Journey from Home

This poem was inspired by Ten Words on Facebook and is also posted there.

This is the way the stars shine
bright over hills empty but for fire’s rind
in coarse grass, too dry for flowers to grow
the silhouettes dig an hour or so,
staining the night with sweat sour
breath a huff hot with power
scratching at dirt pack,
breaking shovel and back
ground won’t give an inch
give it up, roll ‘im in a low ditch
father stands in respect, hat to chest
brother squats on hard heels and reflects,
dry men on dry earth
pushed from the land of their birth
mother and child search the dark for stones
cringe at every breath the wind moans
weave a pebble blanket over his body
a heavy weight to keep out coyote
they move on, wagon wheels squeaking
he stays, forgotten in their speaking,
and builds a fire in
his private cavern
to keep out night
and blind the twinkling starlight
‘til the winds make the grass bow
and buzzards find him anyhow
and that day star bleaches his skull
and gives the dreams room to grow


Pretty Girls Don’t Light Their Own

This poem is inspired by Ten Words on Facebook and also posted there.

You make a show
motions deliberately cool, slow
of lighting her cigarette
cup it in hands, intimate
shhhk shkk, in the dark flames glow
you draw the lighter back, the pull
bringing her close
perfume, rose, filling your nose
weaves strings of smoke as she breathes
oxygen across tobacco leaves
from the bar music wafts
and rain plops and downdrops
like the beats and the bass
she says she likes the rain
but really she wants t’ hold
that cig and feel the distance fold
between your unworn souls

Goal Pants


The pants I aspire to wear
You hang there
taunting me
Among sweaters seldom seen
T-shirts from the last century
The shorts with the holes
that have a part of my soul
a map of my life in stains
the ice cream and green paint
And that black dress I hide
Only worn to say goodbye
The sleeves darkened with tears
Shoulders heavy with future fears

But these pants don’t fit well
And never will
Today they’ll be tossed
And I won’t feel like I’ve lost
Because all the uniforms I wear
are still there


A girl in Gucci and a guy in rags

Stand on a corner

The girl is waiting for the light to change

The guy is waiting for a lot more to change

Her lips are painted with high gloss

And unshed sobs

His lips are painted with steep loss

And words society robs

She carries a real leather purse

He carries a real heavy thirst

They don’t look at each other


She doesn’t see his sign

It’s cardboard and says ‘help me’

He doesn’t hear her mind

In it, she screams ‘save me’

An ambulance speeds by

Sirens blaring

They both look up


I had a weird hair

It grew on my back

When I was 30, I went on the attack

Trimmed it every day

But I couldn’t keep it away

When I was 40, I cut it to size

Hoping to hide it with an appropriate disguise

When I turned 50, it turned gray

I decided to let it have its way

It grew to an amazing length

And sapped most of my strength

At 60 we made a compromise

I gave it ten inches and it would keep away the guys

We lived happily for years

Sharing in joys and fears

100 came and I gave it a name

Sir Waddlesworth de Mirth

Don’t ask why, just give me the certificate of birth