a note*

Everything I post here I have previously published on the many other blogs I have had. This is a place for my favourites to rest. These are the wings that taught me i could fly and that there is life waiting, far beyond the ridge.

If you care to comment, just drop me an email at grayhawk77@yahoo.com


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Voyage

We sailed the shit out of her,
didn't we, hon?

i remember when we first got her,
what a wreck!
Tommy laughed himself sick,
and said it'll never float
your grandma clung to that rosary like a kid
with the parades last tootsie roll
and your momma, well, she just rolled her eyes,
threw up her arms,
and said, "Lord God, Almighty!"

but hell, what else did we have to do?

We scraped her, caulked her, shined her
-hey! remember that July day,
when we were sanding the primer?
that cooler of cold beer and wine?
you chased me with that stick
after i tugged your shorts down,
and how you tackled me and
we wrestled in the long grass
til we laughed ourselves to tears?
and then we just lay there
looking into each other's eyes.

didn't get much done that day,
but the bunk finally got broke in proper

and then that day we launched her,
ha! we didn't have a clue
ran right into that shrimp boat
and scared those rowers half to death!
but the sun was warm, the breeze gentle
and we learned as we went.
sorry for all that yelling

she kept the water out most the time
and her keel ran true.
there was that summer in St. Thomas
that rough ride to Bermuda
the times we just let her be
and went where she took us
never tiring of each other's smile

and we knew a storm would come someday,
one we couldn't beat,
they always do
and sure as shit we wrecked her good
and why the fuck don't they make masts stronger anyway?

but wasn't it something,
watching the clouds off the stern
gather and gain
watching the waves grow
the breath of the deep
like the chest of a champion?

you went to fix that broken cleat
while i stripped the poles bare
and I swear, all I can remember
is how good your ass looked in them oil skins
I wanted to just let her go
just pick you up and carry you below
and love you once more
while the world crashed around us

but we had fear
and better sense, and
so we raced the deck
securing this and
tossing that
as the waves overtook the stern
and claimed our bare feet

I watched you at the stern
checking the rudder
while I held the wheel
and we turned at exactly the same time
and smiled to each other as
the generator died
taking our light
but not our smiles

you with snot running out of your nose
me in that goofy hat
i traded for in Martinique
when we were drunk on bad rum

when she started to list bad,
you fell into me,
we fell against the gunwale
and we sank down
holding each other
as the starboard disappeared

damn, we tried,
didn't we honey?
we saved nothing but ourselves and that
ratty old army coat
as we held hands, locked and laced,
and watched her go under

the others,
Tommy, your momma
and Grandma
will say
see, I told ya so!

but they told us nothin
it was never about how long we could keep her afloat
or how many places we could reach
it was just a voyage
for as long as a moment lasts
and that, we did well
to the very end.

The Day I Fell Off The Earth

I've spent a life straddling the edge. It only figures that someday your foot's gonna slip. It's funny though. I never fell off by a lean. I fell off by a push and a pull. I never seen it coming.
the day I fell off the earth,
I was minding my own business.
really I was.
I wasn't looking for the edge
it just found me

I was on a wild ocean
fishing for flatfish
in too small a boat.
we were on fire,
too fully loaded,
and Frank was a madman

but that's not when I fell off the earth

I was on a mountain
rain turned to snow
morning to evening
I was alone and lost
eighty miles from anywhere.
I wandered blindly
as bears kept my trail
I bargained with God

but that's not where I fell off the earth

I drove her car
drunk and asleep
we hit the ditch at ninety, I suppose,
flew above the moon and half of jupiter
and landed in the corn

but that's not where I fell off the earth

I walked a railroad track
and counted cadence
while stepping the ties.
the rail tempted my balance
and on it I climbed
with arms outstretched.
while I felt the touch
I held my steady
and knew the smooth.
a lean here, a pull there
a soft blow to the wobble
and a smile to assurance of gentle guidance

there was no train
the earth was flat and wide
though I kept to the rail
and floated above the glimmered steel

