Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays...

I wish you all holidays of quiet peace, and a fruitful new year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010

Temperature drops
thirty five degrees overnight
North wind strips the trees
empty bird feeders swing
like broken barn doors.

When the Wampanoag
bailed out the Pilgrims with
berry stuffed venison,
did they sense their doom?

Today’s paper
heavy with Black Friday ads
is our wake up call.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Natural Selection

A dozen and a half
fat little birds
fluffed against the cold
(58 degrees, after all)
argue over the feeders while
one pissy, twelve year old cat
sits beneath
either accepting
or annoyed;
it's hard to tell which.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reality Check

Washing dishes,
a flash of light and color
across a drying grater
caught my eye,
made me think I’d seen
images flickering across
a small video screen.

Perhaps it’s time
to radically

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Check out my Sis' new blog!

My dear Sis, acclaimed northwest gardening author Annie Lovejoy, has a new blog - Check it out and subscribe, it and she are gems, indeed!

Annie's Blog

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Sustainability of Happiness

If you depend upon
someone else
for yours.

If politics rules your roost.

If acquiring wealth
or things
are paramount.

If fame
is what you seek.

If you’ve sought
or experience
merely to slake
your ego.

If you do what you do
for the sake
of accolades.

If where you live
what you drive,
is how you measure
your value as
a human being.


In Sickness and In Health

The prep nurse noted her fragile veins
advised delay, but
she was ready, so,
on she went.

Together for decades,
he could not be with her
in surgery.

Something gave and
she never woke.
For two days
she lingered
on life support;
they told him
he needed to make
a decision.

Knowing she hated it,
he told them to stop;
all of it.

Down in the bright sterility
of the cafeteria,
he was cutting into his chicken when
he felt a hand,
warm on his shoulder.

He knew it could not be her,
not her body;
no one else saw,
she was there
only for him.

She smiled and said,
“It’s going to be all right;”
and then
she was gone.

A love crossing decades
suddenly condensed,
out of time;
in the last possible moment
one thing needed to be said;
“It’s going to be all right.”

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Is there anybody out there...

If there is, I should say that most of my writing energy lately is going into a new food blog, which you can check out right here - And please do!

I've also started publishing more or less done chapters of a new novel titled Once a Fisherman, so scope that out too!



Friday, August 20, 2010

Ihr Garten

There’s a language here,
spoken in color,
and pattern.

Rock Rose to Rosemary to Oleander;
myriad greens with
bright blooms

Zinnia and cucumber,
chile and yucca
painted pot and tree trunk,
purple-blue blossom
against weathered fence board.

Pieces fit together perfectly,
each is perfect on its own.

Bronze bell on maple branch
prayer flags over herbs,
scent of basil redolent
as cold water
splashes leaf.

Even when she is gone,
I breathe her scent.

Friday, August 13, 2010


If you told me back in the 60s
that I’d not only drink water from bottles
but have a favorite brand
I’d have said you were crazy.

If you told me that,
after DDT and 2,4,5-T,
Love Canal and the Cuyahoga
that we’d forget all we learned
and fuck everything up afresh
I’d have thought you were nuts.

If, after I tore up my Exxon card
you’d said we’d have one even worse
within twenty years or so
because nobody really did anything different
I’d have said you’re bonkers.

I do so wish that you had been.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Waffle House, Redux

See, the problem is that nobody really
gives a good goddamn about them people
comin' across the border.
See if we was Canada, it'll be all different.

I'll tell you what the real illegal immigrant problem is;
it's those fire ants.
Them's the real problem,
and look how easy they got here?
Them and the bole weevils...

J.R., you are one dumb sonofabitch.
You're so dumb, you don't know to shut up
when somebody tells you you aughta.
And you're no better;
you just sit there and agree with him.

Aww, come on now, Bud
we're solving the world's problems!
Give us another five minutes
we'll solve 'em all!

Oh buuuuuullshit;
You've had forty five minutes
and you ain't solved one damn thing;
I am done with you two idiots.

See ya tomorrow, Bud.

