A solitary torch, a solitary man

who led a solitary life,

wondered what the world held

that all the people moved about.

So he wandered

beneath the stars,

and found an alcove

arch of stone,

supported by a wall

with two entrances

on opposite sides.

Did they lead to different places, or meet again?

He stood there, now knowing which way to go, unable to choose.

He is there still, but the fire has gone out,

the stars no longer shine,

and within his never ending

quest of questions,

treasures of answers

remain gathering dust.

The Child and The Drum

From behind the curtain

her voice

holds tremolo and vibrato,

high and clear,

sweet and lilting,

with a hint of poignant sadness.

The drum pushes, pulses

her ululations from underneath,

building the bridge

that connects

the world to the origin

of its song,


forgotten, debated,

documented, erased,

burned, rescued,

savaged and salvaged,

but ever


The child and the drum.

Two become one,

and the heartbeat

keeps the time of memory,

even now.

A Burst of Blue

Behind my eyes,

a dream of blue waters,

blue souls,

blue bubbles,

blue hearts,

and blue love




the essence of floating spirits

and the color of transcendent skies.


It holds a

midnight sorrow

and an afternoon romp

in its hands.


It belongs to all,

but is special to us.


Unleashed, it holds me



The rain strikes,

the clod shifts, opens,

gives access to the seed,

and baptizes it

with water.

The sun,

rising, warm,

tosses javelin rays

to strike through the

blades of grass.

The seed shell warms,

and gives birth.

The sprout breaks free

in jubilant celebration

of its youthful freedom,

and sways in the wind,

as it reaches for the sky.

And winter smiles,

and vanishes

over the sea.

Land of Dreams, Sea of Reality

It is here where The Land of Dreams blends in with the Sea of Reality.

I scoop the earth-blackened waters of its banks, only to see it slip through my fingers.

In the distance of my fantasy worlds,

Castles crumble.

Palaces burn.

and things that aren’t pretentious about

their brutality

break the spine of humanity

over their knees.


The crack of shattered, severed bone sounds like an

exclamation mark on the period of life.


No escape.

See? The gift abandons you, as a

faithless priest

his calling.

The candles in the temple are extinguished,

And canticles and prayers rise in supplication,

Only to get trapped in the webs and rooks of

defiled, unholy rubble, and desecrating doubt.


The hand trembles with pain,

wrinkles with age.


The fight is all-encompassing now,

and strength is leeching, leaking, leaving…


The Sea of Reality has the remnants of

wasted time, missed chances, lost loves

in your wake,

even as mines of potential and buoys of pleasure

come into view.


The sun perpetually sets on the horizon.

Fog will coat the water’s surface,

and the stars change position and darken

as you navigate.


The rudder of the pen skips,

The oar of the pencil splinters and cracks

even as it shrinks.

The laptop lighthouse can no longer illuminate

the safe harbor of your hopes.


Mortality and eternity mix and war,

the storm clouds full of nightmares realized,

the cirrus clouds of curried wisps of daydreams

fading to mist in the mind’s ever-changing weather.


A dark and silent bay awaits,

with no guiding stars,

no turning of the hourglass,

no sailing with the tide.


So then, captain, it comes to this:

Do you run aground, leaping safely to shore?

Do you founder and break on the coral and stone,

clinging to what remains?

Do you let go of the wheel of your life,

drifting into nothingness?


Or do you smooth out one last piece of parchment

like a billowing sail,

and once more

take up the stout and stubby oar

for the last voyage?


Poetess in the Park

I stopped because she was absolutely riveting.

She actually wore a beret, had fully bought in to the whole scene.

Everything came together as I watched her perform,

as I watched her play the crowd.

I wanted her to hesitate when she looked at me, to stumble over her words, and come to a stop.

But she didn’t.

I understood: The poem was all to her, everything to her.

But to me,

she was the poem,

the art of something so out of the ordinary

it could never fit in.

I wanted to be that vibrant to someone,

for someone to know me so well they’d anticipate

what I’d improvise.

I wished she was my all and everything.

But I never asked her name.

The Empty Poet

He searched the floor of his life for more words,

but there were none.

In his day, he waxed quite elegant, his inimitable style admired

by all who attended the readings full of smells of coffee, sweat,

and too much perfume in close quarters.

The applause, while not thunderous, was engaged.

The conversations, while not stimulating, were polite.

“I liked that poem.”


“I don’t know. I just did.”

“Thank you.” Sips coffee to indicate

the conversation’s over.

The microphone was no longer a beacon, but a flickering ghost light

in a dark theater.

The notebook paper and computer screens were all test patterns; nothing to see.

Nothing in them. Nothing on them.

My life isn’t over, but it seems to have run dry.

Was there really nothing left to say? Nothing that moved him? Touched his heart? Enraged him? Set him laughing hysterically?

Desperately, he mined for it, memories in black, oily sludge best left buried slipping in stringy fragments through his finger.

Feelings unrequited. Longings unfulfilled.

And now, the words have flown as well.

No feathers to fly, unfettered, they flee.

The skin dries as the words evaporate,

and the poet is now a husk of man.

Desiccated and empty, seeming all of a man, but containing nothing of him.

The pen slips from his fingers; the battery in the digital thing no longer holds a charge.

Change is forthcoming, but he will stand and remain, no regrets.

The memories are old, unrelenting, full of sharp rebuke.

He rises from kneeling in the sludge of his art,

As his husk dries slowly in the morning sun,

as the poet’s soul slips free.