home is another four letter word
like hero, or love, or safe
which I have never had
if you haven’t, either.

it’s not the rug on this floor, this speckled ceiling
or the blueberries turning soft in the fridge
as days pass and I don’t eat
well, because you don’t, either.

it’s in the clasp of our hands.
it’s in the slow, steady breath of sleep.
it’s in this imagination, this imaginary, this image

placed before us of a well-lit window
letting in the slantest view of heaven
while keeping out everyone else.

I won’t have it. I won’t have a home
crippled with hate, whipped with lies
and if they have their way, I won’t

have a life in that home
because of the few true things
worth dying for

and living for
home is one



for Brendan’s Weekend Mini-Challenge: Home, in the imaginary garden with real toads


Carved pencil lead art by Salavat Fidai, featured on the blog thisiscolossal

Carved pencil lead art by Salavat Fidai, featured on the blog thisiscolossal. Fair use



“Go F*ck Yourself I’m Coloring” is what I’m currently “reading”. It contains no sentences aside from the pitch at the end which asks for reviews. When I’m done, I’ll write a review because the author asked.

The no-sentence form is my speed, now, in this age of screens and quarter-second attention spans, and alternative facts and a bifurcated view of science that allows for the typing of sentences on keyboards by those who use the fruits of the same physics and chemistry and biology that underpin the validity of climate change (said science (and engineering) being co-eval with the ability to launch satellites and craft solid-state hard drives and exploit 7 year old Congolese children to mine the cobalt that is needed to manufacture the iPhone you might be reading this on) while still exhibiting stunning cognitive dissonance in denying the rest of the family, as it were – blissfully ignorant that they would be *unable* to spew their misinformed selective misanthropy and misogyny without it.

Math is not a rumor.

Bright pencils. Stay between the lines. No need for punctuation (which, after all, I don’t use in my poetry, anyways.) Who needs books with paragraphs and chapters and series and people loving and dying and betraying?

It’s good form, isn’t it, to follow through on someone else’s query? Not the clickbait kind, or the rhetorical – not the ones where the answer is definitely “no” (or “yes” if you’re on the opposite side of the equation) – but the kind of question which settles in, like a friendly cat around your ankles, keeping you from moving on until you’ve paid enough attention – the focused kind, where you don’t scratch behind the ears too hard under threat of claws, but where you elicit *that* purr that in turn activates your own pleasure center. That kind of question – that’s the kind on which to follow through, isn’t it?

It’s more than colorful language, in this book. Well, at the moment, less than colorful. It’s only black and white until we answer those questions, until we give in to the purr and respond.

Let me ask you a question. Are you still reading? Of course, that’s a yes/no question, but not clickbait, or rhetorical. It’s the lead-in to the follow-up: why? Why stay here, when there are mountains to climb, rivers to ford, oceans to sail, gardens to plant or weed or harvest, lovers to love, wine to drink, meals to shop for and prepare and cook and feast and then dessert! With whipped cream! Why keep reading about a curse-word now-blank coloring book (with a pending review) when there is color *all* *around* *you*, asking its own questions – the kinds only you can hear, and answer?



Prose “poetry” for Meeting The Bar at dVerse, if overlong (sorry, Frank.)

Amnesty International‘s report, picked up and expanded by other agencies like The Guardian, report on children being used to mine precious minerals used in electronics manufactured by giants like Apple and Samsung.

Climate change is anthropogenic. NASA (among others) has comprehensive data.

Coloring book at Amazon.





the Canada geese waited.
crows stood, then flit – wings like eyebrows – then stood again,
gulls arguing over scraps like my sons over the front seat,
and blackbirds thieving (when they could)
beneath and amidst the low, damp fog
hovering like a conscience over the emerald lawn fronting Lake El Estero
this time not guilty
for drinking from deep aquifers
since the rains have returned, as they say, with a vengeance.

the Canada geese waited
for each other, dipping, waddling, defecating
without a care for where *you* stepped
and why should they
for haven’t we shit all over everything, anyways?

once, my first and only time hunting, I shot a Canada goose
in Illinois in a quite unsportsmanlike manner – it hadn’t risen in flight –
encouraged by my then brothers-in-law
who wanted for me the kill.
I carried his loose-necked body back to the truck, then after we drove
to the dressing hut, to the room with the feathering machine
humming its rubber fingers over the carcass
so we could take the nude bird home, to stew.

the Canada geese waited for death in a stick
while loving each other in the fog
and I couldn’t tell the difference.



offered to Open Link Night 190 at dVerse


I’m waiting for the moon
to save us – aren’t you?

