POEM: Traveling Companion

On mountain trails, the sound of running water
— burbling or rushing —
is a stalwart companion.

Even the rushing water, rushes lazily,
having surrendered to gravity.

Stagnation requiring an act of might —
a Herculean struggle against the flow —
that no drop can muster.

Should an unfortunate splash
spray a drop into a rocky pool,
even then,
time will insist it give itself to condensation.

All paths lead to the sea,
but no two paths are the same.

POEM: Momentary Stillness

My mind ‘s a leaf swept on mud brown waters.
Calm water, swift water, running to the sea.
Twisting, sliding, nudged, bumped, and hung up.
Dipping, gliding, but with nowhere to be.

 

Then I’m ejected at the river bend.
Is this death, or stillness, I cannot tell?
It’s a timeless place of infinite space,
Until, ‘long comes the lap of a swell,

and the world moves once more.

POEM: Burning Man

Pile my sins up over that fire,
and singe the sins you find most soft.
Though I’ll not hop upon your pyre,
but sin the sin I sinned most oft.


Burn me like an old, wooden toy,
but I’ll spark to ignite your cuff.
For I’m no less the mischievous boy
then before my first skin sloughed.


And when your fire fades to embers,
glowing amid the cold, gray dust,
I hope you’re able to remember
what made your little fire combust.


T’was not me who engaged the flame,
for mine isn’t a dry kind of shame.

POEM: Unfortunate Resting Place

Spanish moss drapes the live oaks,
nightly fog creeps from the sea,
ghosting graves of ancient folk.
The fateful dead, who speak to me:

“We didn’t choose this place to rest our bones.
“Were we free, you’d elsewhere find our stones.
“Visit us, you must, in this eerie home,
“Just please don’t leave us here alone.”

POEM: Lonesome Road


I’ll not sing down that lonesome road.
Who knows what haunts the ditch down there.
So, I’ll walk down the middle line,
listening through still ringing ears.

Should the moon fail to light the road
in milky glow of distant rays,
I’ll wish myself invisible,
but not sing down that lonesome road.

POEM: Falling

Oh, I can feel the force of your allure.
It tugs my chest, and I am leaning fore.
Have you bent space and time to your contour?
For I fall into you, not down to the floor.

 

But feet, they fail, anchored in place by nerves,
so I cannot escape toward your force.
Tumbling to a place past knowledge can’t serve,
and time, it fails to flow or rejects course.

 

Drifting in this dark and humorless void.
Can I salvage this perilous tumble?
Or cruise space like an aimless asteroid
by lack of grace being ever humbled?

 

As I regain footing and state of mind,
I find that we’ve become somehow entwined.

POEM: Animal Observations

 sitting on a stone

-grassless

-hopless

and you call yourself a grasshopper!

 

I know I shouldn’t, but I anthropomorphize.

I can’t see this orangutan without hearing the words,

“Ya borin’ me!”

play in my mind

 

parents lunged to cover impressionable eyes,

but someday they will be adults

who wonder about the mechanics

of how baby giraffes get made

 

Dear Flamingos,

Stop hiding your heads.

It freaks out the tourists,

making them think there is a pile of heads in some other corner of the Zoo.

POEM: Neighborhood Rhythm

Hear the “schwoop-CLACK-schwoop-CLACK” of an automated loom playing in steady, relentless repetition. It’s an iron machine, but listen to those wooden parts clap against each other, the hardwood timbre. Note the metallic jingle, a subtle accompaniment. Strings, stretched out like the innards of a piano, ironically, remain silent as the tune plays around them.

 

Walking, one picks up the rhythm from one building to the next, wondering whether the machines are in synch, or if your mind deceives you that they play one tune.

 

All else, the horns and hollers, sing in discord.

POEM: Crossing


Walking into the river,
sliding chin deep in the waters,
pulled, thrashing, toward the channel,
riding the rim of an undertow –
like astronauts slingshot around the moon.

Fond memories invade my mind,
steeling me for a dire fate,
but I’m ejected at the bend.
Clawing mud and gnarly roots,
I come out on the other side.