Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Train

The Train
I hear the train 
I feel the train
Thunder, rumbling beneath my feet
The horn declaring
I bring you goods
I bring you progress 
Progress is good, isn't it?
It built America 

I hear the train
More quiet now
It has moved on into the distance 
While I sit here on this bench
Somewhat intrigued 
Somewhat saddened 

I hear the thunder of our ancestors
But it only lingers
So far out in the distance
A sound deep in the recesses of my soul

I am shocked out of the moment
Ripped back into the present
Thrown onto the concrete sidewalk
With nary a speck of compassion 

The train has returned 
Swallowed me up in deafness 
Blowing its horn right in my ear
I don't think I have anything to fear
Except for the fruits of perdition 

And now that I cannot hear anything
Anything but the ringing and noise
I go about my typical day
Seeking out my typical toys
Thankful for what the train did bring today
To help me get through the mire, 
To help me get through the fray

Still there is a thunder in the cacophony

I must be still enough to hear it
To feel it
To know it

One cannot simply rip a redwood
Right up out of the ground

I know that sound...

(Train Photo via Google Image,, unknown photographer)

Monday, December 26, 2016


My grandfather rested in a recliner at 50,
My father walked many laps at 50,
I will run at 50,
My sons and daughters will sprint with great endurance at 50, 
And my grandsons and granddaughters will fly at 50. 
My great grandsons and great granddaughters will reach the moon at 50 
and my great great grandsons and daughters will touch the edges of the universe at 50. 

The stars of the generations of life, 
thus are the generations of life

Who are the heroes in the story? 

All of us. 

Because we decided to keep moving along. 
We decided to not allow our pasts to determine who we are, 
We decided not to allow our pasts to determine where we are going,
Nor to determine how quickly we move beyond
We all played our role in this comedic drama called life

My grandfather worked hard for pittance, expending his heart
My father decided to break out of a cycle, moving us all into a different orbit
I decided there was more, and pointed us to the edge of the universe
My children and their children will take the baton beyond

The stars of the generations of life
Thus are the generations of life

“Not so for me” you say?
You can decide to change the way
Your future touches the universe
You can be the one

You can be the hero

Dedicated to Lillie Carter. You may have passed away today, but eternity will tell the impact your mercy, generosity, and prayers made. You are one of the heroes.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Poetry has been good to me
An outlet for all my rantings and ravings
A method for taking the soot and the ashes
And forming them into a beautiful pottery
Then baked and made golden in the sunlight

Poetry has been sunshine in the midst of the darkness
A beauty and a treasure never quite apprehended
A yearning for more of the more
A chalice filled with the best of wines
Only taken one slow sip at a time

You have been a friend, a companion
A counselor, and full of rebuke
But also full of compassion and emotion
Feeling and rage
Have always accompanied my travels on page

I am so glad to have met you
I am so glad to have known you
All these years we have meandered through
In reds and greens and blacks and blues
Yet still some days I am speechless

I must go on, I must regress
To the place where dreams come nigh
So with a song, a dance, a release, a sigh
I walk on to the radiant fog
Grateful to live in this mystery

But never alone

The Lost Leaf

 The Lost Leaf

This seems to be me
Intricate, designed
Complex, intertwined

But dead nonetheless

A remnant of what used to be
An echo of a former spring
A monochrome of a former green and flower

I hear the warmth is on the way
I hear the light is lasting longer
Yet I wonder
If that means anything at all for me in this state

Or maybe I’m simply a reminder
Of what was in the past
And what could be in the present
What could have been the future

Or maybe I am a building block for the next ones
Maybe I’ve done all I was supposed to do
The hours they were all too few

While I sit here in the stillness
The wind begins to whisper


No rmal (regular mundane average life)
There’s nothing worse for a poet
Than to have no poem
But even darker still
Is a life with no desire
An existence with no burning fire
Long has it been quenched and calmed
Into a vicious and nasty state 
Known as normal
It’s time to arise
It’s time to arise
To stretch out those broken wings to fly
(For how will you taste healing unless you fly again)
Feeling the winds of yearning begin to lift you up
To taste the sweet and bitter cup
Of the real and untamed and glorious Fire
Of the deep and haunting chalice of desire
Begin to dream again
Begin to call impossible friend
And watch him yield to the sight that is within you

