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In the places where
the water moves swiftly
over rocks,
under sky…

While not cloudless,
it is perfect nonetheless.

The clouds present
are sparse,
scattered like seasonings across
the endless blue,
served up sashimi-style
raw, cerulean,
just for me.

There are ions
in these places,
released by movement,
mist, mineral.

They fill lung
and eye
with prisms,
a freshness not
consumed in

I find a seat
at God’s supper-table,
pick up my fork,
begin to eat the air,

which is enough
right then
to sustain me.

© P&Z Publications 2019
it is strange
to look into the
mirror of our
start a staring

we looked at us
for a few hours
these turned into
faster than we

months passed,
then years,
and still we stared on,
into this mirror of
of our lives
our own devising,

our own separate
like wheat and chaff,
like milk

it has been akin
to a quickening,
a molting
a rapturous unbecoming
all the while,
a rebirth.

the decades will
racing by,
elope with what is left
of our eyes.

we will be left
stumbling in the dark,
yet seeing

© P&Z Publications 2019
JB Claywell Jun 26
It’s the Tuesday night
of your life.

Soon enough,
Wednesday will be
looking at you,
waiting for you
to cross it’s name
from this week.

Thursday will be
here before you

shallow of breath,
thin of bone,

“I’m so tired”,
said Thursday.

Friday is a second wind,
a telephone call
that announces
reminding us that it’s all
over so quickly.

a celebration,
as we remember



Maybe a book,
a short nap,
an afternoon
at the cinema,
a steak

Monday comes back around.

What if our hours
were days?
What if our days
were decades?

This week is almost over,
isn’t it?

My knees

© P&Z Publications 2019
JB Claywell Jun 1
In this bluest blue
of the first morning venture
I can hear a helicopter
or a C-130 from the airbase nearby.
Yet, despite my squinting, I cannot see it.

I avert my gaze from the sky,
moving it to my front lawn
just in time to invade the dog’s privacy
as she performs her morning necessaries.

The skyward sounds intensify,
I attempt to find their source once more.
Still unable to locate said airship,
allowing my eyes to follow instructions given by my ears,
I spy a hawk riding the thermals,
perhaps looking for a rabbit to invite over for breakfast.

Able to still hear the warbird or rescue chopper,
my imagination stirs these sounds,
the vision of that sleek, hunting raptor.

How tiny his goggles, his helmet.

How deftly the hawk fires rockets from under his wings
while strafing the rabbit village with his machine guns.
They scatter
as the burrows that nested them warmly, safely in the autumn are destroyed
in flying debris and fireball.

Breakfast is served,
our thunderhawk dives to inspect the results
of his latest scrambling mission.

The dog and I weep softly as Taps plays for fallen lapin infantry.

Our own breakfast is griddling,
we turn our backs to this  morning’s madness.

The omelettes are ready,
the bread,
pulled from the oven,
the coffee is hot.  

Like rabbits we retreat
to safer quarters.

© P&ZPublications 2019
JB Claywell May 24
My mother is a password,
my father is a desk.

I am a pen that moves across
the blue lines of this page
the clatter of the keyboard
on which these words are typed,
transmitting their collective zeros
and ones into the blue-black light of
the text that appears unabashedly unmonitored
on the monitor, the screen, the scene
of this machine
that wages wars on my melancholy,
destroys the depressive states,
guerilla tactics,
computer-guided, cruise missile

A one-man Civil War.
An opinion-piece, op-ed
megaphone manifesto.




I’ve got ‘em all,
down the the most
microscopic minutia,
a miasma of Most-Holy
**** or Shinola.

My mother is a password
my father is a desk.
I am a pen,
the mightiest of swords,
a war within a warrior,
no better
just different
from the

© P&Z Publications 2019
JB Claywell May 22
I haven’t been writing a whole lot these days. Even the daily entries have lagged a bit. I have mentioned in other writings, in poems even, that I’ve been given an antidepressant and have been taking it for the last month. It really seems to help. It does sort of flatten me out though.

I used to be angry all the time. I kind of liked it. It was as if the angrier I was the more stuff I could get done and the better I’d feel about my day.  Generally speaking, I wasn’t mad at any one person or even anything, I was just burning fuel like a jet engine and moving from place to place and task to task with a whole lot of: “What the **** else ya got?!” pouring out of me.