that is where I fell off the earth

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Journal

She was a strange child, after that, but really just a changed child.
And no one really could put their finger on just what made her so, but cousins and neighbors exchanged glances anytime she was mentioned.
It wasn't that she became bad or unmanageable, her teachers liked her, she always made her bed and ate her vegetables and her manners were impeccable.
She played like all the other children and even stole a cookie now and then when the chance arose.
But there was something just different about her.
It all began with the journal. Maybe she began with the journal
On an autumn afternoon when the leaves fell loose and lazy and her mother baked pies to Perry Como on the AM radio, seven year-old Adia grew restless and entered the storage closet.
Her bored eyes mooned lazy in their sockets as Adia began foraging through boxes that hadn't been touched in years.
Finding one box marked "sewing" on the bottom of a stack, she opened it and began to sift through fabric, zippers and pretty ribbons. Just as she was about to close it up and move on to a new treasure Adia noticed a notebook lying at the very bottom. The sun rose a bit in her eyes as she fished it out and turned it over. It was tied with a lavender ribbon and on the front, the word journal was scrawled.
As Adia undid the ribbon, a collection of old photographs fell out and floated free to the floor like the maple leaves outside the kitchen window.
That's when things changed for Adia, when aunts became strangers and her mother, a delicate flower.
Adia scooped the photographs up, stuck them back in the notebook, and stuffed the notebook under her sweater. She then put the boxes as they had been and went to her room.
Adia still ate her vegetables, still giggled when her daddy tickled her, but when goodnight kisses had been planted and nightlights encouraged sleep, she would reach beneath the book case and go undercover.
Eventually, Adia took the journal to the park where acorns lay dormant. Then to the vacant lot behind the Emerson place, and finally to the river bank where the current became a soundtrack.
And Adia became older, fresh in full bloom even as she watched her mother journey the other way, surrendering to time, gravity and monotony.
Adia's sea green eyes would grow distance as she would close the journal and wonder if her mother
had forgotten or simply chose to ignore. Correctly, she accepted that it was neither and contrary to
what psychologists would tell us, her love for her mother grew only stronger.
When her mother would have those moments when she was drying a dinner plate and her hands would slow, then stop and her eyes would see something far beyond the snow outside the window, Adia would imagine it was a soft wheat field she was seeing. A one time bed for two lovers without need for Perry Como.
On Adia's seventeenth birthday, her mother took her shopping to the mall over in Greenville.
As her mother drove, Adia studied her face, recognized a remembrance in the silent lines.
It seemed to Adia that an emptiness was bleeding through the car, out the door and onto the highway.
It was a silent heartache that needed no narration and at the mall, when Adia came back from using the restroom, she found her mother crying uncontrollably at the fountain.
Adia reached for her, took her, held her, rocked her.
But neither spoke a word.
That night, after her parents had gone to bed, Adia tied the pretty ribbon around the notebook for the last time and went back to the box, still where she first found it ten years earlier.
When she reached the bottom, Adia found a single sheet of paper and recognized her mother's handwriting. pulling it free and sitting on her feet as she had done so long ago, Adia read the words.
"Dear Adia, Thank you for being my friend. Love, mom"

Where I Am

somewhere, among the ruins
I lost myself while questing
for my missing pieces

guides, they were too many
and friends too silent
while lovers built tomorrow
over me
city to city,
with their foundations
hidden in my mud

so I drifted
in a pensive loll

as worlds gathered about me
and ships traded ware
i rolled
to the withered clock

funny, bout the stars
which borrow light
to magnify the darkness
they dwell in

the wind gallops past
brushing the Appalachians
like a lovers bangs

some of me is there

a sapling shivers
neath the towering redwood
a bit of me there too

high on a barren ridge
where nameless stones
hold silent mass
the Dall sheep watch
the banner of snow
streak from a peak never claimed
and I am the breath expelled

but I'm also
the dust in closet nooks
and the letter
never opened
in a box well hidden

these I can't retrieve
and they keep me
from knowing the others
I miss so dearly

Bad Luck Nate

Many years ago, 1993 to be exact, I wrote a poem for a newspaper in a town in Alaska that I once commercial fished from. (Homer) So, in the spirit of Robert Service;

