24 December 2016

Slightly Unsightly

Slightly Unsightly
17 Dec 2016

Is this how I look, now that I’m over sixty?
What I see in the mirror, is it really me?
So much for looking like a movie star,
My unsightly face is made for radio.
It’s lob-sided and my nose has a scar.
I would love having good looks for video.
It’s sad how ugly goes clear to the bone,
But heavy and fat are only deep skin.
Alas, ugly seems to be carved in stone
And any hope of a fix must be forsaken.
I don’t know, mixed feelings arise,
Was it a compliment or notoriety?
They gave me the first-place, grand prize,
In a contest at the Ugly Poet Society.

16 December 2016

Ash Tree Pantry

Ash Tree Pantry
16 Dec 2016

When the snow’s fallen all around,
During the coldest time of the year,
Birds can’t find food on the ground,
But the trees give sustenance and cheer.
In the yard’s a mountain ash tree.
It’s where the robins come to eat.
The red berries are as pretty as can be
And the birds enjoy them as a treat.
The leaves are all gone, blown away.
The branches are full of red berries,
Giving the robins a reason to stay
And be nature’s cheerful emissaries.

21 November 2016

Workshop Stop

Workshop Stop

Giving myself an outtake,
Taking a moment of ease,
During the seminar break,
I relaxed in the bay breeze.
I paused from taking notes.
The humid air was sea-scented.
The docks were filled with boats.
The cloudless sky was unornamented.
Close to the water, by the harbor,
Included in the idyllic scene,
In the bougainvillea arbor
A small stray cat was seen.
The cat was too high up to touch
So it was allowed to roam free.
My mind was on writing and such
And the cat could live without me.

11 November 2016

This poem is written without capitalization or punctuation, making it vague like dreams.

Trance Expanse

sometimes a sensation of spinning
or a panicked feeling of falling
at sleep’s nebulous beginning
frequently floating, just lolling
or jumping to different scenes
interacting with family or friends
from co-workers to drama queens
to discuss with or make amends
sometimes they haven’t been 
seen or thought of in years
people come and go unbidden
existing in their own spheres
whether seeming real or sublime
in haziness, for all schemes 
there’s no sense of time
in the soft land of dreams

26 October 2016

Amenity Unity

Amenity Unity
24 October 2016

“Come on in,” the water invited.
Gradually the gentle lappings
Reached my waist as we united
And liquid became my trappings.
The fluid bore me no ill per se.
Fear was generated by this desert rat’s
Lack of experience with ocean spray,
Having lived mostly in arid habitats.
The pool splashed in reaction to me.
My movements disturbed its tranquility,
But together we could exist in serenity
And my outlook changed for eternity.

12 October 2016

Wary Query

Wary Query
10 October 2016

What events must unfold?
How far does it have to go
Before the plug is pulled
And down the river you go?
How bad does it have to get?
When does diminished capacity
Begin to make death a target
So others act with audacity?
Is it audacity or compassion?
Are we acting with lenience,
Or due diligence and caution
Or hell-bent on convenience?
What factors are taken into account,
What does the infirm want and need?
How much does their opinion count
So we perform as all have agreed?
Questions for end-of-life decisions,
You only get to choose them once
With no second chance for revisions
Do-overs, restarts nor punts.

17 September 2016

Ekphrasis Basis

Ekphrasis Basis
16 Sept 2016

Three kids show up in a picture
That’s over a hundred years old.
The photo has a mystery tincture
Because their names are untold.
The girl’s sideways glance
Shows her innocence experience.
The boy wears suspendered pants
With a hands-in-pockets stance.
The baby, elevated by a chair,
Smiles, standing in bib overalls.
Posing outside in the open air,
There’s a fence, but no walls.
Who are they? If we only knew.
Historians will have to delve.
So far we have the only clue:
Snowflake, box 6, photo 12.

21 August 2016

Couth Truth

Click on photo to enlarge.

Couth Truth
20 August 2016

The truth walks plainly
In the broad daylight
And strolls around mundanely
Thru the dark of night.
The unadorned truth can be seen
By those who look without guile.
To the liar she’s most obscene.
She gives the braggart no smile.
Truth’s friendly to the plain-spoken
And frequently speaks unobtrusively.
Simple, humble folk find her token
Easily gotten when they act inclusively. 
Truth’ll endure some limited abuse,
But push her boundaries too far
And you’ll regret that you unloose
Anger and scorn from her repertoire.
Yes, exceed truth’s reasonable bounds
And you’ll experience her full fury,
So you’ll keenly wish karmic rebounds
Hadn’t been invented to your misery.

