Thursday, December 30, 2010

Itinerant Itinerary


Pack what you need,
We leave tonight…
To hop the train,
You travel light.

The boxcar’s cold,
Wear thick jeans,
Hide your bills
Inside the seams.

Heed the whistle,
Don’t miss the ride,
Hang on tight,
Lay low to hide.

A one way ticket,
Destination: Roam.
The closest to heaven,
The farthest from home.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Praise


A "hands raised" hallelujah chorus,
The hobo’s signature on a train…
Graffiti by a skateboarder
All celebrate humanity’s reign.

Technological advances,
Music written from a higher plain…
These achievements make me choke up;
Wanting to live this life again.

Dedicated to Bozo Texino. RIP while rolling forever.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Roma


The oppressed in the world,
Live invisibly, without a name,
Music, their soul and legacy;
The Roma, in Carpathia, Ukraine.

Survival lies within their fingers,
Plucking guitars, or sleight of hand…
Hope lies in their dreams escaping
Prejudice and their homeland.

Hope lives in wearing bright colors,
Preserving their culture in song,
Thinking more of living each day,
Than the people doing them wrong.

They live in my bathroom curtains,
The lace in my window sill,
Bought in the tribal campground,
Where grandmas are tatting still.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Single Perfectionist


I spent my life too critical;
“Not cute enough, too small a home”…
Their failures to command my presence,
Left me understandably alone.

Blue eyes, black hair required;
Sense of humor is a must…
A scholar of every subject,
The defender of all laws just.

Fortunately my best companion,
Is a dog who did not see,
Any of these requirements,
When he fell in love with me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Addictions


I’m addicted to obituaries,
Although I can’t explain just why…
Perhaps I am seeking mentors,
For learning how to say goodbye.

Cryptic secrets, some are heart attacks,
Cancers, strokes, car wrecks, or worse…
There is comfort in the knowledge,
Others will have journeyed first.

Townes, your message reached me,
While letting alcohol guide your hand …
There are no more addictions,
Promise me, in the Promised Land.

Running Backwards


I threw out anchors daily,
Dragged my feet to make fun last;
Creating my own safety zone,
Where time didn’t move too fast.

I see the world changing now,
Trying to sort it all through words…
My old roads becoming dead ends,
I’m running faster, but backwards.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Light Within


People think they know me,
Seeing all my segments as a whole…
But I’m too deep and bifurcated,
To witness my own reclusive soul.

I used to think I knew myself,
After sixty years of age…
A most incredible, quiet peace
Colliding with violent rage.

I used to think god knew me,
I was the liberal non believer…
Now daily praying to nothing,
Who or what is the real deceiver?

Gone, the world means nothing,
I live, standing alone, I am…
The one defying life’s defeats,
Shouting in your face, “I can”.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Mountain Christmas Tale


Not so many years ago,
A very lazy man and his wife,
Decided they hated having jobs
So they ran from civilized life.

They found an abandoned cabin
In a valley edging the woods,
Both swearing to never work again,
Or rely on consumer goods.

He carved for her on Christmas,
A beautiful prairie pheasant.
She wove for him a pine needle hat;
Neither bothered to open their present.

Too lazy to saw a Christmas tree
They pulled sprouts out by the roots,
Planting a tree in every room,
In dirt filled, old leather boots.

The husband was too lazy to hunt,
The wife too lazy to clean,
Their house fell into disrepair,
As they both grew weak and lean.

Just two short days before New Year’s,
He succumbed to an untreated rash,
Just prior to her fatal concussion,
After slipping on a pile of trash.

Leaks in the unfixed shingles,
Gently watered each growing tree.
Soon after the mossy roof gave way,
Setting the Christmas trees free.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Fear is Here


Yesterday the house flies flew
Toward window sills joining their dead…
Weather dropped thirty degrees,
Signaling bad winter days ahead.

