Posts for June 4, 2022


Poetry’s Like

Haikus won’t hurt you or desert you,
Tanka won’t take you for granted.
Pantoum is patient, doesn’t mind repeating.
Villanelles bring guitars and rousing refrains,
Sestinas tell fantastic tales with tangents lasting for days–
Which six repeating words would you choose as your elegy?

Ode to new joy! Ode to budding poetry!
Ode to raging against the grey haze.
Ballads always stay til all rhythm wanes,
while Blank Verse maintains life is fleeting.
It’s true that once a ghazal spills it can’t be recanted,
and Pastorals lead to green pastures and a wide, reaching blue.

The Golden Shovel will dig, dig, dig into your bones;
Sonnets give your words a home.


Kenopsia or the Erieness of places left behind

As an adult I have returned to old classrooms,
childhood playhouses, and abandoned sanctuaries
where each echo of sound, in the emptiness,
recalls a memory to my senses–

We call them ghosts, the paranormal, when we feel the intensity of their presence—when we feel the hair on our arms rise and the goosebumps send a chill up our spine. 

These places remain unchanged, unhindered, and empty–
yet full —- they  are alive, but only speaking to us–
of all we experienced and all whom we have known–
love, loss, lessons. 
Some kindred spirits, others– deviants of another kind.

A tangible reminder of the erienss of places left behind. 




There’s something magic when

Everyone is dressed
In matching caps and gowns
And parades by in double lines,
Like some flock of navy birds.

There’s something about

The litany of names being called,
knowing that once they take this walk
up some stairs and across a stage,
That even though they’re someone’s
Baby boy
Beautiful girl,
In everyone else’s eyes, they’re now

It’s a privilege to see them take this

First step into adulthood every time.

I still remember my walk

26 years ago now, desperately
trying not to trip over my own feet
In front of what felt like
The entirety of my town.

They may go on to fame and fortune

Or to simple, quiet lives,
But like me, they’ll remember this
When they look back on their past.


A Holding Place

Venus hung above 
the scattered broken glass
glitter of the city

blazing bright
a shard kicked off
into the sky


Poetry at the Motel

I tried to drive slow enough
so that Poetry could keep up,
but it seems I sped right past
the fog hanging in the valley 
and the butterfly flexing its 
wings atop the fresh roadkill. 
I suppose Poetry found an old
roadside motel for the night,
one whose diner serves coffee
that steams just right and leaves
a perfect stain on the napkin
scribbled with notes on how
the cook wields his spatula. 


Hypothetical Old White Guy Steps Out, Part 2a

Dream flash:

I’m forty,

maybe forty five,

and I’m pumping.


I’m definitely pumping –

eighty pounds,

five speeds,

on a bike so heavy you gotta pedal downhill.

“Messenger,” they call it.

Me? I call it klunker.

In real life it’s a Schwinn.


Big baskets.

Klunker’s got big baskets.

My stuff

is in those baskets.

And I’m pedaling.


I’m also imagining.

I’m imagining I’m David Fulcher –

big Black guy,

used to play safety for the Bengals.

I’m imagining

while pedaling



that people are looking at me

and they’re saying,

“Look, Dude!

It’s David Fulcher!

On a Schwinn!”


Only older…


and shorter…


and white.


“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a…” little Black kid

who sprints into the street,

hops a-straddle of the klunker’s rear rack,

sings “Ya da yad ya da yah da, yada yada yah dah”

in a melody I know I know from somewhere,

and then –

in what passes for old lady falsetto on a nine year old boy –

he shouts in my ear for the whole world to hear,

“And your little dog, too, white man!”


Before I can think of anything to say,

the kid hops off and runs away.



vibrant synthesis 
silent technicolor dream
until the morning


Tribute to an Old Friend

Your light was far too short

But shined ever so brightly

Your loving concern for others

Was so very apparent

Your daring love of adventure

Was to the core inherent

This world lost a shining star

While Heaven gained an asset

Play for the Angels your guitar

Tell your tales of life on Earth

While those left with sweet remorse

Remember your life truly and fondly

For a man that was pure of heart

And lived his life dedicated and fully.



I don’t want

to be an island

in the middle

of an ocean,




I want to be

a tree

in the middle

of a forest,

roots linking

for miles

and miles,

drawing strength



from each other.


The Death of a Distant Sound

The pearl flowers are blooming and                           I’m nowhere to be seen
Tasting the shadows peering through the trees      Where I keep the death of a distant sound
The color of moonlit catastrophe                               That was fated to happen
I forgot the sound of violas                                          Like blooming buds eating at the dawn
Singing the trumpets of war reminding me that    I held you as flowers on a first date
You fit so neatly in my garden coffin fate             That eat at us like worms on laughing bones
Longer than the school day,                                       shouting At this dizzying dawn
We are dying                                                                 Wishing for the sound of soft rain
Tonight on a child’s garden path                              Fitting on its steps like wine in a solo cup
Haunted by the death of a distant sound                Staining smiles like yesterday morning