Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Color of Christmas

I wrote this in the late 1980s. Even though it is not a happy poem, it is one of my favorites.

City sidewalks filled with holiday color,
silver bells, red and green lights.
Soon it will be Christmas Day.

A final holiday toast at work, then
dashing through the slow
traffic, heading for one more open mall,
frazzled, but cheerful last-minute shoppers
make the last stop before
an evening with loved ones at home.

City streets are now deserted except for a few
for whom the color of Christmas is blue.
No one stops. No loved one's shopped
for the one who has no home.
No toasting, no chesnuts roasting, no open fire,
Jack Frost nips at his nose,
toes and fingers. Out in the street
Jack Daniels' brown liquid provides
little warmth. No heat.

In the hours before it turns Christmas,
blue mood turns to blue skin.
The blue uniform and flashing red lights
arrive too late.
And all the world's gold and green
can't color this one's holiday scene.

The man in the red suit passed through this morn,
but no one in black mourned
the lone man's passing.

And amidst the gleeful noise
of girls and boys and clanging toys,
no one dressed in new shades
of purple, teal and clay
noticed the Christmas sky was gray.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Subtle and powerful
Endless vista ends at the horizon
Relentlessly methodical
Totally random

An edge
A bridge to everywhere
Sand melts into water
the hard line between them in constant motion



Saturday, August 18, 2007

Life In The Exurbs

A dove coos,
dogs bark,
the highway hums
as dark
gives way to

Mowers buzz,
roses bloom.
A conversation about
last night’s full moon
leads to
neighborhood gossip.

Fresh tomatoes,
iced tea
and buy one
get one free
draws a crowd to
the nearby outlet mall.

Grill sizzles,
steak fries.
A lonely child
as friends and family
mingle outside.

A dove coos,
dogs bark.
The highway hums
as dark
covers the cul-de-sac
miles from town.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Restless Quest

A restless quest for a perfect life
dominates my thinking,
contradicts logic and reality,
leads to heavy drinking.
When one thing is right another is wrong.

A restless quest for a perfect life
is depressing,
passive aggressive
and is dragging me around like a dog on a leash.

A restless quest for a perfect life,
marriage, kids, a trophy wife,
suburban estate, private schools
is a great dream for lunatics
and fools.

A restless quest for a perfect life
contradicts my
normal high level of acceptance
for life as it is.
What rhymes with acceptance?

A restless quest for a perfect life
bounces me on hard concrete
several times
and whacks me
into a brick practice wall.

A restless quest for a perfect life,
a stressless, messless …
This is a pointless
exercise in finding meaning
and purpose in life.

Purpose and meaning
will find me
when I lighten up
and discontinue
my restless quest for a perfect life

Monday, August 13, 2007

Status Quo

Empty heart
hoping to be full again
Dreaming of time

collides with present
Time and distance
face off
Status quo
No me and you.
Just me.
And you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


seeking what isn’t there
longing to live my own life
not yours.

There’s a crowd here
but you don’t feel me
nor I you.

for the right moment
to break free.
Not yet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Attic

If the attic could talk,
what stories would it tell?
Old clothes, ugly ties;
what’s that smell?

Boxes of pictures,
a dusty bike,
“we might need that lamp some day,”
presents we no longer like.

If the attic could read,
what stories would it tell?
Old love letters, report cards;
a trombone we meant to sell.

A life of collected fragments
sit covered in dust.
If the attic could rearrange the randomness
what would it say about us?

Who Are You When The Lights Go Out?

No need to smile.
No one is looking.
Be yourself for awhile.
No one is thinking
a depressed you even exists.

Maybe that smiley face the world sees
IS the real you,
even if your mirror reflects
a curmudgeon in the dungeon

Cry for awhile.
No one is looking.
Swim for awhile
till you start sinking
in a sea of the life you think you missed.

The happy person everyone thinks you are
might melt into the night
and turn sour and stale.
The real you can hide in the shadows.

