The Inventor

No need
to send a horse
to say the roads are closed,
Navigating the interstate proves it.

Barrels
block the exits
that lead to town, Bright orange
they stand like lanterns in the snow.

The children
seem immune to cold
but my bones are older, Still
I push the door open and look around,

Seeing no one,
I creak to kneeling,
then stretch out as in the days of yore,
arms busy making angel wings.

Too soon old bones
demand a space that’s warm;
One second more in  gazing  admiration
as an artist inventing a new form.

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In Search of…



Before you understand
what elusive thing you yearn
when the sap is rising, turning
stark limbs blossoming with bird song,

Before you can define
such elusive bliss,
which to your way of thinking
is the only thing that’s missing,

You have to understand despair.

You have to look it in the eye
as it brings you to your knees,
You have to sport the bruises
of an ego bled.

When you listen
to that lobo lonesome sigh
that mutilates the air with sorrow
from so far deep inside

you forget it comes from you,

When suddenly one hopeless morn,
April slips in with the sun,
then you understand
what it was you yearned for all winter long.



Wings of Fire

The cloudy halo of back street lamps
smolders in his smile.
A three piece suit couldn’t hide it,

Unlikely
that dockers and deck shoes
will disguise the feral cant
of brooding eyes.

His battlefields are well hidden
on the inside, so many old wounds
to anesthetize.

The scars are those
of any prisoner of war;
his words so gentle
they leave you bleeding.

After Reading the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

If, like Prufrock,  my life has been measured out
in coffee spoons, I am blessed that they were
heaping high and rounded and while I have had
more than my share of ‘what-is-its’, there have
been a few noted visitations that held me high
on seaward waves.

Memories of clear and sunny days and flashbacks
to times I thought that I was drowning, all surface now
in pleasantly calm seas.  Though weather is never
to be relied on, there have been dear friends
as steady as my youthful hands were, treasures
that I never take for granted.

One giant step past midway gives an ample view
of where one’s been and a map of where one’s going,
The journey stretching on before and then it’s Spring.
Summer coming on and too soon gone, then Autumn,
time of harvest; I would linger there. Alas it’s January.
Even so, tulips bloom beneath the snow.

Prayers for a Poet Friend

 trials and tribulations,
God gives us mountains
and we climb them

we are small beings
in a universe expanding

clouds fog the near horizon
smog stifles breath and purpose
but we stand strong

He made us poets
because he knew
there would be  crosses for us to bear

sorrows to be faced
heartaches beyond our understanding
pain and suffering

Poet, you wield a mighty pen
you found the time to share your light
unselfishly

and now

~ we send our light to you ~
In a solidarity of healing
our prayers ascend

In Flirtation with the Wind

Confronted
by a blustery wind
I feel my smallness
in the universe,


Engulfed
in studied concentration
I lean
against
the weathered porch rail
to consider the horizon

but the wind
will have none of it.
In a mood to play,
it whistles past me

like a teenage boy
exuberant with new energy,
then
doubles back again
and ruffles my hair
with cool fingers.

The trees
are watching me.

They are well aware
of this playful breeze.
They have felt its fingers
in their hair.

They look at me
with sympathy,
as if they already know

something

that I
have yet to learn.

The Machine

written after reading Bukowski’s IBM Selectric

Whirring
across the wires,
there must be a million
in the bundle
whirring.

The case
touches my skin
as I type this
poem.

I briefly tingle, then
wonder, “Is this sure death,
this progress?”

Whirring,
it dwarfs my brain,
erases my ability to think.
Oh sad the day I brought it
home,

this machine I’ve grown to love.

It will be the death of me.

This machine that beeps every reminder,
no more the luxury to forget.
I am tied to it, calendar and clock,
almost umbilically.

Whirring,
box of wires,
prodigy of technology,
bully.

Prone to dark mood,
unreasonable,
independent,
though I know it needs me.

It has yet
to evolve
to the majesty
of Bukowski’s IBM,
though I will admit,
it once saved me
at 2 a.m.
from jumping
out of my shadowed window..
It little mattered,
I live in a first floor flat.

It has yet
to create the magical
poems,
that slid like silk
from his IBM,
but then again,
that might be my fault,
and not that
of the machine.