a dancer by the sea

he walked a lonely concrete stair
surrounded by barbed wire;
the things he thought he knew were gone,
and joy had gotten shyer

he felt despair, and anger, and
a soreness in one knee,
when, breathless, at the top, he found
a dancer by the sea

the music, and her moves, bespoke
the truth behind the veil,
of joy and sadness, love and hope,
that beauty can avail —

her movements were the ocean, in
totality – and parts –
salvation there in abstract form,
a rescue by the arts —

and when at last he did descend,
a new life had found birth:
and consolation’s many forms
had given his life worth

for there is ugliness, it’s true,
but reasons, yet, to be:
in music, and in stories, and
in dancers by
the sea

When All You Love

When all you love is still the same,
But somehow, not enough;
When every path’s abandoned, each
New friend, a new rebuff —

When days stretch on like oceans,
And the nights are heavy lade,
And all you ever dreamed about
Dissolves and starts to fade

Then hope becomes a beacon you
Must follow to its source;
To call out in the night for friends
Until you’re more than hoarse

But though your throat be bleeding,
You can still find voice to sing —
When all you love is still the same,
You still have


(“When All You Love” – 2-9-2017)

Room 108 Night

“He could still smell bourbon from somewhere”

He awakened to a dull blanketing clamor
Lights and shadows moved across the ceiling and walls, caused by passing cars and
Nothing looked familiar around the room
The smell of a cheap hotel, the towels, the pillows

When he was driving all those hours and hours he thought –
He thought, and kept thinking, at least he would sleep, sleep till daylight
But —
No such luck

And loneliness like a truck with its high beams on
  bore down on him with the horn blaring
And he had nowhere to go to get away from it

Blank emptiness chasing him like
  the crazy vindictive trucker in that Spielberg movie he saw as a kid —
What was it called?
Oh yeah –
“The Duel” —

He wondered when people had last had sex in that room –
He wondered if he would ever have sex again –
He wondered if he would ever get back to sleep

He could still smell bourbon from somewhere,
With ever more lights and maddening shadows moving —

The heater was blowing, singing a sort of suicide song
And he suddenly understood —
What the words of that song meant

Monastic Order Taking

When I was all of twenty-three
I thought to join a monastery
To free myself from earthly strife
And lead a contemplative life

I truly, deeply did aspire
To rid myself of my desire
For women: those that pained my heart –
And so, I vowed to live apart –

But failed to get all the way there
And start that life of work and prayer.
Instead, I found one like it here
Except, I can keep my wife near.

Celtic Isles
Skellig Michael monastery, off the coast of Ireland.

Juxtaposition – What I Wanted & What I Got

Sunrise Santa Rosa Beach

My thoughts lay heavy on my mind
I don’t know what I thought I’d find

And so I rise before the dawn
All that I longed and hoped for gone

To walk beside the restless sea
The ocean whispers there to me

And look for love’s lost answers there
Of losses more than I can bear