lined up, all by size and colors
So that they make a set of spiraled orders.

You cannot love the government and hate
Police whose jobs are following those orders.

The hurricanes transform the skies from seas
Into their awful, dissipative orders.

Sweet tragedy performs sublimity
To show the transformation of all orders.

Behold the lines that Troy has crafted -- I,
The poet of sublime emergent orders.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Love and Loyalty

It seems there's nothing I know how to say
To you so you can fully understand
How true my love and loyalty shall stay.

I try to speak, and yet you look so gray --
A cloud has darkened all your fertile land --
It seems there's nothing I know how to say.

And yet I cannot seem to bring the day
With syllables -- should I sign with my hand
How true my love and loyalty shall stay?

The rain is streaming down -- we can't delay --
Although the flood is making its demand,
It seems there's nothing I know how to say.

I feel I'm without keel and washed away --
I yell and hope you hear across the sand
How true my love and loyalty shall stay.

It seems what I can say will not betray
My feelings for you, even words I've planned --
It seems there's nothing I know how to say
How true my love and loyalty shall stay.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Shall we commemorate the Trail of Tears
With Andrew Jackson statues marking miles?
Perhaps we should commemorate the years
Of General William Howe -- will that bring smiles
To all Americans, remembering
His role in history? We surely must
Embrace who made our history and sing
Of all they did. Our love is only just.
The Stars and Bars were raised for slavery
And raised again against blacks' civil rights.
Commemorate the foes of liberty
And those who brought us to our darkest nights?
Some things we should not raise; some we should raze --
Some things do not deserve a nation's praise.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Constructal Trees

I love the branching form of dicot trees --
Order, chaos, criticality please
The eye with expectation and a tease
Of difference. The bald cypresses have knees
That clear the water. Mangroves border seas
And branch above and below their trunks. Breeze
Brings movements to branches as their leaves seize
The air. A few have flowers, attract bees
And bats and birds and butterflies. Decrees
Are sung from their branches. We feel disease
If we're too far away from their firm lees
And their shadow darkening a few degrees
From the heat. And what other guarantees
Our air, ensuring that we do not wheeze
Through life? (Unless their pollen makes us sneeze.)
Complex beauty belongs to all of these --
We thus must always be our trees' trustees.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spiders on the Playground

With every day the children play
The spider webs are torn,
And every evening, they don't grieve --
A new orb web is born.

The corner space will make a place
The spotted, colored sphere 
Makes triangle with spiral, pulls
A network insects fear.

They'll make each moth into a broth
Drunk from a silken cup,
Then toss each husk throughout the dusk --
Morn, all the kids wake up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

As I Listen

I, loving, listen to your talk --
I'm quiet, cautious, worrying
While gazing across through meadow saffron,
Vase pushed aside so I can be
Lost in white eyes' brilliance,
Wishing now to languish long
In lacteal cherry springs --
Among the frangrant clouds
Whose misty rains will fall forever
In forests on the mountain side,
Our freedom, caritas, dreams, and things
Made real among the shrouds
Of crinaline whose shiver,
Brought about by breezes quiver,
Cannot hide your heart from mine,
The truth transmitted through your eyes,
Your tone, your voice, your very sighs.
So then I'll ask for you to be
The only one there is for me,
To fill you full of love and trust
By bringing back blue butterflies
To new beloved life --
By bringing back the hope we need
Within each others' eyes.

Monday, August 24, 2015


The social world norms
To which I fail to acclimate
And failing them unleashes storms
That I don't know how to abate

And so I have to set up rules
To travel through the simple things
As though I am the king of fools
And every move makes jinglings

And so I greet you at the door
And ask you if your day went right
I ask you write down every chore
And say "I love you" every night

Please do not think because I must
Make rules so I can do my share
That I am cold -- I hope you trust
It means I truly deeply care

Friday, August 21, 2015

Church Music

A bird whistles in the church,
A high-wooden whistle, a whistle
Full of life, sending joy to restless feet.
Strings sing under boughs
Of summer leaves in summer greens,
Providing perch and cover
For the little birds. Such lively colors
Flitting in the air,
In and out the open doors,
their colors mix with colors
Which dance along the church's floor,
Sun through branches, then through glass
Of kaleidoscopic colors.
The wind creates the dance
Decorating the floor,
Dancing to the whistle and the strings.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Indecisive's Proposal

With many freckles and blonde hair,
He must be careful lest he err in
Finding out what and which and wherein
They may be made a pair.

