security guard

(From December 2015)

i’d leave work late a lot of days,
he’d greet me by the door;
he worked security, night-shift,
right there on the ground floor

he was a talker, genial;
he’d ask about the day –
and wish us well till next time as
we’d set out on our way

a youngish man of roughly thirty
who’d just had a child;
his temperament was lively
and his disposition mild

he’d left the air force right before
he came to work with us;
his time in combat was the one thing
he would not discuss

the holidays are on us now,
the air grows cold outside;
and i just got the news
that he committed suicide

i do not understand, but feel
the sad and crushing weight –
i didn’t think
i never thought
and now it is
too late

Another Blasted Sunset

I watched a wedding yesterday
As beautiful as any that I’ve ever seen:
Two lovely, gypsy souls who found each other;
Who each could have been happy
With no one at all
Had they never met each other.

Married outdoors, as the sun set over the hill,
Two faces so radiant with joy, I’m betting
It could seen from space.

Now, I’m driving home
And another blasted sunset
Has been gifted me;
Like loud, Lebanese music
From a wedding reception,
That fades into a lasting smile
On the face of the driver —

Scenes from My Real Life, Vol 2

[Written 3-28-2016 : 10:24 PM]

Across the street, my wife is with the grieving.

It’s part of who she is, and what she does;

The world is full of much that’s past believing,

But those who love show love,

There’s no



[Upon the recent sixth anniversary of my daughter’s fiancee’s death. – Owen]

She wrote a book inside her head
Of all that you and she would be;
The words you’d use to rouse yourselves
And others, from complacency.
And this you’d do for all to see:
You’d lay your poor souls bare —

The world you’d leave a better place
From art and love that you would share;
She’d go where her heart led her to
And know she’d always find you there.
You hatched this plan with loving care,
To grow your dream immense —

But she looks now and you are gone.
The present turned into past tense:
The world’s been rippled slightly, but
Its water’s murky, dark and dense –
And how then, now, should she commence
With only half a dream?

You wrote a book inside her heart;
She sets the table, still, for two:
She’s here, but you’re forever gone
Except the part of her
That’s you

To My Son

We walked along
You gabbling with joy
Your hand in mine
When you were just a boy

In days of flowers
There among the wood,
I took it in
But never understood

Somehow, I lost you then,
But didn’t see it;
Amid the brightness of
Each perfect day

I loved you, but I lost you,
Never knowing
The sorrows waiting
Just around the way

I love you more than life,
But I have failed you;
For blinded by my pride,
I didn’t see —

That I had lost you to
The ghosts and demons,
I loved you,
But I failed you,


Scenes from My Real Life, Vol 1

Me: … The year we stopped automatically giving Valentines to everyone in our class, I stopped getting Valentines.

Wife: Were you actually giving out Valentines to anyone at that age?

Me: Oh, yes, heavens, yes. I just never got any. I actually had one returned.

Wife: (Laughing) – I’m sorry – I shouldn’t laugh –

Me: And these women who show up now and claim they had crushes on me back then – I call bullshit. If they did, where were the Valentines, huh? WHERE WERE THE FREAKING VALENTINES?

Wife: How old were you when you had a Valentine returned?

Me: I was twelve. I went home and told my mom, who, just like you, laughed.

Wife: What did she say?

Me: She said, “What happened?” and I said, “I got one of my Valentines returned, opened. I’m surprised it didn’t say ‘Dear contributor, we regret that your submission does not suit our present needs.’ My Valentine essentially got a rejection slip.”

Wife: Was it a girl you really liked?

Me: Well, if I didn’t before, I did then. I became obsessed.

Wife: The thrill of the chase, huh? You liked the challenge?

Me: No, I was just really attracted to someone who had the same opinion of me I did.

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