blue sunsets

What if sunsets were blue? What if
they resembled my recollections:
how I broke upon your hardness, how you
ran from my insensitive cutting
remarks, lasers which severed whatever
tied us together those few years? Would I
ever have experienced solar reds, oranges,
pink-tinged magic? Known this reality?

Turned from unreal shadows dancing on 
Plato's cave wall, pushed into dwelling
among well-lit shadow-makers,
my memories hold
only blue shadows
watching blue sunsets.
when a memory plays you tricks


Bogue Sound, North Carolina. November 2019.
Some comb beaches
pocketing striking shells,
attempting time's arrest.
I, rather, snatch sun's
rays from morning and 
evening skies, saving
moments too fleeting for
memory--tweaking my 
specimens to resemble
what my minds-eye says
actually occurred.
Bogue Sound, North Carolina. November 2019.

the rhymed poem

My poems seldom rhyme. To me
it seems contrived frivolity.
Pushing literary toes
into narrow shoes just shows
clever, well-turned rhyming tricks
meant not for skill, but merely hicks
who hold a cowpoke's doggerel
more meaningful than good ol' Bill!

Dashboard Cooper (aka D.B. Cooper) disrespected contrivance in all its forms. Sometime in 1989.

Binary friends

I am not a friend.
I am an appliance
turned off and on
at whim; replaced
when my performance
Valued for comfort,
valued for feeding
(choose one or more)
until satiated.
Stress-walking, tense-talking,
wondering when this misstep
will negate our shared history.
This just in:
I too will turn you off
at a moment's notice.

Gardening emotionally,
I prune unfruitful relationships,
attempt to shape the unruly,
fight invasive species, but,
lately, I think I've pruned too
aggressively, fought too
vociferously, spent too little
time nurturing those pretties
who choose to live in my garden.

"Window up, window down",
Grandma's mantra. Why bother
with gradations, nuance, shades
of meaning, human failings?
Today's binary, electronic culture
can't see it's founded in
yesterday's hard realities:
"If'n it doan kill ya, it'sa prolly good,
but if'n it make ya sick, t'ro it! Ain't
no use hangin' onta sump'n gonna
maybe kill ya, sooner or latuh."

I live not in my past but
in someone else's. It served
our ancestors for lifetimes, it
put backbone into indecipherable
existence, into amorphous life:
Symbolic living, roles for everyone--
must I think about myself,
about you, about everyone? Surely
I will die inside. I will face
insurmountable walls of

Today's non-roles just demand
different roles, other rules,
other games to play.
Just tweak roles from 
millennia past. No need to
reinvent new modes of
emotional transportation.

But still...
It's on/off, "thanks for being
there, why can't you behave,
why can't you act the way
we act, push the buttons
we push, hate what we
hate, love what we love?"

I've got some on/off for ya:
Be who you are; I'll be the same.
Maybe similar will attract 
Or bug off.

Who’s using whom? Purple coneflower and bee. June 2017.


Duck pond, Tallahassee, FL. May 2022.
Sometimes, poetry is not good,
rejuvenating long-dead memories
when one graded The Poetry Assignment
as written by thirteen-year-olds.

Sometimes, the poet shoots
invisible needles of meaning,
millions of them, ripping, zipping
through me, nailing me
to where I sit.

[once again grabbed by the poetry of James G. Piatt as featured on Ephemeral Elegies]


I read a book once.
I checked it out 
of my high school library;
I was a sophomore. 
It was arranged like this,
one concept per line, and
it explained infinity.
A difficult concept, so
only one idea per line.
It taught me that
one infinity can exist inside another,
therefore the second infinity's bigger.
And if you add "1" to the second infinity,
it's bigger than it was before.
I read this book while waiting
for our wrestling team to compete.
I co-managed the team, and
I relished being the one 
to watch the locker room during matches
meaning I could read uninterrupted for a long time.
This book both increased,
and decreased,
my awe for The Infinite,
and it did nothing to explain
how more than fifty years later
I see/feel/understand what went through my head
as I read this book
while young men in stretchy uniforms
grabbed each other's crotch.

once upon a time

Once upon a time–

Time? It’s in two-two, just
beat as you breathe–

But it happened,
like this, like–

I only meant you live time differently,–

No, we’re timing
differently, but–

Where everything happens
simultaneously does
it happen? At all?–

Your beatings annoy–

My bleatings annoy-

So it goes…once…


write me poetry (wriggling fish eludes grasp)

"Write me poems,"
she said. "Not that
sonnet, rondeau
crap. Make it formed,
but not formal.
Make it happy,
poignant, heartfelt."

Whew! Tall order.
How to commit
to words which don't
bring despair, don't 
touch my psyche's 
crackling third rail?
'formed, not formal'?

Wrapped around my
entwine serpents
of dark, of light,
yet both truthful.
One favors pain,
despair, sadness.

Countering, its
mirror favors
hopeful, joyous
But it whispers--
'gainst its brother--
screams less, asks more.

"Everything's great!"
doesn't cut it.
Good news--no news.
Seismic shifts, stabs
to my heart grab
more attention
than goody-ness.

Problems add edge,
life's hoppy bite,
offsetting its 
malty sweetness.
But she challenged!
Can happiness
inspire poems?

My life-garden
hosts tangled plants,
gnarled, tall, choking
new growth. Little
shoots blossom up
regardless, and...
Something happens.

My ultimate
Gardener, my
concept of God
nurtures sprouts, brings
forth fresh flowers
striving to vie
with woody growths.

Despite these new 
upstarts, my soul's
garden remains
wild: poison vines,
weeds, burrs, thorns. No

Who am I to
question what grows,
what does not? Why
question my lived 
denigrate my 

Are we happy
now? Are we mired
in hopelessness?
Do we focus 
on pretty new
blossoms? Do we
ignore the whole?

Without yin there's
no yang. Without
black, white on white.
Speak to truth no
matter its source.
Shuffle the deck;
deal ALL its cards.

Thirteen sevens
multiplies two
potent numbers,
magical yet
at odds with each
other. She will
appreciate [this].