Or live for awhile.
No one is looking.
Hike for a mile
through a mood of your making;
the optimistic mood on which you insist.

The positive person you once thought you were
can walk out into the light.
Life is a struggle
but you’re not alone when the lights go out.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Color Of No Love

A blank page stares back.
No words written,
none spoken.

White paper, blue mood,
gray solitude.
A red-blooded male,
prone alone
on black satin sheets
with a crystal-clear vision
of scarlet lace on tan skin.
Purple clouds of desperation.
White lightning flashes frustration.
Green with envy at another's rainbow.

Drifting off now ...
A few words written, still none spoken.
Murky green blue-gray melting ...
foggy ...
no spark, no flash ...
gray ...
what is ...
where ...
Page stares back ...
Fade to black.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some new stuff ...

I found a few old scraps of poetic writing today. I usually remember the circumstances behind what I've written, but a few of these completely elude my memory.

He'll Come Along One Day

For you, it may not come
like lightning and thunder,
it may be more subtle
hidden under
blankets of caring and friendship.

Be he a knight in shining limo
or some guy on a bike,
he'll be both gentle and strong,
someone you like
as a friend first.

Open your mind
to the possibility,
then open your eyes
and you may see
him before you.

It'll happen.
He'll come along one day,
you'll open your heart
and hear yourself say
"I love you."

Last Call

How can love just die,
and friendship fly

How can all the closeness and
memories of warm, loving years
just stop cold?
With a handshake on the phone?
And no tears?
A call that ends because
there's nothing left to say?

How can two who would be
together forever
never speak to each other

How can love just die
and friendship fly
and end in so much pain?

Love In The USA

Love begins with infatuation
in the land of the free,
this wonderful nation
that guarantees
life, liberty and
the pursuit of a new lover.

What a wonderful situation,
eyes make contact
skin tingles
heartrates clumb
bodies connect.

They're not in love
they're infatuation.
They're in for
a roller coaster ride
up and down, in and out,
over and under
over and over
till dawn
or till it dawns on them
that they're infatuated,
not in love.
Then what?
Coney Island or
Fantasy Island?

In love in the
land of the free
and the home of
the lonely.

She Cannot

She wants the men
she cannot have
and cannot have
the men she wants.

The men who want her
cannot have her.
She does not want
the Man who wants her.

Rhyme and reason

Roses are yellow.
Sunsets are pink.
Writing is mellow
But sometimes I think

That poetry's silly
Some of the time.
I mean why place a word here
Just for the rhyme?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tomorrow Will Be Better

Sure it hurts today
dreams bashed
heart crashed
I'm smashed.
Scotch rocks
knocks the heartbreak out,
drowns the sorrow.
But tomorrow
will be better
won't it?
Anything's got to be better
than to be this bitter.
The glitter of infatuation
has washed down the drain,
but that scummy ring of pain
still lines the sink.

My life seems to have sunk.
And I'm drunk,
trying to remember why I think
that writing this stinking poem
will make it better.
But that inner voice that's helped me
climb out of this valley
before rings in my ear,
trying to get my attention,
trying to make me hear
it above the noise in this bar.

"You ARE
going to get over this
and maybe even
the morning after headache.
Roll over, hangover!
Pain, pain, go away,
tomorrow will be a better day!"


A loud laugh,
a piercing phrase;
unwanted words invade
and break the silence of this subway car
and void the isolation I try to create.

Talk talk talk. Stop.
Time for action.

Indecision is fog,
thick and dense,
limiting vision,
seeping into pores
and sapping the soul.

Decision clears the air
and carves a clean path
through valleys and hills
of indecision;
eliminates the unwanted.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fifteen And Forty

No one warned me
that at forty
it would be
just as tough to ask a girl out
as it was at fifteen.

That’s several lifetimes
ago and I’m many times
more confident, but
“no” is till no.
So I still hesitate to ask for a date
like I was still a teen.

