Posts for June 18, 2022



crystalline waters frown on me
coppered hair pulled back
lying on rocky plated sand
bullied ego growing flimsy
gripping onto unflattered folds
eyes burning with hatred covered
songs of new worship surrounding
i cannot find your love here
clinging to my discarded body
it will no longer serve you


Learning to Drive

Learning to drive is scary.

The harsh hum of the engine when 
you put your foot on the engine. 

The clutch has to go all the way 
down, now lift your foot slow-

You stalled the car. 
try again. 

Clutch all the way 
down, you roll
slowly lift your 
foot, down on the right pedal
first gear

You’re off. 

Speed up a little
aim for second gear
you’re going faster now and your
heart rate picks up
second gear. 

You’re only in a parking lot,
you’re okay now,
turn, up the hill now
third gear. 

Stop sign slow
down and back to 
first gear. 


Tennessee Drive

Near Rocky Top, the highway falls
down  the mountain through the wedge
the US Army Corps of Engineers drove into
the granite with blasting caps
and coal mines.
I met a man when I stopped there
walking by the river.
Said he made fruit wine.
Said he worked in the mines
for a year, then vowed no more.
His wife died two years past.
and now his daughters looked in on him.
He told me she had cancer
and how the doctors wouldn’t listen
when she was sick,
how she wanted to go home,
and not die in that place
where men in white coats 
looked right through her. 

He showed me her picture
and paused.

I said  she was beautiful.
We walked along the path below Norris Dam,
where the hummingbirds flew back and forth
from flower to flower on the river shore.



the time has come 
when i can say goodbye to you 


Chaos Town Party of Seven

1, 2…3…..4…..5
Is that everyone?
Wait to buckle
Shuffle through
Hazy morning 
Car rides

Lunches, Snacks
Tuba in the back
Theater, plays
Concerts, camps
A missing shoe
A found sock
Things that go bump
in the night

Leaks, breaks
Mowers, garage sales
Roll of the D20
Roll 1 kinda day
First dates, broken hearts
Scraped knees
Oxygen tanks
Hospital bands

Where is your cap?
You must have one?
Where is your medal?
You more than deserve one.
You do it all.
Without fail.
Thank yous
Aren’t enough
Our superhero
Our everything
To everyone.
My Love.
Thier Dad.



i pick up a mug in the store
& holding it in my hand
i can’t think of anything
but eating brunch
with you


Past Chattanooga

Past mimosa trees
Run-down trailer parks, needles
Keep faith in Jesus

You grew up. City
Boy who’s daddy was always
Catching fly balls home

Now your hands tremor
But you insist on driving
Us kids to the coast

Past truck stop havens
Mirages of flooded roads
And the “good old days”

Before your brother
Got that divorce, and the pack
Of ‘Bama fireworks

They’re selling fight dogs
And antiques and stolen rings
Pawn your momma’s love

It’s a child, not choice
The train-car graffiti says
“Die” and you listen

Guns guns guns. Exit 
Here. You steal words from billboards
Traveling southbound 


Bon Appétit

A late-night poem creeps into my mind

just before midnight arrives
and sprouts this tiny seed of an idea into
a hulking pumpkin ripe for picking from a thoughtful vine

Carvers’ stomachs growl and scoop out the sticky pulp–

words splatter from stringy sentences upon which readers feast.

Bon Appétit.


Invisible Ink

we all come through the void
from the hands of ancestors
who tilled earth
loaded guns bullet by bullet
pulled the trigger in good faith
that what they were doing
was the right thing to do
wether it be a sick man
or a dog needed to be put down
at the end of the cold barrel

I know my DNA is in
the rusted nails
of leaning barns
my grandfather built
soaked in the earth
on the farm where
I would sometimes lay
on the ground bleeding
from running through 
briars so I could feel 
some fresh hurt

it can be found under shingles
deminsional and three-tab
on the roofs of homes
across the country

or in Florida where
my mother walked
the forests doing work
that needed to be done

all of it is connected still
curled up tight around my spine
a history of violence and sweat
of hate and anger and failure
and though I wish I could
I can’t shake
whatever weight they carried
committing to things
that they did
believing the lie
that enough hard work
would force out
that noise
that threatened


View from a porch haiku

red pinwheel spinning 
silver wind chimes flash in sun
purple smoke tree haze