Clymenenic Sacrifices


They hide their meaning with their words:
Achieve academic success,
Attain professional acclaim,
Make a difference to the world.

But when you learn for learning’s sake,
Work at a profession in quiet dignity,
Or make a difference “only” to your family and friends,
You clearly disappoint them.

They will not say it,
But fame is what they seek:
It is all they really want or value,
And cannot understand anyone who does not.

And we see it daily:
Sacrifices to Clymene on television;
Children sacrificed to Clymene in vicarious hope;
Souls sacrificed to Clymene where people work or learn.

Fame constantly needs a sacrifice,
And we constantly oblige:
Women and girls, boys and men,
So many die for her — willingly.

Societal v. Personal

Nothing but greed,” the one side screams –
Nothing but envy,” the other screams back –
So say adherents of the the great movements.

Concerning these things –
Greed and Envy –
There is a constant clamor
That dominates our times.

But down here at my level,
I don’t see much greed;
And very little envy.
Boredom and Loneliness cause most of the harm here:
They’re always lurking, always waiting
And don’t have to be taught.




We humans long for permanence in a world that is nothing but transitory

We grieve for what we’ve lost, even when we knew we would have it for but a day

We mourn the loss of our friends, our family, our youth, our home, our town, our country, knowing from an early age that none of these things are permanent

We curl up with the familiar, in food, in clothing, in music; we curse change in our feeble way, unable to stem the tide, attempting to shield ourselves in the illusion of the unchanging

Our world is perpetually vanishing, and so are we

This is what this life is

The Ballad of the Broxton Phantom


Every one of you is dead
Dead in chains
Locked in chains
Every one of you is dead
And you’re not going anywhere

I came down to Broxton
Back in eighteen fifty-three
I had no great fortune
Just my dog, my wife, and me

I’d have lived like you do
Lived and died, and been forgot
But some grifter killed me
And then left me here to rot

Every one of you is dead
Dead in chains
Locked in chains
Every one of you is dead
And you’re not going anywhere

Broxton is my home now
My sweet home for evermore
Just come up to my place
I will keep an open door

I’ll show you your own heart
You’ll have nothing to repay
My guests love to stay here
No one ever goes away

Every one of you is dead
Dead in chains
Locked in chains
Every one of you is dead
And you’re not going anywhere

Three Words Day


He asked her. She said “Yes, I will”
And that day, started down a path

The doctor told her “It’s a girl”
The greatest love she’d ever have

Her husband said, “I’ve met someone”
And then he up and moved away

Her grown girl went abroad for good
“I love you,” — all that she could say

Soon jobless, went to her own mom’s,
And laid down on her childhood bed

She needed three words from her mom:

“You are worthless”
What she got



Beach Highway

Wendell, wander while you can
Where the windy highway wends
Find a road you’ve never seen, and
Follow, till your journey ends.

Wendell, why this noisome toil,
Wearing down your weary brow?

Seek no more your heart to spoil, and
Fly, while time will still allow.

Wendell, there’s no going back
What remains is still ahead;
Find the road that leads to life, for
Soon enough, you’ll join the dead.