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r Nov 2014
when my son was younger
he asked -

how old are the mountains
from where did the First People come
why does the sun sleep in the ocean
what is the color of rain

now that my son is older
stronger, wiser and bolder
he asks -

how old are the mountains...
...what is the color of rain

some things don't change.
r ~ 11/30/14

Hey, Son. :)
r Jan 2015
This is it
The only one

Everything between the rising moon
and the setting sun
is all you've got

It'd be a shame not
to make the best of it

It's a new year
What's done is done
Today is here

Move on.
r ~ 1/1/15
Happy New Year!
r Jan 2014
A lovely name for a lane
Wonder how it got its name
A lady poet weaves her words
And grows her flowers and her herbs
Lighting fires of inspiration
Casting spells of abjuration
Creating for us prismatic spheres
Of plants and sea and salty tears
The poetess happy in her abode
On 3 Welsh Road

r ~ 2013
Repost of one lost and recovered.  For Lady KMae.
r Aug 2014
A book,
just pages
on leaves, whitened-
river washed,
dried then wettened again;
tears of words
torn from a heart-
his then mine, and mine again.

A book
of poems, written verse,
la poema-
the saddest lines of all,
but not all, no,
not all; not always.

Pages of Odes;
oh, the odes
to fruit,
to wine
and song
of the sea and mermaids;
the pages sing his songs.

A book
of heights
and stone,
he took us there-
a shovel in the sand;
of monuments
and ships
of drunken men and love
once loved,
and loved again.

on silken thighs,
and a red dress-
on a dark night
the stars and moon did shine.

A garden-
he planted a *****
into our hearts;
his dog,
it died
loved too much-

A book,
just a book
of pages,
of poems
by my bed-
much read and loved;
his words ending
the saddest lines of all.

r ~ 8/15/14
|    Neruda
/ \
r Sep 2014
Your eyes-
coal black fire
mirrors of my desire

Your mouth-
warm bath of oaths
bespoken for

Your *******-
rouged red-bullet tipped
honeysuckled bliss

Those hips-my reins
move you the way
I need you most

and your kiss-
like a hiss from a dip
of a branding iron

burn me with your lips
and make me yours-
ride me into the abyss

-of sighs.

r ~ 9/25/14
  |     §
/ \
r Feb 2016
My toothache reminds
me of heartbreak.

The sweetness
that brought it.

As real as a headache.
An abstract thought.

Barbed wire through
a work glove. Old love letter cuts.

Kind of like love, yeah
kinda like love.
r May 2016
I dreamed of my father
crossing the fields
on his one-eyed tractor
mowing acres of sadness
heading east of a moon
that'll be gone tomorrow
and I waded the creek
beneath a ridge
where my mother is shearing
dead roses and the smell
of those flowers floating
to the foot of the mountains
reminds me of her hair
and my father's laughter
disappearing across the hill.
r Aug 2017
You carry your memories
shaped in sadness, and the glad
yellows of suns setting
into seas of blue thought.

The ache of the weight
of your life, the bareness
of fatigue, the soft depression
left by sorrow, a soul embossed
with a notary’s seal, the truth
that can be sworn then lost,
a kiss in front of a stranger.

Sad that you have forgotten
the what, or when, or where
of Neruda’s beauty of a sonnet.

Yet you know the dark
space between the shadow
and the soul, the slowing
of eyelids closing.

You who build hopeful temples
to possibility, mirrors of light
to warm yourself by the flame
of offering, a dance born in sweet
smoke, the incense of conciliation, supplication, the medication of desire.

Rest my friend, wherever you are
and don't forget to remember
when you get older and colder,
it is only the winter of a new world.
r Aug 2020
Asleep on the deck
of burning ships
whose prows leave a wake
behind like a slow death

I see the white backs
of strange women, sea widows
breathing like low thunder
on the other side of some river

They dream of ghost sailors
aboard ships, and pull the sheets
between their legs, like a flag
flying in the fog, a dark wind.
r Jan 2014
Halfway down that trail to hell
He did stop to rest a spell
Barking dogs and darkened cells
Turning thoughts from black to pale

Cold as cold as cold as ice
Empty hearts no alibis
Mothers tears and soldiers lies
Predators and babies cries

The sun shined a cloudless rain
Broke the spell unlocked the chain
Washed away the fear and pain
From Red Sea port to home again

r  6 Jan 14
r Mar 2014
His dog died,
and that’s all there was to it.
Except it wasn’t.
Those words in between,
the missing of a friend,
the times relived;  companion
dog that did him in.  Joyful.
Bit his heart and made him write
such words so right,
that I went home
and kissed my dog
and played with her in the garden.
And we both lay down in the dirt,
and will again tonight, and every night.
Until she sleeps.  And I with Daisy.
All because his dog died.

