Flame

Sometimes I see myself sitting near a small fire 

A fire that is another person

Animal 

Or just some other living thing.

A fire that I feed

By pulling something from inside myself that is inexhaustible 

And feeding it to the fire

That other person

Other life form

To nurture it

To keep it burning

As I

Reach my hands out

Warming myself

My heart

All that I am

With the warmth of that fire

That other person

Other life form

With the energy that flows between us

back and forth

Both of us giving 

Both of us flames in our own ways to ourselves

And Others. 

THERE IS A BEAUTY IN SADNESS

There is a beauty in sadness

A sadness that crushes you inside 

Makes you want to die

Or just end yourself.

There is a beauty in a sadness

That makes you feel all that

Reeling through your own toxic darkness

Then oddly

Insanely

Finding little things to smile about

Joke about

Laugh about 

And finally,

Cry about

As you laugh. 

It’s a sadness that

Despite wanting to Die,

It brings you back to Life

Feeling so deeply

Vulnerably 

Fragile

HUMAN 

Sensing all inside and outside 

With that sadness 

Like a new sensory organ 

To feel so fully 

DEEPLY

Human 

And connect with… 

Life

And now beyond the desire for Death,

LIVING.

Waiting For Death


When I was young

Death was an abstract

Animals died

People on tv and in the movies died

(But not really)

Someone’s grandma

Grandpa

Father or mother 

Died

They grieved and they lived.

People in distant places died

American soldiers died

The draft just died and I was safe

No distant war on tv death for me

No sirree

I was young

I was mortal without thinking about 

Just living…

Death for other people 

Other things

Death in fictions

Not my reality until…

The pains of life chipped away at me 

Suddenly times dumbly staring pain filled eyes glazing

(I think I’m dying,

No you’re just getting old

And feeling like death when you get up in the morning)

Suddenly times driving 

Wondering if death is in the headlights ahead

Or that slam of pain in my chest at work 

Or simply

Not waking up

Or horribly

Feeling the shock 

The horror

Of an erupting sun not the sun.

Older now I feel like sitting on my porch 

Waiting for IT

Like a passing visitor come to take my immortality

Like a passing newspaper reporter come to take my name 

Add it to the names of the kids I grew up with

Ah is that MY name someone see’s with the growing list of dying in MY generation?

Older now

I feel like sitting on my porch 

Inviting it over

Come over Stranger,

I’ve been waiting for you all my Old life,

Give me a hug and 

Fuck it 

Let’s get this moment over with. 

KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD

I was on a walk one day when I encountered a child kicking a can as he 

She walked

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Nothin, just kickin’ this life down the road. 

“You mean you are kicking a can down the road” I corrected. 

“Yes and yes,

It’s a can and it’s a life” he she replied.

I started to laugh and to humor the child I said, 

“Whose life?”

“YOUR LIFE” the kid said in reply.

Suddenly,

I felt dizzy

My body

Mind

Whirling

Banging

Dinging

Smashing into things

Being kicked

Smashed into things 

As I heard voices around me 

Then………  it all stopped and in wonder, looking up into the sky and a blurred child’s face above,

I asked in a last gasp whisper…

“Who are you

WHAT are you?”

The child’s face grew horrible and beautiful

Sad and peaceful at the same time and said,

“I AM DEATH”

I felt the life escaping me as I lay there and then Suddenly I felt myself KICKED again…

Dizzy

My body

Mind

Whirling

Banging

Dinging

Smashing into things

Being kicked

Smashed into things 

As I heard A around me 

Above me say, 

“Here, 

Let me kick the can for a while…”

I got up, 

Shaky 

I looked at another kid

A new kid 

And in a quivering voice said…

“Hey kid, you keep kicking that can… kick it far

Kick it long

For a long long time 

Try to be gentle with THAT can 

And when you stop… 

Try to find a nice place for it” 

I kept walking 

I keep walking 

Hoping I never see any kids 

Bored,

Kicking cans

Kicking…… down the road. 

This May Sound Creepy

(Ok I think this more of an experimental prose-poem than regular poetry)

This may sound creepy but bear with me….