Bad Luck Nate

three days deep into Kachemak
can leave a man broken and spent
in pursuit of game known as halibut
to pay back the cash that was lent

silent miles of line work the bottom
while twelve footers on top must be fought
while wading through fish to be gutted
(ya can't sell the things if they rot)

while sliding back into the harbour
the Salty Dawg beckons and calls
you've done what you should
caught what you could
come in and let me cure all

inside it's a mass celebration
for those that came in bottom-full
and the one's that played the bad hunches
stare at whiskey with eyes sorrowful

the telling of two-hundred pounders
and sets that left barrels red hot
stories must grow from whiskey'ed up lips
no matter if true or if not

sitting alone at the end of the bar
getting bent was Bad Luck Nate
fish somehow know the boat he'll be on
and avoid the hooks with his bait

never catching a ride on the same boat twice
the tale of a jinx travels fast
again, he'll swear to give it all up
of halibut, he's seen his last

but he'll catch the fever again next time
when a captain finds himself needing
"be on my crew, I know that you're due
to catch the fish down there feeding"

but nights like this, we avoid poor Nate
except for a pat on the back
none will dare remind him
bout his luck, or the money he'll lack

what he lacks in luck
he makes up for in size
six-four going two-fifty five
in a fight to death with a Kodiak
you can bet on Nate to survive

about this time a gent strolled in
well dressed and of outside descent
a cigar wedged tight in a cocky grin
and a roll that looked to be spent

bragging like none I'd heard before
of the three hour charter he took
explaining to all of his expertise
in playing the rod and the hook

"I just weighed him in at three sixty-four
hanging out back if you'd just care to see.
quite sure it will claim the jackpot
though it really don't matter to me"

"I just went out to have some fun,
had heard it a fine fish to catch.
I found it all rather boring though,
no matter the prize it will fetch"

through all, Nate never gave so much as a look
the whiskey just burned in his throat
but we all glanced to guess what he thought
of the man who parlayed his gloat

three or four of the local boys
played his story for the last very cent
then tossed him out like a greasy cod
for all of his roll had been spent

then Nate rose up to leave the bar
as obligingly, we all stepped aside
impressed by the temper the big man had kept
knowing an anger was welling inside

at closing time, we walked out back
to get a glimpse of the mighty catch
that just by chance had grabbed the hook
of such a sorry wretch

we found no fish upon the hook
but feet first there hung a limp man
the scale, it read one sixty-five
and we began to understand

though the crime was never solved
to our stories, we all held fast
next night he bought the first round
Nate's luck had turned at last


Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wind

My feelings for the wind are ambivalent. It blows my golf ball where I would rather it not go and ruins my fishing. But it also stirs my soul and makes me alive. To me there has always been something in the wind beyond the flush of heat and chill. It calls me, it draws me and sometimes even leads me. It is my friend if not always a kind friend.

I feel the wind
inside out
as it tugs
and tears
from the things
I desire

can you see the wind?
I can
fingers waving
me home,
wherever that is

the pines
sing to me

it’s oklike a slow moon waltz
in shadowed
of sleeping war

the flush
to my cheek
and hair gone awry
tell me of
on and
life in promise

I tilt my head
to bathing
of sun-bleached beauty
in the gentle rinse
of an ivory moon

for a moment
I fly
in freedoms
a moon carved cradle

join me,
there’s moon for two
and breeze
for plenty
while the pines
sing so lovely
a melody
to lances laid
and shields parlayed.


I Wonder

There are those that live for parties, and noise all nascar and halftime. Laughter that splits the face wide open and spills onto anyone near. I've never been them but I like to keep them within view. I like to watch them, observe them and wonder what makes them tick.
I'm a watcher. A studier. I don't usually get all the details of a conversation but I notice what others miss. The twitch and crooked smile, and the hand gestures that are just a bit too exuberant. I see people in abstract. Beyond what they wish to reveal.
So many pieces to so many puzzles jumbled by movements in rhyme.

Her steps, just a bit too quick
her skirt just a bit too high
certainly an effort to conceal
by exposure
that which she doesn't like.

with lips welded to the way
and eyes full of warning
she parts the sweated sea
but I wonder...

He straightens his tie and crooks his smile
having been told by phony repairmen
how well it all plays.
a master of games and deals delivered
he jets to success on air filled wheels
and never trips on the cracks
but I wonder..