To hell with the both of you both.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Good Morning, Ivy

Welcome, tiny girl!
We’ve been waiting for you
but no rush;
you’re right on time.

Your first morning and
you’ve changed things

I awoke smiling,
perception shifted,
seen through your eyes;
I bet they stay blue.

May the world’s ills be cured.
May it be for you as
it was for me;
a joyous youth
awash in pure tones.

So it shall be, because
you have arrived.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Van Gogh sky,
jagged white
stabbed with black
and grey.

Songbirds nervous as deer
before an earthquake.

Air, muggy and hot, pauses
grave still,
waiting for the balance to tip.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Back in the day
some Neanderthal was the first
to add spikes to his wheel;
studded leather wristlets
followed shortly.

In my youth, only motor heads had muscle;
now, “CEOs drive Harleys and
wholesome mothers have tattoos.”

On my twelve mile daily commute,
a surfeit of over-horsed idiots
bob and weave in a winnerless race,
striving to wrench
that last free car length
from all the others.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


It’s 101 in the shade of
the steakhouse veranda;
nobody’s goin’ out there
to dig into a sizzling rib eye.

He sits alone,
just a beater six string for company,
belting out Tejas-tinged blues.

Top down in the parking lot,
I stop for a tune or two.
He pays me no mind,
eyes closed, playing for those
who first shaped the music.

I start to roll and he looks over;
I give a thumbs up and
he smiles, jerks his chin,
starts into another tune.

Texas Rescue Dog

He weighs nine pounds,
stands ten inches tall
at the shoulder.

Tied to his star-studded collar
a tiny barrel holds
one good shot an’ a half
of Anejo tequila
an’ a Dixie cup.

When some poor sap gets
whupped upside the head
by a tornader, he will crawl
from the wreckage of his doublewide,
and as his eyes clear,
he’ll spot Bandito,
standing tall on a rubble heap
ready to quench his thirst and
make everything OK agin.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Coffee cups that read
“Caution, contents are hot”

Boxes printed with,
“Do not turn box upside down,”
on the bottom.

Hand guns that note,
“Read manual before use.”

Fish hooks warn,
“Harmful if swallowed.”

Male enhancement pills marked,
“Do not use while pregnant or nursing.”

A hair dryer reads,
“Never use while sleeping,”
and a curler,
“Do not use in shower or bath.”

If this kind of mindless shit
really is necessary,
shouldn’t we just allow natural selection
to do its thing?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Time Lapse

My eye caught the clock
just as the numbers changed.
I thought, what if
they just kept flipping?

Would it be the end of days,
a flashback,
or just a busted Sony?

If I roll back over,
surrender to sleep,
will I wake up older than time
with all I love
turned to dust?

It’s probably nothing that
coffee and a morning paper won’t cure;
in that instant between sleep and waking
it can give you pause.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

X Chromosomes

I have drifted through life assuming
that one got rid of furnishings
when they were worn out:
This is not true.

I have, over the years, perfected
the Belushi lear; one brow arched high
with the eye beneath squinting,
the effect one of incredulity defined.

When your spouse arrives
out of the blue
with a new couch,
there to replace your beloved nest,
you must never deploy
the Belushi eye.

You may, if you feel so moved,
try to save the rug, and
you might even win that fight;
but forget about the couch,
it’s already gone.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

REM Sleep

In some kind of office building
walls and floors but no colors.
Big windows with lots of light but
I don’t see anything outside.

Someone called my huge cell phone
“cool” and “retro like an old Motorola,”
but I couldn’t bring up the last
number I dialed and the tape with
the names on it jammed and
wouldn’t wind back into the phone.

Walking down the halls I saw
several rooms that I hadn’t cleaned;
I wondered why, when he first brought
me here, he’d dropped me in the middle;
what about all those buildings up front,
shouldn’t I be cleaning those too?

I stole something crunchy and savory and
snuck into a secret place that lead to
all the other places to eat it.
Most people didn’t know I was there, so
I hid the food when somebody found me
to say I had a phone call.

