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'd 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, long 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 integrationists,
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.