What do you see?


She is treating me to dinner just for two.
Does this situation seem sardonically untrue?
A little boo–zing caused this thought?

Conclusive hints from a glance at a Rorschach inkblot.

Tumbling After

Why is it that we speak of “falling in love”
As if it were a trap with no way out,
Or something involuntary, uncontrolled:
A muscle spasm, cancer, or a cold?

I beg to differ–love is not a fall,
But something other, like an upward climb
That strains the limbs and lungs and lover–
A bit of sorrow, bit of sour lime,

A troubling task now mastered by so few–
The rest all Jack and Jill on down the hill
With broken bones and not a drop of water,
Still unaware of love’s fantastic view.

Waiting for Dad

The sundraped buildings mark the evening sky
As whispers tremble liquid in her ear–
She scarcely heard a word, nor met my eye:
A twilight twinge of unabated fear.

The night is here, her neon signs ablaze
(Small comfort for a country child of eight)
I do not know the city or its ways,
Her silence makes my small heart palpitate.

Another bus approaches and is gone;
Some strangers wander past us in the dark
And still we linger on and on and on.
Another bus, more strangers disembark–

“That’s him!” she cries, and then he’s in our arms:
A father’s presence ceases all alarms.

Words Optional

Currents of sweat carve channels down his face,
Deep wrinkles forming mountains when he smiles
That speak in peaks, a volume without words
That carry meaning multiples of miles.

I glass the gesture and two smiles appear
Reflecting back and forth in double glory–
One thousand words exchanged in silent wonder,
A splash of pearl white lightning, then deep thunder
Rumbling peals of laughter greet the story.


We make friends on plane rides and in waiting rooms,
A mayfly that lives, breeds, and dies in a day,
Taking a scrape of our painted exterior,
Giving our varnish in moments away,
Leaving us natural, naked, and raw,
Paint peeled and fading, weathered and worn,
Lives like a pauper–ready to mourn
Or ready to laugh at this strange seeming flaw.

A Wendy’s in Dover

I found God in a Wendy’s in Dover
And I asked Him what He was doing there.
He said it was as good a place as anywhere
And He wasn’t afraid of the common.

I met God again at an Exxon in Memphis
And I asked Him where He was going next.
He said, “Miss Sherry’s” and I looked perplexed,
But He knocked on the townhouse next door.

I ran into God in a bar in South Philly
And I asked Him what He was drinking.
He said, “It’s alcoholic, not O’Douls like you’re thinking.”
And so I ordered one of the same.

I saw God again in the line at the Walmart
And I asked Him what He was buying.
He said, “Nothing–I’m only just trying
To get your attention and an invitation.”

I told God He could come visit my house
And I asked Him to stay for dinner.
Even though I was a sinner
He forgave me and stayed forever.

Honeysuckle Evenings

You came up on me like a five o’ clock shadow–
Barely there, but attention-grabbing,
A touch of wetness and a blink of Spring,
A sniff of sadness and some other thing–
Melting ice and powdered sugar,
A half-lit porch with a creaky swing;
“Summer’s here,” you keep whispering.
I’m listening, always listening;
I cannot tame this barbarian.

A Valley Girl’s Lament

I, like, wish that my sentences?
Weren’t, like, so lame?
You know? Like, all questions?
And they all sound, like, the same?

Why Does Dust Dance in Heavenly Light?

Oh, did those feet in ancient time
Leave footprints in the sand,
Or were the beaches seared to glass
Beneath their Maker’s hand?

Did the holy and the worldly clash
With every footstep trod?
Did rocks dare lift their jagged heads
And bruise the heel of God?

Did mosquitoes change their diet,
Nearby babies scream and wail,
Briars scratch and ivy itch Him,
Clouds pour down swift buckets of hail?

Was it we alone who nailed Him
Stripped and beaten to the cross,
Or did all the natural world assail Him–
Stake a claim in His life’s loss?

Word it through the grapevine

Like all good writers I’m a drinker;
Unlike the best ones I’m no drunk.
I might write thoughts, but I’m no thinker,
For every poet is a purebred punk.

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