I asked a pretty girl what the occasion was
for the big party downstairs;
she said there were several.
We walked side by side for a bit,
then she ran a few steps to
be away from me.

I tried to get on an elevator
with a person in a wheelchair
but they were gone and
then I couldn’t find it again.

I rode an impossibly steep escalator
up one floor wondering how the hell
I was sticking to it?
I got off through a metal gate and
went right when they went left;
the ceiling was low.
I ended up high alongside the rollercoaster
when the girl with one perfect nipple
came back from the left; she knew
I’d made a wrong turn.
She asked if I had good dope or good booze;
I nodded and she smiled and said
“It needs to be.”
She told me to go up to the roof and
get out there, “At a sort of disco,” and
then I woke up.

Does this shit really make sense
when I’m sleeping?

Graphic Reminder

Every few months, I like to change my title at The Luthier Community. Most of the time, I do it just for the hell of it, maybe to try and be funny, with something like Chief Executive Floor Sweep.

This month I changed it to Finger Slicer Extraordinaire, with a picture of my left dialing finger. I did it not so much because it’s funny, but as a reminder to me at what seems to be a critical juncture in life, and maybe as a warning to others.

Said finger has a crisscrossing map of scars from way too many cuts. Looking at it right now, I can see 7 nasty ones, and those aren’t all. Most of these came from chisels, a few from knives. You’d think that the first time I had my left hand way up on the shaft of a neck in progress and still managed to cut the crap out of it with a chisel, I’d have become more cautious, but I didn’t. And if you sharpen like I do, well… Fellow woodworkers love my chisels, because the business ends of the blades are mirror bright and sharp as razors. I keep all my hand cutting tools like that. Real sharp tools do a better job and are a joy to work. They also cut the snot out of us when we drop our guard: A ¾” Buck Brothers crank neck has a big handle and a lot of steel; serious heft there; it will go to the bone in your finger in a heartbeat or less.

Like I said, I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, nor the second, not the third. As a lifelong woodworker, I am used to cuts and scrapes and bruises, no big deal. But when the last two have left the tip of that finger without sensation from permanently damaged nerves, I kind of woke up. I wonder now what I was waiting for to finally get the picture, to lose a piece of the digit? Kinda like when friend spoke to me of multiple divorces; “Once, they say it could happen to anyone; twice, maybe even three times, you probably still get the benefit of the doubt. More than that, and there’s pretty much no doubt, you’re the problem.” So, when it comes to unsafe practices, yeah, I’m the problem.

All these power tools in my shop and I cut myself over and over with chisels and knives and scrapers. To me, that finally says, “I respect the power tools, but not the hand tools,” and that’s plain foolish. When I was a working cop, I feared a fight with edged weapons more than I did being shot, so why the hell would I think differently in the shop?

For me, after some soul searching and a lecture or two from Doc and Monica, I realize that 90%+ of my cuts were incurred while carving necks. That forced me to look at how I did it, and the glaring flaws in my technique came out. I was leaning into laminated layers of wood, including some real hard ones, and leaving my unguarded left hand up above the cut, ready to get sliced again. I have revisited how I carve and changed the ergonomics of that process so that I do not put my hands onto so much potential danger. And I bought a pair of cut proof gloves and use one on my left, at the very least, when I work now.

I turned 50 this year. I’d like to be building 30 years from now. I eat better than I used to, get exercise every day, take vitamins, don’t smoke, and drink less than I used to: All of that would add up to an opportunity to grow older with a missing finger or two had I not looked at the big picture, made an honest assessment, and changed a few other things too.

So how old are you this year?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 28 - End of the Line

End of the Line

By the sound of things
it’s a bad place, but
not this time.

You know what they say,
get divorced once and
they’ll give you the benefit of
the doubt, but twice,

And what are your chances
as a two time loser?

There I was, staring down
empty tracks at dust and
blowing tumbleweeds when
you walked out
of the heat-shimmer mirage.

Just like that
the end of days flipped and
life began.
Who knew?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 27 - Hopeful or Hopeless?

Appreciation of War

I posted a quote from a notorious
Louisiana tugboat Captain that read,
“I have no appreciation for war,
although it is a traditional human endeavor,
and I’m good at it.”

