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Apr 5 · 82
it's cold here, still,
in a way i had long forgotten,
the morning refusing to let go of winter's chill,
even though the birds can be heard singing
with the beginning of the morning.
i can hear the streets outside the hotel,
already bustling with the commuters
on their way into the city,
a strange orchestra of sounds,
caressing and assaulting my ears
that have not yet awoken.
i'll leave today,
and head back to my regular life -
it will be a relief,
and yet, i will be sad to leave this place,
these people whom i have gotten to know a little,
and even the cold mornings.
sun shines today,
but if offers me no warmth,
winter's last hurrah in this,
the desolate green country between north and south,
between winter and spring,
when a forecast means little
and the prognostications of a rodent prove asinine.

but there is joy to be found,
when a crowd will roar for their heroes,
and the hopes of a city once again move
to the shoulders of the boys of summer.
every year on opening day in this city.....
Jan 28 · 44
first and second
the first was when i heard you,
across the street,
down a ways,
in a place you likely would not expect me.
i doubt you knew i was there.

the second was the other day,
i was sitting in a coffee shop
when you walked by.
i think you saw me then,
and crossed the street.

like there wasn't history,
perfect strangers
never having known one another.
i was on edge for only a moment or two,
and then it was gone.
Sep 2018 · 81
i saw you
i saw you today,
barely recognizable if not for your voice,
and for a short moment i was tempted,
to turn and watch.
but why?
to what end?
there would be no point.
i wondered if you saw me,
and realized that i didn't care.
it didn't matter.

i saw you today,
and i think i had to,
just so i would know.
Aug 2017 · 118
how to be great
they told me a long time ago
i had "promise"-
and i didn't understand what it meant.
and then i wrote more,
and they said i was "good"
and i thought "that's cool."

then, i began to see something -
i looked for patterns and found them,
recreated them,
studied the masters,
emulating their techniques,
and i thought i knew what i was doing.

then the awful truth hit me:
no one cares.
you can write in whatever style you want,
and no one cares.
because it's not about the things you say,
and it's not about how you say it -
it's about what the audience hears.

And it's about understanding -
that none of us are great,
we simply ARE.

