Beyond Myself

Friends estranged and family lost.

I go beyond myself and see
That suffering is everywhere;
That many craft a painted smile
To hide the crease of toil and care

For money not available
Addictions and disease;
For friends estranged and family lost
Burnt flowers and dead trees

I should then bear my neighbors up
Through all they undergo:

For sorrow’s universal

It’s a thing

That we all


I Am the Addict’s Father

There is no feeling so lonely

As being the only one left

Who believes


But I have to believe

That you can come back

That there still is a “you”

To come back


Actions become indolence

Words become lies

Lies become the story

And as to the rest

God only knows what will come


I am tired beyond words

And sick

At heart


There is no feeling so lonely

As being the only one left

Who believes

My Name Is Oscar Smuff

Ninety nears I’ve had bad press
My name is Oscar Smuff;
You have been told that I’m a mess
And I have had enough

I am a great detective
I was topmost in my class;
My bow ties are quite stylish
As is my bushy mustache

Who is this W. Dixon guy
Who has it in for me?
I make an honest living
Here in mild obscurity

But he paints me to be an oaf –
A clod – some sort of dunce –
I’ve never even seen the guy
In Bayport. Even once.

It’s bullying, that’s what it is
And sheer mendacity;
My name is Oscar Smuff,
So please
Quit making fun
Of me

The Great Mistake

My mind is filled with sorrow

The truth: that while I lead my life,
My mind is filled with sorrow;
Surrounded by the things I’ve earned,
But laid bare to tomorrow

A victim of the great mistake
Which binds me like a fetter:
That when a thing seems truly good
Then more is surely better

And so, awash in plush excess
I must now journey lightly –
And live life simply, daily, so
I might find
Some peace

From The World

… he stood out from the rest…

Among a world of narcissists
He stood out from the rest;
The model of unint’rested
And heedless selfishness

But all who came to know him longed
In time, to get away;
As he turned inward evermore
And sank below the fray

The selfless lead so many lives
The selfish lead but one;
As daily their few pleasures shrink
Until they’re left with none

The energy we give, somehow,
Is what we come to get:
But we give nothing if we think
Each other is a threat

The scarcity of empathy
Pervades this age and space:
Although we see clown substitutes
Dressed up to take its place

And there he was, the model of
Impassiveness towards others;
No women are his sisters and
No men are seen as brothers

He’s in the world, he’s from the world
And free from sympathy:
He’s everything that’s going wrong
And our


My dancing family.

I was trying to dance here too
But at but three months old
I wasn’t very good at it
Or so, at least, I’m told

I was always the youngest
Of the litter, just a pup;
In spite of decades ever since
Of trying to catch up

My sister and brother would retell me –
Every chance they could:
That my youthfulness was annoying to them
And I was little good

Like many youngest children, though
I learned after a while
That what I lacked in size and age
I could make up
In guile