In response, a friend wrote,
“War – fascinating subject.
It’s primal as a spinal cord.
The old brain is good at it and
the new rejects it. A source of
conflict in most of us until
the old brain fades away?”

I wondered what Sherman and Grant
hunched over a camp fire with big
glasses of bourbon working would
have said to that?

Day 26 - A Five Times Poem

Note - Any and all 'missing days' were stuff I reworked and had posted here before in some way, shape or form!

More Than Five Times

I have done really stupid things,
farted in public,
embarrassed the hell outta my wife,
made her laugh.

More Than Five Times a day
I hear somebody say
“did you know you’re out
of ______ roast coffee?”

More Than Five Times I have wondered
just what the hell that idiot driver
is thinking.

More Than Five Times a day
people I meet or greet,
or my critters
make me smile.

More Than Five Times an hour
our youngest would ask from
the back of the car,
“Are we there yet,” and every time
I would answer
“Just a little bit further.”

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 23 - An exhausted poem

Shit Sandwich of a Day

It starts as soon as I walk
through the door;
“There’s no coffee lids,
we need to bake 12,000 cinnamon bagels
and there’s not enough
topping sugar; oh, and the AC
isn’t working in the north dining room.”

Non-stop, all day long;
“I need a swipe,” “There’s a
phone call for you,”
“Where’s my raise,” and
“Did you know you’re out of coffee?”

Fifteen hundred dollars in
catering on top of a
nine thousand dollar day
in house with all this bullshit
on top.

After ten hours of this I say,
“I am leaving. I am going home.
I am going to drink bourbon and
I am going to give the ice cubes
to my dog.”

As I do just that,
the doorbell rings;
it’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses:
Of course it is…

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 22 - Earth piece

Hale’s Passage

I cross the beach with
boat and paddle
tucked under an arm;
years before theirs were
skin and bone.
Mine is fiberglass.

Dusk settles and storm rises;
south wind meets north current;
white water between beach and island,
windblown froth from
stacked wave tops.

I slip into the fray.
Ferrying out, a mistimed move
spills me; rolling upright I
shake like a dog.

Hurling downstream
an aqueous world,
no telling where ocean ends
and air begins.

Only when I turn back to
the beach do I see that
I have not moved at all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 21 - According To...

Note: Some days I have used reworked older pieces that were previously published here, so I did not place them here again.

According to Hoyle

There’s a right way and
a wrong way, with
not a lot of leeway between.
But the world’s in Ektachrome,
not black and white, so…

Authority is, so
I guess we have to choose
who or what will be:
Casting a glance around
the present, I don’t see
any one chief doing
that great a job.

Politicians? Definitely not.
Pundits? Please…
Children of a lesser God?

Perhaps the premise begs
clarification: Are we speaking of
Sir Fred or Edmund?
Either way, it speaks to
simply doing the right thing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 18 - To...

To Ma

Maybe I haven’t taken this
seriously enough, or more likely
I haven’t wanted to confront the truth;
your health scares the hell out of me.

Pop, I knew was coming, had been
for years. But you’ve always been
the touchstone, the grounding rod
of this family.

I can’t really imagine how tough
this is for you; losing body is one
thing, losing mind a whole ‘nuther
ball game.

But honestly, let me tell you what
I see: Incredible guts, strength and
grace in the face of terrible adversity.

I see all the qualities that I pray
I’ve learned and earned.

I will cherish all the days and
when the time comes,
never forget all that you’ve
given me.

Day 17 - Science Poem

This is a revised version of an earlier work!

Born in the Show Me state
the son of an insurance man.
Youthful interests were entirely terrestrial;
jock, fly fisherman, boxer.

In college bloomed a hint of calling;
a frat boy studying math,
astronomy and philosophy.
Among the first Rhodes scholars,
British dress and manners
stuck with him all his life.

Mount Wilson was his home,
the faint glow of omnipresent pipe
reflecting vast nebulae.