Greatness is for the generations that follow.
Apr 2017 · 179
and as i went,
i encountered this thing,
and yet,
it felt as though it was something
i SHOULD have known before,
like it was always there
in the background
waiting for me -
familiar, as though in an old life,
but new to me in the here and now.
i longed to touch it, taste it,
know it on every level,
make it a part of me -
but in doing so,
part of my innocence would be lost forever.
i tasted anyway.
Apr 2017 · 390
loud mind, quiet mind
the mind goes,
rambling on with thoughts unbidden,
coming at me like a freight train,
until a phrase, a word, a sound
brings me back to the sane quiet that centers me.
it's a voice,
strong and pure,
but simple,
not commanding, but gently reminding me
that there is love in this world,
there is beauty,
and there is purpose.
Apr 2017 · 381
sitting by the fire pit
each little thing
goes up in flames
small things that don't matter,
but for the fact they've been held onto
for far too long.
each one
a small reclamation
of myself,
purging the old things,
making way for what is new and vibrant.
Apr 2017 · 275
a little faith
i think that God is just
a little bit of a show-off,
just so that
we're reminded that there
are good things
out there,
and life is beautiful,
and no matter how badly
we ***** it up,
faith in Him makes things better.
Apr 2017 · 178
a walk in the woods on a cold morning
before the noises of the world awaken
and bury my mind in the business of the day
with the whys and where and incessant
thumping of questions and answers
and timelines and delays
is where i find the peace
the time to be alone
and ruminate on the divine -
yes, to pray in this church
with the birds and the winds as music
to my meditation.
Apr 2017 · 230
the ground screamed at me,
begged me,
implored me,
until finally it grew quiet,
and that is when i heard it -
so i took off my shoes and went outside,
greeting the earth with my feet unshod,
and it spoke to me,
as it likes to do.
i cried,
because i took so long to hear it.
Apr 2017 · 115
a brief exercise
she her i you they
me him he us we -
when you put them together randomly,
it sounds ridiculous.
but put the word 'love' between any two,
and it works.
it makes sense.
now try it with 'hate.'
it can be done, sure,
but which was more enjoyable?
love always wins.
Apr 2017 · 674
hockey town
pale blue spring skies
hold sway over a quiet arena,
where later thousands will be gathered
to watch the spectacle -
heroes both made and broken
in contest with one another.
we've come so far,
but not far at all.
we're just a more modern Rome.
Apr 2017 · 120
we fight sometimes
we fight sometimes,
but not like everyone else,
a battle of wits
where the weapons are phrases like,
"i love you more than _"
and we fill in the blank
the way we fill in the blank spaces in each other.
Apr 2017 · 145
writing errors
some days
i know i'm writing something great
something meaningful,
something that i am proud to put my name to.
today is not that day,
but i keep writing anyway,
just like i keep working,
keep getting up,
keep going.
the error isn't in writing poorly,
but in not writing at all.
Apr 2017 · 143
if you asked me
if you asked me a year ago
where i was going
what i was doing
how i was going to get there
i would have had no answer,
and there would have been an awkward pause -
the kind that's not comfortable for anyone.
i would have shied away
not spoken
not dared to dream about the impossible
and not realized my own worth.
Apr 2017 · 147
sunny day in early spring
there's nothing like the smell of a
fresh sweat
that i've worked up while cutting the grass
on a sunday in the early afternoon
of a warm spring day in early April.
i long for these days until
i spend the time outside,
and when i want to take advantage of the weather
i have to do work instead
and it feels like everything i want to do is supplanted
by the planting and needs to be done.
some cities are romantic when it rains,
but not mine,
some look like glittery jewels
with a time and fancy all their own,
with church bells ringing their muted tones
and old buildings reflecting off puddles gathered in cobbled streets.
but not mine.
they remind me of the movies,
with narrow alleys and dusty gin-joints
where villains conspire against a hero with a fast car
and a mean right hook.
or a comedy about lonely people
who meet at a park bench along a river walk
because a breeze blew a piece of paper out of his hand and into hers.
but not mine.
those things don't happen here.
that's not what this city does.
we do work, we do struggle and toil,
we do calloused hands and sweaty, sooty clothes,
and basement entrances where a make-shift shower and commode
sit out in the open
because papa came back from the mill and mama
wouldn't let him use the front door.
here, we do gritty,
the whistle blows, and we don't have time for romance,
even when it rains.
Apr 2017 · 128
to make a box
it's a simple idea -
top and bottom and sides
to encase something -
something i've known from infancy,
and yet,
when someone says
they need a box for a purpose,
it is no longer so simple.
it must look like this,
act like that,
hold this for so long,
suit the purpose and the occasion.
a simple box that is no longer simple.
they are as varied as people -
chests, lockers,
trunks, cases,
urns, and caskets -
no matter the material,
no matter the construction,
no matter the price,
it's just a box.
Apr 2017 · 136
the importance of i
the things i perceive are not truth,
nor are they fiction,
but passing through the realm between,
a phantom existence,
there for a single moment - gone the next.
i think they are real,
they are truth,
they are the new gospel,
and i follow the truth i make until it becomes real,
and lose myself in the process.
to find myself again,
a path not simple to find -
it begins and ends with a choice:
i am important, at first,
and i do not matter, at last.
Apr 2017 · 430
lives touch,
for some, it's all too brief,
a small spark that ignites and burns too hot
and runs out of fuel.
for some, it's slowly,
a building passion and fire that sustains,
and demands to be fed -
but offers constancy and warmth.
and on those rare occasions, it's both -
a liquid flame that gets into you,
warms from within,
and demands to be expressed between two souls,
fated to meet and spark together.
Apr 2017 · 151
i save the best thoughts for myself,
never to see the light of day,
never to be heard by anyone,
tucked away in the silence of my innermost self,
there to dwell, securely.

right next to them,
the worst ideas stay, too,
the ones that bring ridicule,
or would if i let them out,
but i dare not.

and though i think of them as safely tucked away,
they are at war with one another,
fighting to be entertained,
striving to be the thoughts that take prominence,
and always trying to get out.

