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.