In his day, scholars knew one galaxy,
but he saw many.
From the Milky Way to
myriad spirals and ellipticals,
he expanded the universe.

The Hubble Constant revealed
silent stars rushing away at
terrible speed.

His Redshift Distance Law caused
Einstein to declare his galactic fudge factor
the biggest blunder of his life.

His star burned bright,
he was gone at sixty three.
There was no funeral and
His wife never revealed
what became of the body.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 16 - A Death Poem

Death came to my door

But I was in a terrible hurry;
“Listen man,” I barked as
I whizzed by, “Can’t you read?
No solicitors!”

He tried work next; “Look pal,”
I quipped, “I’m sure a lot of people are
coming for me, but not between
eleven and two, OK?”

“What the fuck!” I thundered
at his back door appearance
that night; “Look, find whatever
you threw over the fence and
get lost, I’m watchin’ baseball,

Finally he downed me with
subterfuge; my last words were
those of so many Texas men:
“Hey baby, watch this!”

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 15 - Deadlines

Days Like This

They just wear on ya.
I mean, I gotta get up and
pour my own coffee!
Can you believe that?

When it’s time to hit
the easy chair with the paper,
is somebody there to
recline that thing for me?
No, I gotta do it myself…

Yet more frustration!
I hear birds, but I can’t see them
‘cause nobody filled the feeders;
guess I gotta do that too.

Yes, I will have to make my own brunch
if I’m gonna catch the mid-day ball game;
it’s just work, work, work!

Here’s the end all to be all;
I had to carry my own book
to the end table beside my recliner;

And don’t even get me started on
all the cat and dog petting
I gotta do today…

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 14 - Island

Swan’s Island

Fog is a dimension unto itself;
fog horn is mournful because
it can’t beat through.

Generations of Lobstermen
haul bugs from the sea.
Once called “poverty fish,”
they cannot afford to eat them;
a hard life, harder still
in the worst of times.

Rock and tree sculpted by
wave and nor’easters.
Even in brief sunshine
sweater weather
everything crouches,
hunkered down
awaiting the next storm.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 13 - Love and Anti Love

Feeding the Savage Heart

Rainy days won’t do it,
neither will good tunes
or home-ground coffee.

Wind across tall grass with
only bird song comes
very close.

Mountains, those with
snow year ‘round,
almost do it.

But without M, they’re just
places; with her, they’re
the right place.

Not Love

A long time ago a lover said
“Shouldn’t you be happy and
I recall staring out a window and
leaving that as my answer.

Comfort and happiness
ain’t love.
Neither is lust or need,
success or failure,
power or social standing;
not a damn thing.

In it for the kids is
a recipe for disaster.
Convenience is a cop out.

In fact, if you have to ask
or tally some kind of score,
you, my friend, have
missed the boat.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 12 - Pick Your City


We came from Concord, Mass
from Harvard and MIT,
jazz musicians and killer parties to
paintings of cows and barns on
black velvet.

Driving in from the east, we first saw
the valley, wrecking yards and
The Snake Pit at State Line.

But the smell of warm pine and
blue skies grew on us and
before long we were hooked.

Sure, the Nutcracker with
the Moscow Ballet meant
Idaho, not Russia, but
the winters were sublime and
the summers scented with sage.

Forever in my memory I will
journey north through the Palouse
with the rustle of hard winter wheat
whispering in my ears.

Day 11

The Last

The last time I
the last glass of champagne
your last chance

About last night…
The last time.

Will we last?
The last glass of milk.

He’s the kind of guy who
would drink your last beer.

I cannot recall the
last time I heard that.

Last in, first out.
Last chance for a thousand years.

This IS the last time
I will speak of this.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I will not relate the details of
the things I saw as a cop;
I know no terror greater than
the depths humans can plumb.

Over fourteen years after leaving that
profession I still have nightmares
saturated in vivid, real-time imagery that
makes me bolt upright at three a.m.,
sweat soaked and gasping for breath.