Today, the first of the big freeze,
Felled last apples to the ground,
As if all noise is silenced,
Tree branches fall without a sound.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life is a Relay


I still picture friends and lovers,
The way I saw them last…
Only to reconnect on Facebook,
Realizing many a decade’s passed.

I no longer recognize the actors
Or singers on any awards show…
It seems my inspirations faded;
All my heroes passed on long ago.

Young people on the new track,
Are living like I used to be…
Catching me at the finish line;
It’s time I handed them the key.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Lure of Green


My Mother fled Montana during
The worst drought they’d ever seen…
Settling down in Washington State,
Her new favorite color was green.

She painted all their furniture,
To match the curtains, now dyed green…
The towels, blankets, table clothes,
All shared the same green theme.

Years later when she had money,
She bought her wall to wall rug dream…
Covering every floor in the house,
In the most hideous Kelly Green.

Fast forward thirty years to now,
I live with remnants of her dream…
Two throw rugs wrap around my bed,
Cut from her carpet’s seam.

One of my life’s big mysteries
Is to understand the lure of green…
Whatever possessed my dog last night,
To eat a bar of Irish Spring?

He vomited the whole night long,
Green bile coughed up on everything…
All the little chunks of soap...
The only things that ever matched,
Those ugly rugs of putrid, Kelly Green.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Second Thoughts


I almost sent a letter last night,
Then suddenly changed my mind…
The next day I was saner,
My soul infinitely more kind.

Gratefully, I’d hurt no one,
Status quos the same or better…
Though deep inside this tortured soul,
I wish I’d sent the letter.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Silver Winter


Greens, yellows, oranges and reds,
Have disappeared, along with the sun…
Winds have dispatched all colors,
The island’s winter has begun.

Rabbits, calm, red apples and boats,
Have disappeared in the cold…
Memories wrote on used envelopes,
Lost now inside the fold.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Heaven


If by chance there is a heaven,
To revisit where I’ve been,
Otis is the one true few friend,
I would want to see again.

There are seven existing stanzas of this poem, but why bother. I said it all in the first four lines.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nirvana Lost



The plump nipples of Nirvana,
Were laid bare and suckled dry…
Breasts of dreams have shriveled,
The weaned no longer try.

Thriving now on solid foods,
Nourished on avarice and luck,
We children of the sixties,
Almost evolved, but we still suck

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Encore


Upon the world’s most glorious stage,
I performed a minor gig…
With adlibbed lines, I gave my all,
My love of life, that big.

No surprise the world’s masses,
Failed to attend…
Yet I so crave an encore,
To re-enact it once again.

I want to relive the glory days,
When my few jokes won applause…
I dread seeing the curtain fall,
Closing down my act that was.

Why everything is just fine!



Why do you ask?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Taking a Break


Elvis has left the building!

Black Horses


Hooves beat ruts into the road
To the rhythm of death’s drum…
Dark carriages with black curtains unrolled,
Gather corpses on the run.

Plagues can’t be cured by art or love,
The horse hoof’s clatter sounds a curse…
The disease what lies inside men’s hearts
Eludes all cures, all knowledge, the purse.

I am a simple passenger,
Sharing any carriage rider’s fate…
No white horses in my future,
So long as greed lives with fear and hate.

Black-caped midnight drivers,
Flog the dark with a furious rein...
Scarcely leaving a visible trace,
Of life in the forest or plain.

One often hears crows laughing,
As wagons leak fresh skirts of blood...
Disappearing in the moonless night,
With wheel ruts dissolving in the mud.

Remember that fate is a hunter,
Preying on both the rich and the poor...
The dark horses are round every corner;
Carriage hearse's bellies begging for more.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Awake


The Portuguese have a word for this;
“Madrugada”, the special time of night…
Silence hangs heavily in a timeless world,
Between midnight and first sight of light.