She leans in to lock his gaze
with small nibbles and fork extended
he feigns deep interest
secretly brushing the crumbs from his lap
and a second date seems imminent, a kiss contracted.
But I wonder...

The boy hits his homer
and high fives the home crowd
as the princess in the stands
squeals her delight
knowing she'll wear his ring someday
but I wonder...

They slather and slobber
and rhodes scholar her dreams
as grandpas beam and cousins scowl.
it all comes so easy for her
this monogrammed journey
but I wonder...

is the life of the party
life to himself
does the long legged beauty
sleep peaceful dreams
will the second date survive
the slipped gas and broccoli'd teeth

can sweet deals trophied in board rooms
campaign his lost soul?
she so eager for a ring
will it flatter her nose,
in a silly effort to prove and disprove
when by it she's pulled?

If what is displayed
on country club linen
is all of perfect.
and if Susies and Bobbies
parfait perfect dress

Then I wonder
who cleans the mess?

hospitals filled with pain to the brim
large acned girls who never will swim
in the tide of life's sweet perfume and cherry cologne
young boys who miss while mean people hiss
to his clumsy swing and his sweaty fist
and tears fill pillows in nights so alone

The world never allows us to see
the beauty queen sick over filthy toilet bowls
hair matted and ugly
or smell the bathroom
when pampered dukes depart
only the fitted gowns and pressed tuxes
and whitened teeth
but I wonder...


The Golden Boy

upon hard pack gravel
spoke beauty
in time-scape

the fruit boxes
all in toss and stain worn
coloured the grey
of no match.

the loveliness
of the Mexican bride,
of her smile,
in the window of the rusted truck,
asking directions
from the Pennsylvania Dutch
went far beyond
digital ability
and painted the desert
of Kentucky gloom.

a thousand images
in a single frame
and yet-
it was the boy, always the boy,
the boy
with the strawberry-blonde
and the smile
of a thousand golden joys
turned back, looking
over the buckboard
that froze time
and rendered hearts
in the glory
of harvest nuance.


Doesn't it suck when you wake up in yawn and swallow a black hole? Sometimes we need to unhitch the burden from our back and let it fall. Someone else will come along needing their day ruined and will be glad for the heaviness their soul craves.
is it your seed
or the planting
of another?

we walk
the fallow grounds
to the burgeon
of unhindered hope
while storms
of another’s doubts
shag carpet
the trail
in trip and pull down.

of another’s cast
skip across the heavens
the dreams of an innocent
as the tail
snaps whip-snipple
in thundered acclaim.

a child looks
to the stars
in quest fed delight
til we book
learn him silly
and black-hole
his soul
in the fence line
of reason

and we walk
deep-pockets down
in shadowed valleys
of bruised sun light
and perfect menagerie

come to me child,
cries the dawn
of new-found hope
before the seeds
of potted plants
find their root
and the nebula
of another’s foreboding
your yearning soul.

Hot July

Quite by chance, or so it seems, I find myself these days in a place where July knows no mercy. Damp, heavy and suffocating. It wraps itself around your shoulders like a hundred pound shawl and smiles to your misery. Thank God for fans and lemonade.

the air falls thick
in layered waves
masturbating the fields
in perfect disorder

cream coloured strokes
fly the fields
and rise the ridges
in Gettysburg waves

as it was before Noah
as it was before love
before emotions were birthed
and ejaculated
down the tendrils
of our uprising

July bakes
because it can’t spill.

the heat thrums
up, down and out
while we hanky our brow
and nose drip
the fever that plagues
our stolen comfort

by noon,
the feet will grow heavy, dense.
eyes will narrow
in pleas of mercy
and hair will stray
to pasted surrender

by late afternoon,
makeshift fans
on shaded porches
keep time to
rockers that cradle
and comfort
in all, there, there

when the dishes are done,
and the sun finally
falls silent,
when a breeze dares again
peek out from
whence it slept,

windows will again fly open.
box fans will fill them
with a wellspring
of dusk delight
and we’ll lay
one leg out
in wait
for tomorrows heavy dew

