A Dating Memory – Carnival

So up we went
To a sky that nearly swallowed us –
A bass line could be heard across
The vast expanse of people –
Smells of sugar and salt and butter and
A bit of your perfume
I still can smell —

Two holding hands and feeling high
In several different ways –
We laughed to feel the wind and all
The myriad sensations of the evening –
Clad in our respect for dating, and
Our devotion to the cause of discovering
Just how high and how far and how fast
We could go

At fourteen

And not really on a date, but only sort of

The right crayon

You look and look
For just the shade
Of sea and sky
And marmalade –

For thunderclouds,
And cocoa beans,
And paraffin,
And mustard greens –

The hue and feel
Of dogs and cats,
And barrow-wights,
And acrobats –

Of scrambled eggs,
Tomato cans,
Old manatees,
And pelicans –

The sun, the moon,
Gingham, or tweed —
The right crayon:
It’s all you need


(“The Right Crayon” – 4-20-2017)

The Girls In My Backyard (alternate version)


The girls in my back yard
Are running to and fro:
They’re dashing through a sprinkler,
And laughing as they go

The grass is green and rich,
The fence is high and far;
There’s brewing tea out in the sun
Inside a big glass jar

My wife is at my side,
We’re watching the “stampede” –
We see the world, and it is good.
There’s nothing left to need

The girls in my back yard:
My God, I love them so,
Though they grew up and moved away
So many years ago

Yes, long ago they laughed,
Along with my late wife —
From this back door, I hear, and feel
What used to be

My life

An Empty House

Way back, when love was just an empty house,
The view was good and looked out on the sea,
And there, ostensibly, were you and me,
Each one supposed to be the other’s spouse.

Each morning came in course, the sun would rise,
And we would go about the things that made
Our days and hours go; the bills got paid,
And, sometimes, laughter rang beneath blue skies.

Our empty house did have its beauty, truth,
And felt quite open – breezy – in the main,
Until the first dark coming of the rain
That let us know we didn’t have a roof.

    It’s everywhere the same, in all its forms:
    Real love will give us shelter when it storms

Vending Machines

Vending machines: another thing I love.

Refrigerated mini-stores

Located manywheres and anyplace.

Mechanical coin counters

Suppliers coming in and keeping full

Of soft drinks, gum, or candy bars.

Vintage ones like the one above,

Or ultramodern machines on the streets of Tokyo:

Another thing I love,

Another silly, inconsequential, amazing thing.

Photo credit : © Paul Sankey | Dreamstime.com

tales of my despicable friends, episode 8

(Originally published February, 2017)

How is your wife?

She left me.

What happened?

She decided I did not meet
Her minimum standards.

And what are those?

Something about faithfulness
And caring, I think.
I wasn’t really listening.

Why not?

The Super Bowl was on.
I had $400 on the Falcons!

So you lost your wife
And your $400?

Yes. She’s now living with
My neighbor two doors down.
They’ve taken to having sex
In the backyard pool.

And you know this because…?

She texts me and tells me.

Well at least she has your attention now.

Damned Patriots.

(The author of this blog would have it known that he does not endorse the conduct of any of his despicable friends. – Owen)


the day goes past

the day goes past my sight and turns to gray
as distant, floating things become unseen;
so much i’ve known has gone, or dimmed away —-
the brightly colored world of seventeen
has faded like an aging magazine,
and falls within the shadow of the storm,
to lose all hue, and barely keep its form.

the rains must come, they must, i know it’s so,
the sailor find his way back into port —-
the pilot, too, must let her wand’ring go,
and head back home to file her report,
for nature does, at last, our time cut short.
the day goes past, and fades in grays and blues:
we had our time, and what we have, we lose