Sunday, December 12, 2010


There's a man and his wife that just told their son
To stick close to the life he's always known
dreams are 'dreams' for a reason
And there's no point in thinking
Of something too far from your home.

This man and his wife never stopped to think whether--
They'd confused an anchor for a tether.

There's a man and his wife that just told their son
It's your life, live it how you want
they don't understand when he
rolls his eyes and
answers with a monosyllabic grunt

One day they'll see in their son's red-faced rancor--
They've confused a tether for an anchor

Friday, November 26, 2010

What a Difference a Day Can Make

I remember innocence,

I remember when
Autumn meant nothing more
Than piled leaves and
Uncomfortable sweaters
And those oddly-shaped decorative gourds
That mysteriously appeared in
All my classrooms

There was no talk
Of complicated beauty
Or of melancholy fruitlessness
Or of the last leaf;
Blown away by a painful new kind of cold

The man on the news
Was wonderfully--

And I never had time to sit and think
Like so many old men musing:
It all seems like only yesterday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bright Ideas

I've got hundreds of these,

I can't tell you how many times
I've crawled through the claustrophobic grey corridors
Of my brain, rounded a corner and saw fields of these
Glittering things, firmly set in the face of the rocks.
Melodies, poems, good deeds, novels, plays,
degrees, travel plans...

You can't use your fingers on them.
They won't budge.
I know, because I pass by everyone of them
And give them a little tug.
They aren't going anywhere.

I've brought tools at times;
I've even made progress on a few of them
But I ussually decided half-way through
That they weren't worth the work anyway

I mean...I'm full of bright ideas.
I've got hundreds of 'em.
And they sure are pretty to look at.

Friday, July 9, 2010



The word has two letters.
One consonant, one vowel.
It is such a simple utterance, "me".
Yet, I challenge you to define it!

"The objective case of I"
I know, I know--
But we both know that's not what I mean.

That just begs the question:
What is "I"?
What is meant by this simple symbol?

I am complicated.
That much is obvious.

Some say I am an organic machine.
With cells instead of transistors
Organs instead of gears.
Governed by my programming.
And nothing more.
They say "There is no ghost in the machine"
They mean that I am spiritless, and entirely material.

Some say I am 5 senses.
That within my being
Is the recipe for reality
And that these senses create everything I think to be true.
This may seem strange to me but I do this
every time I dream.
In a dream "Perception" and "Reality" are identical in meaning.
Perhaps we live in our own dream.
They say I am in this sense a "soul"
And nothing more.

Some say a great being.
A center of consciousness of some kind.
Perceived space and time.
Quarks, The universe, love....
And we are the living dream of that great soul.
Whose will encompasses everything.
And who moves a galaxy,
In the same exact way you or I would arch our backs,
or wiggle a finger.
That it's will directly controls it.

Some say we are part of that infinite will, that that being controls us.
And for them I is nothing more than a part of the great "I"
That perceives the universe.

Some say that this great being perceives beings that perceive.
And that these beings manipulate
the reality that the great being is perceiving.
They call this "Free will"

Some say nothing at all, and dig ditches till they die.
Never asking:

What am I?
What is real?
Why am I?

Then again, I've put a great deal of thought
Into this question.
I have only hunches and hopes.
Nothing more.

However I answer the question
I am only partly right,
There's always more truth.
"I am a person"
"I am a man"
"I work in a school"
"I wake up late sometimes"
I can make statements for all eternity
And it will never describe the fullness,
And the mind-boggling connectedness
that composes the fabric of what I am.

I will never,

no matter how eloquent, logical or intuitive I become;
no matter how many books I read on the subject;
no matter how much time I spend thinking and discussing;

be able to define this very complicated two letter word
with one consonant and one vowel:


Friday, June 11, 2010

On Death

I can't remember the first time I saw it.
No doubt I was a toddler,
Strapped into a padded chair,
With rattling distractions,
Staring out the tinted window of our minivan,
At the moving shape of a man
Crying near a twisted hunk of van
Upside down with it's headlights in our eyes

No doubt my sister moved herself
Between me and it,
And spun,
A multicolored toy
That caught my eye
Just long enough...

In my church the pews are empty
In places where kind old elders,
Scolded me with glances
Across the sanctuary.
And smiled away aching pains
Through long inaudible sermons.
Fighting thoughts of lonliness,
Or trying not to sleep.

They were the first to go for me,
And we surrounded them with
Living things.
Speaking mostly about their life.
But I could never tell which flowers
Really were alive

When we were done,
We sealed them away
In their own little spot
Under the neatly trimmed grass
Of a well-kept lot
In the middle of the prarie.

I drive myself now,
Over the same old
Oklahoma roads.

And if I pass by those crying persons
Who have been pulled out of the dream
Of immortality.

I spend no more than a minute
In morbid curiosity thinking:
"how sad it is,
That other people die"

Then I reach quickly for the radio
And play stupid happy songs
And as much as I can--
I sing along.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jamie and The Dragon

Jamie got the dragon
From a guy just down our street
A desperate man
With tatooed hands
And bandaged blackend feet

When everyone was sleeping
She'd get out of bed and lock
The bedroom door
And on the floor
She and the dragon would talk

The dragon had a way with words
And he could make you feel
Like all your dirt
And the people you've hurt
Were really no big deal

The dragon never tired
But Jamie's eyes grew weak
He'd not understand
And flatly demand
That she not fall asleep

So her eyes kept getting redder
As Jamie grew weak and thin
Night whispered
Evil vespers
And called her back to him

When we see Jamie anymore
She smiles and tries to leave
We make-believe
That we don't see
Her bandaged blackened feet

For my friend who is struggling with a drug addiction

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Let us remember:
The brave souls that died that September day
The resolve and the self-sacrifice of a handful of men
Who risked their lives
And gave their lives
For a way of life,
For an ideal.
Armed with nothing
But knives
And planes

Let us remember:
Their murderous bravery.
and that innocent blood
So often is spilled in the
Desecrated name of--

"One of courage, with audacity, will die. One of courage, but gentle, spares death. From these two kinds of courage arise harm and benefit."
~Tao Te Ching