and i cannot tell them apart.
Apr 2017 · 139
grace came to me,
not as i imagined,
but disguised as mercy.
in a smile and a nod,
a warm embrace of which i believed i wasn't worthy.
it took time to accept the truth:
worth is not how i hold myself,
but how others hold me.
and when i hold myself worthy of them,
and honor their view,
i see grace and beauty in its truest form.
Dec 2016 · 108
december afternoon
old music from my childhood
plays through the speakers
as two sets of hands reach
for branches on the tree.
hanging ornaments again,
it's been too long.
this time is different -
and in so many ways,
it feels like at last i have come home again.
Nov 2016 · 199
finding me, big and small
i dreamed a long time ago,
of love that could be found in the small times,
the wistful smiles,
the glances and quick-witted moments,
that was about the daily living,
and lived for the experience of just

then came lies, deceit,
and living only for the big things,
the grandiose,
the exceptional,
and the focus became about those huge things,
and the small was lost.

now, i search for the small things again,
and maybe the occasional large thing,
in the hopes that living can be done,
in both the large and small things,
and get back to me.
Oct 2016 · 423
it was dark, once,
cloudy and rain-drenched,
cold and lonely in my world.

then there you were.

food was tasteless,
it held no joy to me,
i forgot how to smile.

then there was you.

there was nothing but a hollow shell,
a marionette,
a pantomime of life.

Now, there's you.

and it will take me some time yet
to get used to you -
to accept that which I thought I would never see again.
but I know I'll do it -
because now, there's you.
thanks, KM.
Oct 2016 · 385
nothing but squawking,
deafening madness
of unchangeable ideas.
resistant to all efforts to silence
a past that no longer serves the present,
and cannot serve the future.
why can't they see and grow?
they drone on,
a greek chorus of inane rants
about things that have been overtaken
by the endless march onward.
and i am forced to listen to the magpies.
Oct 2016 · 171
the wind comes,
it beats against you -
a tempest that hurls invisible waves
like thundering horses in your path,
and you have to choose to swerve
or to press harder.
the wind doesn't care what you choose.
no one does.
they should.
what you choose matters -
it makes your life,
and ripples through the lives of others.
you only have to make the choice -
to batter back at the wind
or change course.
Oct 2016 · 204
teacher and student
i call,
we talk,
every week that's how it goes, right?
then i realize i call more often,
we talk about a few more things,
different things,
and i tell what i'm doing,
and i hear what you're doing,
moving forward, starting something new.
the tone changes,
and it's more like talking to a friend,
then, a colleague,
and then you asked my opinion,
took the advice i gave,
and it worked, and it looked great.
and then you started something new,
and it was something i knew about.
you asked my advice,
how i solved that problem,
what i've run into,
what i've discovered.
and Dad,
i'm not sure i'm ready to be the adult here,
to be the font of wisdom,
the knower of things,
the source you look to when you have questions.
i guess you weren't sure you were ready, either,
but you did it anyway.
and so will i.
Thoughts I've had as I realize I know more than my least, on a couple topics.
Sep 2016 · 161
just the weather
one night a man dreamed
of golden fields of wheat
and cloudless skies,
a gentle breeze that played upon his skin
as he faced the warm sunshine.

he woke to grey clouds,
and falling rain that was cold and harsh,
and a terrible wind
that whipped at his face.

And yet, he was happy,
for the weather did not make his life beautiful,
and it did not steal his joy -
it was just the weather.
Sep 2016 · 324
there are times
when i sit and stare
at the paper
or the screen
both blank as my mind,
and wonder if there
is anything worthwhile
to be written.