They will never leave;
perhaps they will fade over time.
I never know when they will return;
I can only pray that it will not be

Friday, April 09, 2010

Day 8


Holy crap, had I known
how many times I
would cut myself
I’d be too scared to wield…

Tokitaru, Marikatsu, Nomikatsu,
Buck Brothers…
Fine steel polished to
a mirror finish, sharp enough to
shave fur off the back of
my hand…

Steel shaving fine, fine curls of
the hardest hard woods with
the greatest of ease…

Nonetheless, my left hand dialing
finger is hashed, an atlas of
amazing and terrifying scars.

Day 7

Until Now

I have not seen, felt,

Before you, I was alive but
did not live.

I always felt that there was
one love for me but
I didn’t think I’d find you.

But you found me and
suddenly, life began.

Not born again but

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Day 5


Skies, blue and warm,
suddenly cloud over.

Beauty, lithe and ripe,
runs for her life and
nature follows.

Every creature and the
leaves on the trees
tremble and flee.

On the troubled waters of
the bay, western man
has arrived

Monday, April 05, 2010


The youngest walking into the living room,
announcing, “Boy, it’s been a long time since
one of my turds clogged the toilet!”

A pair of panties lying on the floor of the
café, next to a matronly patron.

An extremely large acquaintance offering a
detailed description of inner thigh chafing.

A line worker speaking of
“Glistening gay vampires.”


Miley Cyrus

Angie, Brad, Sandra, Jesse and
all the other celebrities that I could not possibly
give a flying rat’s ass about.

These are things that I do not need to know.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Weltanschauung, Partly

Where were my lenses ground;
Am I being of nature
or nurture?

Looking back down many roads
I am not sure that I’m
a better man,
but I think so.

A million what-ifs lead where, exactly?
I’ve cut a shitload of grass;
if the universe trembles each time
I’ve made a terrible mess.

I no idea how many rounds we get;
I grow sober with years.

Judgment ain’t yours,
sayeth The Old One and
brother, he’s not kidding.

Sudbury, Assabet, Concord.

Norman Maclean wrote,
"Eventually, all things merge into one,
and a river runs through it.”
Long ago and far away from north Texas
I was raised by three New England rivers.

In summer, tourists floated in
rented canoes from the South Bridge
Boat House; we pelted them with
rotten apples from a tall fern fortress.

Fall waters brought first cold;
a whisper of winter
winding its way past
Egg Rock and the meadows.

Skate blades crossed winter’s icy back;
checkerboard hockey games laid out for each age
Geese teeming at the hard bends,
open water a precious commodity.

Spring, rebirth, floods cover field and
forest, water brown and fast brings
new soil with
a promise of life to come.

Poetry Challenge 2010

Well, it's been a full year since i started writing poetry! Hard to believe, but true, so thanks again to Rob Brewer and Del Cain for lighting the fire!

Robert is hosting another challenge, that being to write a poem a day all through April; this is what started me out on a path I truly love, so maybe it'll so do for you - Go to Rob's site and join the fun!,category,PoetryChallenge2010.aspx

Day one's prompt was a lonely poem, so here goes...

Mourning Dove

Even on the brightest morning,
freshly washed blue sky,
breeze ruffling new leaves.
cherry blossoms drifting like snow;
the dove’s call makes everything
turn suddenly gray and soft
as the feathers on her back.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Paper Tiger

Governments shake and shimmy
with outrage, striving to protect their own;
but the people forgot to submit
address change cards and the names
were all changed to protect the guilty.

Suits stand, belt out the company song;
after calisthenics, they shake hands and
utter power words as the captains
swing the incense.

Politicians mount up for virtual jousting
but, at the point of contact, the mirror shatters:
“We have met the enemy,” they intone,
“and he is us.”
They sip congratulatory juleps as
the lackeys sweep up virtual splinters.

The Grand Ayapoobah takes a deep drag
off a no-filter Camel; he leafs through
The National Enquirer
looking for a sign.

Nearer than we think and
farther than we can imagine,
The Old One sits wondering
what has happened to
the greatest show on earth.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 5th, 2010

Born in 1960, I was raised in
the era of space exploration.
I believed that technology
would save us and the earth from us.

