Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Imperfect Life

Stopped at a light on a cold day in fall
I think over my life, what brought me here.
It's now that I see that I lost it all
and my face is crossed by a single tear.

What happened to all that used to be me?
All I was, everything, has slipped away
like small ships in a sudden storm at sea
and I am alone on this autumn day.

I'd try to gather it all back again
but cold winds blow and the branches are bare.
I don't think there'll ever be a time when
there's another place called home and I'm there.

Now the light has changed - I can't stop for long
so I step down on the gas and move on.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Next Year

Next year...

we always say next year
year after year
until...

next year is here.

And now our lives are measured

in months

in weeks

in days

hour by hour

second by second

until that final moment
when our eyes fly open
shocked at all we didn't do

...next year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Radio

I like to have the radio on while I cook.

It is comforting, like the voice of an old friend whispering in my ear,
telling me a new joke or the latest gossip
while I stir the pot and taste the sauce.

It does not intrude -
The radio does not demand I look at it
or write a reply back.
It just keeps talking, humming a tune
that makes me listen while I read the recipe.

And when I sit and eat my meal
the radio fills the quiet
while I fill my mouth, unable to speak.

I thought I'd offer the radio a taste,
ask it if it wanted some of what I had made
but just then it started taking about a diet
and I knew what its answer would be.



Friday, October 26, 2012

The Whippoorwill's Call


Evening has really just now begun.
I hear the haunting calls of whippoorwills
boasting that they have found another one
as the setting sun slides behind the hills.

But there's still time to dream before the night.
The whippoorwill will call another time.
Before it takes off on its homeward flight,
there's time still to think of another rhyme.

When the whippoorwill finally calls me
I'll put down my paper and my pen.
I'll grab my hat, lock the door, leave the key
and answer the whippoorwill with amen.

Someday, I will follow the whippoorwill -
when my eyes are closed and my pen is still.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Message Status


i want to say u it's so nice to meet you
u are so nice, dear
What an absoultely HUGE day!

What can you accomplish in the next two years?
Committed relationship
What real men do

Be better than all men!

I hope for reciprocity

She who seeks adventure

(The above is composed entirely of subject lines from emails in my spam folder.  Each line, including the title, is an actual subject line from my inbox. This is what is called untreated "Found Poetry"):

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five Minutes

Why would five minutes do
when I want to spend forever with you?
Why would a passing glance satisfy me
when I want your face to be the last thing I see?

Why should I be satisfied with sips
when I want to drink deeply of your lips?
Why should I be happy with a simple touch
when my heart beats for you so very much?

I want forever, right here, right now,
and one day we will have that somehow.
But if a moment is now all I can get,
if a glimpse is all that time will let
me have of you...

then - for now - that will do.

Five minutes will have to do.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Flight

I sat and watched a butterfly
over the grass, among the blooms
and suddenly I wanted too to fly
over the fears, above the gloom.

Unlike him, I have no wings
just sunburn and rough skin
on my back; no gossamer things
that might lift and bring me in
to that world free of worries
where he delicately floats by.

In his lazy way he never hurries
he just wanders carelessly in the sky.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Summer Haiku

Wild Summer rains
beat hard on the window panes -
I won't let them in.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Girl

She moved with grace like Eve among the trees,
in her world without sin, without shame and guilt
before the serpent brought man to his knees
before the first altar had ever been built.

Her face was filled with the purest smile,
a radiant, rapturous sign of joy
without pretense, without thought, without guile -
only her innocence could call it coy.

She closed her eyes as the sun kissed her face
and spread her arms to welcome morning's rays.
She sighed as she felt the world's warm embrace,
seeing at last the folly of man's ways.

Oh, how did we ever come to believe
that there was sin in the nature of Eve?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Dark Side

There is, I agree, a dark side to me
that likes to come and talk and drink some tea.
We discuss life, love and futility.

He is a wicked whisperer of doubt
usually rushing to let it all out,
speaking at times with a passionate shout.

Then he grabs his hat and is on his way
and knowing he'll be back again some day
leaves me wondering what he didn't say.