Life can be so mean.
I mean why didn’t anyone warn me
that at forty
all the gaul I have at work
would melt away
every Saturday?
What’s this quirk
of human nature,
or is it just my nature?

Sure I’m Mr. Tough Guy
on the job
but after hours they just rob
me of my title,
these women I’d love to date,
and I hesitate
to ask them out
like I was still fifteen.


Shy boy,
extrovert girl,
chemistry from the start.

Adolescent exploration
that seemed destined to last

Or should I say it stopped?
Paused, maybe.

Decades later sparks flew again;
and fly,
in dreams, for now.

After years of change and growth,
and miles of separation,
chemistry remains.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Destiny Lesson

Why do we forget
lessons learned about

Are we destined to repeat
our failures forever,
forgetting to comprehend the mistakes
that send us
on this endless
loop of broken hearts
and false starts?

Why can’t we move on,
not in failure,
but in anticipation of the success
our new knowledge can bring us
in new relationships

I Blew It

I wanted to meet you.
I watched you as you
watched the band.
Our eyes met a couple times
and we both cracked those small,
self-conscious smiles that say
it's OK to meet,
but then we quickly looked away,
neither knowing what to say.

But some guy sure did.
He gabbed a mile-a-minute
with you and your friend,
mostly your friend.

And as the band took a break
I quietly left Club Blue
and went home alone again,
blowing a perfectly good chance
to meet you.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Time And A Dream

Who could know
all those years ago
that we’d still be friends.
And in touch,
wishing to touch each other
like we did then,
and like we never did then.

Forty going on seventeen,
wondering what it might mean
to be together for a night, a month, decades,
touching hearts and other parts,
reliving youth
with mature understanding and experience.
But when?

We talk and write
well into the night
of what we’d do with time and opportunity.
You and me, we both agree,
would love like there’s no tomorrow.
But time and distance conspire against us;
so for now we’re a dream that doesn’t end.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mere Love

Was it all a dream?
What a soft, sensous loving night!

A cool, moist, misty fog
crept through town.

Your misty eyes looking down
helped me realize
we have such love for each other.
And we express it so well,
our tip-toeing fingertips,
our touching lips;
our hearts touch.
There's such
poetry in your eyes,
your body, your heart.

We didn't make love tonight,
yet we made love all night
sharing words over a drink,
sharing scaring scenes from that movie,
sharing the cool, moist, misty fog,
sharing our warm, moist lips and
loving, luxurious touching,
loving touching that is so much deeper
than a mere touch or
than mere love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Salty air.
Relentless pounding ocean waves,
felt more than heard,
will be seen soon.

A pair of footsteps crunching on the beach
under the full moon
will be the only human sound.
Tires gently singing their song;
more of the old bridge behind now than ahead.
We’re almost there.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Twenty-five years later,
the Deep South,
still hot, wet.
Some things haven’t changed.
Her eyes are possessed by that
wicked smile from high school
times twenty
years of experience
we shared without each other.

Three hours later,
a hundred handshakes,
hi how-are-ya’s.
Many things remain the same.
Our questions probe each other’s
past, touching then and now;
Zydeco fills the voids
and flowing bubbly undresses lingering emotion.

Twelve midnight,
dance floor empty,
tables clearing.
One thing is still the same.
We’re afraid to touch
certain parts;
the heart
and one uncorked bottle stand between us.
One question remains unanswered.

Thunder and Light

Thunder doesn’t scare me
but I’d rather not be alone
when the lights go out.

They’re flickering now,
just like the lightning.

There’s no doubt
the power will be off soon.
It’s all clouds and rain out,
There’s no moon,
just the light from the lightning
and this old flashlight.

And the sound of the thunder,
that rumbling, tumbling, crackling
sound. I wonder
where you are tonight,
who you’re holding tight
as you franticly search for
your flashlight
till you remember you left it here.