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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Holidays Alone

The holidays alone
are not so disheartening
now as they were in the days
immediately following
our divorce

Now they are a familiar meal
and I enjoy their buffet of
discomfiting soulless food

No the holidays alone
are not the thing that
bothers me anymore

Rather it is that
holidays are alone
the only time I
really remember the
loneliness I felt
the entire time we
were married


I was defeated
on the field of battle
in the war of life
and my enemy bade me
to lay down my shields
my armor and my weapons

In doing so I noticed
I was suddenly much
lighter and more
fleet of foot

It was a freedom
I had forgotten
the freedom of
the ability to run
through the
fields of life

In this way defeat
turned into victory
and I realized that
my enemy was in
reality the war
I was waging
with myself

Monday, November 11, 2013

Teach My Soul to Sing

Teach my soul to sing
O Lord
The praises of
Your blessed names

Cause my spirit to shine
O Lord
and bring light to
this world's darkened mien

Your presence in this life
O Lord
is as ineffable
as your existential mystery

Yet my faith and my hope
O Lord
are stronger than my
desire for prideful certainty

So teach my soul to sing
O Lord
that I may always
and anon remember

Your divine spark in this world
O Lord
is as a roaring flame
to its white hot ember

My Constant Beauty

Come to me
my constant beauty
my lover
and my friend

I cherish you
as one of god's
divine creations
and hold you
as my most
treasured wealth.

I will love you
as long as breathe
sustains me
and will leave you
with memories of
delights we shared

We are no longer innocents
no longer ignorant of life
and all of its troubled ways

We feel our days dripping
we hear our time ticking
we have tasted the bittersweet
nature of life and passing love

So come to me
my proof of god's favor
hold me now
and feel my love

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Between a Tear and a Smile

Life happens
in the gap
between a tear
and a smile

Love lives
in the space
between heart ache
and bliss

Ever changing
ever turning
always moving
from beginning
to the end

A mind can change
as quickly as the weather
or as slowly as the seasons

A heart can love
until the very moment
that it stops

In the ringing deafness
after the explosion
the wounded soldier
becomes aware of his
own mortality

In the silent nights
after voluble fights
the lover becomes
aware of his own
contributory faults

Life happens
in the space
between a tear
and a smile

Time stops
in the days
between lost love
and living again

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Morning wood
is not good wood
because it can't do
what good wood should

Lucky me
that at my age
I still can choose
which wood to play

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

When I Try

When I try to be profound
my words most often
have a tinny
hollow sound

When I try to be me
interestingly that is
not what others
seem to perceive

But when I try to just be
ah to just be
that is when I feel
closest to the me
that I believe myself
destined to be

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blessings for the Road

You are young
and you are married
now and your life is
ahead of you

Together you will
choose the roads
you want to travel
as a couple and
on your own

Life will swell
and dip
beneath your feet
as you move forward
in love and laughter

Sometimes the dips will
be so deep you will
feel a tickle in your belly
and you will be on the
edge of being afraid

Other times you will
rise so high it seems
the world is a pearl
far beneath you
as you both sail higher
on wings of love

This is my benediction
my fatherly hopeful prayer
to send you along your way

May all the roads
you follow lead you
to light happy places
and may life always
deliver you both
safely home
wearing bright
happy faces

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


In my aging years
I found myself alone,
lost in an unfamiliar place
and having wandered
much too far from home.

There, upon a curving and dangerous road,
somewhere in the state of my fifth decade,
my engine stalled and my will went cold.

The path behind me was littered
with burned bridges and broken promises.
The way forward seemed impossible
to determine in the gloaming of my life.

It was then I happened upon an old friend.
Or rather, I should say, he happened upon me.

We sat for a while and made small talk,
caught up on former wives and future weather,
learned about each other's lives,
laughed about my coat made of "pleather."

And then, just as darkness fell
and night was close around,
my old friend took my hand
and asked that we both kneel down.

Such a prayer of thanksgiving,
he prayed with earnestness and fear,
asking for guidance and direction,
protection for all we held dear.

When he finished, he looked me in the eyes,
told me not to worry, said God would hold
and cherish us both for the rest of our lives.

By then dawn was breaking, and the road ahead
suddenly appeared to light, and I awoke to realize
I had been dreaming, my friend long dead
was gone, and I, again alone, with tear filled eyes.

I understood, then, that what I had needed was perspective,
a way of moving forward while also looking back,
and the prayer he prayed was more than suasive,
it was my prayer of complete submission
coming from a place of complete and total lack.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Horse Latitudes

Gone are days of passion
anger and thrill

Now instead are
the Horse Latitudes of
mid-life and beyond

Medical crises
habitualized vices
and a somnolent
ennui that stretches
lonely days out
forever making
me to sleepwalk
through my life

In this quasi dream
state I have visions
of future grand children
and nightmares of
my eventual demise

This is the life
of the living dead
the dry boned
valley of the
shadow of death

Yet there is
also peace

There is also
the reaping
of oats sown
long ago

And time enough
yet to tarry with
my memories
and my satisfaction
over children
well raised

So I lift my
life sail hopefully
and trust that
a final wind will
catch me
as I languish
these days in
Horse Latitudes

Saturday, June 22, 2013


The poet's verse
is the poet's curse
in this brave new

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Feeling Zen

When I am
feeling Zen
I wash my dishes
so that I am
reminded of
the sacredness
in every
ordinary moment.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pecan Tree

I am like a pecan tree
and my poems are nuts

Some pecans are full of holes
bored by worms and other things
that hollow out the nut from inside

Other pecans are fully formed
beautifully shaped and
filled with goodness that
is a delight to the tongue
the soul and the body

Likewise some of my poems
are full of holes
drilled by worms of hate
anger self doubt and
fear of rejection

And others are actually
fit for human consumption
hopefully filled with
love emotion and
universal experience

Does the tree ever know
which nuts will grow
or which nuts are
deformed and unfit
for anything but compost

Does the tree even
know that it is nuts
that define what it is

I am a pecan tree
and my poems are nuts
and a tree is alas
known by its fruits

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Role Playing

I have been playing roles my whole life

The forgotten middle child
The obedient and needy son
The stable and reliable Pater Provider
The lover
The unfaithful lover
The rejected and cuckolded husband


Friend and sometimes
though not by choice

Late in life I come to the wisdom
that all these roles are not me
but only choices I have made

The choices have seared me
scarred me and given character
to my aging and graying face

Now the end of this journey
is real and growing closer every day

Now is the time for me to determine
and to learn who I really am

To cease being a minor player on this stage
and to live in the truth of this moment
with the authenticity of a poet's heart.

And this frightens me more than any
role I have ever learned to play