What new surprises will he have in store
the next time he shows up at my door?
I'm not sure that I can take many more...

Being human, this is as it should be -
there is and will be a dark side to me.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Woods in Winter


When a gray cloud of confusion hovers
over the life that I have made for me
I know that a quiet calmness covers
the woods in winter where I long to be.

When my peace of mind's lost and not yet found
and my own company I cannot keep
that is when I know that I should be bound
to the woods in winter where the trees sleep.

When the crumpled paper's piled too high
then I'll push back from my desk and I'll go
to the most quiet place beneath the sky -
the woods in winter, covered deep in snow.

When it's peace and quiet I need to find
the woods in winter calm my troubled mind.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The King of the Land of Regret


I am the king of the land of regret.
I am the seer of all that might have been.
I am the empty promise, the bad debt.
I am the gambler that can never win.

I am the sad ghost of my ambition.
I am the shadow of what I should be.
I am the unrepentant contrition.
I am the painting you will never see.

I am the shriveled seed stored on a shelf.
I am the dream forgotten when waking.
I am the ego in search of a self.
I am the plan always in the making.

I am the telephone that never rings.
I am the letter that was never sent.
I am the song bird that no longer sings.
I am the rose without a pleasant scent.

I am the sum of all I was before.
Given that, shouldn't I be so much more?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The End


There's not anything that you need to say.
Like birds in autumn know they should fly south
I know that soon, maybe even this day
those tired old sad words will fly from your mouth.

It is funny how I could see the end
how I knew that this pretending was done.
Don't even think of calling me your friend -
that's like I'm just some random anyone.

Perhaps that's really all that I could be
after all so many parts of my life
were not ever really left up to me.
It's hard to love in a life full of strife.

So let's just turn away and say goodbye
and fool ourselves that it was a good try.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Night


Night came to me
robed in moonlight.
Shimmering, silvery, seductively,
she walked to me

...and by a finger she led me
with the promise of delight.

Night said to me,
 Do not listen to the dogs that bark!
 Be not afraid of the deadly dark!
 Stare into the stars that are my eyes!
 Feel the soft breezes that are my sighs!

She threw a wisp of mist about me
and pulled me after her.
I followed her willingly, cautiously,
curiously, warily, wondering where she was leading me
...but not really wanting to see.

Then her veil was pierced by a ray of light
and I saw there was nothing there
no face beneath her veil,
no arms within her mists.

I heard her laugh as she faded away
 Remember all that you heard me say!
 I'll be back at the end of day
 and though you'll resist with all your might
 you will surrender to the night!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I See


A world of ididots!  A world of fools!
A world of vainglorious capitalist tools!

A world of pain!  A world of hurt!
A world where everyone's rude and curt!

A world of sadness!  A world of sorrow!
A world where everyone fears tomorrow!

Is this the world in which I must now dwell?
Is this the world I have now made for me?
I begin to fear that I cannot tell
between the nightmare and reality.

A world of schemes!  A world of dreams!
A world where nothing is as it seems!

A world of angst!  A world of fear!
A world where the end is so very near!

A world of words!  A world of rhyme!
A world that's finally run out of time!

Am I now living in a private hell?
Did I really make all that I can see?
I'm just waiting here for the final bell
and when it rings then I will be set free!



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Reason


Let me make this perfectly crystal clear-
the sole and only reason I'm still here,
the main reason that my show isn't done...

I can't afford the bullets or the gun.

This is the only reason I can give
for each breath I take and each day I live.
If fate saw fit to give me half a choice
you wouldn't be listening to this voice.

Instead you'd be reading an empty page,
not another metered musing of rage.
There would be nothing here for you to see
if the ultimate choice were left to me.

But now it's time to stop this rhythmic whine
and go back to pretending life is fine.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Missing


There is no "You and I".
That crawled off long ago
and found a lonely place to die.

Instead there is a "You"
and then there is an "I"...
not together, but separate - not one, but two.

I imagine I should be sad
there should be some sense of loss
some emotion, some hurt, even just feeling bad...

But when I look deep in my heart
there is nothing there - it is empty, cold, and bare.

