Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Thoughts and Prayers

Ya, that will do it, thoughts and prayers. Prayers from those that are religious and thoughts from those that aren’t. I hear both after any catastrophic event. Those that will just think about the dead and their relatives and those that will just talk about the dead and their relatives with a make-believe fairy or elf or omnipresent mystical being. Yep, that really has been working for us. Thinking about it and talking to ourselves earnestly, making everyone believe that we are thinking and talking to ourselves really, really hard.

Love that phrase “Thoughts and Prayers”. That pretty much covers it, we don’t have to do much of anything else after we say either one of those. We are pretty much covered under the etiquette of Anglo-sexton social mandates. That covers us real well, thinking and talkin’ to ourselves until the next catastrophic event happens.

I’m an agnostic so I only say “Thoughts”, I prefer just thinking about what happened and who it happened to. I have family and friends that prefer “Prayers” to their silent god.

It doesn’t matter which we do, one gets as much done to prevent it from happening again as the other. The Congress, Supreme Court and even the President have been great about spewing out the “Thoughts and Prayers” to the dead and their families the last 20 years or so.

We seem to have a lot of “Thoughts and Prayers” happening out there, and seems we just don’t have much “Doing” going on. It’s the “Doing” that is hard for us.

I think that’s why we Americans like foreign wars. We find it natural and easy trying to keep assault weapons out of the hands of the foreign enemy in, (pick any mid-eastern country) but find it impossible how to keep assault weapons out of the hands of the enemy right here in the “good Ol’ U. S. of A”.

Maybe we should do a little more “Thoughts and Prayers” for the fighting overseas in the Mid East. It would be a whole hell of a lot cheaper and would work just as well as it has been working right here at home.

Thoughts and Prayers, how’s that workin’ for us??

(Next time I post this, I may throw in more “Moments of Silence”. Ya, Moments of Silence, we have had years of silence.)



I am thinking of the bird’s nest built on the spring season wreath that was hanging on my front porch at home this summer. I thought the eggs would surely be hatched by the time I returned. Perhaps then the young birds, mouth wide open, would still be begging a meal from mother robin and stealing a bug or two from their nest mates. Or maybe if I was long coming  home, they would have flown the nest, placing their trust in the thin air as I am today traveling far from my home.

It is always sunny here on top, above the clouds. As the wisps of mist turn to thin clean air, we break into a hidden world above the cloudy day. Towering columns reach high but try as they may they still are beneath us. Our earth thousands of feet below is now only white vapor and rain and clouds covered by sunshine.

One hundred and five minutes, that’s how long it will take to travel what would take my four-wheeled conveyance eleven and a half hours. I’m traveling seven times faster but there is no breeze to my face or rumble at my feet. And as far as I know, no one on my bumper, to the left or right of my lane or rambling too slow ahead of us. How can others sleep while I am wide-eyed. I have traveled 12700 miles by air this year so far. I have never kept track of the miles in earlier years. Tell me, how many miles does it take until a guy is able to read a newspaper, play a computer game or sleep while being 35000 feet in the air and traveling 535 miles an hour? How many miles until you are deadened to the marvel of it all? Keep the orange juice, forget the pretzels or peanuts, don’t bother me, I’m looking out the window and wishing I was up front.

Nothing better than being on the way home. Check your bags, who cares if you’ll never see them again. No reason to drag your dirty laundry with you in the tightly packed, neatly tagged and tiny wheeled canvas Samsonite. Sure, keep the computer and camera but pack the little black bag so you are traveling lightly. You need at least one hand to drink the Tim Hortons or Starbucks. Worry about balancing the coffee and watching the scenery, not balancing two bags and keeping sight of your replaceable possessions. Don’t waste your time and energy protecting your “stuff”. You are miles from home and seeing things that you may never have the chance to see again, even if it is just a pretty girl or a set of 4-year-old twins each carrying a complete boxed set of Matchbox cars that Dad gave them on his way to war.


* From 4 years ago.

fading pencil

Posted: September 16, 2017 in poem, poet, poetry, writing
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Some leave with their words kept safely in tightly bound books
with slick covers and pictures of black and white pensive faces
Books that might be bought, autographed and read or perhaps not.
And some poets die with their words only kept on yellow legal tablets stacked in metal file drawers
only as dreams written by fading pencil lead or blotted ink,
written but waiting to be found.
Some die and are remembered
Some die and are discovered
We seldom meet poets or seek them out,
Only after we hear their well-worded tributes
by well-meaning newspaper obituary writers
and read a few beautiful verses of their perhaps long forgotten work
that is vaguely familiar but remembered
do we say, “damn, he lived among us, did we notice”?
How fortunate we have been to have heard the voices of Frost, Sandburg, cummings, Kerouac, Angelou and Ashbery,
Poems and their poets, like music, are meant to be heard.


We drove into the rain last night
followed skies lit by lightning strikes distant miles away.
We were sprayed by rain raised from the lanes of giant trucks
with bright red and yellow tail light eyes
that streaked across our faces in time with our windshield’s electric rhythm and beat.
And we reminisced of other stormy nights
and recalled long forgotten birthdays and road trips
that may have also been our best of better days.