r ~ 18Mar14
On Pablo Neruda's "A Dog Has Died", Poetry Magazine, February 1999.
r Sep 2017
Tonight, outside the storm
rages while the silence
inside me is as deafening
as a drowning violin,
I am as lonely as a lost feather
floating on a wandering
wind, my thoughts as painful
as a heartache wondering
when the beating will end
and love has turned cold,
passion has left, and when
the wine is all drunk I'll become
the insatiable leviathan
sinking ship after lost ship,
the salmon who drank the river
dry, the sailor who swallowed
the sea, until my forgotten
lover's face is seen in each breath,
and crystals condense
on my heart and my hands,
and the night is as dark
as a stranger’s stark shadow.
r Sep 2019
a phantom
sea, adrift
on a wave
light years
away, awake
way past 4
in the dark shade
of her absence,
my loss, a fissure,
not a metaphor
for a fault,
just my heart
and all
its vagaries.
r May 2014
O, Traveller
They were glorious
Our boys in gray
Tho the blue carry this day
We shan't forget
No, never.

O, Traveller
Did you see them march
To beating drum
To smoke and fire
Our boys in gray
We shan't forget
No, never.

O, Traveller
This rain and mud
Virginia awaits in sorrow
The day is gray
For our boys
We shan't forget
No, never.

r ~ 5/26/14
   |   Gen. Lee's horse. Spelled with 2 Ls
  /\. Traveller. The long road home  
          from Gettysburg
r Oct 2016
Come on girl
it's time to fly

Don't let this gray sky
hold us down

The water may swirl
but we won't drown

Ain't nothing but the wind
and the rain keeping us in

Let's get on out of here
and get some air

Driving sideways
through this storm

Running its fingers
through our hair

Like a swarm
of honeybees came

Singing Love is like a hurricane
and Here comes those tears again

Writing words
upon my window pane

Come on girl,
it's just the wind and the rain.
A nod to Neil Young and Jackson Browne,
r Mar 2015
I like old glass
with bubbles

Pockets of breath
of the dead laid to rest

I break and I breathe and I taste

Their spices
and vices

Kisses from wives
Curses and verses

Songs of themselves
Wine of their wrath

Salt from their baths

Smoke from their fires
Sweet tastes of desire

Shared sighs and cries
Dead butterflies

r ~ 3/16/15
Maybe I should save it in a bottle and put a cork in it. :)
r Apr 2014
     in alabaster ears
words unforgiving, unforgiven
      year after year after year.     
Whispered secret secrets.

      Laurel leaved lies of liars
traitorously spilling wine while
      tear after tear after tear
shed and shredded truth
      cut sharp with guile.

      Cloaked smiles kissing
hands of befriended strangers
      in strange lands lighting fires;
fire after fire after fire
       burning hatred blind to danger.
 Sentried angry glowers guarding towers
      o'er ever changing landscapes of desire
 hour after hour after hour.
      Come little child, take to your lips
a bitter taste of this our power.

r ~ 4/24/14
r Jul 2014
To the far reach
where the soul is frozen
and the sun doesn’t know
a rise from a fall
dark nights are unsettling
and the silence is cold

but the sun doesn't know
what the sun doesn't know.

Borealis burns
to thaw out a feeling
and you ride with the flow
on a southerly heading
as the sun stays low
beneath a fire-kissed sky

and you ride the flow
to ride with the flow.

Till warm sea winds
and calm sets you down
as the rain settles in
with a comforting sound
evening will fall
on Bocas del Toro

as the rain settles in,
as the rain settles in.