Who makes all things new

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


I wish I had a reason for living
I wish I had answers for life
I often wish I was an artist
So I could slosh paint violently all over a giant canvas
Taking out every single piece of frustration and pain
Slapping it, moving it, putting it exactly where I wanted it to go
Right out there in front of God and everyone
Such a healing form of transparency
Such a marvelous form of deep confession
Someone would pay out handsomely for it all
Bringing me a sense of justice and restoration
I could take all of that money from my creative maelstrom 
I could drink myself into one nice coma
Or maybe I could take my prize
Build a grand hotel on the coast, in the quiet fog
To let all the rest of the wandering ones rest
But then I would need the entire California coastline
For all of us to have our place in the cooling mists

Altruistic or a giant disgrace
Those seem to be my choices right now
In this imagined place of the heroic
This imagined place behind my brow
Deep in the confines of my heart and soul

I could use the colors to show the depths of the bleeding
Things much deeper than shallow crimson
These things are black, and a deepest black
Pieces and parts of me
Blue and bruised from repeated attacks
I’m not quite sure where my shield was
Stuck outside of space and time would be my guess
Waiting for my appropriate and timely confession
Waiting for my chocolate chip cookie recipe to be perfection
This is why I despise the reflection
For it always seems to lead to the food
The things I allow within my being and mood
This is why I want to get it out on the canvas
To be forever delivered from it all
While the winning trophy hangs on my wall
As evidence that I will never ever know such torment again

I wish I were an artist…

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Goose Feather

The Goose Feather
I was driving out the driveway
The brown and fluff caught my eye
Against the backdrop of drying green grass
I came back much later
The Sun had set, darkness coming quickly
I went back to where I first saw it
There it was, still caught in the grass
I picked it up at first with delight
Then felt my heart fall a little when I saw
The distal edges were worn and torn
Yet then I thought
Why this disdain? Why this sadness?
This sign is here to remind me of great goodness
And simply because it doesn’t look the way I thought
I almost discard it
Why this disdain? Why this sadness?
There is something amazing
About treasure hidden in the field

No matter what sight it yields

Saturday, December 10, 2016


So difficult to stand for anything these days
Tolerance has boiled us down to split pea soup
Not very attractive
Not very appealing
Little to no flavor
In desperate need of salt
I never, ever hear the halt
Of wisdom before reply
I listen to all this hubris, I sigh
Because no one seems to see the hate
Everyone is so irate
That none of us can hear another’s heartbeat
We’re too damn consumed with our own
So I will climb down off my lofty throne
To begin to simply listen
In the places where the dungeons glisten
I know there is a goodness somewhere within
Treasure is never easy to find
For if it were it wouldn’t be treasure
Maybe all of this uproar is our clarion call
That in the midst of all the difference, the turmoil
We seek for the meaning within it all

That meaning that always is above and beyond ourselves

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Awakening (Embrace)

The Awakening (Embrace)
I almost fell off the edge right there
Teetering on the brink of insanity
Nothing is ever good enough
Nothing is ever good enough
The poets once said
“Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was”
I believed them
Now I’ve walked that path at least thirty years
And have found that it ends up here at a precipice
I almost fell right off the edge
So now what do I do?
Do I turn around 
Retrace my steps
Go back to wherever this started?
I might die before I get there
Or I might live
I might be completely overwhelmed with monotony
Or I might see the subtle differences
That come with seeing things from the opposite way
All I know is I have come to this day
Almost aimlessly
Is it too late to set a new course?
Is it too hard to begin anew?
But it is surely more mundane to keep going
This path I have already chosen
This dirty snow, these rocks that are frozen
Give me nothing firm to stand upon
I decide that I must not carry on

I must decide to embrace the difference.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving 2016
Sometimes it’s simply good
To relax
To do nothing
But listen
Listen well
Listen to classic Christmas songs
Enjoy the sound of rain on the rooftop
Hear the joys of warmth from a fire

These are the things that make life, life
The things that aren’t gotten with violence or storm