Madrugada is when life’s mysteries
Awake profoundly in my sleep…
The decades rustle through my dreams,
I snore, I laugh and weep.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Home



My journey up the Oregon coast,
Was an unforgettable ride…
I thank you Conde McCullough,
For the path to the other side.

Forty-five one dollar bills
Bought my passageway back home…
‘Cross the Strait of Juan De Fuca,
Ending my Oregon exploratory tome.

Pulled my luggage from the trailer,
Tucked my truck under the tree…
No more censoring my every word,
Free again to just be me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

U-Haul to the Mall


It’s Raining today in Oregon,
U-Haul’s packed, I’m moving away…
Raining also where I’m going,
No matter, I’m returning to stay.

Whidbey is windy, colder and damper,
Years ago there, I laid my roots…
In protest I’m headed to Wal-Mart,
I need a warm parka and new rubber boots.

Otis Stays at a Five-Star Hotel


Otis stayed in a five star hotel,
His balcony hung over the bay,
Counting cars on his left, the highway,
The whales straight ahead, at play.

Otis gave each jogger a shout out,
Sniffing a crisis beyond the norm…
He fixated on a selfish old couple,
Not sharing their Caramel Corn.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ciao Oregon!



Goodbye trailer, goodbye tourists,
Photographers of the storm!
My third retirement has ended
Now returning to my norm.

I’ll miss the Oregon coast as much
As Whidbey, that called me home.
The island chronicles my history,
Imprisoning me with freedom all alone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Mercury Falling


The first of autumn gathered clouds,
Still the sun managed to break free…
A waterfall of sunbeams dropped,
Into the sea of mercury.

The winter tint approaches,
Removing colors from Depoe Bay…
Like water wrung from dish rags,
I turned my back and moved away.

I found my piece of driftwood,
While searching the summer’s shore.
Completing my collected memories;
No need for staying there anymore.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pollyanna Takes a Tumble


Pollyanna took a tumble,
She fell down and scraped her knee.
The way she saw the future world
Changed with her injury.

Before, all trees touched heaven,
The breeze, whispers from God…
Now she knows asphalt and gravel,
Are more devilish than sod.

Pollyanna wears a seatbelt,
Life is but circumstance…
Of course life is never ending,
Yet why take on any chance?

New Millennium Nazis


In youth I dreamed of world peace,
Then endured a heart operation…
So I could witness late in life,
This appalling world and my nation.

The New Millennium Nazis,
Are showing everywhere these days.
The world forgets past genocides,
Inventing brand new ways.

France sends a hundred thousand Gypsies,
To Romania on a train…
Though most were never born there,
They were dumped there just the same.

Israel sent foreign worker’s children,
Packing on planes to a new home,
In countries they were not born in,
Now hundreds stranded, and all alone.

Kinder hearts questioned their motives,
Both countries replied they’re sure;
Their decisions were the right ones,
To remaining ethnically right and pure…

Tea baggers want to nullify,
Amendments to our constitution,
Solely based on another’s culture,
Ignoring slavery or child-prostitution.

Arizona has passed border laws,
Hoping mass deportations soon begin;
To rid citizens of their indigenous state,
Of persons with a darker skin.

Wall Street scams and corporate greed,
The selfish humanity I see…
Illustrate the tide is turning,
The New Millennium Nazi.

In youth I dreamed of world peace,
Then endured a heart operation…
So I could witness late in life,
This appalling world, and my nation.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another Summer Gone


Raindrops on the windshield,
Signal summer is almost gone…
The college kids and tourists
Purchased sweaters and moved on.

The fishermen anchor up their boats,
“Trailer Sailors” have headed home…
Pelicans and Grey Whales head south,
The harbor seal swims alone.


Depoe Bay, OR September 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Wave; Gaia


She rolled into our lives one day,
Like fog smothering the beach…
Each day she passed by like a wave,
Drifting in, then out of reach.

Her uncharacteristic fondness
Found our lost and missing parts.
We thought our lives were whole until,
She filled our pessimistic hearts,

We should have known under this sun,
Life would never let her stay…
Though none were able to prepare,
That she might just leave one day.