You can't miss that of which you were never a part.


video


Thursday, May 3, 2012

To Refudiate or Not To Refudiate...




I wrote this many months ago, but decided to post it now.


I normally don't make comments on political figures. My Dad taught me that a gentleman does not discuss his politics, his relationship to his God or the merits of a young lady in public. But when a modern political figure tries to cover a gaffe (Sarah Palin Refudiate tweet) by comparing themselves to William Shakespeare, I have to do something...

So I took the immortal bard's Sonnet Number 18:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

and changed a few things to ask the question if we should compare Sarah to William:

Shall I compare thee to Sarah Palin?
Thou art more liberal and eloquent;
Rough words do make plain her every failing,
And summer's tweets show her demented bent;
Sometimes too hot the lights of Fox news shine,
And often is her intellect questioned;
And every rant shows her so out of line,
Yet by her followers is unquestioned;
But thy eternal prose shall never fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall time deny all that you have made,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
Long after Sarah and I cease to be,
your words shall live on through eternity.

And with that I think I've said all I need to say...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tired

"How are you," she asked.

And the only thing I could think to say, the only thing that came to mind

... was that I am tired.


I am so tired.

I am tired of people asking me how I am
and never really wanting to know the answer,
the truth that hides behind every "fine" or "OK".

The simple truth that I am, really, tired.

Really, really tired.

I am tired of smiling through a day that is just another collection of pain.

I am tired of keeping to the bright side of the street.

I am tired of being strong, of being brave, of pretending again
that I am not just weeping while standing here pretending life is sweet.

I am tired.  So very, voluminously, vociferously, volcanically tired.

And the worst thing about being so tired is that I cannot sleep.
For if I close my eyes, if I try to get some rest,
if I slip into slumber and start to dream, a dream so deep,
I may miss a chance, The Chance that might be my best -

... to get what I need so that I can stop being tired.

And mostly I'm tired, so tired of ... of being me.

I am so tired I do not even know who I would be if I should stop being tired.

Everything about me is so warped, so wrecked, so wrong from being so tired for so long.

Would I even know me should I stop being tired?



"How are you," she said.

And I said I was fine.

I lied, because lying to people that don't want to hear the truth is easier.

It saves the explanations.

It stoppers the uncomfortable silences,
the pretending, the pitying, the posturing that people perform
when they really don't want to know.

I am so tired that I'll say what they expect to hear
instead of what I really should say, the real way
that I am.  How I really am. These conventions that we hold dear,
all the inane, insane, insincere, infantile intimations we say...

… really don’t mean a thing.  Nothing.

They are empty words -
OK.
Fine.

And I am still tired.

I’d curl up and lay my head down
and try to shut my eyes.
But I am so tired
I can't even find the ground when I fall down.


Friday, April 20, 2012

The Best of Me


I know I'm not the man I used to be,
but I think what's left is the best of me.
What you see here, standing right before you,
has been tested and tempered and found true.

Gone, the illusions of a wasted youth
replaced by an understanding that truth
is a malleable and living thing
that changes with every catch that chance brings.

I no longer tilt at every windmill
or try to cure the world of every ill.
Now I chose each battle and when I'll fight
for all those things my heart tells me are right.

No longer am I a wandering boy
turning over stones to try and find joy.
Now instead I am a confident man,
making his world the very best he can.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Name of Eve


I find it very hard to believe
that all this sin is the fault of Eve.
Plagues and pestilence and death and war -
should these really be laid at her door?


So when we lie and cheat and decieve
why is Eve the one that should recieve
the scorn and hate and all of the blame
for what is really our deepest shame?


Isn't it time that we moved beyond
all the hate that this fable has spawned?
Shouldn't we make an effort to relieve
the stain we've placed on the name of Eve?


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Moments


The moments between the minutes are the hardest.

Those silences between the seconds where the clock doesn't tick,

those are the times when doubt whispers to me.


Those thoughts that thwart my serenity

inhabit the instants between supposing and surety

that fill every random corner of my brain.