Meanwhile, she smiles shyly
as an ingenue on a first date

as though she doesn’t know
how she pulls us

even though she does.
Maybe ‘us’ is too narrow a word.

Maybe, as the seas wash over us
it won’t be people she’ll be saving



55 for Kerry’s And the Moon – Micro Poetry prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads


about 1967

about 1967


somehow I remain startled to see my father
staring out the mirror, when to memory it’s my son’s face
that should still be there.
my live father, of course – not the empire of dirt

I don’t visit behind the mausoleum marble
in the cemetery next to the children’s park
which once had a spinning metal ride
since removed, they say for insurance

we all wanted to spin on, in the back
where they said it went fastest. He spins fastest now
18 in a few days
which I vaguely remember in flashes

sitting on the lawn before Psych 100 class,
or my birthday party with the cool flyer
I could never quite replicate later,
or Heather’s tang, heat, and pallor

when I broke Tawny’s heart by disappearing
for 3 days with her bicycle
while Heather turned Tom’s photo
taped to the lampshade, to the wall.

we all break, or have broken
and if I haven’t of late
it’s only because I’ve been silenced
by what’s in the mirror

as I wonder, will they break,
these boys, in the battle to come
or will they speak
even though the shards will cut them


about 2003

about 2003




offered to Poetry Pantry #340, at Poet’s United

My father was an immigrant to the US in the mid 1950’s.

Photos (c) author, and may not be replicated, reproduced, or published in any form.



often I play with vowels: Wall becomes Well becomes Will
so what will we do?

certainly, we’re not well
as the wall approaches.

would Frost approve?
Some say yes – advocate of good neighborliness

but I say, that was the neighbor.
He was equally ambivalent about endings

so I wonder – is the wall fire
or ice?



55 for Marian’s Walls prompt, in the imaginary garden with real toads

Robert Frost famously wrote about walls in his poem, Mending Wall, and about the end of the world, in Fire and Ice

the conceit of men

image from nasa.gov. fair use.

Fingerprints of Water on the Sand. image from nasa.gov. fair use.


We exist, or don’t, in a larger search for meaning

some drawing lines straight and hard as railroad tracks (though often missing the curves); others falling into or from consciousness as though raindrops borne in towering cumulonimbus that tumble down the pachinko of needles offered in the arms of tall redwoods to cascade to a darkened forest floor, thence consumed by soil and earthworms and reimagined as a river flowing to the sea

– a disorderly communion, a fracas, a chattering; so meaning eludes us, and we sit

while the ages pass, accreting wrinkles, calcifying television waves into bitter salts that define our outlines but leave us hollow as the stone figures left when Pompeii exploded.

So now the grinding stones move against us, heedless of softness, offering only scrape and pain. Now there is no shade in the burning sun. Now meaning is only shadows – what we hope for, wish for: the coolness of night, or, at least, a refuge from the burning.

50 million years may pass before the next generation of consciousness rises again. It will be from a different order, since Homo non-Sapiens will have extinguished the larger vertebrates and likely the edible cephalopods. Possibly carapaced, or 6-limbed – the proverbial cockroach. Maybe some minor branch of Reptilia will rise again to claim the sun. Or perhaps water itself will organize into marching H’s and O’s, linking in ways we cannot conceive, forgetting the bags of skin that once held it, needing only touch and a few hours of sunlight and speaking in the tongue of waves crashing on rocks because sand is the conceit of men:

dust is sand is pebble
is stone is rock is continent is Earth
is the Sea. Is the Sea. is the sea.



a haibun, of sorts, for dVerse. Offered to The Tuesday Platform, in the imaginary garden with real toads