When I was young and even up to a decade or so ago, I was terribly shy with women. I had extreme low self esteem that sabotaged any attempts to get to know girls. As the years passed that faded. Not all but most of it did. There was this burden on me of looking at so many women as possible mates or in some sexual way. NOW, I feel comfortable in being free of so much of that. It allows me to  WATCH people in what I hope is a non staring way. Gaze and let my gaze keep moving. Have them in my sights but keep the cross hairs moving to the many targets around me.

In the grocery store. 

Grocery stores are great places to watch people. Sometimes we find Lights and other times we think a light that was merely shifting shadow. 

Such as today.

I was doing my weekly food shopping trip at my favorite grocer. I was dirty and full of back and other pains from work. As I trundled along often looking at the list of food to get on my phone, I looked out of myself at people. Most people are unremarkable to me. I often force myself to smile at those and try for a remarkable smile from them. I did that today. Large black women looking as tired as I. Stop. Excuse me. Smile. Smile back. Not so unremarkable. Some light in there. 

As I walked along, I saw a woman that seemed ageless. Fit. She was there for more than the food. She was fun to watch. She was … CURIOUS. I did my purposeful search and kept seeing her.  Random  curiosity.  Go over here, look at this. Over there, look at that. She had a few items. I found her remarkable for her ENERGY. An energy that came from inside. She was like a dancer going through the store. I wanted to go up to her and tell her what I saw in her. To make her smile. I did not. Perhaps the oddness of it would have seemed like something CREEPY.  I left her alone. Remembering her energy. Wondering about her. Hoping all is well with her as I sit writing this. THAT PERSON. I had wanted to encounter a person I felt was remarkable. To glance inside them a little. 

Shadows. 

In the check-out line I saw a blonde woman. A little heavy. She had a bitch quality about her I found intimidating and interesting. She seemed to help an old woman who was probably close to my age, cut in line. I told the blonde woman what she had done was a good thing. She gave me a hostile look and said something that seemed to not have words. Just an utterance of NASTY.

Shadows. 

There are people like that that have a confusing vibe to them. 

There are also those that are confusing about what gender they are. Maybe they are not human. 

I wondered about such a person in the produce area. Dressed in women’s clothing. Dark lined face. 5 O’Clock shadow? A face of darkness not man or woman but dressed AS a woman. 

Look at the feet.

A man’s feet. More RIGHT to be in work boots not those soft very very LARGE shoes. Is there a woman locked-up screaming to get out of that man’s body dressed as a woman?

I did not want to find out. 

I waited to get the bananas and let the darkness pass. 

I find the greatest courage I see in life, 

Is when

In a grocery shop,

A stranger

A vulnerable woman

Will simply SMILE at me, 

Trusting I am not a monster

Looking past my work place begrimed clothes

Bent body

Gnarled dirty hands 

Looking into my eyes

Joining my smile and knowing the courage was rewarded. 

“Hello”.

(Now THAT took courage!

You went outside your walls and dared to trust)

Dorian Gray In Reverse

Outside you see this old man’s face and body

The lined face and beard

The head shaved to hide the hair loss

The body often slightly bent 

Cringing from the wear tear and pain of my life.

Inside, 

In a closet deep down

Hidden away

Is the shimmering ever youth changing face

Of a young man

Sometimes controlling the old man’s face

Body 

And thoughts 

With confused youth

Forgetting that old man’s face body and life

Under lapping youth under the skin of that old man

So close to the surface

So close to thought

To emotion

So close

So painful

The old man’s face smiles sadly

Looking a few doors down inside

To that closet,

Holding the face

The shadow body

The heart and soul

Of the youth he once was

And still at times

Is

But only inside

And sometimes outside 

Shallow beneath 

And inside

An old man’s smile.

THE CRIPPLE

One of my brothers hates me

For being liberal

For being different 

For being Weird

Poor 

And atheist. 

For being all he is not.

I do not hate my brother

I feel for him

Often a compassionate 

Empathetic 

Sympathetic 

SADNESS.

