In Scars and Letters

He wasn’t always old.

For years, at breakfast,
Saturday, A.M.,
The five of them sat
Laughing, in a booth,
These friends of countless
Days and years, with miles
Made of joking laid
Between them.

Though each their
Missteps made, they had
Each other’s deep but light
Regard, respect shown best
In humorous asides.

A company of men who tried
To be the men their fathers were
Or weren’t; each journey carved
In scars and letters, wrinkles,
And in love.

But absences began, as sure
They must: for time takes
Soldiers in, onto the
Battlefield we last must
Face, and slowly, gradually,
The voices raised in laughter
Shrank in count.

This is the bravery
We’re never told we’ll need:
How to go on without,
And how immortal friendships
Dwindle with mortality.

Now there’s just him:
And laughter like a favorite song
Still lingers in his head upon
A Saturday, A.M, without a place
To go or deep true friends
To go with.


here’s the truth:
my knowledge stops
right where your
skin begins.
love is the source,
the flow all
that is, and all
that’s underneath.
when you fill up
my lungs, collateral’s
the damage to
my heart. but all of that
is truth, and truth’s
a tangled bedsheet
in the dark

the moments, vanished

if i just could have seen the truth
and known the harm that i had done;
i might have fixed the things i broke –
i might have been a salvaged one –

but every day i broke your heart
and caused so much i missed distress;
if i just could have loved you more
and treasured you, and hurt you less

but that was far and long ago;
you changed your life to one of joy
and look back only with disgust
upon the man – the really, boy –

to whom you gave your very best
back when the sun was bright and young;
but now, i sit here in the dark
to see the thing that i’ve become

i’m glad for you, for you did right
escaping from me as you did;
i blustered on in selfishness
and callousness. i live amid

the wreckage that was once my life.
but i remember you, and see
and old man may at least regret
his asinine fatuity

for love will not knock on my door;
the sun will not come back again —
but please: young guys – protect your loves —
and grow old not as monsters, but
as men

What Life’s Supposed to Be

Supposed to Be

If life was what life’s supposed to be,
Then I’d love her and she’d love me,
Instead of only dreaming of her
Every single night

But as it happens, she’s with him,
And prospects are both dim and slim
That she would ever look my way
And in me take delight

And sure, she’s happy and I’m not;
And yes, I’m fat and she is hot –
And yeah, I’m old and she is young,
But still, if things were fairer —

And life was what life’s supposed to be,
She’d be glad she was stuck with me,
Or maybe not. Perhaps, my sense
Of justice is

In error

Another Kind of Price

The waves both come and go, but still
The shore seems much the same

As waves of guilt surround me now
But barely touch the blame
That I assign to one like me,
Who knew where truth began:

The needless hurt that can be caused
From not much of
A man


(“Another Kind of Price” – 3-14-2017)

Different Things

He wasn’t sure, and so he told his dad:
He thought he’d leave his marriage and move on –
His father’s voice was low and rather sad,
When he said, “Son – some things, once lost, are gone.

Now, you don’t need to tell me anymore.
I’ve seen that girl who you have on the side;
And your life’s yours, but I would be a poor
Father, indeed, if I just let this ride –

You seem confused in terminology,
You’re stringing words on which you’ve gotten hung.
So I will set you straight, as best I can:
That girl’s not ‘beautiful’, son – she’s just ‘young’.

See, ‘young’ and ‘beautiful’ are different things;
For cheap new plastic, don’t trade
Golden rings