Friday, September 7, 2012


The village was nondescript. Except that it lay on the edge of where war had once been. The big one.
He walked the fields that lay dormant for a thousand years. He cried as he walked, remembering what could not be forgotten.
His feet fell heavy and lifted even heavier, as if clay learned roots to better torment the living.
Old women hung laundry in the damp hopelessness and men counted coins in their shops to mark time. But it was he, the conscience of their soul, that could not be ignored. They watched him and dwelt in his misery as children scratched marks in cold stone.
The snow fell as Christmas snow should. Green chased red in never ending tag. The children lay upon beds of makeshift dreams and colored green trees under orange crayons of sunshine, as December blew through the cracks.
She did the dishes in hopes of his late return. Shame kept her from the children. Fear kept her from the window.
One of the children, the smallest, looked up out the frosted window to the neighbors laughs, racing from window to window. And wondered.
It was three in the morning. Another hour to go as he looked to the arm of his stiff blue
security uniform of feigned importance. Old women in generic hair pulled greasy handles as if a basket of dimes would really matter now. Grateful husbands; miserable old bastards really- slept in peace dreaming of flat tires on buses of glory.
Glory. Yes, what glory for a tribe that once ruled the plains and now hoodwinked and babysat old white women for miserable old bastards. He looked at his watch again and briefly thought of long ago, and seasons out of time.
In the beginning was light, and the light was good. Then there were seas, and the seas were good. Then were there trees, and grass and green fruit, and it was all good. Then a moon, a Sun and stars beyond measure. And it was good. Then great whales, and beasts and great birds and all that, was good also.
Then there was man, and he was given dominion over all that was good.

I dream.

A village of gentle breezes where the air dries perfectly. A place where coins have no place and children roll and laugh in fields of wildflowers as men smoking empty pipes smile in feathered line and lean to friendly trees that have never seen a war.

I dream.

A Christmas Morn where every child knows love and laughter in marshmallow hugs and the green catches the red in a new colour. A December that doesn't play favorites.

I dream.
Of peace and buffalo on a golden plain of simple existence. A field of harmony in a world void of tour buses and slot machines.

I dream, because I believe. He who called it good says the lion will once more lay down with the wolf. This is my hope.


I have a son. I love him. He's brilliant, and funny when frustrated. Loves to argue. Dabbles in everything. Extremely creative. He always tries to do the right thing-nothing like me. I wonder where it will all take him.

a strange one,
this long, lanky

a hard thinker
from his roots
of tender lily

I don’t miss
the times we had
so much
as the times
we never had
and should have.

a boat builder
of tobacco sticks
he might have seen it float
had I seen it float

he believes in science
and logic
and modern man

my belief in such
lies fragmented
in the craters
of a war
beyond this earth.

he wants,
I think,
to be battleship
but one that swerves
to avoid sea turtles
or stops to rescue
broken birds

I don’t know how to tell him
he can’t be both.

I just know he can’t.

he’s stronger than me
he will be battleship
in the name of progress
and logic.

I wish him well
but I wish him
stars over gps
and enough trouble
to keep him spirit

I will take the broken bird
and tired turtle
and swim for an island
that knows no

and dream
of tobacco stick boats
and a little boy
who once sailed
a plastic lid
across a lake
with a sister
for crew.

and miss the times
we never had.



I have a daughter. I love her dearly. She's grown now. A mystery always. Always sleek and under the radar. Words are used only when necessary.

the harbour
it looks still
and peaceful
from this hillside

I squat
ancient observer

was a time
the time
when I worked
the dock

she stayed close
back then

her wake was playful
her conning tower
to the stars

I rubbed her
I smoothed her
I polished her
she let me

but the day
has grown on

her wake is strong
full of purpose

she polishes
in her movement

so I walk the hillsides
that surround
her emergence

ancient observer

she goes out now
much farther
much deeper
by the learning
of her engine
the motive
of her rudder
and the pull
of the tide

others watch
and give passage
to her sleekness
as she slowly disappears
below the surface

one day,
she won’t return
neither good nor bad
it just is
the way of life

so I walk
the hillside
ancient observer

and dream of where she’s going
and hope
her bunkers filled
and her seams dry

and I hope
as she slides
beneath the surface
that her periscope
will rise once
and turn
to look
for the
ancient observer
who looks from squat
upon a windblown


