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.