Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where the Rainbow Ends

We begin this journey of life
Down a road we do not yet know.
We see the blossoms of the moment,
Costumed in dancing colors
That entices us like the bees,
To their perfumed petal traps
And we lust to gain their beauty,
 To glisten like the rose after a rain.

We watch the sun rise upon the distance city,
Turning the towers of glass to gold,
Shimmering like a river of riches
And our eyes serve us our breakfast of wants
Sprinkled with the sweet sugar of excess.
We glutton for the fat of the land.
Our stressed heart beats faster
As the grasp of our hands
Fills our veins with the empty
Calories of success.

We ignore the storms of warning
That dare darken our skies and the path
To our ever bigger car and grander house.
We fill our rooms with non-necessities
To gorge our obese egos
And we ignore the dust specks of reality
That swirl about the air to settle
Lightly upon our treasures
As if in echo of some ancient tome.
Not Home Sweet Home,
But ashes to ashes and
Dust to dust.

We do not see the light for the shimmer.
Our eyes are always to the rainbow,
An illusion of sun and water,
A trick of diffusion
And a lure to delusion.
We cannot own the colors,
But can we the Pot of Gold at its end?
But where the rainbow ends
Lies the mire of despair and truth.
When we reach the distance touchdown point
The rainbow fades away
With all we ever gathered
And we are left naked before the eyes of God.

June 2012

Photograph by Ronald W. Tipton, December 21, 2012, used by permission.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013



Who dat
Tap his cane
‘Gainst me doorstop
Stay aback, alack, alack.

Who dat
Dims my eyes
Eve’ to sunshine
Stay thy hand, oh man, oh man!

Who dat
Shadows me
With scythe and clock
Hold a spell, o hell, o hell!

Put up
Or shut up.
I will not go
Into the hand of death this day.

My heart
Will struggle
To its last beat
Before I go, oh no, oh no!

May 2012

All Souls


Moonglow on the tombs shown.
Stones like white blooms
On the slope of last years souls.

Beneath the ground not a sound,
No moan of protest
From the bones of last years souls

In the cities and the county
Walk the dying and the dead,
A bumper crop of next year’s souls.

May 2012

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Full Barns


There is dust across the fields tonight.
The moon shines upon a forgotten plow.
Tomorrow in the dawn nothing changes.
The furrows remain unseeded, unattended.
The crop brought a banner yield at harvest
And the farmer took his rest.

He tore the old ones down and built anew.
Big sturdy silos and heavy wooded stalls
To hold all the grain and produce
Through the year and seasons to come.
He planned a banquet every day
And drank wine the very best.

He worked the summer long in the heat and dry,
Plowing in the spring and weeding through
Until the corn grew tall, the apples sweet,
For the cool crisp autumn harvest where
He took in his bounty of the labor.
And tore the old ones down and built anew.
“I’ll grow fat now”, was his jest.

So he filled the cribs to the breaking point,
He stacked the fruit up to the ceiling
And scattered wheat across the threshing floor.
“I’ll live a life of ease and merriment,”
And with that cry he challenged God.

Now these wait full for the burrower and thief,
Fine food to feed the pests.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

What Charlie Said


I’m sitting here waiting
For that damn bug to climb down the wall.
And that’s what’s bugging me.
The blasted thing has six legs
You’d think it’d move faster.

All we got is this field of white.
That’s what we artistes do.
Or should that be artisti do,
Stare at white and blink sometimes
And wait on the freakin’ bug.

It don’t take a big vocabulary to write;
Hemingway proved that.
Maybe it do or don’t take genius.
What it takes is one hard ass
While you hope the bug’s photogenic.

Photograph is of Charles Bukowski

Unsunny Sunday


It’s a miserable day.
Perfect for a walk.
Nothing takes away the memory
Of misery
Than a miserable stalk
Down a rainy trail

It’s a miserable morn,
Drear and cold damp.
I’ll let the wind and drizzle
Wash my tears
Down the wrinkled ramp
Of my aging face.

It’s a miserable path.
Wet and gritty.
Can you imagine a better clime
To write rhyme
bemoaning self pity
From my groaning soul?

It’s an misnomered day.
Sunday afternoon
Washing down the gutter of my psyche
And cluttering
Like litter and doom
The drainpipe of my life.

Broken Child


Are all writers broken children?
What drove us to speak, to talk, to shout and scream
With our mouths closed and lips unmoved;
Ventriloquist to our characters?

We face a blank page as if it a mirror darkly
Might reflect unseeable images of our inner self
Or is it someone else?
Or the souls of persons nonexistent?
Do we tell of the life we lead or the life we wished?
We pour out some hidden world, secrets of our psyche.
Is it mere imagination or the deeper truths of human nature.
Are we imbued with insight and perceptitive minds
Or because we are but broken children
Is it just retaliation?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Poems of Age


She lay like old laundry in a dark room.
Tossed and unfolded upon the nearest rest,
Soaked with the pain and depths of gloom,
Throbbing colors and flashing lights.
Her head bloody split from fore to aft.
Her life all drained and seeped away.
“Don’t bother with the empty skin,
Just let me die, just let me lie.”