This Ancient Land

The sky emits strawberry milkshake
Melting over distant mountain tops

Revealed in silhouette

They plant firm and deep
Like viking linemen
Who forgot the signal
34 57 29 Hut!
But planted, they remain
To the rush around them

The shoulders hunch
Shake a bit
As the wind
Elder to the ancient
Barely gives notice

In this new dawn of light
His tuft of trees
Like hair
-no, feathers
In a warriors
Prove his heart yet beats
Above anchored legs

Beyond and higher
His father stands
Like a heart-shot moon
The frozen white
Heavy on his brows
And it is here
Wind and age make love
Spawning the prophecy
Of death

Below, and
As children in daycare,
The earth plays wild, while
Snow flies fresh and silly
Like a pillow fight gone bad

And the pines stretch,
A million tiny erections
In search of a moist womb

The mesas beyond,
crouch low and grumpy
playing drill Sergeant
To the sands below
While sage protest to cactus
We have rights, too!

This land has stood
Long before the language
That defines it
But sorrow shakes
In lost translation

Where once great bears
And the hungry she wolf
Vied and grappled
In the way of now
The rising mist reveals
Fences and telephone poles
In vile trespass

Where once the Apache brave
Chased a wild stallion
Whose neck fumed
The thunder of freedom
Men in blaze neon
Gather the litter of spoil

What was before
Shall be again
And again and again and again
Til the Elder wind stands still
In surrender
And spreads her skirts
Over a place, a way

Devoured in a taming
It was helpless to stop

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Making Sense Of It All

I have a problem. Nothing in this world makes sense to me anymore except crazy lyrics to washed-out old songs. Go figure. (This was first published by me in nov '09. not much has changed. just the names)

Making Sense of it All
Levon likes his money…
Google gave me directions,
last week
clickety tick
flippety whirr
zip! zip! zip!
we’re on a first name basis,
this Google fellow

he’s very helpful
and I trust him

so when he said left,
left I went
with a thank you
so very,
very much!

Levon wears his war wound
like a crown…

he was big
and ugly
this Pennsylvania
with stomp your ass

I told him about Google
and the beauty of
all sunshine
and enlightenment

you know, right?
he didn't know.

he only
and chewed
and nashed
and puckered both
our asses

I guess
to someone-
is not so large
a traffic ticket

Levon sells cartoon balloons
in town
his family business

I’m thinking Brazil.

will the mean man
from Pennsylvania
follow me
like Popeye Doyle?

the Rio Connection

my purse-cinched
feels rather bad
and wishes me well
from tenth story
mascara’d by the

blows up balloons
all day
he’s on the porch swing
watching them fly….

another man
who loves peace
and good prayer
went quail hunting
on God’s
Texas ranch

not sure he had a license
he thought
he did

feathers and ribbons
tangled in stars and stripes.
but the taxidermy man
can clean it up
with speeches
and bugles

now the quail
have taken arms
against the liars
with un-apple pie names
but I fear,
for quail are not always
so bright
and the pound
of flesh
must be sliced
and broiled to perfection.

take a balloon
go sailing…

I went into a bathroom
and sat down

the wall said,
“die niggers!!!”
“Mary Jo is a whore”
these quail
of very little brain

while Levon
slowly dies…

I listen to the man
of eloquent speech
and secret
and wish to believe
his banner of hope
but aged cynicism
stews a cold shoulder
in dented pots

he was born
a pauper to a pawn
on a Christmas day
when the new york times
said God was dead
and the war’s begun
Alvin Tostig
has a son today…

Bob Dylan
has a Christmas album
I guess William Shatner
was busy
I think Cat Stevens
felt too much
and now,
thinks too much.
John Denver
wouldn’t give the Russians
ten million
to fly their space ship
then nose dived
a puddle
near Pebble Beach
Stevie Nicks
now blasts Lindsay Lohan
for poor choices,

and Jesus,
he wants
to go to Venus,
leaving Levon
far behind…

Toby Keith
says he'll put a boot
in the ass of all
who don't fall in line,
and sings that
he likes that her kids
cry down the hall
the Dixie Chicks
dislike senseless wars
and oil driven

now Toby
wades fields of
green confetti
Natalie smells
of rotten
in banishment

How do we like him now?
just fine,
thank you

And Levon likes his money,
spends his days
in a garage,
by the motorway…

I remember the young man
laying lifeless
in blood and
a runaway's tears
at Kent state.
It’s fading,
was she fourteen?
does it even matter anymore?
the man who pulled the trigger,
the American soldier
who STILL eats
apple pie
and toe taps to Toby,
he who aimed
and pulled
does he remember?
67 rounds in 13 seconds,
damn, that's some shootin!
and they fixed bayonets.
did you know that?
we bayonetted our children.
-in Ohio

