Old Photo Albums

December 5, 2017

Thumbing through old photo albums

I see monochrome ghosts in the prime of their lives

Smiling

Laughing

A gleam in their eyes

Soon to be memories in a dusty book

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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 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

Memory From a Past Life

November 12, 2017


In some past life I vividly recall sprinting in fear through a field of land mines just before dawn.

I came to a sudden halt when the light crested over the horizon, and through the smoky mist, a stunning orange sky began to slowly win the battle against the blackness that had been surrounding me.

Tiny pieces of sun flickered off the dewey amber grass, revealing the many bodies of fresh young troops lying near — damp and dead — frozen in time. 

Looking around I saw things you would never want to see. 

Things you don’t want to know. 

Things I refuse to tell. 

I ached with guilt for finding such peaceful beauty in this devastating scene. I sobbed hard, forever changed, as no man should ever have to be. 

No longer noticing the stench of decay, I inhaled deep cleansing wafts of the country air. I wiped the sweat and tears from my filthy face, feeling a bewildering sense of hope. 

A defiant step forward was misplaced, and my arms and legs were suddenly gone. I remember enjoying the sunrise a few short moments longer. 

Despite everything then and since, somewhere — hidden deep away– I still manage to carry some hope today. 

The Leaves 

November 8, 2017


the green leaves 

play hide and seek between branches

dance in spring winds

and lounge the dog days away

enjoying each other’s shade…

clinging together in cold rain

they find close friends 

and take a lover — 

content in their little tree…

so quickly they age

turning brittle and gray 

they begin to fall 

until only one remains

alone for the first time

he nervously waits

grasping with all his might —

though he can’t quite say why

soon a gentle breeze 

forces his fate 

no one left to tell goodbye

Burger and Fries

October 25, 2017


Hate and Fear 

rented the room upstairs

and they constantly stomp about.

Such heavy

heavy

weight

suffocates 

our black lungs and hearts 

but no one seems to care. 

We take a long, slow drag on a Marlboro, snorting smoke when the local TV weatherman cracks a joke… 

The news today seems familiar again

itchy trigger fingers and bloody streets

drug dogs in junior high school halls

the market reaches a new high 

while acid rain still falls

and falls

and 

falls.

Confusion, collusion, corrosion, and tears.

We make an improbable wish as we blow out our candles, then everyone smiles and claps, as if we must be so happy to start another year…

Missing uranium and wars to be waged

our biggest concern is a living wage 

to feed these hungry kids

while rich, fat pigs

grab some pussy

just 

for 

kicks.

We have no need to worry since prayers are being said, for the good Lord works in mysterious ways, they promise…

Goddamn foreigners on our land

paranoia shakes our hand

remember promises are cheap 

but mankind deserves a place to sleep — 

we all want this before our death. 

Disease, distrust, disgust and despair 

the sweet scent of decay begins to fill the air.

We grab a burger and fries, then bid our fond farewells…

The Coffee Shop

October 15, 2017


We get such enjoyment from our morning coffee, as we scan the news in the paper some early-rising patron left behind

The shootings, the rapes, the missing children…some order their coffee black, the bitter bite is a welcomed pat on the back

The poverty, the hunger, the creeping epidemic…some take their coffee with cream and sugar, it’s such a sweet, pleasant taste

We spy a blurb on the back page about a young soldier who lost his legs in Afghanistan. Shaking our heads, we toss the paper down and walk to the counter for one more tasty cup.