Tuesday, December 30, 2008

going home...

I’m laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone... (Paul Simon)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Crescent Moon

I opened the heavy book

And the crescent moon

Shone in my eyes

Each time I reached

To touch the moon

It shrank until it was

The tiniest sliver of light

Floating on page 56

Next to the stars on page 57

I turned to the back of the book

To look at the index

And it read Miracles, page 102

I quickly turned the pages

To see if it were true

95, 98, 101…104

The End

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I have come to bring comfort to the table

To find a table of comfort

And to be comforted.

Thousands have come before me

Searching for comfort

But comfort is hidden ‘neath a veil of sorrow

Beneath the blue waves of misery

Comfort can be found

In smoky rooms of angst and heartache

Tables are laden with comfort

I have come for the table of comfort

Burdened with the woes of our fathers

The table creaks and moans with comfort

Each person sits comfortably at the table

One after another reach out for comfort

And the table gives comfort to all

Both the impatient and the patient are comforted

Even when the table is cleared of comfort

Still there is comfort for everyone

Where comfort has not been found before

I have not come to comfort anyone

Only to find comfort for myself

When I find comfort I will be

Wrapped in a blanket of comfort

Comfortable at last in the room of comfort

Only then will I offer comfort

To the silent bystander who stands by

And pleads for comfort from me

His supplication has been heard

And he will not leave uncomforted.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clair de Lune

Passage to the dark cathedral

priests disguised

as dancers in black masks

and lurid robes

Vanishing into the shadows

of secret chambers

love offers

suitable favors

Radiant calm

flows imperceptibly

past the quiet arbor

into the vast unknown

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wisdom Unshrugged

Working in the dark,

Nothing is clearly visible

I fail to give adequate consideration to that which matters most

I’m afraid I’ll just have to start over in the morning

But indecision can be fatal

And needs must be met before first light

It always seems that night lasts much longer than the daytime

I’ve never known how to wait for the right moment

So I rush forward to fill the ocean

With appropriate amounts of passion and fervor

Accomplishing each ordained task while others sleep and dream

Hoping it is enough to satisfy the gods…

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pourquoi pas?

easier to perch on fragile branches

if wings support flight when boughs break

Je répondrai…to the echoes of wings flapping

even in silence I will boldly answer

it is necessary to fly,

it is not necessary to live

Trees gather to cast shade

hope returns

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Submerged, suppressed, buried deep beneath the surface

It took the darkness to seduce it from it’s hiding place

But now that it has been freed

It is out of control

Danger ahead

Keep your distance

It’s going to blow…

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Man of Steel

He pulled at the drawstring on his stretch pants,
Slid his feet into comfortable slippers,
Adjusted his shirt over his expanding waistline,
And attached his cape to his shoulders with Velcro.

Seems like only a minute ago he was
Jumping out of telephone booths,
Wearing tights that stretched over bulging muscles,
Leaping into the air to fight crime and save the world.

Now he worked at Comics & More on Hawthorne Avenue,
Selling vintage comic books and other memorabilia.
The owner thought the costume would attract business.
He thought he looked like an idiot.

Lois had died eight years ago.
Clark Jr. only visited at Christmas.
He wanted to buy a condo in Florida,
But Lois’ life insurance didn’t quite cover it.

He remembered when it all began to fall apart.
People stopped believing in super heroes,
And turned to politicians to save them.
He often wondered how that was working for them.

But each day at the store,
As he haggled with 10-yr old hustlers,
He often dreamed of a big comeback,
Or an overdose of kryptonite to end it all.

After work he drove to his RV
Parked in the Daily Planet parking lot.
After dinner he settled on the couch to watch TV.
His eyes slowly closed as he drifted off to sleep.

His last thoughts were of leaping tall buildings,
In a single bound, of course
Moving faster than a locomotive
And knowing superheroes had their place…

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the plummet

Every night after dinner he took a flight around the neighborhood.

At first his neighbors thought it strange to see him flying overhead.

Soon they became accustomed to it and even looked forward

to seeing him soar above their roofs each evening.

He had known how to fly since he was six years old.

No one had ever taught him he just knew he could so he did.

