Blue Moon

After sending her 2.3 children to play
with the neighbors down the street, the
housewife, in her new, crisp, pink pastel
dress, serves her husband ice tea on a
sunny, suburban, Sunday afternoon.

When yellow foam mixed with blood
ejects from his mouth, wetting his
gray trousers, and he falls from his
lawn chair in agony gasping for air,
she kneels beside him, grass staining
her new dress and asks him if his tea
is as spicy as his new secretary.

As her husband dies on the freshly mown
lawn, she calls her mother, to pick
up the children and then calls the police.
The children of course, will not
understand, for they are to young
to know that the blue moon, is not blue.

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A Tip O’ The Hat

Madman on the street, recounting
His days with the queen.
“She was just a wee lass ye know.
Won’t ye give us a kiss on the cheek?”

“The dogs, they howl so mournfully
In the garden, for they have
but a scrap to eat.”

Chewing at his fingernail, he bends
His head to the cobblestones.
Music wafts from the pub,
The tune of his life.

“Oh, I do remember the time
She said, ‘Barnaby,’ ‘Barnaby
She said, won’t ye come in here
And talk wit me? Won’t ye now?’”

“An’ I said, Aye, I will. An’ she
gave me sweets ta eat,
an’ life was good.
She gave me sweets.”

And he went about his way,
a tip of the hat to some and
to others he paid no mind.

I Will See You In My Dreams

My days are longer now,
because you’re not there.

They are lonelier now,
without you to talk to.

My hands are more idle,
without yours to hold.

My thoughts have less meaning,
without you to tell them to.

I have no direction now,
without you to come home to.

But I will see you again.
I will see you in my dreams.

There we will laugh,
and dance, and love.

There we will hold hands.
There, we will be together.

I will go on,
I will make life worth living.

But it will not be the same.
Not without you.

And I will see you again.
I will see you in my dreams.

I Am

I am the son of a man
with calloused hands,
who had dirt and grease
permanently pressed
into the lines of
his knuckles.

I am the son of a women
who worked hard all
her life, raising me
and my brother. She
worked a switchboard
and helped college
students find their way.

I am the father of
of three great kids
who I helped find
their way.

I am many things
but these, I am
most proud of.

Watching Life

I cut my finger on the
dulled and stained
edge on the blade of my
pocket knife.
The blood runs quickly,
bright red as gravity
pulls it to the white sheet
of paper that lies on the
table, dark, almost black
as it is absorbed into
the carpet beneath my feet.

Thickly flowing from my
finger, I stand mesmerized
as drops splatter on my shoe,
the carpet, and the kitchen
floor as I finally move to
the sink to let the blood
drops mix with water on
the bottom of the sink fresh
from the tap that I ran
moments before cutting myself.

The blood joins water droplets
and begins to flow toward
the drain mimicking a river
who’s water finds the easiest
path. I stand and watch as
my life seeps out through
the hole I created at the end
of my finger. Platelets rush
through my blood stream and
work to stop the flow, keep
the life inside.

And I do nothing but watch.

Today

Today
the day
THE day
like any other, you suppose.
It should be memorable
it should be…

You stand in line at
the grocery store
waiting.

In front of you, a person
whose card won’t work.
The manager is called.
Behind you, impatient people.

Your car had ice
on the windows.
You scraped until your fingers
were frozen, and waited
in the house thinking,
someone could steal my car
running in the driveway.

The store was warm,
fogging your glasses.
Someone said hello.

The beat of your heart
in your temple as you
wonder if your card will work
as you watch the
frustration of those
in line,

with you,

My Dog, Insomnia

A large orange moon hangs
above the horizon,
like nothing else does.
At 1 o’clock in the morning
I walk my dog, insomnia.

Thoughts swirl, ebb and flow
as if my mind is a
great ocean and I
on a small raft, float
upon the surface
at it’s discretion.

My dog sees something
behind us and as I turn
I see a cat following.
Dead cat walking, I think,
if it gets too close.

Geese on the water make
small disturbed noises
as we move along the path.
No people walking at this hour,
only the occasional car.

The ocean’s depths are
filled with thoughts,
memories.
I can’t remember where
I put my keys but a hot
summer day when I was
six years old fills me
me with nostalgia.

Ghosts of memory jitter
and jump like little maniacs
in a bouncy castle and I,
at 2 o’clock in the morning
write these words.

