Ordinary people grocery shopping…

There are a lot of ordinary people in the world
and they all seem to be grocery shopping today;
not one of them beautiful, aware of themselves,
though several made an effort, it seems;

round bottoms balanced on skinny legs and
pants that are tights but not be any design,
flaky skin and moles with untrimmed hairs,
and some are itching at places best not seen

as they survey bananas, beans and apples
searching for just the right one among dozens,
hands on places approximately near hips
contemplating price per ounce of olives and
spaghetti sauces but not the chunky kind

because she says Frank doesn’t like that
and there is a sign that ordinary people care,
or at least this woman does for her Frank
and he might be the luckiest man of all.

Time to…

Everyone needs time that’s
quiet to think or not,
just time without, not
simply unconnected, not
simply quiet, but time enough;

I’ve seen it done and done
well; my Dad would stand on
the front steps in almost any
weather at the end of each day
and do nothing – not sit
or shuffle or hum or sing;

it was his time enough;
when I’d open the door
he wouldn’t react, he
would still have his time
enough; and I could stay
with him as long as
I said nothing, did nothing;

never, not once, was I
asked by Mom to go get
Daddy, ask Daddy, tell him
a single, solitary thing
while he was on the front
steps; it was his time, and
I learned this is how the
time thing works: you just go

stand somewhere and do
nothing but that, without
trying even, and especially,
if I don’t seem to have time
enough, and I my only fight
is to wonder if I’m doing it right
or not.

Inescapable eddies…

eddiesI am a stone tossed into the rushing river

ready to be hidden and forgotten

disappearing where there is no memory


and late at night when everyone else

is calming and secure, the waters rushing over me

won’t be enough to wash away my sin and sediment.


I am a stone thrown by the child’s hand

aiming to skip but gouging at the water

and briefly, just ever so briefly, struggling to fly


my splash is of no consequence, no ripples

my wake succumbs to the silky churn of the waterway

where no thoughts can compel another end.


I am as a pebble in a strongman’s hand

no connections or care slow his effort to govern

fears and ways so he’ll be remembered as great


and when I sink obscurely along with many others

we are useful to his ends, his dream to be remembered

resistance is futile, will and passion only frustrate.


I am a stone once here, then nowhere

once sinking slowly, now nowhere else to go

so promising, so imaginative, so hope-drunk


my dreams linger as reflections on the underside

of eddies you see but ignore as fanciful fits of nature

as my story plays on above me, out of reach.




Dreaming about me…

I was awakened from a dream,

a dream about me – they’re always

about me it seems, not just that

I’m in them, but they’re about me

like the axis of the world is always

under my feet, all eyes turn to me,

all words are meant to be heard

by me as if pulled by my gravity,

and yet I never speak, never

utter a word, space shrinks

close and closer, faces approach,

the ground and sky too, and

just as it is all to be enveloped

in me I am awakened, and

I speak but no one hears me,

the sky opens forever, faces

of friends and family withdraw,

no grasping avails, no breath

is inhaled feeling the spin of

others’ worlds, the pull of

true gravity I lean back into

myself just to keep from falling.

You just don’t laugh the same…

Before you knew anything but

thought you knew it all

when the future was measured

with frenzy, not a clock or calendar

because immortality was your birthright

and energy was meant to be

spent, not saved,

you had a child but lost her

or never had her at all

and everything 

and nothing changed forever;

it’s as if that switch was flipped

from stupid, uncontrolled,

reason-less and ordinary laughter 

to a difficulty breathing

for no and every reason took hold

and the fight between youth

and its ignorance was dazed

and confused by something beyond

your control that bothered you

and everything you did while

everyone else just kept on unchanged

and remarking You just don’t laugh the same.