Morning Bones

In my sixth decade now, with a front row seat

to the beautiful and fearsome march of days

on their way to fewer of them

 

What else, other than time,

do we have so many grievances with

but are still so grateful for?

 

I see life’s passing markers damaging my body,

leaving consolation gifts of memories, good ones,

and lessons-learned ones where wisdom should come fro...

Read and leave comments (0)

Along the Levee

There is often a vague sadness
that emanates from the boats
in the ramshackle marina

The boats, aground at low tide,
bereft of their purpose,
wait for their meaning to return

Later, afloat once again,
they’ve made their peace
with the return of the water

Read and leave comments (0)

Good Morning

Wiping the sleep from your eyes
in your beautiful way,
breathtaking, really

It helps me see the extraordinary
hidden between the sameness
of ordinary days

Read and leave comments (0)

Curves and Paint and Rain

I can’t touch the curve of a rainbow,
or use its’ colors to paint
Who counts the drops in a downpour?

Don’t be silly!

But my heart is a stubborn thing sometimes,
and it thinks: “All you have to do is try.
The first thing you must do is reach.”

So, we painted stories without end
I felt the tender hues of your curves,
and I tossed aside my umbrella
as we began to count the rain

Read and leave comments (0)

Another Short Poem About You

I found comfort in fleeting things

because they were more predictable

than your peregine heart

Read and leave comments (0)

Prey

You, the fire, intent on burning it all
with the heat of a blue-white flame
aimed at my kindling heart

There is no comfort for me here
Where love was sought
I found wolves at the door

Read and leave comments (3)

Guests, of a Sort

I wake up to find

a few aches and pains

have followed me into the new day

a stiff joint, an odd discomfort,

from origins unknown

 

I try to connect the unwanted guests

with, perhaps, foolish exertions

from the day before

that may have caused them

 

Still, I am grateful

for the parts of my body,

entities really, as I have come to know them,

that give me no ...

Read and leave comments (6)

The Little Things

People ask me what love is

and I smile because I know

I see the answer in you every day

 

Your sadness for old shoes

left on a windowsill

waiting to be rescued from the rain

 

The scar above your eye you hate

when it speaks to you in the mirror

Always and relentlessly there,

sharing a home with the old ones in your heart

colored crimson and blue

 

It’s not...

Read and leave comments (0)

Cat Tale

I’ll put in a good word for you
when I visit Bastet,
who resides in her kingdom
along the winding Nile
I’ll tell her all about you

I’m happy to do this for you
because I am fond of your fondness for me
And the belly rubs too, of course!

When I return, I can lift your spirits
if they are in the black corners;
pull them back from the darkness

The Goddess sends her regards,
and thanks you...

Read and leave comments (0)

Down at O'Leary's

They were playing that slow song

I remembered from years ago

She was dancing by herself

while the band kept playing

 

I wasn’t listening to my heart

trying to save me

from my talent for the wrong move

and wounds that haven’t healed

 

The way she looked at me though

seemed to suggest,

between the music and hardened hearts,

that we might find a way

 

Ther...

Read and leave comments (1)

Dog Stars

I hate the sun

without you here

I wish the moon

could still see you too

 

I can forgive the stars,

if they’d let me see you there

Maybe tomorrow though

they may need some time

 

Canis Major perhaps;

you always loved animals

That’s where I’ll look for you

in the midnight sky

 

Better to do it then

so you won’t see my tears

Read and leave comments (5)

Feeding Time

Dante, our dog, is a challenge to feed

He is always certain

every meal will be his last

 

It’s a race against drool,

best avoided by the squeamish

The trick is to get the food down

before he realizes it's feeding time

 

One day it will be his last meal

and it will break my heart

 

I know I’ll miss those times

I've stepped in the puddles of anticipation

fro...

Read and leave comments (2)

The Wisdom of Cats

The phone rings late in the afternoon

She says she wants to see me tonight

I take another drink and contemplate the dance

 

Dark hair and a smile that cuts to the truth of the matter

Taking what she wants and leaving the rest

She turns over and draws the covers to her

 

And the damn cats look at me disapprovingly

I let them out to search for better company in the alley

...

Read and leave comments (3)

Exes

Failures of the heart

add a layer of toughness

making it difficult to find answers

in still hot ashes

 

Mercifully fading from my mind

love was once somewhere in there

in between the absent days

But I had to guess most of the time

And I was terrible at it

 

Yes, I’ll do it again

Always trusting I’ll eventually get it right

while tending my garden of hope

Read and leave comments (2)

Gimme Shelter

The Stones and the Ramones

Social Distortion, out of the LA Punk scene

even Miles and Coltrane

She doesn’t need them

 

Still, in that void, there is a rhythm

found in her eyes, and in her heart

I let the sound sweep over me

It makes its own music

 

I listen to it over and over

A melody so beautiful

it can make you feel sorry

for blueberry pie

 

Her musi...