Throwing Pearls

Posted: August 31, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing

Listening to voices of my favorites
crying the words
Baby, baby, baby
scratchin’ the words
Lordy, lordy
my dear Janis
You gave us the secrets of your soul
and it is embedded in me.
You gave us a piece of your heart
and it beats still within me.
The Monterey Ball and Chain
we watched Mama say Wow!
We went to the Moon
and in August forgot to go home.





I zoomed past the first day of summer in June, then in August the greatest solar eclipse to cross the United States in almost a century  and now in a few more weeks we will be entering September and the Autumn equinox. Time flies sometimes when you are not paying attention. I should say being preoccupied with other phenomenon of the social kind.

Oh, I noticed those physical events. I paused shortly and admired the Sun on the morning of the longest day. I went along with the rest of the family and sported cardboard glasses with the ISO approved lenses and watched the sun, moon and earth alignment that caused the street lights to come on precisely at 01:08 PM on that Monday afternoon. I just wasn’t connected with the Universe as securely as I usually have been in the past.

That Universal gravity, that invisible presence of compassion that we’ve been told was filling the vacuum of the vast misunderstood black emptiness, we call the Universe, just hasn’t been there this year. Everything has seemed to be commonly earthly. I’ve felt this way since the season turned on our shortest day of December’s winter solstice. I became noticeably disturbed by it on our March equinox.

All these wonderful astronomical phenomenon marking our days and I’m unattached, absent and disengaged with them. Since November I’ve been surrounded and living under a hateful absence of compassion. Just as sure as the wrongs and disheartening of Arthur spoiled Camelot, surely this emptiness, this vacuum so close to our homes, will fill our country with the bile of this ignorant man’s hate. When have we, our country, ever been led by this kind of influence? Surely not in the past 60 odd years of my life. Oh, there has been hate in my lifetime but not from the leader of my country.

Whether it will be the denying of climate change or the postponement of scientific exploration here at home and literally of our Universe out there in that real dark vastness, the absence of our leader’s compassion will affect our world. Hate, bigotry and scientific denial has that effect. Perhaps more now than at any other time of our country’s last 100 years we are being threatened by an asteroid, an asteroid of hate. How will we dodge it?

Such is the life of John

Better Angels

Posted: August 14, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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Again we are told Where.
The invisible where.
Searching for the mystic chords of memory
we were told binds us to the graves
of the brave, young and the innocent.
These thin chords made only of the light strings
of loud sounds and trailing smoke.
So easily absorbed, so quickly dispersed among the mist.
Chords so soon broken and forgotten.
Nothing done.
And still not touched
by the better angels of our nature.


  • Italics – Phrases by Abe Lincoln from 150 years ago

Butternut Hill

Posted: August 11, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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I’m going to go there again some day
It has been many years
when I walked arm and arm with my sisters
and sang crazy rock and roll songs
And laughed how the new tune could be sang
using the name of our Butternut Hill.

Our Butternut Hill,
So well known for bad brakes
pumping our bicycles up the slope
slowing down all of the way.
spinning a tire on the loose gravel
reaching , reaching for the top.

Known for its bread trucks and
bottled milk men
That slid backwards on the ice
past the stop sign
across Highway 2
and into the ditch below.

Butternut Hill
Why do I remember it still
Just a steep grade on a short block
and now so much easier to climb.
Downhill north, uphill south
Where I learned to reach.



Ninety Minutes

Posted: August 4, 2017 in free verse, poem, poet, poetry, writing
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One hour and thirty minutes
I will be late if not there in
One hour and thirty minutes
But I am in no hurry to burn the time
between now and then
Children are born in that length of time
from no breath and not breathing
to first gasp and first cry.

In that length of time I can sit peacefully
and ride miles high from Chicago to Kansas City
breathing only filtered air
and with window shades pulled
never feel or see a motion
other than a bump from a pocket of air
or a staggering walk to the lavatory.
In that length of time.

I am in no hurry to burn the time
Those ninety invisible minutes
Minutes I must use to wash my body and hair
and shave my creasing face.
For crying out loud..
Husbands and wives are married
in that length of time
in those same damn fleeting minutes
And here I am spending it taking a shower

Important things happen in that relative
but accurate to the second length of time
So I will serve up my own importance
between the now and then
this ninety minutes of life
I may seem late on the time of others
but I won’t be late on mine.
Those spent ninety minutes of time.


(This is an old one from a few years ago. Back when I looked at time a little differently but not much. Sorry for the re-blog, but I really am working on something new. I think it will be worth your time. )


My head turns to thoughts of the Moon
The Full, the Crescent, the New
I think of the Moon’s oblong Tide that rolls across our planet
Not stopping at the ocean’s edge but continuing across plains, mountains and Man.
Tugging on water, granite and skull as it makes its way around Earth captured paths.
Raising and lowering
Stretching and shrinking
Day in and day out
Performing a constant celestial massage on all things of this world.
Forming and changing shores, mountains and minds.
Bringing spring tides or slack waters