He did not wish for a mistake
Lest he should find himself forsaken
Or even found she soon was taken,
For then his heart would ache.

He did not want to be too brash --
He knew for sure his soul'd be ashen
And lose its love of life, compassion
Lost, gone within the crash.

He hoped he'd not mistook her cue --
He hoped her love would soon be true in
Giving a "yes" -- a one from two in
What was his truest coup.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An Ode to My Grandfather (Virgil Inman)

Although he couldn't tell a joke,
He took too long, and timing's everything,
I took more pleasure in his life
Than any other man's
For attention given to a curious mind
Whose interests shadowed his own.
A writer who encouraged writing,
A thinker who encouraged thought,
A naturalist who encouraged science,
Greatness encouraging greatness that he saw,
A hidden strength he could hide no more
When the first strike against his mind
Became the stroke that changed his life
From one who loved birds, raccoons, and moths
To one who found one with desire,
Strength no one thought he'd had.
With every stroke that struck him down
He fought back with an inner power,
Slowly forced to give up his loves
So he could fight for life,
A battle of will against fierce time,
Blood vessels determined to pop,
He fought for years,
No matter his fears,
No matter the bad news he got,
New stroke, new seizures, fainting spells,
Whose awful onslaught soon would end,
Despite the strength of the fight.
Death's relentless fortitude
Would finally bring on time's last stroke.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Visiting Grandpa

South Bend uncle, friends, and grandparents,
Vacation haven throughout my youth
Two-week sleepovers or Christmas week,
Thanksgiving four-day weekends,
A quickday cleaning of grandma's house,
Visitation with all our firends,
Nature with my grandfather.
Curtains hung in moth cocoons,
Hatching giant polyphemus and dark red-brown cecropias,
Laying eggs for us to raise.
Monarchs raised and chrysalis hatched,
Covering the house in moth and butterfly beauty.
Racoon raised, a rambunctious ruffian,
Playing, destroying, adorable fun,
Tiny screech owls kept in the basement,
Raise and care for the little one.
On every visit, search for birds,
Upland sandpipers my grandpa's find,
Nesting, wings protecting little ones
Beneath man's wings landing overhead.
A winter showing newfound hybrid duck
On Saint Jo river, swimming calm,
Part merganser, part goldeneye,
Lovely in its mixed-up features.
Christmas birdcounts taken out
To do our job for Audubon
I find I have a knack
For finding things no one's seen before,
Perhaps a birding young child's luck
Or inherent from a birding grandpa
Who found hybrid ducks and nesting sandpipers
That none had seen before.
We'd go for daily walks,
Walks wandering through the backstreet fields
Where I first and lastly saw
Hummingbird moths feeding at flowers,
Quickbeat wings' invisible hummings
Fascinating, remarkable joy to life
In bright sunlight flower fields
now vanished under houses' floors.
Into Michigan to introduce
"The Orchid Lady" to a youthful orchid lover,
Then off to show a norther boggy marsh
Filled with hungry pitcher plants scattered with their blooms
And there, close by the edge,
Wild orchids, hot pink glory,
Frilly sun-touched lips of tiny rose pagonias
Among the dark green moss.

Monday, August 17, 2015


We sit upon the couch -- the television
Is on. You stare at your cell phone, a vision
Indifferent, it seems, to me. You stare
And will not talk. And I? I will not dare.

My words are cotton in my mouth, they dry
My tongue. Why weight you down with each concern
And make you worry more? Should I deny
You sounds and syllables you'll only spurn?

We sit upon the couch -- the advertisements
Are on. I look at you. Are your resentements
Too much to overcome? Your every tone
Has turned sarcastic. Put down that damn phone!

I want to say I'm sorry for the fact
That I'm the man I am. I cannot help
That I'm obsessed and don't have normal tact.
I'm simmering. One day you'll hear my yelp!

We sit upon the couch -- the television
Is off. You stare down at your phone. Division
Is our relationship. You simply stare
And I conclude that you no longer care.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Nightmare

He mustn't fear for fear is loss
Of his dreams
His dreams to see her
To be with her
Not in the lonely crowds where they talk
Though they arrive separately
But in a place they chose together

Fear is a loss of happiness
He could potentially find
Though it causes him distress
She could misconstrue his mind
In wanting to see more of her
More than just a rendevous
Or friendship
But a relation redefined

Could he kill his fear
Of women
Of wanting women
Wanting her
Of longing for her love he could not seem to have
No matter what he could have of her
As he'd had her
And would again

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Gift

He stood before the gloomy council, stood
As none would stand or ever stood before,
So proud of his achievement, of his gift --
The gift to them, to man, to all he bore.

