Thursday, November 2, 2017

when god died

when god died

when god died she lay on the kitchen floor
whimpering and panting and frightened
at three o’clock on easter sunday
while i helplessly stroked her
and alternately wept 
and whispered words of love

when god died she lay there helpless
wild eyed and tongue tied and shuddering
at three o’clock on easter sunday
while i helplessly sang songs
and alternately cringed
and whispered words of comfort

when god died she lay on the new blanket
shivering and gasping and watching
at three o’clock on easter sunday
while i helplessly moaned
and alternately sobbed
and whispered words of sorrow

when god died she lay there trusting
wondering and waiting and hoping
at three o’clock on easter sunday
while i helplessly wasted life
and alternatively moaned
and whispered words of parting

when god died she lay on the kitchen flood
swaddled and dull eyed and fading
at three o’clock on easter sunday
while i helplessly watched
and alternatively breathed
and whispered words of regret



Sunday, May 21, 2017


I have abandoned everything I ever loved
what makes you think I won’t abandon you?

a life of lies

I write with a serious tone
using serious words
as befits a large, white haired white bearded
man of advancing age
but, there below the surface,
revealed by a scratch or a nick
is a life of lies

The Perfectly Normal Beast

But of course the perfectly normal beast was living right there, in the clump of fallen cedars.
And the perfectly normal beast came out and surprised Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel said “Who are you?”
TPNB said “I’m the perfectly normal beast.”
Gretel said “Sorry but you don’t look perfectly normal to me.”
TPNB said “Well, that’s because I’m a beast. If you were a beast like me you’d probably say that I look normal.”
And Gretel said “That may be true.”

Hansel said “Are you here in the forest to do us harm?”
TPNB answered “Why, if I wanted to do you harm would I lurk in the darkest part of the forest by the fallen cedar trees?”
Hansel had no answer for that.

Then Gretel said “I’m hungry.”
And the PNB said “Are you? I have some sandwiches. Well, they look like sandwiches only they’re made out of pine bark and pine sap. But if you can overlook the pine bark and pine sap part they’re pretty good.”

Hansel said “I don’t wish to complain but I’m having a hard time overlooking the pine bark and pine sap part.”
Gretel agreed silently wishing she hadn’t taken such a voracious bite. Now her teeth were stuck together and her mouth tasted like pine-sol.

Then TPNB said “I guess you don’t like my sandwiches."
And Hasel replied “It’s not that I wish to disparage them but they’re inedible.”
Gretel spat in a most lady-like manner possible but could still only nod in agreement.

And TPNB said “I also have some gingerbread left over from the last time that strange, somewhat older, somewhat unattractive but never-the-less mean and nasty woman in the black pointy hat visited.”
Hansel said: “Do you mean she was a witch?”
TPNB replied: “Well, I don’t wish to generalize.”
The children looked about themselves fearfully!

my gun

take your gun and wave it in the face of the earthquake
take your gun and wave it in the face of the storm
take your gun and shoot all your ghosts dead
take your gun and wave it in the face of your god

The Long Time

I’m not certain if I ever knew my mother
stretching back over the decades
and all that remains are a few scraps,
skin tight over the bones

a few echoes of love and laughter
a few memories of angst and anger
a brittle look, a sad sigh
leading to the last helpless moments

alone and apart I hid
within my selfish world
reaching out occasionally
to grasp at need.

I’m not certain if anyone knew her
proud and private
carefully arranging the outside face
the only one that was allowed

a few times the facade softened
to let reality out or in
a moment of truth among truths
each I hold

on a New Year’s Eve at midnight,
in a violent summer storm,
in a hospital steeped in morphine
dreaming aloud.

I’m not certain if I ever mourned my mother
stretching back over the decades
and all I see are my wants 
and what is missing

a few fragments
strewn across the memories,
separated the real from the unreal
the myth from the history

a time when all seemed lost
a time when pain overwhelmed
a time when fear replaced hope
a time when the future stopped.

I’m not certain one can ever know another
disguise is a first nature
time creates truth from the lie
still, at the core, the lie remains

to define life
to exist life
to contain life
to lose life

cold in the coffin of the womb
the fading light of the birth
nursing at the breast of death
preparing for the night.

I’m not certain I recall her then
clutching the final breathes of ancient airs
swaddled in ice to cool the fever
sifting through life’s short memories

a subtle gasp
and life is gone
and I am alone
waiting for nothing

the bright lights brighter than before
the cold room colder than before
stillness in a sea of motion
a phone call to home.

I'm certain a memory clings:
a child has forgotten his homework
a surprise knock at the classroom door
gasps from the children

a murmur of voices and a call to me
and I approach an angel
framed in her halo of beauty
the sun dimmed

as the door closed
again I heard the murmurs
my moment of pride
leading to the last helpless moments.

Willie B. Goode

Deep down Stratford upon Avon, not far from east London
Way back amongst the shrubbery in the green garden
There stood a small mansion made of stone and wood
Where lived an English boy named Willie B. Goode
Who never learned to read or play music so well
But he could write a love sonnet like ringing a bell.

Go, go, go Willie, go
Go, go, Willie B. Goode….