Doubt is always standing right behind me,

mumbling maledictions, murmurring madness that

serve to disquiet any moment of delight 

I might try to take from this life.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Cherry Blossoms



In the back yard there's an old cherry tree.
Its trunk is cracked and some branches withered
and when you look it is easy to see
every storm and winter it has weathered.


In years gone by it would fill with flowers,
bright white blossoms that weighed its branches down.
When the blooms fell from those leafy towers
they'd cover the ground like some young bride's gown.




But now the tree fights to wake from the cold,
each bud that blooms taking longer to grow.
Every spring not as fruitful or as bold
but still the tree tries to put on its show.


There's an old cherry tree in our back yard
that flowers even when its life is hard.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

That Which You Seek

No night has ever been so long
it was not followed by a dawn.
Never was darkness so complete
that the sun did not force retreat.

No winter ever dared to stay
to see the flowers bloom in May.
No flood has ever had the cheek
to wash the highest mountain's peak.

So whatever now may be wrong
accept it will not be for long.
What now tastes bitter will be sweet
and what's undone will be complete.

Even the lost can find their way
and find the path to end the day.
Do not let your resolve be weak!
and you will find that which you seek.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Spring Haiku

The cherry blossoms
as they fly through the warm air
are snowflakes for Spring

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life Among the Ruins



Is there any life among the ruins
green shoots amid the clutter and decay?
Is there anything now remaining in
the verdant fields where I used to play?



I remember when the sun shone so bright
on every warm and wondrous summer day.
Now there's not a single sunbeam in sight
just a rubbed out sky filled with clouds of gray.



The front porch where I'd sit and play my games
is littered with leaves like some lost bouquet.
The doors hang crookedly on twisted frames,
the wind shakes the walls as they twist and sway.



And who'd want to rebuild this wasted wreck?
Who would pick up the stones from where they lay?
Who could find any hope, even just a speck,
among the ruins, clutter and decay?


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Rewards of Age


In life it is inevitable
that we grow from child to wizened sage
and while youth may be enviable
the best things are those that show their age.

Worn shoes are the most comfortable.
The best wines are of a certain age.
Our old friends are the most affable
and good books improve with every page.

So enjoy your youth while you're able
and as you get older do not rage.
While the years are unavoidable
you're only old if you act your age.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cinderella



Cinderella, don't you run by so fast-
there are so many things that you will miss!
Grab hold of these moments and make them last,
slow down, don't run, and take in all of this.
I know that you have to be on your way
the magic is gone and the clock has rung.
All the stories I told to end your day
are now put away and that book is done.
But look around before you leave this dance
at all the wonder that's been given you 
for you will never get another chance
to be this young and see the world so new.
What you have run past, what you leave behind
your youth, your dreams, will be so hard to find.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Birds in Winter

The birds in winter
as they fly and softly sing
    (over the snow)
remind me of spring.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Old Coat



I still have the coat that you gave me
years ago, when we were very young
and everything we were going to be
was something that had yet to be done.


It's a bit worn, the fashion is old
but I wear it when a hard wind blows.
It keeps me warm when winter is cold
but that's why you gave it, I suppose.


I've other coats, some plain, some fancy
and this old coat's had a good long run.
But none seem to fit me as easy
so I just keep on wearing this one.


I'll wear it until my story's told
and when I've gone on to my repose
then it will be put away or sold
just another part of my old clothes.




Thursday, February 16, 2012

Driving Out To You


As the sun goes down tonight
in the last of this day’s light
know that I’ll be thinking, dear, of you.
When work is done today
then I’ll be on my way
to spend this night, my dear, with you.

I wish I weren’t so far
or had a faster car
I’d have more time to spend, my dear, with you.
But now I’m wasting time
by writing down this rhyme
when I should be driving home to you.

So when this day is done
and you see the setting sun
know that I’m driving out to you.
And when I’m finally there
you’ll see how much I care
and know that always I love you.

I know that there will be
a day for you and me
where I will be always holding you.
But ‘til that day is here
know that I love you dear
and that I’m always thinking of you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All That Remains

It's gone, I said.
Whatever was there is dead.
All that remains is a ghost
living in my head.