Yet here in 2010 we’ve never been to Mars
and Pan Am doesn’t have a moon shuttle.
The space station floating above us
isn’t filled with jumpsuited pioneers.
There are no Dyson spheres or flying cars.
HAL died years ago;
there’s no Rosie the robot maid.

Sagan’s billions and billions of stars
are still up there, but
they’re harder than ever to see.
Under chemical skies and
seas of floating plastic,
the forests still disappear and
rivers don’t reach the sea.

Cities are filled with suicide bombers
disguised as fast food franchises.
The tallest buildings house the
Kings of politics and industry
while famine, poverty, and war
feed on the masses.
The earth tries hard to shrug us off.

I seem to recall that our generation
was going to fix all this, but
we seem to have lost the path, and
evidently we didn’t all die before we got old.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Like a bull bass cruising
the weedy edge of a quiet pond,
she patrols a sun dappled patch
of living room rug.

Your quarries are old and wise;
You will not catch them easily.
The fly selection and cast must be perfect.
There can be no sign of fakery,
or it’s no sale.

Toss a catnip mouse within paw range and
you may as well have pitched a rock into the pond;
she will ghost away with a scornful tail flip
just as he will instantly disappear.

Both want something interesting,
something that honks them off
by daring to invade their turf:
It’s a Bass fly then, a goggle-eyed
baby frog or mousy, who’s appearance says,
“Oh no! I’m tiny, juicy and weak!”

Once fly hits rug/pond, performance is key;
a pregnant pause, one good twitch,
another pause, another twitch
and if it’s all good, they hit
like lightning coming to ground.

That’s a big if, of course;
but then, if you have to catch to have fun,
you’re not patient enough to fish.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The writing of a poem,
that is to say
the combining of words
is more difficult than it might seem
especially when it comes to the
right inflection…

Actually, it’s about word choice;
yeah, that’s the ticket,
forget all that stuff I said before.

OK well more to the point,
it’s about being in the right mood,
‘cause you cannot make word pictures
if you’re all grumpy…

Mayhaps it’s the propensity
for inflection and verbosity
the celebration of expressionistic
synergism, the opportunity of…
What the hell was I talking about?

On the other hand,
maybe this just isn’t the day
to figure this shit out…

Friday, January 29, 2010

Feeding the Savage Heart

Rainy days won’t do it,
neither will good tunes
or home-ground coffee.

Duchendorf said
sunshine did it but
not for me.
Pat got close with
a little hill country,
a little back roads driving
a little of that ol’ top down,

but not quite there.

Wind across tall grass with
a north Texas skyline and
no other sound but birds
comes very close.

Mountains, per M’s definition;
those with snow year ‘round,
those’ll almost do it.

What all of these lack is M:
Without her, they’re just
vignettes; with her, any place
is the right place.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I’ve a solution to
influence peddling
in D.C.

The problem
is perspective;
we see it as a thing
to be changed,
but its na’ –
It’s a fookin’ addiction...

A wise society accepts
supply an’ demand.

Tax the shit outta ‘em;
make ‘em all Gaberlunzies,
with exorbitant annual fees
to peddle their beads.

Prune the ranks
of the strolling bastards
an’ swell the coffers
in one fell swoop.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Chasing Bird

Born in in Charleston, his
pop started him on drums at 8,
practicing until his fingers bled
then told him he sucked.

Ronnie Free, but not that style;
he swung with Mose, rhythm
tinged with BBQ and R & B.

By the mid ‘50’s in NYC he was
a cat as cool as menthol smoke,
hangin’ and crashin’ at Hall’s loft
he played with them all;
Mose and Lester, Oscar and
Sonny, Charlie, Woody,
Marian and Dizzie.

One night he was a gone daddy;
hooked on horse, he ended up
in Bellevue just like his hero, Bird.

Cleaned up, he went home
didn’t play no more.
But the bell rang again in
the 80’s and he reappeared,
playing magic like he’d never quit.

Of those years, he said
“It was quite a ride;
I wouldn’t trade it for the world,
but I sure wouldn’t want
to do it again.”