Friday, September 30, 2011


Each year marked a Penn Cove reunion,
As leaves turned red and fell to the ground,
Bufflehead ducks gathered by thousands,
Wintering at home in Puget Sound.

Now every year, their numbers drop,
Audubon attempts to calculate,
How many years the ducks have left,
What’s contributing to their fate?

Years ago, I admitted defeat,
Unsubscribing to National Geographic…
I could no longer bare the elephant photos,
Their faces cut-off for Ivory traffic.

Now every year I sense it more…
The magazine’s message has hit home…
I hope to die before bearing witness,                                                                            
Of the last Bufflehead duck, alone. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pimples on a Picasso

Life starts as a white washed canvas,
Our experiences are the paint…
The colors with time become bolder
As images grow ever more faint.

I no longer strive for perfection,
Was never hung as best of show…
Still people in the gallery notice me,
Like pimples on a Picasso.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Andy Is you There?

Oak treed Indian burial grounds,
Stockton, California is where we played…
Riding our bikes through dry creek beds,
Long before the land was paved.

“Michael”, he screamed, “Where is you”?
 “I is here, but where is you?”
We played hide-n seek behind the school,
As  Amos and Andy characters we knew.

We idolized the Stooges,
Were towel-caped heroes in the dell…
Answering "Do duh", when interrogated,
“Name Ruby Begonia ring a bell?”

John Hunter, you done saw what you seen!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cane Mutiny

I’ve hidden away, my life display,
Leaving no ID for a sticky wicket…
Giving my time to a start-up crime;
Standing on a street corner to picket!

Hopefully there, will be others to share,
Our jump into the political thicket…
Uniting all friends, against conservative trends,
We can relax in jail and kick it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goldfish Rapture

I often felt an omniscient presence…
As if someone was staring at me from behind,
Only to realize it was the fixed and inquisitive stare of my goldfish.

Day after day, they gazed through the glass…
Into my world, an unknown hostile environment to them.
Was there some curious allure? Their world never changed.

After their death I realized, on a few occasions …
Through rarely opened blinds, and wind parted privet,
They could catch a glimpse across the bay, Coupeville, and the Cascades.

I wonder now if they were just dumb fish,
Or did they experience the rapture of an over-whelming beautiful vision,
Like Atacama astronomers, granted sight into a universe beyond reach...

And superior to any previous or fantasized dreams...
Did they feel just for an instant, both grandiose and important
Only to realize when the blind closed, they were just fish?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Man

Historically when life’s unfair,
Men bury their heads in the sand…
Yet every year we owe a debt,
To the courage of just one man.

This man may challenge an armored tank
Standing alone in Tiananmen Square…
Or single handedly halt a train,
In support of unions everywhere.

He may be the man who threw himself
On the exploding hand grenade…
Or the dreamer armed with ideas;
A million starving people saved.

Each of these men are Superman,
Insuring the apathetic have a choice…
Each made the world a better place,
The only tool, their courageous voice.

I know who you are and I thank you,
You took a stand and spoke for me...
We cowards again wait for Superman
Insuring our lives are free.

Photo: Seattle PI Re: Scab labor grain shipments

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Autumnal Omens

The sailing season quickly ended,
Sea planes returned us to our homes...
Then departed with migrating geese,
Toward more temperate weather zones.

Fishing boats have hoisted nets,
Crab traps lifted from the cove…
Storm windows locked again in place,
Heating oil ordered for the stove.

Fall sunrises elicit memories,
Like many a Joni Mitchell song…
Another bookmark pulled from pages,
New chapters seem to last not long.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Body is a Temple

Lyle Tuttle crafted his art;
A fish on my back, embossed…
Years later this body, my temple
Is akin to a bombed out mosque.

A lasting statement of my youth,
The tattoo once made me unique…
Now fish gasp for air at the surface,
The Koi pond has sprung a leak.

Unlike an ancestor’s painting,
That remains on the estate’s wall…
Mr. Tuttle’s art gets buried!
The collector keeps it all.