Every once in a while
it bangs and bumps and rattles it's cage.
Every once in a while
 I talk with it
  and tell it it's dead
   and living only in my head.

And sometimes it can't see
that it's dead and it's gone
to everyone but me.
And it rises and runs
and tries to sit in the driver's seat
but it can't find the keys.

It's gone, it's done, it's a ghost
living only in me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

108 When the sun goes down tonight


When the sun goes down tonight
And the day turns into cold dark night
That’s when I know everything will be alright
When you’re holding me in your arms tonight
That’s when I know that things will be alright.

You know it’s been a real hard day
You know I almost lost my way
But if you’d just hold on and let me stay
Then I think that I could find my way
If you’d just hold on and let me stay.

I thought our time was over and done
That it passed away like the setting sun
But I’ve realized now you’re the only one
That can hold me past the setting sun
And I know now you’re the only one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Faded Glory


Something that started as an idea months ago, based on my impressions of the life of Lindsay Lohan.  I often watch her travails and shake my head in wonder, trying to figure out where in the hell the young girl that starred in The Parent Trap went to.



Oh, when I was young
I played in the sun
and ran in the sea;
everyone was fascinated by me
I was what they wanted to be.


But time came along
and it played its song.
Now I'm what you see
just a shadow, a fading memory,
of a beauty that used to be.


It's not what I planned
yet still here I stand.
When they look at me
do you know what all of those people see?
They see only what used to be.


So now I’m a show
I prove what you know
So that all can see
And tell their children not to be like me
That such beauty is never free.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Sandpiper and The Sea


We sat on the sand, her watching the sea
and I was watching her hair in the breeze.
I love to watch her hair when it flows free,
like the waving leaves of some willow trees.

We heard the whispers of the wind and sea,
felt the coolness of the sand on our skin.
She turned to me, put her hand on my knee
and then rested her head beneath my chin.

She sighed and turned and then looked at me
and blushed so deeply when she saw my eyes.
"Tell me," she said, "what it is that you see
when you look at me like I am your prize."

I searched for an answer deep inside me
then lifted my eyes to look at the waves.
I saw my answer running by the sea
like so many small little feathered braves.


"I think." I said. "that you are to me
what I see running down by the sea.
Always following the waves and yet
so afraid of getting your feet wet.
Wanting forever to be so near
and yet always filled with so much fear
that you feel you must run and hide
whenever you see the rising tide."


She turned her head to look back at the sea
and said as a smile softly crossed her face,
"If that's what you see when you look at me
then I will always be sure of my place."

She turned from the sea to look back at me
her face painted red from the setting sun
"Sandpipers will forever chase the sea
and will do so until this world is done.

"And just as sandpipers run from the sea
I know I'll run when you want me to stay.
And I know that's how we will always be
with me chasing you as you pull away.

"But I'm sure that you will always chase me
when I turn to run from the rising tide.
Just like sandpipers always need the sea
I will always need to be at your side."


"That", I said, "is the way it should be,
with you always standing next to me.
From the very first day that we first met
I felt certain that our fate was set.
I've always known, it was always clear
that I always want you to be near.
Just like sandpipers follow the tide
I will always need you by my side."


We sat together still watching the sea,
the curls of her hair right beneath my face.
I felt her shiver and pulled her to me
forever certain that this was her place.

We watched the sun sliding beneath the sea
knowing that another day was now done.
"Come," I said, "let me show you what can be.
Day is over but the night is still young."

She stood with me, turned away from the sea,
then she smiled and started to run away.
I laughed, then chased her as she ran from me
telling her she won't get away this day.

I ran to her, catching her easily
and took from her lips a passionate kiss.
No one, save the sandpipers and the sea,
were near enough to see any of this.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year


There is a tradition in my family that what you do on New Year's Day sets the tone for the rest of the year. What you do today is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.

So, today I hope you are surrounded by those that love and appreciate you. I hope you laugh often and smile continuously. I hope you there is someone in your life that makes you feel better just by being around them. And I hope you consider yourself fortunate to be you and can find joy in your life.

Here's hoping you have a Happy New Year everyone!