Then in a booming voice the man proclaimed,
"The man you see before you, I have tamed
The thing that to this point had only maimed
Or killed men on the fields the storms enflamed."

He showed it then to their unseeing eyes --
They could not know what visions lay in store.
They all leapt back in awful, abject fear
And each man trembled, cowards at their core.

It flickered there before them, shedding light --
The fire shown forth, ever, ever bright.
They were the first such men to see the light --
It made them cringe in awful, freezing fright.

"What have you done!" he heard the council scream.
"We will be tortured by it ever more!"
"If that man tamed the demon we call fire,
Then he's the Devil -- hear his awesome roar!"

He stood amazed and trusted not his ear.
He brought a gift -- it's nothing they should fear.
A gift for man to hold and cherish, dear.
He never had expected what he'd hear.

"How dare you think that you could bring to us
The demon fire, bring it through our door.
You dare to tell us that the demon's tamed,
That somehow you are man's new savior?"

They then moved forward as he backed away.
He could have, with his gift, kept them at bay --
Instead, he dropped the fire onto the clay
Floor of the cave the lived in on that day.

The council took him, bound his hands and feet
And left him lying there upon the floor.
They left to then decide upon his fate --
He feared whatever these men had in store.

That day he stood, tied proudly to the pyre.
His gift would lift his people from the mire.
And as they lit the stake, his chin grew higher
And died surrounded by his gift of fire.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Tale of Two Men

He shouted out for all who'd hear
How great the house was he had made
That crumbled slowly at his feet.

He shouted loud for all to hear
How great the railroad was he made
As metal splintered, people died.

He shouted shrill for all to hear
How great his plan would be to save them all
When all were dying as a herd.

In silence built the other man --
The house stood great and strong
And shouted with its strength for all who'd see.

In silence built the other man
A railroad which networked a nation
To create wealth for all who'd see.

In silence built the other man
A business that would profit from his mind
And house and clothe and feed all those who worked for him.

The shouter saw the silent man --
He saw the threat he was to him and set out to destroy
But died instead from his intended sin.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


It must be better because it's old
they said forever of the old house,
Its usefulness has vanished from our sight --
Our eyes see rot and pale, chipped paint,
Cracked ceilings and dull floors.
It must be better because it's old
They said to keep the new house down.
Its beauty would be too much,
It makes our house look like a dump.
The dear old shack makes ours look fine.
The new house will destroy our homes,
And its design is such a fright.
It doesn't look much like a home,
It is a mansion to our eyes.
And so they fought to keep the new house down
So they could keep the old around.
And so their lives turned ever-poorer
As the depraved old house was praised --
And everyone ensured the new
Was murdered well before it could be born.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Is silence such a sin? Must melodies
And beats breathe fire in our ears each day
And moment? Must the television stay
On? Must the talking fill up every breeze?
Must noises flood us from the street and freeze
Our hearts to solitude? Must we delay
To death the day the silent solar ray
Enlightens us and lifts us from our knees?

The breeze batters light leaf on leaf, the stream
Crystals the air, a warble and a peep
Of tree frogs answering the sparrow's call --
These are the silences I seek. I dream
Of dew drops drumming as the lilies leap --
I want to hear the silence of it all.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Harming Others

Gulls gather, hanging in the air
as if from invisible strings, hanging
above the waves rolling in, tiny
whitecaps on tiny waves. The sand
swirls up under each incoming wave,
disturbing it, renewing it, building it
from sand it took from other shores.
A crab scampers in scattered sunlight
across the sand, then down, gone
in a puff of sand.
I must be careful where I step
For fear of crushing him, though I know
there are unseen others lurking
under the wave-loose sand
that I cannot worry about, lest
I fear to step anywhere and remain
standing, stationary in the waves,
unwilling to move,
unwilling to return
to the shore, the sun-hot sand
that burns my sole
with each quick step
as I dash toward my car.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Kamper Park

Tadpoles scatter from the shallow
pool stagnant off the side
of the creeping stream.
It's almost dusk, the sky
pale blue-gray. I wonder
how they know that I was there.
No shadow fell. Maybe
vibrations from the shore
as my foot fell inches
from the water's edge.
Frogs splash ripples
as minnows dart in such a hurry
they create a flurry of waves
and water splashing inches
from where the rocks give way
to flat, smooth concrete.
A bottle sits in the center
of the stream, neck
only visible above the water.
The rock where I sit was placed here,
covered in concrete
to make it permanent.
Children and peacock cry
from nearby, the park
and zoo ready to close
and closed.
It's getting too dark to see.