02 August 2016

On The Road With A Load

On The Road With A Load
1 Aug 2016

Singing as the miles pass
And laughing at in-jokes,
They’re in their own class,
Acting like silly folks.
Driving down the long road,
The loving couple Cheryl and Kate,
Deliver another full truckload
After dodging cars on the interstate.
As they arrive safe and unstressed, 
Kate has the needed driving skills
To best any tight parking test.
She earns money to pay the bills.

25 July 2016

Proud Out Loud

Proud Out Loud
21 July 2016

A feeling urges self-promo,
I want to say it out loud
And let the world know,
“I’m feeling very proud.”
Proud of my mastery, skills
And ample poetry production.
Minor improvements add thrills
As I do word construction.
I’ll walk with my chest out,
Ambling along with poise.
Standing tall as I go about,
I’ll think about my attaboys.

08 July 2016

Abundance Convergence

Click on the photo to enlarge

Abundance Convergence
30 June 2016

Right now I’m celebrating
My own skills and empowerment,
Giving myself a five-star rating
From a sense of fulfillment.
No more watching from the sideline,
Incremental improvements
Have become my guideline.
Baby-step accomplishments
Make the results genuine
And need no embellishment.
Life events all combine
To this acknowledgement
That abundance is mine.

01 July 2016

Published in The Australia Times

The Australia Times (TAT) published one of my poems. Last time I had to sign in to their website to read all the poems, this time I didn't. You may have to register with TAT in order to read my poem on page 55. 
The editor's never met me in person, so in the bio pic she got me & my twin mixed up.

19 June 2016

Drowse Then Rouse

Click on the photo to enlarge

Drowse Then Rouse
18 June 2016

Rousing after a nap
In the late afternoon,
Losing the unawareness crap
From my drowsy swoon,
Thru a squinting eyeball
I see the light display.
Shadows on the far wall
Indicate the end of day.
Relaxing, stretched across my bed
At this time of adulthood,
This thought enters my head,
“By golly, life is good!”

03 June 2016

Portray Today

Today's poem is an experiment with internal rhymes.

Portray Today
2 June 2016

There’s delight in the morning light.
Early Summer’s warm is past freezing’s harm.
I’m on cloud nine in the sunshine.
Up high, there’s only blue sky.
The air’s ringing from the birds singing,
With all their chittering and twittering.
Green’s showing where the plants are growing.
Flowers are blooming so color’s booming.
There’s the buzzing of bees
Among the vegetation and trees.
It’s a first-rate date to celebrate.

27 May 2016

Shut-Eye Lullaby

Shut-Eye Lullaby
20 May 2016

Today was so much fun,
But it’s all over and done.
Tomorrow you’ll play and run
All day out in the sun.
Jamison, good night.
Jamison, sleep tight.

Now it’s time to dream
About when you jump and leap
Splashing in a stream,
Dream it all in your sleep.
Jamison, good night.
Jamison, sleep tight.

Your dreams’ll be a pretty sight
As you make everything all right.
Now it’s time to say “good night.”
Now it’s time to sleep tight.
Jamison, good night.
Jamison, sleep tight.

Lay down and close your eyes.
Breathe deep and relax to sighs
As Daddy starts to rhapsodize,
Harmonize and sing lullabies.
Jamison, good night.
Jamison, sleep tight.

10 May 2016

Know Woe

Know Woe
6 May 2016

My commute was horrible.
People weren’t very nice.
The other drivers were terrible.
I almost got hit twice.
Traffic was the worst, wouldn’t you know,
The real possibility of a flat tire
In the miles and miles of slow and go
Just pushed my stress levels higher.
Arriving home, I promptly collapse.
Tomorrow’ll be another rat race.
I dream of retiring, perhaps.
My life needs a change of pace
And I’m in danger of a relapse.
Thinking, I don’t see any choice,
My life’s stalled, stuck in a rut.
Nothing makes my heart rejoice,
But I’m angry enough to kick butt.
Alas, I don’t know who’s butt to kick.
I want to feel better, that’s for sure.
All this stress is making me sick.
Tonight I’ll make alcohol my cure.
One immediate affect of drinking
Is a change in mood and thinking.
So as to not borrow sorrow,
I’ll think about tomorrow tomorrow.