Cuz he likes the name,
and he sends him to
the finest school
in town…

I remember,
many years ago,
a woman with twin
just one year old.
-can you hear them
pleading for a pick me up?
she left them alone,
in the house,
while she went out
in her yard,
in the Maine cold
to hang laundry
or some other
such malfeasance .

this rebel
wore mittens,
white ones,
to keep her fingers warm.

A hunter shot her
right through the heart.
clean as a whistle
dead as a doornail.
the little girls waiting
must have wondered
of the sound,
and the cries of "Dear God help me"
that the neighbor lady heard.

how dare she wear white mittens
in her yard.
they bellered and arm waved
in uproar
the invading survivors
were driven
back to Iowa
where they belong.
ungrateful bastards!

the hunter lost his license
and was greatly
and all was well,
once more.
Her name was Karen Wood.
do you remember?
my friend, Google
can help.

if we reached up
and spun
the sun
would we get
another turn?

or just more shots?

he shall be Levon
he shall be a good man
in the tradition
of the family plan.

{since I've penned this, just last week, a 23yr old girl, a college student collecting frogs with two friends for biology class, was shot dead. BLAM BLAM!! right into oblivion. Her friend was only shot through the hand. Guess that one can't go on the wall. How frikken bad can one want a deer? Do deer in Virginia and Maine look like students and mothers? A year or two ago in Minnesota, an old guy hunting from his lawn chair in his driveway shot a horse out from under a young girl next door. Everyone but the young girl and horse thought it was a hoot. LOL}

My Old Foe, Death

Death is a cagey bastard. It rarely comes right at you and if it does, it does so at lightning speed. It has a way of showing disinterest until it creeps from the shadows and coddles you into it’s clutches. I choose to search it out, keeping my enemy close, the better to keep an eye on it. It has a need to be in control and that is the battle I choose.

I walk through fields of amber and grey
boot heavy and heart full
all jangle and beat
in search of one who feigns
and waves along
with nonchalance

a foe I wish to draw near.

my life falls heavy
upon my chest
in anchored breath
of heated sorrow
and wasted want

bare and Poseidon-like,
a back of brass and iron.
banded arms in lock formation
jeweled in blood and blight
as emerald and ruby
these eyes of hardened deceit.

echo this,
echo I
hollow made thus
erringly so
you of yesteryear and forever.

but yet, I call
even demand
to one who flicks
the ash of man
across the chessboard
of who dare?
I dare

I search you
in hunt of red October
and dip my fingers
to the depth
of your despair
in beleaguered plea
of selfish surrender.

I spy not
the whiskers of your age
nor the grain
of your youth
but the stench of your choice
I discern
in these fields
of inglorious restitution

and my eyes glint
as my tongue clears the scabbard
of notched forlorn

but you whisper goodbye
and trace
to the whisper of your
the magic
in the chicanery
of your choosing

and once more, you have greased my grasp
with your laughter.

sheath full
of dull worn edge
boot heavy
with rusted jangle
and heart weary
yet alert,
narrow eyed
to the shadows
that chase
along the edge
I plod on


when cease I to hunt you
your cutlass shall claim my blood
in chains
of sullen embrace.


Teaching Hummingbirds

I live deep in the, well, -shit. Far from anything resembling a town or village, if you please. But what we lack in two legged beasts, we more than make up for in birds and critters. Idiots that we are, we feed them as if they’d starve otherwise. Or maybe we just like playing God. Anyways, hummingbirds come by the dozens daily. Thirty at a time. Four feeders of four openings but it’s never enough for the greedy buggers and they never seem to get enough. They really are quit rude and their language awful. I must teach them proper manners some day.

the bar is open,
come one, and come all
portals to nectar
sweet julep
of crimson.