Turns out that I’m just anxious and a bit depressed and all of that sort of thing presents in me as anger. Not just run-of-the-mill *******-ness, but almost an incendiary rage.  There were times that my family said that I was a real drag to be around. And, we’ve all been a family for almost 20 years now. My wife and kids are very tolerant and kind people. I am lucky and I know this.

Now that I’m eating one of these little green pills every morning, I feel better. I feel a little blunted and I don’t really seem to care that I’m not writing as much as I want to on most days. However, I have continued these entries in this manner as I have for the past several days as they are important and always have been. Maybe one day I can chuck the pills, but right now I find that it’s easier to deal with this flat feeling than to feel like I’m not able to be happy or to feel like if I am happy then I must be doing something wrong.

To feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m not raging? What an odd thing to have thought of to write down in this notebook. Maybe I’m being stupid and not dealing with some of my own *******. I don’t know. I thought for a while that I was all keyed up and such because my mom had passed away last year. I don’t think that’s it, because Angela and the kids have often asked me why I’m so mad all the time.

I think that what has happened, is that some bleakness took hold when Ma died and I started worrying that Pops would be next and that it would be a short time in between their deaths; thusly I would be an orphan. 44 years old and fretting about being an orphan?  I guess. Anyway, fretting about this line of thought brought on a truckload of anxiety and here we are with a bottle of little green pills.

I tried to convince myself that I was being weak for taking them. I complained to Angela that I wasn’t writing like I wanted to and that was making things worse. I said something similar to Pops when we were together recently. He reminded me that I had said something about just having to try harder.

I haven’t been going out and walking around at night too much. Watching the people who inhabit those gray spaces that I like to talk about is one of the best ways for me to get to something worth writing about. I’ve not been going to see much live music of late either. I’ll have to get that happening again as I miss it, but I have enjoyed several weekend evenings at home with my little family, my crew. Plus, I’m not as tired over the course of the whole weekend.

Coming home at 4am and being completely awake and unable to sleep more by 7am can be a real drag. But, I always like the conversations that I have. I feel like I get to let people see who I really am for a bit here and there and I get to see who they are too. Some of the people I know that are in bands I go see play these days are the same people I’ve known since high school. I know I’ve mentioned that in here before, but I keep thinking of how we really don’t know each other all that well. I used to feel like I was being fooled or otherwise ****** with when those people proclaimed their fondness for me. I chalk that up to how paranoid and ****** up I was in high school myself. I always have chalked it up to that and now, as I’ve aged, I’ve redefined my parameters of friendship. We don’t have to see one another every day to be good friends. I used to believe the exact opposite.

I like people. I always have. I think that Pops did me a great service by making me feel like I had absolutely no reason to be shy. Ever.  Ma did me one better by making me into someone who won’t take anyone else’s ****. Ever.  To be honest, as you know, I am very shy unless I am comfortable with whomever I am with. And, I don’t talk as much as I pretend to when I’m doing so on the stage at Unplugged. I like to keep to myself, but I like to throw myself out there too. I do it so maybe they will too. It’d be easier if I knew who they were. Hopefully, I’m sending enough good juju out there that they can find some commonality, which we all need.

Yesterday, I found a tract of text in the restroom at the hospital. It was Islamophobic drivel. I kept it in hopes that it would get me fired up to write about how ****** up that sort of fearmongering is. The paper talked about the scientific inaccuracy of the Qur’an and how The Bible was so much more scientifically plausible. What?

I thought about it for a while and figured that I’d just end up starting a debate that I’d lose interest in participating in long before it ended. It’s like that math problem thing that talks about arguing these days.  I’m prepared to let people be gloriously wrong. 1+1=5? Correct!  Bye.


© P&ZPublications
Not a poem. Parts of journal entries from this month. I thought I'd type them up to see if it helped. It has so far. Thanks.
JB Claywell May 17
We’re the heavy eleven.

Think about that number for a couple of seconds.
It’s a pair of ones, side by side.
When people talk about couples,
significant others, they often say something about
two people becoming one.

I’ve always liked the idea of two ones.
Two single and separate entities becoming a
recognizably different thing, yet still able to be

What an enormously human achievement.

the achievement in no way has to be relegated
to romantic partners.

We can all be friends, right?
We can have each other’s backs, yeah?
Support one another?
Thick and thin, and all that kind of thing?
Home team?
Visiting team?
Does it really matter?

I’m one.

You’re one.

Like the ones
in the number eleven.
One. one.
Two ones.
Side by Side.
Each holding the other up.

The heaviest

© P&Z Publications 2019
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