r ~ 7/11/14
  |     from Alaska to Panama
/ \
r May 2019
That badass girl’s got curves
like a Spanish guitar
a few scratches, a lot of scars
you can see almost any Saturday
at the Bullets for Martyrs Cantina
if she's not strung too tight, she’s a
lean, mean beautiful Argentine into
that whole revolutionary scene
singing Seremos como el Che
all olive drabbed and black beret’d
always quick with a ¿Como estas?
Eh, I'm okay I says, mis chica mas
bella, pero su ese Che es muerto
but here on the B!ue Mesa is where
the truly live come to live - ¿Comprende?
It’s been awhile since I’ve visited the Blue Mesa.
r Jan 2017
Love is a word
like a sword
that has worn
out its scabbard,
a lonely *******,
or a red rose
that opens alone,
a dream that lingers
for too many seasons
and passes in the shadows,
furrows in the dust
on a bannister,
a rock in the garden
of lust,
an empty place
at a table,
a ring on a cobweb
in the rain,
a long hair on your bed,
a nail in a blank wall.
r Apr 2017
When I come home at night
I lock my doors
and draw my shades
like an allegory of something
long forgotten that itches
six inches deep
I turn my old radio on
and a song is sung
like a toothache
from sometime in the past
I set another place at the table
don't ask me why
for the same reason there are
no longer any shotguns
or guitars in my house
but there is lotion for my hands
each blister another
bloodshot moon
my yawn a blessing in disguise
I search the bookshelves
I built from lumber
from the tumbled down barn
I read books the dead light
their stoves with
and some that howl
like a pine on a ridge
and all these maps
these photographs
I wasted nails on
when they hung on the wall
but I'm tired of mending
all the small holes
so I leave them there
open and empty
to remind me where
the heart goes.
r Oct 2015
Her kisses were moonshine
and bullets, three shots
to the heart, like a rose
on the canvas of morning,
like art, an eyelash on a poem
that always makes me pause,
three xs at the bottom of a page.
r May 2018
There are the dead
and the dead and
the dead and the dead
floating down stream
towards the Ferry, and
there are the things
my brother, Barry, never
thought about telling me;
I am dead asleep, I am alive
and you are gone south
my brother, tell me I am that
which I am, I am dreaming
that you are not death yet,
we are  one person
getting up and going
outside naked as the day
we were born, one April
and one May, we are still
rolling down hill in the hay,
and you say we should be
shaking our fists at the moon
O, brother tell me you
miss me and I’ll tell you, too.
r May 2019
Often I feel alone
until I find myself
most at home
sitting in a dark quiet
room, or outside
beneath the moon
blowing smoke rings
around shiny coffin nails
imagining they are glowing
stars, pretending all is well
which beats the living hell
out of feeling lonely
all alone and by myself.
r Oct 2013
Almost November, but the train left town a long time ago.

There must be something better than this tired beat down old rodeo.

Waiting on the winter, but the cold came a long time ago.

I can't be reliving young mistakes while I grow old.

Almost November, rails stretching much further than I can go.

I can feel the change in weather, but can't beat that smoking iron horse home.

Cold heart of this old sinner, leaning forward, shoulders low.

Given up on believing, past behind me, story told.

It'll soon be December, our hearts will grow colder.

Guess I'll keep this old jacket, and the bag on my shoulder.

Grow my hair long again, for when the cold wind starts blowing.

And it's you I'll be thinking of when the grey clouds start snowing.

r  Oct 2013
r Sep 2020
It’s so quiet out back tonight
there’s not the slightest sound
of an earthbound critter to be heard
but if I close one eye and **** ;)
my left ear just right (the right one
is shot now, it was my shooting ear)
I can hear the last dying gasp
of dead starlight from a long gone
breath still breathing softly on my neck
r Jun 2014
That curving space
between her *******,
a perfect place
for my chin to rest
as I dreamt a scene
along the Seine
of the perfect *******
of my sweet Pauline.

r ~ 6/20/14
   |      afternoon daydreamin'
  / \
r Oct 2015
Before my brother died
I trusted man and medicine,
science and doctors,
maybe even God.
But now that he's gone,
I can't even trust myself
to write words that mean
a thing at the end of the day.
Death has a way of putting our words in perspective.
r Feb 2017
When I go out at night
trying to sweep up the stars
my woman grows weary
of the cold weather in me
she thinks I am with someone
else, but it is midnight
and I am alone with the moon
that woman in a red dress
standing on the beach
but you see, it is an empty
plate with no supper, or
maybe a piece of stationery
without a lover's phone number.
r Jan 2014
Son, let me take this time to congratulate you
On your final exam day of high school
Tear the page out of the book
You’ve made us proud
Your Mom and I
Carpe diem,

r~ 22Jan14
r Sep 2017
Some call him a dreamer
   quiet, sad and deeper
than water in a river
    after the floods come

    dark like the light
outside a widower's curtains
   when the moon hides
behind clouds gray as yesterday

and the day before
   and whatever sorrow
tomorrow or
  the night has in store.
r Mar 2016
I've worked with shovel and
trowel half of my life but right
now if I could recall the hypo-
tenuse of a right triangle I'd
try another angle for putting
those tools to use digging a rect-
angular hole so neat and six feet
deep then sew my mouth shut
just so I can't tell the devil where
to go when it's cold and I'm sleeping
with white slugs behind my ears like
big Beltones so I can hear the mock-
ingbird sing those words on my stone.
r Aug 2014
Sister hums a hymn
  Along the cyprus way
Down by the Camp F fence
  For him she goes to pray
For whom the lights will dim
  A dead man sings today
Angola's ****** anthem
  And Sister hums a hymn.