On this first day of
September the air is cool,
summer having gone
without my noticing.

Changes have come, fast
and furious like a
high speed train, each
car bringing a life changing
event. I’m getting left behind.

So I walk my dog, Insomnia.
She sniffs everything,
enjoying this new experience
in the dark while I
stumble behind her, wondering
what the hell I’m doing here.

The Uninvited Guest

black-and-white-evil
She coughs.
Five minutes, ten.
Twenty minutes, an hour
she coughs. The body knows,
and rejects. She’s tired
and sore. And she coughs.

Cancer is like an
uninvited dinner guest.
Brought by an uncle,
this guest gets drunk
off your wine
and won’t leave.

He sits across the table
with a sneer on his lips.
Sometimes quiet and brooding
sometimes yelling and
breaking glasses.

We have a new vernacular
in our house.
A new way of thinking.
Like how bringing home
a baby changes your
life overnight.
Except this baby is dark,
with sharp teeth.

And soon they will put
poison into my wife.
To see which one is stronger.
The angry malignancy
inherited with her genes,
or my sweet, lovely bride.

Zen In The Driveway

dead-leaf-on-water

There is a little puddle
in the driveway
from yesterday’s rain
that now has
a fringe of white
lacy ice around it’s edges,
as if it is trying to close
itself off from the
frigid air above.
And leaves roll
across the ground
with an old paper
sound, blown by a wind
that feels like it came
from the North Pole.
One leaf carried by the
wind lands in the puddle
and floats. A crazy
boat on a calm sea, it
bumps the icy edges
and fine shavings of
ice fall to the water
where they melt
and become the puddle.
And the water reflects
the clear blue sky
where yesterday dark
clouds rolled and heaved
rain and snow showers
down on us as we ran
for the door and safety
and warmth. And grabbed
by the wind the door
banged against the house
before I could pull
it closed.
An edge of the leaf
dips below the water’s
surface and the leaf
fills and like a boat
with a hole it sinks
as the air warms and melts
the ring of ice and the
surface of the water
ripples with the wind.

A Thought For Today

dark-tower
Thoughts come sometimes, like a little
dog yapping on the periphery of
consciousness, nagging, needling.
And sometimes like a handful
of sand tossed into a mechanism
of gears, grinding, insistent.
There is darkness on the horizon
brought on by madmen in laboratories
mixing potions of control,
of dominance.
Dark towers rise in the distance
as armies march against their own
people, black flags waving.
No more rubber bullets and mace.
The ammunition is copper and steel.
The dogs of war howl for blood
and people scream as their
rights and freedoms are taken
like an animal sucking
marrow from a bone.
Sometimes thoughts, brought
on by reality, are dark.

Autumn Storm

night-storm
Rolling thunder long and low, rattles
the glass pane in the old front door.
Tattered shingles run free with rain
as wind plays at their corners,
attempting to set them free.
Lightning casts stark shadows
throughout the old dark house.

A rap at the back door and she shuffles
with her light to reveal a stranger
standing in the Autumn storm.

In the warmth of her kitchen
his clothes steam like the hot coffee
she’s offered and drip onto the
bare hardwood floor bereft of
paint, these many long years.
His car he says, is broken down.

He, a salesman of children’s books
for which she has no need, tells
of his many years of travel alone
across the country while she
lived her entire life on this farm.

He asks to use her phone and calls
for a tow while enjoying another
cup of coffee. The truck arrives
and an offer of money is refused.
The company was nice she says.
He thanks her and heads back
into the dark night.

She dowses her light and readies
for bed, and dreams of traveling
the world in a broken down car.

Roadside Art In The Rain

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Trickles of rain water run from pavement to pea gravel,
gravity pulling them, no will of their own,
to find the soil that holds the roadside flowers.
133
Clear drops cling to petals and leaves, gently
falling to mingle for a moment with their wet cousins
from the road and then become one, soaking the ground.
129
Roots absorb the life giving water, and defying
gravity, it rises through the plant to touch
the drops on petals and leaves.
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Yellow, purple, pink and white, the flowers
brighten the rainy day, shouting color and light
as cars speed by, indifferent to their grace.
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Sublime in their beauty the flowers present
themselves as nothing more grand than roadside
art to be dismissed or regarded as you like.