Finding a door for…

There’s a window, opposite my door

out of which I stare, hoping for more,


daily gazing beyond earth’s mound

where all my dreams must be found,


for they are large and out of reach

well beyond what one can teach,


imagined in years of self discipline

where lack of pride was my only sin,


freer, brighter, taller, but slower

are the many ways of hope’s sower


forgetting birth, race and room

this not a home but more a tomb


quiet prayers are said from knee

door behind, this window see,


morning, noon and nightfall say

all will come true, maybe, one day


if I ever rise from my devotion

and find the door for this emotion.


One more chance to ignore you…

Gone is the day

for consolation

futile dreams are dreamed no more

spent is the night

when a kiss

and a story made everything right

for undone

and torn

is your life from inside

just carbon

borrowed now returned

once so lovely

formed in soft

dark eyes

tresses in waves

over shoulders of cocoa skin

bright in the day

ensnaring at night

but now just this memory

these words

spoken through tears

and sleepless cries

lost in longing

for another moment

again to touch

warm, painless flesh welcoming

again just once

to repeat

the words I’ve already spoken

of love

of longing

of how I can’t live

without you

I can’t

I don’t know how

and I don’t

want to learn if it’s possible

I want

you back and near

with one more

chance to ignore

how I can never forget you.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

Long ago the world was supposed to end

again and again but just once

in a way that would preach they said

a miscalculated disappointment and then

a miscalculated verse and chapter, carry

the two and sell all you have, reform your ways

and wait in ascension robe while

the world laughs and you reinterpret as best

you can in 1844, and onlookers jealous

of your zeal but not your math created notes

to read your Bible from, and charts

depicting time – all time – from eternity to

the predicted end without disappointment

but filled with sacrifice and awaiting the day

the remnant could mockingly laugh their

I told you so of all I told you so’s

and you’re left behind at the beginning

of the real end ready to trouble unbelievers

while your children played Duck-and-cover

under school desks, sternly warned not

to look at the flash that would be the end

and grandchildren today mock you for doubting

the consequence of your sins and indulgences

and dismissal of all that’s scientifically sacred

about the irreversible doomsday just 12 years

ahead, rallying all that’s good and holy

to repent, recycle and pray it’s not too late

while you rock away in your ignorance

with your noted Bible on your cold lap

and all wonder why you’re not impressed

with their evangelistic zeal and new deal.

On this cold Spring day…

The wind whistles through decaying frames

slowed by layers of paint hiding rotting pine,

layer on layer, year on year, teasing drafts,

cold to my touch, seeping into my bones,

uninvited but expected; a spring sun failing

it’s one and only task of breaking through

winter with a hint of encouraging warmth,

sluicing pharisaic whitewash of season’s tomb

caked on soiled panes lighter in the focused

circles of optic’s tunnel, dust twisting, dancing

haplessly on airs, then resting meaninglessly

leaving ugly uglier, pained residue of my life

distorting what is already unclear, darkening

the glow of knowing the carbon of all’s return,

straining like a sieve the truth about me

into a portrait mirroring imperfectly what

is readily apparent on this cold spring day.

On being Irish…

alone-ietmages-17-300x199In this verse no one will die

No one is sick or will grieve

It is not that everyone’s blissful

For that would be a silly lie

But we could use a reprieve

From  the funereal hymnal.


This could be about life or joy

Pleasant parks, a May flower

Yet some don’t love the Spring

Allergies and rain may annoy

For some it’s love turned sour

Or that they’re denied a ring


Can-do bravery is pleasing

Psalms of life, into the valley

When others perish bravely

We’re moved to day seizing

Coup de grâce to de foudre

Lifely lived, lively not gravely


But I’m Irish – death’s our theme

The grave the cradle’s twin

Gentle Lady silenced by Joyce

Heanley’s Naturalist midstream

Yeats killed off Paddy Flynn

Wilde at the grave’s lost voice


But I’ve promised no decay

Disease, mortality or demise

Instead we’ll think of the morn

And life as a grand parfait

Beauty we will not despise

Nor emote so as to mourn


So here is the happy end

Ever after, fondly, cheerful

Hoping you feel better with this

And sleep better, life commend

Laughing instead of tearful

And not dying (today) is bliss


Then there is the miracle

When death is itself done in

But how often does that occur

Hope is fine, gullibility satirical

And none escapes original sin

For death one may not defer

Looking for patterns of hope…

After the greetings,

hugs and handshakes and embraces;

after the waiting and viewing and that

moment (not too short or too long)

of silent, somber lingering or kneeling,

and turning once again to the living

for that awkward ‘Good to see you’

but not under these circumstances

and gather once again with someone,

anyone you might know or should,

you find your way to a seat to wait

in the quiet. What do you notice?


Well I look down

to the carpeting and take careful note

of the patterns or designs and colors;

because I’ve seen at least a hundred

funeral home carpets and more to come,

either arboreal and muted, turkman calm

arabesque faded, even bushy but mild,

never geometrical and never simple

but if one looks carefully and follows

there is always repetition in some feature;

it’s not plain or textured or bright or bold,

but able to hide blemishes


Head bowed in sulking

not in prayer or pollyannaish thoughts;

even as an adult I compare all these carpets

with the first I saw in my eleventh summer

when I spent two days in tears and scared

with my dad in the casket, adults weeping;

sick of weak tea and toast and shrugs,

promises of comfort that were never fulfilled;

it was an afshan disperse, blue and ecru

random scatter of motifs unrepeated,

disconnected and I searched for order

and patterns in hope but I found none.

and I searched for order and connections

patterns and hope but I found none.

For Mom and Dad…

Disneyland or fame

fill the wish lists

of the condemned,

families always caring

and waiting

in sterile spaces

named recovery, pediatric;

surgeons on parade,

nurses the new best friends,

and files and charts

on clipboards galore

tell just part of the story;

they want to go

places, when well enough,

some for themselves

but most for their families

just to make Mom and Dad

happy, at least once.

My only revenge…

There’s a button on one of the games I

play that says – Give up! – not a question,

but an exclamation, a taunt; it appears

with great regularity and never offers an

option; the loss is certain though the final

move hasn’t been made; at first I would

quickly tap the button and Give up! so I

could race back to another start certain

it would be different next time; then I

began to linger over that end, staring

at the inevitable and wondering how

I wound up here, again, certain I’d

played it differently this time but

obviously hadn’t; now I stare at the

blinking Give up! and let it go on and

on, refusing to capitulate to my loss,

to the inevitable, tired, frustrated, not

ready to try again; it’s my only revenge.