Two Summer Memories

It was a magic time inside
The covers of a secret book;
How far the mind went none can say,
Or just how long the summer took

To carry him so far away.
A different world, another mind
To go so far into that he
Left all he used to know


what are these shapes now?
i show them to this small child
who sees the spell i’ve lost


what is your truth? what have you seen
when no one else was there to see?
is there a lonely spot of road
that's made from you or maybe me?

you knew one in the wintertime
when walls were painted with despair
and no place that you went preferred
to anywhere
or everywhere

what is your plot? your character? 
  your theme?
why do you linger over post, 
  or meme,
or stare at empty screens and wait 
  for words?
or dream of flight, while sealing out 
  the birds?

the lonesome road of wintertime
the isolated way;
the habits that are character,
the token we must pay
to see while we have eyes to see,
and not to look away:
for humankind is horrible
past what mere words can say.

our eyes look down,
the raptors coil above:
it's only love that is our hope,
and all our hope must be
in only

The Music of Remembering

The music of remembering, the melody of “once”;
The flash of memory blinding like a thousand burning suns —
The heart turned inwards toward a time when kindness was in style:
And whispered love was guaranteed to cause a secret smile

The music of remembering, the cabaret of time;
With everything in motion, but emotions still in line —
A day out on the lawn with just her memories in tow:
Of when the whispers were for her –
And love,
An afterglow

in love’s embrace,
we do not see
that it’s a source
of misery
for those of us
who’ve felt it’s sting:

for love
just screws up


Someone invented the hammer
As a useful tool

Someone else used it
To bash people’s heads in

Someone invented language
And the same thing happened

Hatred, injustice, and ignorance –
Hey, we hit the trifecta!

I saw what she had written
In a type of dizzy rush:
She used her words to kiss me with —
All I could do
Was blush

The castles that we build may stand
And say what we have stood for —
But mockingbirds will always mock:
It’s all they’re really
Good for

The beautiful haters are everywhere,
Enticing us to join their cause,
Enthralling us with stirring words
To tear down barriers and laws

And then we go back to our shacks,
While they return to mansions fine —
The beautiful haters are calling you
To come
And get in line

It’s hard to know
The true false from the true:
It’s hard to be
When all you do
Is do

“I’d like to sell my soul,” she said,
But only found one taker:
The man who came to make her bed
And throw the circuit breaker

“I’d want to show my wild side.”
He said he didn’t mind —
But then was, frankly, mystified,
And soon was disinclined

To ever make that bed again,
Or throw that circuit breaker –
She tried to sell her soul, alas:
She lost her only

She grew up in a castle of books,
In world made out of mind and tome;
And she grew in the wonder of all she read
‘Til only in tales did she feel at home

By a thousand lakes, ‘neath a thousand clouds,
With stories and fables still, she fills —
In a world full of magic and long-kept faith
By a carpet of daffodils


(“Daffodils” – 2-8-2017)

The Business of Poetry

I’ve been a poet time + times,
I’ve made exactly zero dimes.
I’ve seen more wise things said by mimes,
Although I have penned many rhymes —

I’m not quite sure if “poetry”
Is a cognate for “poverty”,
But both are much like puberty
In that they’re very hard on me.
In truth: a sort of lunacy,
That’s soon reduced to parody.

The moon and sun were out last night,
They hadn’t met for days —
No sooner did they meet, then they
Both went their separate ways.

It’s like some friends, or marriages:
That’s just the way things are —
But satellites can still reflect
Upon a late lost

I used to hear the singing stars at night.
I used to feel the swaying of the trees —
I’d dine and drink both star- and candlelight,
And taste the very fabric of the breeze,
As lonely gulls cried out across the way:
Back when I had the sense to sense
The day

4 Poems On 1 Photo

In moments that matter,
Other people’s feelings become
Matters of moment

I see stories everywhere,
So I don’t go out that much;
Half-unfinished tales crowd in,
Daughter’s tears and mother’s touch,

Signifying — Daddy’s gone?
Signifying — Hunger? Thirst?
Speculation, all the time:
Writers: we’re the very worst

In autumn, tears, like dew upon the ground
Unbidden come to cover mulchy leaves;
The air grows hard, and little space is found,
Though paths be wide, for one who sees, who grieves —

But love, a blanket, warms us when it can:
A moment’s pause, a word, two hands to touch
That close the distance, whate’er be the span,
That’s caused by what’s too wrong, too hard, too much,

But still lets tears maintain their gentle flow.
This is connection’s secret, to respect:
Each other’s cares to care to truly know
And neither to obscure, nor to deflect.

  There is a time for each of us to fall,
  When only loving kindness helps at all.

When you can love someone
More for the love they give others
Than they give you,
You will understand

All The Things That Matter

Our trivia we line up well,
With that we show command —
But all the things that matter, seems
We cannot understand.
How strange, but how predictable,
To think that we’re so smart,
But never comprehend a thing
With matters of the heart.
Regret becomes our atmosphere,
Chagrin becomes our fate —
And all the things that matter, turn
To things we know
Too late

Silent in the meadow,
Sun betwines with shadow;
Part of every feeling,
Staying, coping, dealing —
Everything has scattered:
Hearts in all directions,
Tears that bear inspections,
All the things
That mattered

painted / blanket

behind a door,
inside a box,
wrapped up in papers with a bow

is how he feels
about his love:
so much that she will never know

he’d give his arm,
he’d give his heart,
but he can’t make his feelings felt

and silence like
a blanket falls —
for what she doesn’t know
can’t help

in painted sadness daylight goes
and takes her long hopes with it;
it’s time to care about herself,
it’s time to stop and pivot

and do the things she knows she must,
and to herself show honor:
although she knows she’s giving up
some things
she’ll always
long for

in the shadow of autumn

welcoming silence
in the shadow of autumn,
calming, and cooling —
finding yourself by stopping,
coming to be by ceasing.

the mill stopped running:
it’s boarded up, deserted.
my uncles worked there,
with calloused hands that still threw
footballs with us on weekends.

ten of us playing
out in the old empty field
in sight of the mill;
many falls spun by, and both
we and the mill stopped running.

she was fresh air, and I the earth;
she was the sky, and I the sea —
every last second, joy to birth,
every found moment, ecstasy.

weightless and blue, without any heft,
no promise, no vow, and no guarantee —
then she was gone, and I was left
with earth in my heart, and my eyes

the sea