Sitting near the funeral home…
We found an open parking place…
As if it were Cape Canaveral,
Witnessing a launch to outer-space.

Incinerators, life consuming,
Coughed a brief cloud towards the sky.
Wafting one final, solid presence,
The chimney waved her last good-bye.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fanning Pages


My thumb inside the binding,
Fanning the hundreds of book pages…
I have no need to read these words,
It is my own life through the ages.

The speed of flashing chapters,
Split-second memories and dreams…
Is no time-line exaggeration,
Life passed that fast, it seems.

We tally battles won and lost,
Weighing regrets past and before us…
Realizing life is not a song,
It happens once, no chorus.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Alee


Most people take refuge from the sun,
Hiding under a large shade tree…
Where ignorance grows as a thick green moss,
On the shady side, most alee.

Now ships sail safe in the doldrums,
No discovery, or historical finds…
Men grow another ring in their bark;
Tall trees with no measurable minds.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Celluloid Moons



What a batch of lies I’ve lived,
Influenced by celluloid shit…
Heroes, love, a happy long life;
Contrived in a Hollywood script.

The laughter today; the full moon,
Walking my dog on the beach tonight…
Almost tempered the cruelest hoax:
As seen in the silver screen’s light.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tornado


Time gathers years like tornados,
Tossing memories and friends to the ground.
Desperately, I grasp the still swirling dust,
Making sense of life’s lost and found.

Tossed words become puzzle pieces,
Rebuilding old poems I’ve penned,
A part of me must survive the storm
Not to shred or fade in the wind.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Erosion


I held for years my sacred soil,
Felt it slip through youthful hands,
I explored the larger universe,
Settling later, in distant lands.

New experiences added value
To my resume and self worth.
Now I’ve totaled the final score;
I so miss that original earth.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Velocity of Moving


There are steps when you relocate;
The very first is making friends.
People change or move away,
Seems the cycle never ends.

Neighbors pair up into families,
We all watch our children grow;
Too soon they’re parents on their own,
While time erases what we know.

Occasionally a youngster’s death,
Will shake the entire town…
Usually it is the legends now
Who one by one, fall down.

Our needs in life are changing,
More foreign products on the shelf;
I do not recognize my town,
I am a legend now, myself.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Legacy?


What memories will I leave behind
When I leave this planet earth?
No pyramids or opuses,
Or any visible thing of worth!

Yet I may leave something so unseen,
As small as a single house fly.
The descendants of the few I let,
Get away from the swatter’s try.

Maybe I’ll leave just a beetle,
As my legacy to life beyond…
I once plucked his drowning father,
From a stagnate summer pond.

Sounding Board


Thanks for being in my orchestra,
Playing to memories that I hoard.
I was the vocal piano string,
You were the sounding board.

Music is patterned vibrations,
More intense with the written word;
Thanks for the reverberation,
I know, in my world, I was heard

Integrity and the "I's"


I question sometimes, my own integrity,
I mean the way I talk about others.
I champion the little guy,
I lay in front of the bullet to protect.
I crucify others who do not
Always and deeply, think like I do.

I sometimes lay in wait for those
I subconsciously perceive as stupid.
I go to bed and think about blank slates.
I wonder if I locked the door…
I walk down stairs and twist the lock again.
I make sure the alarm clock is set.

I find perfection increases with years,
I see my narrowing criteria.
I try to relax, remembering blank slates,
I walk downstairs, wash my hands, the door is locked.
I make sure the alarm clock is set.
I walk downstairs to make sure the door is locked.

I think others may see me as unkind,
This year, they are not democrats.
I turn off the bedroom light,
I remember the blank slate…
I walk down the stairs to make sure the door is locked,
I make sure the alarm is set.

My Personall 911


The news is dripping terror,
Nine eleven, Islam, war…
My subconscious keeps on whispering,
All that, but so much more.