He went out on his back porch, one summer evening, bent his knees,

Cocked his elbows and pushed off into the sky

His parents took him to doctors and psychics of all sorts

To find out what had made their kid so strange

The experts were puzzled and perplexed

And after testing, probing and prodding they could offer no explanations.

So he continued to take to the air each day,

learning about life from a different vantage point.

Often having strange ideas and plans

that he never shared with his parents.

Finally he turned 21 and decided to take a celebratory flight

The fresh air rushed past his ears, the sun shone in his eyes,

When suddenly he had an odd thought…why should he be able to fly?

And then… he no longer could.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Moving, standing still,
walking, falling down,
staying, leaving,
sitting, reclining,
holding, letting go,
motionless, going through the motions,
smiling, crying,
asking, receiving,
descending, hoping,
waiting, moving forward,
talking, listening,
screaming, biting your tongue,
flying, grounded,
aching, aching more,
dancing, refraining,
watching, blinded,
bound, free
crouching, fearless
loving, hoping to be loved
sleeping, dreaming of lace curtains...

Monday, June 23, 2008

potted plant

He turned me upside down

and began to pull at my roots,

in a cruel and forceful fashion.

I felt the tiny tendrils rip and shred,

I lay exposed and bare,

my foliage bruised and torn.

He pressed me into a larger vessel.

spreading my damaged roots in fresh soil.

anointing me with water and sunlight.

I sit in the east window now,

looking out through clouded panes,

learning to grow again.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

House Music

I passed through the neglected gate suspended
precariously on the rickety fence.
Walking up crumbling steps I heard, through
thin walls, the songs of what used to be.
Tattered curtains were draped in broken windows
framed by shutters hung askew.
The curtains danced gently in the evening breeze while
old melodies floated in the hallways.
The house sighed like an old man remembering his youth
and knowing it would never be again.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ode to a peach

There is a time of day, dusk I believe, when all the daily thoughts flow into a puddle of emotion.

There is a place in my room where I sit to feel the flood waters rise within me.

There is a path to follow if I choose to walk beside the river rather than surrender to the swift currents.

There are words that act as boat and oar to help me navigate the deluge and save me from being swept away.

There is an escape from all of it if I desire to submit to the waves and slowly drift out to sea.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Summer Vacation

We were strolling down the shady path bathed in the gentle light of the sinking sun. Both barefoot, we nervously giggled as our hands touched for just a brief moment. Our eyes met and…Aunt Lillian called from the house telling us supper was ready. Hurriedly we raced to the house leaving echoes of laughter in the twilight.

Our first ever long vacation was to Missouri to visit my Aunt Lillian and Uncle Crockett. They had a farm, a huge farm with crops of cotton and soybeans. I watched Uncle Crockett as he rode the tractor through the fields. I was amazed by the strength of his arms, muscles twitching, veins straining against his skin. Then I thought…a man with only one leg would have to have strong arms to make up for the missing limb.

There was only one movie house near the farm. We went to see, In Like Flint, starring James Coburn. My sister didn’t want me to go. She was invited by my older cousins and couldn’t stand the idea of her baby sister tagging along. But I cried and pouted and Mama let me go along. I hated the movie but loved sitting in the dark theater feeling like I was grown.

David asked me to sit with him and listen to his radio. But I was afraid of him. I didn’t understand so I said no. He said I was probably tired and needed to go inside since I had such a bad sunburn. I quickly nodded and entered the house. I wish I would’ve stayed.

I met my Aunt Lillian and Uncle Crockett for the first time. I found out I had four cousins I had never met. One of my cousins had two boys and one was exactly my age. He smiled at me then ran away into the fields.

Traveling there we saw a bad car accident. It was in Georgia. It was raining hard. There was red clay sticking to everything. The man in the car was bleeding from a cut over his eye. Mama gave him some tissues to hold on his head until the ambulance came.

Somebody said there was something wrong with David. He ‘wasn’t quite right’ ever since he got out of the Navy.

She sent me the double wedding ring quilt she made soon after she was married. I have it now, folded over a chair in my room. When Uncle Crockett died she sold the farm and moved into the city.

On Sunday we rode to the general store for a sodey pop. Turns out a sodey pop is a soft drink, preferably Dr. Pepper. That was the summer I learned about putting peanuts in your drink for an extra special treat. I remember feeling disappointed when that was all we did.