They roll on waves without warning,
Tsunamis, crushing currents, these migraines,
Which are assassins of the lowest form
Whose knives tear and stab and maim.
All her willingness to exist at all
Has left her useless, limp and drained.
“I cannot reach you with my love,
I’ve tried, I'm tired and I’ve strained.”

Photo by the author.

My Lot

I played in this lot when it was still wild
Next to our cornfield where all the autos stop,
Lined in even rows, a growing bumper crop,
High as my head, you couldn’t see over top.

We got lost in the maze crossing over time
With the herds in the Loft and Pottery Barn,
Behind the back forty and now the front nine
Where we planted in spring and harvested the fall.

We drove our tractors here before the backhoes
Tore through the fences and built another mall
And paved in this lot where I was a child.

Photo by the author

Beginning of Summer

The onslaught of summer brings winter fore.
Do I think self follows some calendar?
My roses bloom in May and my hair grays
In October with the changing of leaf?

A birthday falls as my beginning year
When the summer solstice is on its turn.
When I feel the heat of sun upon skin
I also feel age give my bones new grief.

My June does not mark a new season start,
But checks off another year from my heart.
And by my count my summer’s long been done
And the winter of my life just begun.

When we see temperatures rise to hot
And talk of lazy, laid-back days of summer;
I shiver in the chill of my winter
Counting off the Junes before I slumber.

Photo: Self-portrait – Alapocas Run State Park, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank You For the Trip

We come down paths; we walk up trails.
We meet on the way fellow travelers
To our special places.
But all roads end somewhere. Do we
Have quite enough words for goodbye?
We do, just not the spaces.

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gave a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. It has come to the end of that journey and this is my thank you to him for the trip.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


What an ugly thing.

This? It is but a little string.
It can’t harm you.

Avert your eyes
And before you realize
The little strings become the net
You cannot escape.

Each week on Sunday the Monkey Man gives a challenge to write a poem in only 160 characters. Like writing a tweet – it takes some doing to convey thought in so few words. Come join the fun! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011



Grrroom, grrrooom goes some Harley down the street.
Never had a motor; had a playing card in the spokes,
And that sounded neat, like a put-put-put,
And had a siren, oh it was loud and illegal
But my grandfather found it, bought it, got it
And it was a police bike siren from the 1800s.
Recycled on a Schwinn and it really did squeal.

But that was long ago, back in my childhood.
How the years cycle by like flip cards
In a peepshow nickelodeon.
I can see us as scrawny little urchins
Plopping coins saved from gathering pop bottles
Off the street to recycle at the grocers,
Buying us some creamsicles and fudge pops
Out of a cooler inside an Atlantic gas station.
Or was it Esso then?

A lot of things are gone that’ll never cycle back.
Sinatra sang of cycles
But ol’ Blue Eyes is a long time dead.
The seasons come and seasons go
And we watch the bloom and blossom
And the frosting on the pumpkin
And the falling leaf and snow,
The ever churning changes of the
Same old same old cycles.

Life is like a washer, so much on automatic.
We’re awash in wishes
As we spin our way through time,
Then a rattle and a clatter,
Our cycle out of balance,
Reminds us that our dreams
Have changed from grandiose
To mundane
And now we only recycle memories.

Posting her for The Gooseberry Poetry Picnic Week 13, Childhood Dreams.

Mirror Image


A woman passed some mirrored glass
And paused to see her image there,
The face was fair
That stared back at her.
And her hair,
Her hair was dark and luxurious.
She patted it and smiled a bit.

A woman stood ‘fore mirrored glass,
And saw an image standing there.
It was not fat,
But slim waist and sleek
Her body,
Her figure was full and curvaceous.
She turned to have a look at it.

A woman gazed in mirrored glass,
Much taken with the image there
That must be her.
Whom else would she see?
Her legs
Her limbs, oh how long and muscular
She flexed a calf and felt so fit.

But the clouds shifted in the sky
And the sun shined upon the glass
And it was only
Windowpane she saw,
No more.
The image of the woman not there
If there’d ever been one at all.

As It Is Today


I could speak of the cosmos,
The destinations of God.

But that thing is broken
And that one not running well.

The wallet on my dresser
Is like a brown and fat Thanksgiving bird,
Stuffed full with crumbs of plastic
And varied business cards,
With very little nourishment
For the bellies of our lives.
What we can call empty calories
In the parlance of the times.
Its appearance may look heavy,
But in subsistence it is lean.

I cannot fix the broken thing,
What if the other fails?

There is a foundation
Long poured and set in stone.
We cannot change the footings,
We can only trim the home.

I leave what went before
To the history it is made of
And hope the present situation
Doesn’t shake my destinies with God.