Future Journals

November 29, 2017

someday

sooner than later

if I had to guess

during drought and wildfire

heatwave and hurricane

as bullets rain down

and blood floods the cracks in our sidewalks

between bomb sirens’ warnings and evacuated streets

while tv news broadcasts promote hate, fear, death

when no one is looking

when no one expects

we’ll enjoy our morning coffee

take our children to the park

drink beers with our friends

and sing along to the radio

young dreamers will still write about falling in love

eternally hopeful for a future so improbable

their journals one day to be found

preserved in our rubble

allowing distant historians to know

the truth

The Balloon

November 28, 2017

against the poorly folded violet sky

a single balloon floats up toward night

another childhood dream let go of

we start rolling

the window down

but stop

even though we have

some spare change

maybe we’re nervous

skeptical

or simply embarrassed

by our good fortune

and during internal debate

the light turns green

so we just drive off

not wanting to cause a delay

the frosty window

November 23, 2017

thankfulness

is sipping

warm coffee

as my loved ones

softly snore

upstairs

a single streak of sunlight

penetrates the frosty window

with more soon on the way

Late Autumn (Homesickness)

November 22, 2017

ground so cold and hard

i recall my childhood bed

tucked in, prayers said

Tripe

November 21, 2017

moonbeams shone eternal

a sea of roses in bloom

mystic eyes looking on through winter’s haze

lost lips touching anew

any educated fool can spout such tripe

even i declare

but find me a soul

in this world we live

bringing some sense of hope

to rust

rot

disease

or despair

— all voyeurs peeking in our windows as we lie down for bed —

and you’ve found a clever poet

making fools of us all

Home

November 20, 2017

this expanse of crumbling asphalt

adorned by prevailing weeds

isn’t much to call home, indeed

but it’s where my children happily play

never suspecting there’s something more

…assuming that there actually is, of course

Auto Shop Coffee

November 18, 2017

such a fool’s errand…

we patiently sip auto shop coffee and read People magazine

unaware it is our mind that is most in need of repair

The Ignorance of Youth

November 17, 2017

when you start catching glimpses of your father’s face

reflected in the mucky shop windows you pass each day downtown

— and if you haven’t yet, you will —

Mortality is suddenly that annoying frat brother from college

not so long ago

getting his ever-pubescent jollies

by razzing you about the ignorance of Youth

unaware that

if nothing more

Youth was your one true friend

The Table

November 15, 2017

“This old table has got to go,” my wife declared today

Old, indeed

And, admittedly, not very attractive

Well, really not at all

A hand me down from my wife’s father when we were married long ago

It bows a little in the middle

And wobbles a little more

The leaves slowly push themselves apart

Aging lovers tiring of each other’s charm

I sit silently in my weary, matching chair

Looking hard

Looking deep

The maple has darkened over time

The protective shine has worn away in many places

Allowing exposed grain to suck life in

Dust

Dirt

Greasy fingerprints of childhood ghosts

Flecks of cheap paint used for rainy-day art projects

And tiny, crushed-in cake crumbs from birthdays long forgotten

This is where we were

When life seemed like it would last forever

Of course we’ve since learned it doesn’t

This wooden slab served best friends

Close family

Neighborhood children

But, most days, just us

That was probably our preference

We ate big country breakfasts

Strange casseroles that were barely touched

Great-grandma’s homemade spaghetti recipe

Hotdogs and beans when times were tough

Grilled steak on summer Sundays

And carry out pizza for Friday fun

God, Fridays were fun

Game night

We just played Risk, I swear

Eating meals around the board for three days straight

So cautious not to disturb our patient armies

My wife was pissed, until she ended up winning

This is where we did homework together

Wrote letters to far-away people

Assembled toys on Christmas morning

Paid bills, and bills, and bills

Pieced together jigsaw puzzles in the dead of winter

And made important family decisions

I drank coffee here every Saturday morning

While loved ones faintly snored upstairs

The feeling of true contentment

This is where my babies sat

Being fed with little spoons

As they grew we only cut their food

Made them eat their vegetables

And finish their milk

When it wasn’t spilt

No use crying, but we sometimes shed a tear

Still, laughter was heard daily

And even an occasional prayer

Looking back now I realize many prayers were answered

Right here in our favorite spot.

The kids still come by every now and then

Though not too often, these days

Missed sorely, but never forgotten

“Suppose you’re right,” I finally reply

Running my wrinkled hand across our kitchen table.