sometimes, the blankness stares back,
asking when i will have the courage
to write upon it.
Sep 2016 · 186
what i do not know
i am amazed at what i do not know,
names of people,
things they do
stuff that's happening in the world -
not the political,
or the extreme -
the small things.
what's on Broadway
who won the game
famous people
doing good things
important things.
or maybe -
the fads of today
the stars and starlets
the authors
the musicians
the great "stuff" where we do most of our living
doesn't matter at all
and what i'm missing doesn't matter.
Sep 2016 · 209
caught in a storm
storms come
and the choice is ours:
to run from it,
praying it never catches you,
looking over your shoulder at the beast as it lunges,
hoping it misses,
to stand still,
the rock against which the water breaks,
knowing you can outlast it,
or to chase the wind and rain,
to watch as it moves ahead of you,
looking over its shoulder as you come bearing down upon it,
the thing the storm fears.
Sep 2016 · 214
you're tested (10w)
you're tested
maybe fall
maybe fly
or you do both.
just how I'm feeling today
Sep 2016 · 334
do you see the homeless man,
huddled in a corner where the parking lot
abuts the brickwork,
and the thin cardboard below
does what it can to keep the chill away
from his bones?
he was once proud and able,
they trained him to think,
to fight and survive,
to walk into the oncoming storm
and meet it with equal fury,
a machine gun in one hand
and kevlar protecting him.
a soldier, he was,
now sitting alone and forgotten,
avoided by most
because he smells of dirt and ****,
and businessmen cross the street
just so they won't have to look him in the eye.
they all say "we should do something about that"
but they don't mean it,
until the homeless man comes begging at their stoop,
and they threaten to call the cops on him
so he doesn't drive away business.
if they looked in his eyes,
would they see his nobility,
his pride in that he stood,
with his brothers and sisters in arms,
for a way of life now denied him?
or would he hide that from them,
and leave quietly to return to his parking lot corner,
and sit on the thin cardboard,
letting the chill seep into his bones?
Aug 2016 · 522
magic in an old guitar
there is something to
picking up my father's old guitar
and feeling it fit perfectly in my hands,
responding to my touch
the way it once did for him,
and playing chords to a song everyone knows,
but having it turn out somehow different,
my style and voice,
mingling with the echo of my father's,
to take someone else's words and music
and give them a new life.
thoughts as I played around on my guitar last night.
Aug 2016 · 154
what she sees
she said she doesn't see perfection in my eyes,
or a love story that might last for all time,
but someone who's been through what she has,
someone who seeks to understand.

safety, trust, and fun,
kindness, passion, and love -
those are what she looks for,
and prays i see them too.

prayers are answered,
dreams are made,
in this world where home is found
in another's eyes
another's arms,
another's breath,
another's heartbeat,
another's love.
inspired by words written to me - thank you, KM
Aug 2016 · 310
some mornings
i see the sweeper-man,
doing his job quietly,
picking up the dirt the rains left behind.
and i am reminded of the simple truth:
there is a nobility in working,
in doing a task that must be done
but no one wants to do.
nobody says, 'thank-you' to him,
nobody stops to consider how the path they use
has been cleared by a man simply doing his job,
but he continues on,
sweeping away the dirt the rains left behind.
Aug 2016 · 202
so many memories,
instantly made in a short time
that i will hold with me forever-
the raindrop that landed on your glasses,
a giggle that lilted on the air,
or a look as your eyes gazed into mine-
searching for the answers you longed to see.
memories made,
as though looking backwards,
they felt like they were always there,
that we have lived this before,
and once again have searched each other out.
and i soak up every new moment,
looking forward to each, and fondly at it as it passes,
from moment to memory,
weaving a new tapestry to tell a new story.
to KM, and making new memories.
Jul 2016 · 196
i can't be there
i can't be there to celebrate you,
to hold your hand and give a hug,
or watch you blow out the candles on your cake,
and crawl in bed with you at the end of the day,
but my thoughts today are about you,
seeing your smile,
and bright eyes that shine when i call you "beautiful"
and the way your body moves with mine
as we dance gently to music only we can hear,
and the lightness of the moment makes hearts sing
and angels rejoice.
that is my wish for you this day,
and though the miles keep us apart,
this joy of living pulls us together.
when you can't be there, and you want to be.
Jul 2016 · 241
little flowers
cherry blossoms,
small and fragile,
merely a part in a grand design,
made permanent by hands and chisel,
pale maple chosen to bring life.
each one, imperfect,
each unique,
each its own sovereign -
and together forming peaceful beauty.
harmony with the darkly stained oak,
little flowers to lend their softness and beauty
to a hard surface.
building a desk for a friend, and it's the accent pieces that will make the largest impact.
Jul 2016 · 203
there is shouting in the street tonight,
and crying in the home,
someone's son is lying bleeding,
his body broken,
an inspiration to rage,
or to answer a call
to recognize in one another
Jul 2016 · 206
part of me
part of me wants to forget
the feel of you against me,
the scent of your hair,
and that little sigh you make.

part of me wants to wash it all away,
to move on like it never happened,
and pick up my life where i last left it,
as though we never met.

part of me wants to wrench my heart
out of my chest and leave it laying there,
pumping out the last reserves until
the beating finally fades and  tissue turns cold,
and my body falls next to it,
unseeing eyes absorbing the scene.

and part of me wants
to only go back to when things were good,
and my world with you made sense.
but this part - this last little part -
it grows smaller every day,
and i am afraid that it will be replaced
with empty bitterness.