I’ve put one here,
and there
and filled them to full
admission is free
and the ambience
with just a hint of

I’ll be your host,
please have a seat.
now, now behave!
there is plenty for all.

but behave you do not!
pooping my porch,
sneering your buzz
shagging the slow
and chasing new guests.

such language! I never,
and what right?

now you, over there,
and you, wait your turn.
no fighting, no scolding
no shagging, be nice.

oh, no? so you say.
shoo shoo
impetuous rascal

I’ll take them away.
yes I will, wait and see.
I’ll teach you of manners
and how you should be.

is that boy on my yard?
hey you! get away
who ate the last cupcake
and drank all the wine
I’ll pee where I want
to claim it as mine.
ooh, Fay Johnson looks good
through the hole in the fence,
I think that she wants me,
it’s only good sense.

if only you birds
could be civil,
like me
you’d live in a house,
and not in a tree!


Northern Sky

Well, if there's any I haven't completely offended yet, this just might knock the fence-sitters down. Sometimes we find ourselves out of our element and in the rush to blend in, stumble into something better left to experts. I've spent many years in the South. Being a foreigner, it took me awhile to find my way. But the truth is, I'm Northern. Always will be. I just need to be a better visitor to the South.


Warning #1- The language in this piece is rough and raw. If you are offended at all by such language, you may want to skip this read.

Warning#2-To all my friends south of the Mason-Dixon; please put on another layer of skin. I know the south is beautiful and the list long as to why so, this is just a tongue in cheek post about finding myself far from home.

I’ve swooned
and wooed
to the southern belle charm
me, just a hip swagglin whore
eyelash batting her way
confederate ranks.

oh, yes,
she slapped my sloppy white ass
while bubble gum popping
to my school girl giggle

“well, mah, aintchu a perky thang!”why yes, ma’am, I demurred.
all rubbin my ass,
sweet and shy

I flashed my tah tahs
and threw up at Bristol
got banged by four
under a peach tree in Atlanta
and two-finger whistled
a Dallas rodeo
while he slipped his hand
down my panties
to take my temperature

she always said,
“ya’ll come back!”
but that’s the problem;
she always said it
and she always called me ‘Hon’

my ass got sloppier.

not sure if it was Bubba’s BBQ
or Bubba’s cooking me
over his rusty tailgate.

now don’t get me wrong,
ain’t nothing wrong with Bubba
or his bent up gate.

ain’t nothing wrong with
Earnhardt or Bristol
or getting fucked
under a peach tree
by boys baked
in the jungle heat
all ‘baccer plug droolin

but I woke up
one day,
all tramped out.
I smelled it fore I seen it.

I tried from the window,
but it was too small.
So I kicked open that door,
that mother son of a bitchen door
and stepped outside.

There it was,
higher than I remembered it.
bronze and gray
and three sheets to the wind
yet stone sober
and beautifully stoic

the northern sky.
My Northern Sky.
The sky that coddled my wet dreams
in moose shit
and bear scratch.

the sky that froze the moon white
and lured me to hidden wonders
the sky that made me one with the universe
on starry nights of chosen solitude.
The sky that understood Christmas
and strong armed spring behind the rockies

it shouldered me,
in the doorway
through mournful cries
of a weeping wind
that a cypress
could never translate.
but I could,
with the help of a pine
and a hungry grayjack

the southern lady
wouldn’t give two shakes of a stick
for this bullshit we call North

blizzard sittin
to a five gallon bucket
on a twenty below field of scarred ice

mosquito slappin
to the last sunfish
on a loon guarded lake

snow shovelin
cable jumpimg
pipe freezing son of an ornery ass mother

we’re too stupid to make money at a yard sale,
we just wanna get rid of shit
and our barbeques
are mostly just hamburger

A girl hardly ever
gets banged by four guys
under a tree
cuz it’s too damn cold,
pine needles hurt
and she’d slap em silly
for the try

So now my ass
is not so sloppy
I’m relearning
“good deal” and “you betcha”
and I’ve become invisible
below 72 degrees

my perfidy forgiven,
the Northern sky
has come to scold
and take me home.