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Little Devils


We children toyed with death

Inchworms the innocent victims

Smoosh them, see their guts

Watch them writhe on a hot car hood

Worse yet, drop on an anthill

As the frantic army bites,

Drags them down for dinner


Later my teen brother

Pursued bigger crimes

A lit match in a neighbor’s dry field

Panic stamped as the wind kicked up


The garden hose Tarzan swing

The obnoxious kid next door swung

Every afternoon from a rock precipice

Brother jackknife sliced near its top

So it would snap at full extension


Then me and my friends

Dine and dashed The Goody Shoppe

Escaping in my mother’s car

Clipping a parked sedan


For years she asked

How the passenger side dented

I lied saying it happened

While parked at Caldor

Feigning innocence


Finally confessed

Two years before her death

She smiled

Called me a little devil


Aren’t we all?

The bankers, the cops, the soldiers, the thieves

Outgrew such things

To become responsible, thoughtful, or sneaky


Knowing deep down

At one time or another

We couldn’t help but to watch

A worm squirm

Shadows in the Mist


What did it mean

To hold your hand?

Our endless conversation

Word whirlpool drained

When the plug was pulled


We were caught winter rain

Our fire dried our boots

We were a comforting

Sick day for each other

Wearied from school


And our twisted nights

In gale force winds

We became sheets pinned

On a frayed line


You are no longer 3-D

I forget your touch

More a Polaroid photo

Browning dark in time


Was it real?

Did we see angels?

Were we sainted

Or low phantoms wisping

In inclement weather

Diluted to shadows

In the mist of infatuation?

Last Night Today


Upon the precipice of sunrise

I clung to lingering sleep

Hanging off the edge of bed

Shoulder to shoulder

A bald couple in ceremonial dress

Rapidly round a corner


Overnight I formed a band

Or a team, or something

Ballplayers, musicians, acrobats

That scattered like windblown trash

Down a colorless avenue


A golden watch I didn’t own

Unraveled strings of time

Confetti days, minutes, and hours

Formed a ticker tape parade

Marching to oblivion


After strong coffee

The veil between eyes open and closed

Became a thick, tangible curtain

The morning news, same as always

Comforting chaos


Stepping outside

The yard was wet

The weathered birdbath

With the dogs’ blanched soup bones

Bathed in a dirty pool of tree runoff


Their marrow consumed

Dog saliva stained

Ant pincered picked clean

A cold stew of sunken vessels

Voyage to an unknowing realm

Ghost Wind


Late winter death rattle

Driven by lost flight

Of skeletal wings

Peep show lightning flash

In the conquering night


Born of doubt and ignorance

Locking doors without reason

Seeps like water

To the lowest depth

In the remote creases

Of the mind


You were never meant to be

Screaming discontent like a kettle whistle

In your pack of coyotes

Under a full moon

A shiver under fevered sheets

All promise sweat out


Souls become oiled rags

Inhaling the flared match

Your flurried oxygen

Cuts through night

Combusts dark fear


Whips through the ages

Ancient, uncaring

Lifting Pterodactyls

Giving credence

To the dragon’s breath



Increasing clouds driving north

The indefinite trail we failed to hike

Accumulative rain that muddied our tracks

Knee replacements, and arthritic hands

Vision that requires eyewear,

This trip was perfect


Sedona red rocks

Were dark and rich with rain

Clouds hugged Jerome

And distant towering peaks

Married Heaven with Earth


And Merkin Vineyards

The wine was pricey

But the flight delicious

The food not filling but satisfying   

And years wasted on foolishness

Was cleansed and satiated


Red clay hardened

Between boot tread

Grandiose plans washed away

Like mountain run off

Your laughter I missed, remained

Pattered like rain on the windshield

Rolled like thunder in the valley




Graying and hair loss

Years gone by road map wrinkles

A taste of wisdom here and there

It seems like yesterday

When our tire tread was deep

When the road stretched

Beyond our imagined horizon



The miles to empty warning

It still seems

Like our tanks are full

Like we were

Who we were

When this long, strange trip began



                                  for T. and S.

Love Folds


Some things do not rinse out

Too many shirts stained

Sloppy eater

More focused on taste

Than propriety


When you were good

I lost focus

On everything else

Neglecting to iron out

The wrinkles before us


The detergent

Either too strong

Bleaching problems

Whitewashing tiffs

Or too weak

All the soiled sheets

That remained so


Our laundered empathy

Our hung out to try sympathy

Threadbare our love


I thought it best

To dry and fold

But it is no use

I will mothball you

With all the others

I’ve worn out

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