r ~ 8/11/14
  |     Dead Man Walking
/ \
r Oct 2019
I can feel it in the air
tonight, a sadness
that’s better than love
dressed in the wind
ready to go anywhere
looking good in black
cold night of the flesh
a hunger for another
kind of paradise, there
are worse things to die for
on long nights like these.
r Nov 2013
Many bridges I have burned
Hard lessons I've unlearned
Rocky trails where I have turned
The path that lead astray

If you look into my eyes
You'll see there no disguise
My dark browns hold no lies
I'll hold on to your gaze

My heart still holds a fire
My soul you can inspire
Help my legs to not tire
As I go alone my way

Another mile another day

r  14 Nov 2013
r Jun 2014
Trying to think of something wise
to pass along to you, my son
on this  most important day
Remembering things my father said to me
that you've been practicing for years
Reflecting on those things
that I have learned from you
Those things that you have taught me
Those things that make you you
Those things you do that make me proud

You have taught me how to love unconditionally
How to be a father
How to be a better me
How to be a man to make you proud
So, son, just keep on doing
what you have been so good at doing
Be you as you take this next big step along your journey.
Congratulations to my awesome Son, Noah, on this his High School graduation day.  Eighteen years he's been teaching me how to be a Dad
r Oct 2017
She is mathematics,
bare necessity in numbers

Curvature and roundness,
symmetrical circumference
lies in the rise of her hips

A tanned half moon,
a breast

A pose

The fall equinox begins
in the shadow
of the small of her back

Night looms beyond, below
connecting beauty's dots

Her body reclines,
hand resting between waist
and hip, an impasse

Head at rest
held by soft hand.
r Jul 2014
Blue the mountains
holding close in view
sacred smoke of yesterdays
blue fog shrouded trails
beneath the rhododendron

falls of sweet blue water
replenishing the rivers
sapphire lakes reflecting
splendor of the bluest hills
above the peaceful valley

hear the sacred music
of the blue ridge mountains
magic in the songs of old
forever blue my appalachia
blue the hills I used to roam.

r ~ 7/4/14
 |      ^^^^^
/ \
r Nov 2013
He put hummingbirds in his bride’s hair
With fine vines he tied them there
To fan her skin in hot summer air
With cactus flowers to provide nectar

She wore soft beaded deer skin clothes
And slept beneath the finest buffalo robes
A warm fire she built to keep out the cold
His beautiful wife would stoke his coals

On a cold winter night she bore him a son
Both woman and child never saw the sun
His people cried and beat their drums
Singing songs of sorrow and loss of the young

Across the snowy plains now fast he rides
His strongest pony never breaking stride
He travels to the place where the gods’ reside
To join them on their journey to the other side

r  15 Nov 2013
r Jan 2014
What will be his legacy
After such a deep long sleep
Rising to the Golan Heights
Rue Sabra and Shatila
In circling Pharohs Army
Or clearing strips through Gaza
Roaring Lion Rebel Angel

r 13Jan14
This acrostic poem is intended to be entirely apolitical.
r Oct 2015
Oh, sad Poet,
of the heart,
mapping the geography
where sadness
is the topography
of your soul.

Oh, Cousteau
of the changing tides,
like an oceanographer,
an admiral  spying
the enemy on the horizon.
Your sorrow comes and goes.

Oh, builder of sad dreams
in your house of many rooms,
but one door. Like a grave,
a casket shellacked with
black paint, a mural
of a shadow on the wall.
Architectural sorrow.

Oh, you sad Poet,
open your eyes,
paint us a poem of a rose.
Poem penned straight at the author.
r Feb 2016
Arthur Burning Arrow
had a lot of talent.
He could capture the salient
parts of the story.

He painted a picture
of a red  river
and the first White settlers
crossing the plains.

He took a lot of pains
with clouds you could feel.
Dust you could sneeze.
Tall grass up to a horse's knees.

Our teacher said
That's a horrific painting!
I thought it was terrific.

Just sayin.

I swear, all I could see
were burning wagons
for a thousand miles.
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