Read and leave comments (2)

Notes on Forgiveness: May, 2019

Scott is dying in hospice

I think of him at this late time in his life

How he has found a way

to finally give something back, at least to me

 

His low place anchored

with misdeeds and transgressions

Still, he was loved by our mother

 

She was gone before him

In her absence, I looked after him

Food and other needed things

 

Anger made this an unwelcome burden ...

Read and leave comments (3)

Collection

We ride our bikes along the levy trail
tires spinning around at a leisurely pace
marking the distance with every revolution

The willow tree’s branches
hang low over the path
in the early afternoon haze

I reach up like a thief
to grab a handful of leaves
tossing them up in the air, mischievously

Behind me, riding through them
as they scatter and float in the wind
she reaches out gr...

Read and leave comments (1)

A short Poem About Vinyl

Sound, in motion on the platter
Around and around at thirty-three
and a third revolutions per minute
Through the needle to my ears
Warm and deep, with crackles and pops

The static and the clicks
coming from the dust is my favorite part
It makes the sound seem so delicate
like it could fall and shatter

Read and leave comments (2)

Letter to St. Nick

Dear Santa,

I don't know if you make stops in the afterlife,
but if you do, please
give our love to our mother

We all know you're magical
Chimneys, flying reindeer
and all of that
so anything is possible

You don't have to wrap it
or put a bow on it
or anything like that
She already knows what it is

Sincerely,
Steven, Michael, Jeffery, & David Too

Read and leave comments (2)

Big Red Plastic Light-Up Santa

He stands across the room
A backlit twinkle in his eyes,
with a glow in his cheeks of polyethylene

Memories rushing forward
of dearest family and friends
Most are still here with me
but too many have departed

The specter of Christmas Past visits,
trying to haunt my thoughts
Despite the spirit’s best efforts
and winter so grey and unrelenting
I am not saddened by their absence

The...

Read and leave comments (0)

Misfire

I couldn’t think of much else;
why she left, what I did wrong

 

It was only obvious some years later,
after more experience with wars of the heart,
it had everything to do with being eighteen

Read and leave comments (1)

Old '64

You still didn’t have your license

- at eighteen! - I thought it was kind of funny

since I was driving at fifteen or so

 

We practiced in my five-hundred-dollar car

with your slightly bruised ego for company

The radio playing music we liked

keeping demons barely at bay

 

But I could really only think about

your peculiar smile competing with the sun

wrapped in a flo...

Read and leave comments (2)

Two-Stroke Counsel

After checking the oil for the chain
and a quick pull on the starter rope
my father’s chainsaw cuts through the branches
Stainless steel teeth offer no quarter

The quickly turning blade suggests danger in unsure hands
regardless, his grip is firm and confident
Swift and experienced strokes 
make short work of the green and sap-filled wood

Fine powder sawdust drifts across my arms
We s...

Read and leave comments (4)

Axel

The guy on the radio said

he’d like to go out the way his cat did
nineteen years old, and never had bad hips, 
or the other usual problems 

The guy on the radio just came home one day 
and found his cat had left him,

right there on the porch 
in his favorite place to lie, as peaceful as could be

That’s the way I’d like to go
a good life lived, for the most part
let it go with somethi...

Read and leave comments (1)

Squirrel and Crow

I see you are hoarding nuts,

and silly fruits from the trees”, said Crow

 

“I see you are eating what looks like carrion, or maybe worse.

I saw something lying in the next street over, it looked distasteful

but maybe it’s to your liking too”, said Squirrel

 

“Come to think of it, I saw a few persimmons still on the tree next door.

Looks like the lady missed them while picki...

Read and leave comments (1)

In The Night

Sleeping next to me
her body rarely moves
echoing the stillness

and the dark quiet of the night

 

I pull her gently closer to me
trying desperately to feel her calm

 

The beasts of the night are held back
by steel reins of contentment

now welcome, sleep finds me again

Read and leave comments (0)

Bad Poetry Blues

 

I've read so much bad poetry

Plenty of it my own,  

and I’m guilty of most of this

 

Stop using ten-dollar words

to impress me with your vocabulary

 

Rhyming is fine

in limited doses

Using it too many times

makes me prefer trichinosis

 

I want to find you, to see who you are

and feel your tales, your thoughts,

and see your images in words

 

Our ...

Read and leave comments (0)

The Mayor of Occidental

“It’s just a damn chicken,” we said

A rooster to be more specific

But she was fascinated by its’ coloring

as it scratched and strutted

in the autumn ground cover

as chickens will invariably do

 

She took the photo anyway

and told us the story of this honorable bird

“He’s the mayor of Occidental.

They vote for him every year.”

Overqualified, as the locals like to sa...

Read and leave comments (2)

cassie and josh

Sometimes love is

being okay with her waking you up

 

At 2:00 am

 

to talk about your pets

The ones that have passed

and where they used to sleep at night

because she couldn't remember

Read and leave comments (2)

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message