Or maybe they were

Maybe my moment of silent repose
Was paid for by another long ago
Maybe it was
So in all of this perusal
Of what was and what could have been and what is
I will be thankful for the stillness
Thankful for the one who withstood calamity
So that I could be a poet

In the here and now

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Walnut

 Black Walnut

These trees have stood for over 100 years
Producing fruit
Emanating a stalwart beauty
Year after year they give
Because year after year they take
They take water in all its scarcity
They take the minerals, the dirt
They take the light, the dark
Then give out food and shelter
Beauty and strength
Wonder and amazement
They grow to great lengths
They do all this from this same, small plot
Year after year after year
Without one single complaint

I think I might just do the same

Fallen Leaf

Fallen Leaf
These water worlds
Juxtaposed by concrete and infamy
Often completely overridden by the modern day
In our hustle and bustle we go on our way
Missing the universes at our feet
When will our drudgeries ever meet
With the magic that lives just below us
Just above us
We hover in that deviation called normal
Missing all that was meant for our dreams
I understand what privilege means
When I ponder the stillness of the waters 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Swatter

The Swatter
Last night I swatted a yellow wasp
On the curtain above my bed
He instantly disappeared from my view
So I assumed that he was dead

Not so

This morning I found him near the door
Mangled, wounded, but crawling
He was trying desperately to move outside
Despite his legs and bent wings were sprawling

He had spent the whole night struggling to simply survive

I knew his end, his ultimate demise
So once more I took the swatter
With significant might
Two swats to end his bitter fate

Now I feel like Hitler
Like Stalin
Like Mao

Why? You say,
It was just an insect
Just a nothing
One amongst the millions

Yes, that’s what Hitler, Stalin, and Mao
Said also
See life is just too intricate
Too beautiful
To be snuffed out because of fear

See, I was afraid of being hurt
I was afraid of experiencing pain
So therefore I exerted the power in my domain
To exterminate life

To terminate the wonders of biology

Now I wrestle with guilt, with shame
My theology is nothing but a cold, hard stone
I wonder what life would be if life could go on

With just a little admiration and a wonder.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Droplets on an Autumn Tree

Droplets on the Autumn Trees
Water droplets cling to the branches
As the rain tumbles down from the sky
They cling there like iridescent stars
Lighting the path to truth
Though the truth seems to stretch beyond infinity
Such small worlds in such small spaces
Crystal clear, luminous, without any traces
Of this angst I feel, this angst I see
These water droplets on the tree
Seem to be speaking something
Something to me
Something that I can’t seem to understand
I am often overcome by this mortality man
Who is always reminding
I will never, ever know the all

Welcome to fall

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Slug Trail

Slug Trail
I was walking along today
Quite consumed with myself
My needs, my wants, my lists
As I stepped along
Almost oblivious to all
I saw a shining random chaos
Atop the beige-white sidewalks
Serpentine, candescent
Reflecting the sunlight from above
In no inapparent apparition
This glowing wandered everywhere
Unending, eternal
As I got outside of my little world
And entered the reality of this one around me
I realized the snails had been out for a walk
They, instead of being so self-consumed,
They left a little of themselves behind
A little of themselves to be a marvel
Or to simply be stepped over, ignored
Yet either way
Still, in the process 
They created a wonder

And so can you and I

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Oaks

The Oaks
I cannot pour out
What I do not contain
I cannot give away
What I do not possess
So why do I continue
Shaking this empty vessel
As hard as I possibly can
Trying to get the last drop
Out of something that was empty
So very long ago
What am I doing?
Don’t I know that I will tire in the shaking
To the point where I drop my jar
Shattering the ceramic everywhere
Scattering the good afar
Time to rest my vessel beneath the rain
Time to sit beneath the ethereal flow
Time to place the acorns in the earth
Water them so they will grow
For fruitfulness has never come
From awkward and vicious consumption
Of that which was meant to glow
I feed on everything that doesn't matter 
I discard everything that does
This one thing I know
There must be a vast reversal
There must be a complete and total overhaul
I must place my busy-ness in the ground to rest
And allow my rest to grow
In this way I will see and know
The wonder of the oaks