26 April 2016

Sacred Spread

Sacred Spread
23 April 2016

My heart’s homeward bound
To the original homestead;
To the ranch, miles from town
Out to the old spread.
With wheat fields all around,
The way it touches me’s profound.
It’s where my soul gets fed
To make this my sacred ground.

I walk barefooted, feeling
The dirt between my toes.
I breathe deeply, healing
My heart from its woes.
Tension leaves me, kneeling
I sense the Earth’s vibratos.
Yes, I’m connected, appealing
For the peace this place bestows.

17 April 2016

Rationalize Exercise

Rationalize Exercise
9 April 2016

Does going depend on how I feel?
Can I give myself the right spiel
And remind myself of the ideal
To achieve muscles of steel?
If I stay or go
Only I will know,
But the results will show
As buff or marshmallow.
What difference will it make
If I choose not to partake?
My resolution, I’ll forsake,
And avoid any pain or ache.
I should go to the gym
If I want to stay trim,
But maybe today on a whim
I’ll do the antonym.
Just this once, I’ll stay,
Only for this time, today.
Next time I’ll say,
“I’m going anyway.”

12 April 2016

Malign Turbine

This week one of my poems was published by my hometown newspaper. Last Fall wind turbines were installed and are now operational: http://sjrnews.com

Malign Turbine
1 April 2016

For some, turbines mean pollution for the eyes
In an effort to reduce pollution in the skies.

Wind turbines can be seen as towers with spikes
Which endanger flying birds with strikes,

Or they can be viewed in comparison
As graceful spinners turning in unison.

I have memories of the gusty wind blowing
Making it hard to get to where I was going.

The wind became an implacable foe,
Pushing me where it wanted me to go,

Always plucking at my hair and clothes.
Some relief came with sunset furloughs.

The wind still continues in its abuse,
But it’s finally been lassoed into some use.

Those who moan and wail about the view shed,
Won’t get much sympathy from us Monticello bred.

01 April 2016

Vegas Ruckus

Vegas Ruckus
29 March 2016

The bewildered look on my face
Says I’m not in Kansas anymore.
I’m feeling so out of place,
Where there’s sinning galore.
They told me Vegas would be fun,
But here I’m feeling overcome.
Out on the street there’s too much sun.
Where did all these people come from?
It’s effin’ easy to be overrun.
Everything here’s so much bigger.
It’s really way over the top.
It’s all too much for my vigor.
Let me go home or make it all stop.

26 March 2016

Little Bunny Fu Fu

Little Bunny Fu Fu
Retold 14 March 2016

Down by the station
Early in the morning,
Little Bunny Fu Fu
Hoppin’ thru the forest,
Pickin’ up field mice,
And boppin’ ‘em on the head.
Down came the Good Fairy who said,
“Little Bunny Fu Fu
I don’t like to see you
Picking up the field mice,
And bopping ‘em on the head.
Your behavior’s kind of strange,
I’ll give you three chances to change.
If you don’t behave soon,
I’ll change you into a goon!”

The next day:
Little Bunny Fu Fu
Hoppin’ thru the forest,
Pickin’ up field mice,
And boppin’ ‘em on the head.
Down came the Good Fairy who said,
“Little Bunny Fu Fu
I don’t want to see you
Picking up the field mice,
And bopping ‘em on the head.
Your behavior’s kind of strange,
You have two more chances to change.
If you don’t behave soon,
I’ll change you into a goon!”

The very next day:
Little Bunny Fu Fu
Hoppin’ thru the forest,
Pickin’ up field mice,
And boppin’ ‘em on the head.
Down came the Wood Fairy who said,
“Little Bunny Fu Fu
I just hate to see you
Picking up the field mice,
And bopping ‘em on the head.
Your behavior’s kind of strange,
You have one more chance to change.
If you don’t change your tune,
You’ll become a goon!”

The very next morning:
Little Bunny Fu Fu
Hopping thru the forest,
Picking up field mice,
And bopping them on the head.
Down came the Wood Fairy who said,
“Little Bunny Fu Fu
I just hate to see you
Picking up the field mice,
And bopping them on the head.
Today’s just like yesterdays,
You haven’t changed your ways.”
Poof! She changed Little Bunny Fu Fu
Into a goon.