Under the Stars

I often sit for hours under the stars,
Wondering what other see in them that is not there.
What lives, what men have walked
Under these stars, across these fields,
Once plains, now tilled and broken up?
There is a certain melancholy in those who
Look to the government for everything,
Giving up their autonomy and self-worth
For a false security --
Not a security found in man, in each individual spirit,
But the security of guns, easily turned on you
When the power changes hands.
When fathers, bringing sons into fields, once plains,
To show them the stars and make them men,
Are replaced by guns, why should we be surprised
When our sons use them to prove their manhood?
I want my son with me,
Under the stars,
Learning to see in them a source of light. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On Knowledge and Idealism

I wonder what things, what colors, what shapes
Fill the things that matter in my eyes --
My eyes see eyes of blue and brown and green
And what what they've seen
That I have failed to see, no matter the difficulty
They've found in seeing. I try so hard
To become clear, to sprout, to bloom
In prismatic colors shining in moonlight spread
Loose on the morning horizon
As soft, bustle, silent warnings.
I must be careful as I stare
At the subtle sheen shining off the water's surface,
Barely broken by waves, small, serene,
From a wind that I cannot even feel
Blowing through my hair or on my face
Or even see up in the trees, rustling leaves.
I wonder what the others have seen and wonder
Whether they have seen all I have seen
And f they even see at all or even if
I am the one who cannot see,
Staring into such strong flames they melt
My ability to see at all,
Leaving me to wonder where that leaves me
With my eyes
And all I've seen and seem to know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My Protest Poem (for Rainer Maria Rilke and Wallace Stevens)

This poem could be about Bill Clinton
and his signing the Defense of Marriage Act,
or how he could have harmed this coutnry
had he ever passed his health care plan.

This poem could be about  George W. Bush
and the wars he started and the civil rights destroyed
or how he harmed this country
with regulations leading to collapse.

This poem could be about Barack Obama
and the recession he made worse
or how he has harmed his country
since he passed his health care plan.

This poem could be about the far Right
and the bombing of the building in Oklahoma City,
or the terror acts of Eric Rudoplph
or the racist terrorism perpetrated on black churches in the South.

This poem could be about the far Left
and the good men killed by Ted Kaczynsky,
or the attempts on researchers' lives by the Animal Liberation Front
or the 70s terrorists silently assimilated into our society.

This poem could be about guns --
How our children shoot up schools,
How our police shoot minorities in their neighborhoods,
How the Second Amendment is not for deer but for politicians.

This poem could be about legislation
Creating most unfairness and inequality,
And I could tell you to throw rocks at cops
Whose rubber bullets will run out very soon.

This poem could be about wars and famines,
Taxes and subsidies and other violations
Of our basic human rights, even those
We never considered violations

This poem could be about any one
Of these external things, such things
As pass away one day, but sometimes only
Once things get worse, but it is not.
Instead, this poem is about important things --
The changes that we've made,
The changes that we ought to make
Inside ourselves, the way that we evolve.

This poem is about the way that you and I
Must learn to change, must learn to grow,
Mature, become who we most truly are, with pride.
Then, when we are better, the world will be repaired.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Some didactic Verse on Writing Poetry When No One Cares and There's Never Time to Contemplate Anway

This is no place to meditate --
An empty classroom on my break.
Hall-echoed voices are my fate --
I need a languid, lapping lake.

What thoughts are these? Are these the best
That thunder round and round my crest?
A dropping mental metronome
Because I have no place to roam?

I have no pleasure or delight,
And no one cares about my plight --
They fear what poets can incite,
So insight is kept in the night.

I fucking lost all of my words --
I'm left with nothing but brown birds.
I did not even want that rhyme -
Perhaps it's "curd" some other time.

These stupid, stupid, stupid words
That people want as bad as turds
Or as a bowl of month-warm curds
Should fly away like lice-plucked birds.

I told you curds would find a place
Here in this verse, poem's disgrace.

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.