part of me doesn't want that.
part of me does.
Jun 2016 · 399
vision in the forest
i hear the music of the early morning,
a forest waking with the summer sun
and the scent of hemlock and dew
that i recall from my childhood.
this sacred place,
marked by Time itself, and yet, timeless,
fills my spirit with the awe of ages past,
and native peoples in whose footsteps i now tread.
the face of the rock remembers them,
and as i reach out to touch it,
i am met with a glimpse into what the Earth has seen,
and how she mourns for simpler times,
when all heard the same music,
and danced together in the hot summer morning.
went hiking last weekend with an old friend....inspired by the sights along the path
Jun 2016 · 189
the field
i went into the field
to be alone with nature
and the universe -
i trampled the path and made myself a bed,
soft grasses and reeds bent under me,
and i watched the night through,
and swatted at the night-flies and
and scratched against the weeds,
i wrapped my coat around me
and suffered the chill of night,
and the early rise of the summer dawn
came upon me and stunned me awake,
and i cursed its brightness,
as i turned to go back to the safety and warmth of my home,
no answers having come to me.
Jun 2016 · 195
As I go
the pavement sings a quiet hum
where the rubber of the bus tires meet the road,
and inside i sit and strum
on my father's old guitar
making up the words as i go.
somehow the words always come back
to the places that i've traveled
to the echoes of the hearts i've known and loved,
to when we were young and free,
and the world was ours to grab,
back when we were legends in our minds.

Now i'm about a hundred miles
down a road that you can't follow,
speeding on the highway past towns i'll never know.
living life the way i need
full of joys and sorrows,
and always missing you as i go.

the road is lonely, where I'm going,
and the journey feels so very long,
it's tiring living out this life in the way i'm doing it,
on this stage, night after night
just me and the songs.
no one sees behind the bright lights,
and the photos in the green room,
or looks behind the smiles and public face,
no one sees the nightmares of memories long ago,
or wipes the ears away from my face.

Now i'm about six hundred miles
down a road that you can't follow,
speeding on the highway past towns i'll never know.
living life the way i need
full of joys and sorrows,
and always missing you as i go.

always life upon the stage,
or in this rolling metal cage,
one more autograph on a page -
i haven't been home in an age....

Now i'm about a thousand miles
down a road that you can't follow,
speeding on the highway past towns i'll never know.
living life the way i need
full of joys and sorrows,
and always missing you as i go.
in the works....there's music somewhere in my head for this.
Jun 2016 · 192
want to stop,
know it's wrong,
know this is a one-way ticket
to a bad place,
an empty hole.

just one more,
just a bit,
it won't hurt if it's only so much,
i can master it,
take control.

one little bit turns,
now it's more,
another shovelful of dirt covers
the silver-laquered coffin
in a grave dug in soil that
should have been for someone old
and now homes someone young.

and everyone stares and says its a shame,
but one guy down the street just started
knowing he's in control, too,
just a little won't hurt...
we're addicted to much in this country....when will be addicted to loving and taking care of each other?
Jun 2016 · 514
empty today
empty today,
unable to focus on the daily things,
because the world hurts so much.
I can usually hide from this pain,
but this -
this wanton destruction of life -
it will scar,
and i will never be rid of it.

but if i could be rid of it,
would i be able to take action,
or lulled back into my cave of complacency?
how I feel after the shootings in Orlando.
Jun 2016 · 224
bus stop girl
a brief glimpse in passing,
our eyes connected,
yours were weary in the morning,
maybe from lack of sleep,
or maybe you've seen too much life,
or perhaps it was just a long week,
and you're ready for something different.

i imagine you in a different place,
out with friends, laughing and smiling,
carefree, maybe flirting a little,
enjoying life as it was meant to be.

i wonder what they call you -
a nickname,
a friendly moniker,
or maybe something you hate.

to me, you're simply the girl at the bus stop,
but just seeing you there made my day a little better.
true story.
Jun 2016 · 1.4k
kingdom of bones
palest moonlight throws its glow
on the earth piled high
'round the fresh pit dug today,
an open maw hungry to be filled.
not far away,
a solemn vigil is kept by the new widow,
tonight she mourns the loss of a lover,
a long-time friend and partner,
gone too soon for her.
tomorrow will be the well-wishers,
the relatives, the friends, and the feast -
before the vast emptiness sets in.
meanwhile, the kingdom of bones will celebrate
the arrival of its newest citizen.
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