The moral of the story is
Hare today, goon tomorrow.
Do what the Wood Fairy says
To avoid heartache and sorrow.

15 March 2016

Mission Permission

Mission Permission
12 March 2016

If I give myself full permission
To do the necessary fun things,
As a part of my personal ambition,
I’ll experience joy so my heart sings.
I need to arrange my say-so
To make sure all systems are go.
No more mediocre, nor so-so;
It’s full speed ahead from the get-go.
Aiming high with personal dispensation
I can achieve anything I want to.
On my authority and authorization
I’ll accomplish what I’m wont to.
Yes, doing what pleases me
Lets my inner child sing.
Even if it means flaunting society,
I’ll have fun doing my thing.

09 March 2016

Enjoy Joy

Enjoy Joy
7 March 2016

I have joy, joy, joy in the morning.
It makes me sing, sing, sing my heart out.
I’m telling you all of this as a warning
Because that’s the way my days start out.
I just love feeling fine.
In the morning, I have joy
And true happiness is mine.
Poetry and songs, I employ
To express these strong feelings.
I savor the sense of accomplishment
As I go thru the day’s dealings
And handle them without embellishment.
I’m telling you all of this as a warning
Because that’s the way my days start out.
I have joy, joy, joy in the morning.
It makes me sing, sing, sing my heart out.

05 March 2016

Tribal Survival

This story in the San Francisco Chronicle inspired the poem below:


Tribal Survival
3 March 2016

A part of me wanted to shed a tear,
But my well of feeling was so deep
It felt more like mourning’s nadir.
Profound feelings managed to seep
To the depths of my weary soul.
I was reading stories of long-term
Survivors of the hiv and AIDS  toll.
They coped while others became infirm,
And tended them until they expired.
The survivors living on to become
Victims themselves, overwhelmed and tired.
In some cases getting to be scum,
Too sick to work, but too healthy to perish;
Ending up in medical and financial limbo.
In an effort to avoid more nightmarish
Emotional trauma, they isolated in woe.
Still living and struggling to adjust,
In trying to keep it all together,
Some days it’s been a case of just
Putting one foot in front of the other.
But it’s not over until the fat lady sings.
Disappointment, joy, loss, love, despair,
Boredom, hope and gratefulness are fillings
For their individual stories of life’s scare.
In a few cases older men have connected.
Ultimately, who will be the last man standing;
The last man to tell his tale, respected
For enduring to the final disbanding?

23 February 2016

Horsehead Homestead

Horsehead Homestead
21 Feb 2016

Out in a rural western state,
Along with the mesas and canyons,
Located miles from the interstate
Are foothills of junipers and piñons.

There’s a small town between
The tilled lands and the forest
From which a horsehead can be seen.
On the mountainside, it’s manifest.

Whether in or out of bed,
Out on the old homestead
They want the horsehead
To stand them in good stead.

With good luck besides,
The spirit of the horse
High on the mountainsides
Watches over their course.

The horsehead keeps its watch,
Looking at the Colorado plateau;
Across scenery that’s top-notch,
Over the years thru sun or snow.

18 February 2016

Night’s Sights

Night’s Sights
17 Feb 2016

While camping out in a remote area, I went to bed
And dreamed about the Milky Way arched overhead.
The sky was festooned with stars strewn
As points of light along with the moon.

I read a children’s simple story,
Full of imagery and all allegory,
Where the kids traveled in train cars
Out to talk to the moon and stars.

There was a sword and sorcery novel,
Where the hero started in a hovel,
Then grew up and gained magical avatars
To pull power from the moon and stars.

I read a science fiction book
With its futuristic outlook.
It was a rocket pilot’s memoirs
About flying to outlying stars.

19 January 2016

Creation Invocation

Creation Invocation
14 January 2016

Speak to me, Muse.
Inspire me to write
So that I feel of use
And not small or trite.
Help my preparation,
Thinking and exploration
In search of inspiration.
Speed up the period of incubation
In my subconscious foundation,
Of sorting and reaching validation.
I want instant illumination
A triggering of my imagination
To the point of forced creation.
Please, ease the implementation
Of my rhyming communication
Into a pleasing presentation.
Muse, please whisper in my ear.
Whisper enchanted communiqués
And the secrets I want to hear
To end this writer’s block phase.