Category Archives: Poetry

this is a poem

this is a poem
not a test
believe me
you can’t fail
there is
no quiz
at the end
no subtext or
hidden meaning
to wrestle with
just this gift
of words
we share
between us

beyond mere words

don’t tell anybody
about this place
the woman said

but i can’t
resist the temptation
vision of paradise

heaven on earth
in her eyes
somewhere to rest

body mind spirit
safe haven beneath
clear blue skies

some secondhand thoughts

saving time from what?
what unspeakable evil
is it that besets time
that it needs rescuing so?

time-saving aids are
promised us
as lifelines to
a better life

but what if I should
prove unworthy
and time should
perish on my watch?

agent of change

perched on its crossbar of wood
the crow chokes on a vowel
waiting the same as every day
for a sight it never did see before
biding time till a new day breaks
while all the time growing weary
from nothing different to report
other than the somber croak it cries
mimicking the preacher’s call to repent.

some thoughts on waxing and waning lyrical like the moon

there is no poetry coursing through my veins
when I first stare at the blank page
the grip of inspiration yet to take a hold of me
and that time come when I should feel again
like a wolf ensnared in a steel trap for
instead at first I taste the familiar taste of failure
a tightening in my chest a shortness of breath
what if my mind becomes undone? what if
my words cease to punch above their weight?
such questions vex me like a gypsy curse sworn
under a blood red moon in an evil, hieratic tongue
but even so I will endure all this and worse by far
if, as now, the wordless ecstasies I enjoy by tracing
the concatenations of my unknowable soul with a pen
continue to outshine the agonies of my self-inflicted doubt.

a plea for peace for our time

continental drift creates a
consciousness shift whereby
nations are formed along
imaginary borders
the human species disperses
like an inverse implosion
all four corners scattered
with our common dna
but then out come the sums
of long embittered division
sourced from holy books
and localized religion
indecent wars of terror disturb
the sleep of the innocent
even though deep in the
hearts of the surviving dissidents
there still exists a belief
in the sacred contract
we have inherited as the
evolutionary heirs of
this most peaceful of planets.

A civilized debate about a painful topic

All initiation calls for a sacrifice
the bloodier and more brutal the better
the subincision of the penis or
the knocking out of the two front teeth
if survived, would guarantee one’s acceptance
as an adult worthy of the name. However,
in our modern world all past rituals of initiation
are condemned for we are a civilized people
(of perpetually arrested development left
all too often scarred later in life by an
unshakeable and childish sense of futility) thus
we reject the savagery of tribal ways, although
by doing so we as good as condone that
self-harm our youth inflict upon themselves
in the guise of drug overdose and degrading
sexual encounters, while somewhere
a middle ground exists ignorantly ignored.

gin and limelight

“love it, leave it and
love it some more…”
implores the torch-song
singer singing her song
of old world heartache
this siren of a faded bakelite age
her grip on the microphone
like she’s got a fistful of
her dirty lover’s spine
the band on their break
leave her to the spotlight
she so adores.

separated at rebirth

I’ve been crying out and searching for your ghost all these twenty-five years or more
along dead-end streets with changed names
and the outpouring of sorrow it did
elicit to remind others of your fate
has made me carry a pariah’s shame
every step of the way until now
because only now I feel the burden shared
and I know you’re here with me and that
we are never truly lost to each other
only ever separated at rebirth.


Happy Birthday, Peter.

Black River Falls Calling

a homily come late in the season
to edify the wavering in Spirit
is needed in this backwater town
there is a dust that sticks to the skin
just from walking around in the sun
a relentless sun that refuses to winter
I have heard the bells call wayward souls to muster
but never seen a single sinner saved
baptism in the river denied due to
lack of rain
I walk around some and collect more dust
before finding a sermon written in spider web
under the eaves of the bicycle repair/gun shop
which I’m unable to read for lack of prayer.