When our mother lay dying in front of us

I wept a drought ending rain

My brother went through the motions

Only the motions

The clouds coughing dry

The heart screaming in pain 

But my brother

My poor brother could not…. ………………………………….CRY. 

I felt for my brother

So much pain that night

So much pain in life

Because I saw what a poor cripple my hateful brother is

Because my brother, 

Cannot cry. 

Monsters

As a child I believed that all Monsters were just beneath my vision

In that blurred area we argue is not all in our imaginations

All in our heads.

As a child I believed that all monsters were ugly

Inhuman

Not in human form 

Or,

If so monstrously obvious that way.

As an adult I realized all those monsters were imaginary

Just beneath the vision

Inside the mind.

As an adult I learned ALL MONSTER are adults

Or the results of adults monstrous inhumane imaginings.

As an adult I learned that monsters are in human form all around us

Hidden beneath smiles we trust

titles we respect revere and trust

Authority we feel we need to obey

That Authority I learned

Is often what can bring out the Monsters in us

In I

In you

So real 

Not imagined. 

As an adult I realized the most comfortable monsters were those not real 

That we imagined

That shielded us from the real monsters

Often,

The adults around us

The adults we might become 

And the adults we would know

And learn of 

WHEN we became adults. 

A Fantasy Of Age

A child dressed as simply as a child can dress, entered a home for senior citizens, many with difficulties in moving,

Some, one step away from hospice care.

Without interruption, he went room to room. When the staff and workers at the facility encountered him,

He smiled

They smiled in return

Then let him pass 

And do, 

And say what he felt a need to do.

He went first to an old man and asked him what he would do if he could be young again

He growled 

Snarled and raged about the world about him….

The boy frowned slightly 

Touched the man’s forehead and smiled sadly

Feeling the anger, 

Fear 

And sadness of a lifetime bottled up for so long

Held onto as an identity.

Room to room he went,

Asking the same question over and over 

Over and over 

Sometimes he left alone

Other times 

He left with wide eyed giggling children

Dressed in cast-off garments of Age.

Who found each other and left the Home laughing 

Singing

Bubbling with joyful life and ambition. 

Sometimes he left a room filled with a smile

A sad sorrowful smile

Then raised himself up and kept going… room to room.

Finally, 

When the Home was near empty,

He encountered a lone old man trying to make his way down a hallway in a walker.

“What are you doing here, little boy” He asked,

“Are you lost”? 

“No,” The boy replied, 

“I am here to see if you (and others) are”

“What do you mean” the old man seemed to moan,

Sighing into the frame of the walker.

“If you had a chance to be young again,

NOT start over,

But to be young again,

How would you live

In body and mind”?

“Well isn’t that the damndest question” the man  muttered.

The child waited…

Hearing the silence,

The old man entered it,

Reflecting on his life 

Then smiled with tears in his eyes and said, 

I would live every moment as-if it were my last

Respect and nurture my body and mind and those all around me.

I would practice, use and give all the compassion, empathy, love and kindness I learned

In this life

live it in my new life.

I would live simply 

Without fear

Without anger

I would embrace my new life 

My new world 

All people

With a love I never felt I could share as I got older.”

The boy smiled, 

Touched the hand of the old man resting on the walker.

His hand shook

He collapsed

Sobbing,

Then 

A moment later, 

Giggling,

Shrieking with childish laughter

He dressed himself in the over sized garments of Age

And as a child of what would be assumed was 5

Left the Home

To enter the light of new home beyond it’s doors. 

Every Moment, A New Year

I do not believe in New Years Resolutions.

Every DAY we start a new year

A new life

By choosing new views

New paths

New ways.

Every day we have the opportunity for Change

Every moment,

Is an opportunity for Change

We decide if the change we choose will be 

Good 

Or bad.

If life throws us good or bad changes

WE decide how we will face those changes

Face life

Face ourselves and others.

Every moment we can help ourselves or others 

With a simple spark of mind

Or help ourselves.

Every moment we can build a world

Or help to shut it down.

Every day 

Every moment 

We can start a new year

A new life.