Everyone was outside digesting supper and talking over the day. I slipped inside to my Uncle Crockett’s closet. I had to see the spare legs. He had a work leg with a heavy boot on it and a Sunday leg with a shiny leather shoe on it. I picked one up and it was so heavy. No wonder he went to bed so early every night…carrying that around all day would wear anyone out.

On the way to Missouri we stopped in Chattanooga and visited Lookout Mountain. We rode the incline railroad car and toured the city in a horse and wagon. My Mama sang a song about a surrey with the fringe on top. It was raining.

In the hot sun I picked a boll of cotton for a souvenir. For years it sat on my shelf enshrined in a glass bottle. I have no idea what happened to it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Bridge

He walked across the bridge with a swagger.

A heavy gold chain around his neck,

glittering from the disappearing sunlight.

His body was square and solid;

his strides bold and confident.

Only his eyes gave him away.

They darted from side to side,

anxiously searching the crowd.

Finally they rested on the subject of his pursuit.

The muscles in his face relaxed.

And though he didn’t smile,

his demeanor registered pleasure and relief.

His pace slowed, his back straightened and

he seemed to expand his chest and strut like a peacock

Spreading his feathers for his chosen mate.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Drop of blood

Hot sun beating down on the playground,
Children run and scream in frenzied play.
Cool shade behind the shed hides us from the teacher’s view.

It was in our history book we heard about it,
About Indians and blood and promises.
We conspired to become blood sisters, connected forever.

Someone found a sharp rock, roughly shaped like an arrowhead
With the significance of that in our head we scratched it across our wrists.
No blood appeared only red marks and nervous giggles.

A rusty nail was discovered in the dirt.
Anxious glances were exchanged with 8 year old seriousness.
Pushing the nail into her skin, one brave girl draws a drop of blood.

Each in turn pokes herself with the nail and a grimace.
Solemnly the blood is shared as wrists are rubbed together.
In a low mumble, vows of eternal friendship are declared.

With age sometimes comes wisdom.
Along with lessons learned of respecting promises, honoring oaths
And keeping tetanus shots up-to-date.

I often wonder where my blood sisters are now
and if we paid a price for broken vows.
Or maybe it’s enough to stay connected by childhood memories, rites of passage

And a single drop of blood.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Visit

I met loneliness today.
He was wearing a powder blue uniform
and playing a trumpet
or maybe it was a violin

I wanted to introduce you to him.
But when I looked for you
I saw you were on the phone
smiling and laughing in your quiet way.

So we sat together outside
in old chairs weathered and worn
he seemed rather uncomfortable there
and smiled sadly as he asked me if he could smoke.

He played a melody for me
said it was something he composed
on a rainy afternoon in Buffalo
while chain smoking and drinking tea

When he finished he just sat and stared
I noticed how haggard and tired he looked
I asked him if he wanted to lie down and rest
he squeezed my knee and said, “no time.”

I suppose it’s hard doing what he does
moving from place to place
while keeping the rhythm steady
and the tempo in perfect harmony

Then he was gone
as fast as ice cream melts in the sun
I guess he didn’t want to miss his next gig
and staying in one place just isn’t his style.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For Carrie (1983-2008)

Today there are no words...
or at least the words have no meaning
they fall on deaf ears, empty prattle,
chaff that the wind blows away.

My friend's daughter was murdered two days ago...her bright and shining life stolen from her family and friends by a senseless act of violence...there are no words...

Monday, March 17, 2008

buried treasure

There must be a way to hold on to it...

it was there briefly, shining brightly

or at least I thought so

then it was gone,

covered by a ton of matter.

last Tuesday it was here

insubstantial and fragile

much like delicate butterfly wings

floating on a summer breeze

perched above me for a split second.

Then there was that time last year

when I sat perfectly still

like a lake with no ripples

hoping for it to find me

it passed by without even a glance

I tried digging in the mud

like hunting for buried treasure

scooping piles of dirt over my shoulder

finding only rocks and stones

and a rubber boot left there last spring

It’s not like I can’t live without it

but a small sliver of it would be nice

to hold in my hand

and wrap myself in at night

just to hear it whisper my name to the moon.