Bad politics and apathy,
Sights I cannot articulate…
Shell shocked and in a stupor,
Still I do not feel the hate.

The newspaper is all one sided,
Iraq’s success fills every page….
Still no mention of the people there,
Unemployment, poverty or rage.

Politicians never mention,
Iraqi deaths lost in the battle…
I feel guilty just surviving,
The drama near Seattle.

I grew up dreaming world peace;
A place I’ll never find…
We are locked out by other cultures,
And sadly, our own kind.

CHANCE


A dance with chance,
The date with fate,
Call it what you will…

I answered an ad when
Feeling quite sad and
Report, I am happy still.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Text Message


Ada Jo, get your shit together,
I’m biking to the island tonight!
Put that teddy in the saddle bags,
You’re coming with me, no fight.

We can make it to Sturgis by winter,
Rent a trailer, just me and you…
Live naked, down some eight balls
Then get a Hell’s Angel’s tattoo.

You’re all I ever wanted,
My fantasy in black leather;
After we get settled down,
We’ll call your husband or...whatever.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chemical Truth



It’s so incredible chemicals ruled me,
I fancied myself young and smart.
My lusts aimed at various targets;
I considered my moves an art!

Now older, these conquests useless;
I was a robotic, hormonal slave…
Still wishing I’d held on to another,
While supporting mistakes to the grave.

There is a beauty in growing old,
Body’s programs decrease with age,
Chemical breakdown, lust is dead,
Now the truth erupts on every page.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stockton Bad Boys



Stockton bad boys water skied,
Then tip-toed into the slums…
We donned tuxedos for the dance,
Bought our liquor from street bums.

Our homes had heated private pools,
Yet we swam irrigation ditches,
Our fathers were the councilmen,
Mothers wore the ties and britches.

We dined in the finest restaurants,
Too young for their first class bars,
Preferring to park on levees,
Getting shit-faced in our cars.

There was something about the valley,
That held us year after year.
Brave boys purchased plane tickets,
The content, just bought more beer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

But Once



But once in our life, we walk the line
Falling to the side of the road,
Where hitchhikers die of starvation,
The motorists, seeing only a toad.

But once in our life we hold out hope,
Soldiers break down the walls at the forts
Recognizing a true living history,
Like Braille, reading our warts.

But once in our life, we still dream,
True love ignores our old age,
Where a stranger’s soul now among us,
Enters, on life’s center stage.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Farley



In their backyard was a doghouse.
Farley spent hours there alone,
Anticipating when Old Brown
Returned his master home.

His doghouse was a prison,
Guarded by a leash of leather,
Farley lived with desperate hope
He’d be released soon from his tether.

Farley pined so in the doghouse,
He’d memorized every board;
Waiting to see his master,
In Old Brown, the one-eyed Ford.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Were


If I could stop all dying,
So both enemies could live,
I would witness once, true freedom,
Were peace, my gift to give.

If I could halt the north winds,
What ravage my life and beach,
I’d live in absolute splendor,
Were calm seas within my reach.

If I could stop dying honey bees,
Our fathers lost in the mine,
I’d grant everyone eternity,
Were I in control of time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unraveled and Unbraided


When I walked my black and yellow dogs,
After moving to the Island forest,
We were surrounded by new species,
Never seen , new life before us.

The most haunting and remembered,
Was the Winter Robin’s song;
Now heard while walking Oregon,
Alone, the Labradors, long gone.

My entire past is missing,
The changes show up everywhere…
My life is no longer familiar,
I read Willy Nelson’s cut his hair.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Table Dancer


Retirement often opens doors,
Each discovery a newer chance…
To find unique successful interests,
Where we speak no more “I cant’s”.

Mornings, I park at the ocean,
Life swells in my focused glance…
Afternoons, much more pedestrian,
Enjoying Otis’ table-top tap dance.