Emotional Ecdysiast


With his five o-‘clock shadow and
jiggling belly, with most of his sense of shame
left in the pocket of a terry cloth robe
hanging just off-stage, the poet once again
danced bare-ass from his bald spot down
lit in the spotlight he personally aimed
from the cheap seats of the Internet.
The voices in his head, the winds
of imagined storms, the reports of cannon,
cracks of a pistol, a baseball bat,
a ten-year-old’s twisted forearm,
they drown out any sounds he might hear
from the invisible audience.

It’s not that the light blinds him to their
existence, or that he closes his eyes
whenever he thumps across the stage
wearing nothing but pasted-on metaphors
and transparent hopes of recognition;
he now only looks within because
he’s already seen what’s out there.
And what’s out there is a mirror
reflecting a mirror, reflecting a mirror,
infinitely trading him for him,
them for them and all for one another.

Light in the East

The Next Morning

The Next Morning (Photo credit: AnkySoho)

When that light in the east returned this morning—
I knew it would be there even if I didn’t see—
it ignited my world in such a comforting glow.
It always reminded me of the hugs shared
while we slept. And when I left my bed,
it was not to run for the crass camouflaged
Christmas commerce beneath the sparkling tree,
but to greet this new light as it dressed today
in its accent of what feels a long ago spring.

Outside, the firs stood at lazy attention
in uniforms of green, but it was the young maple
caught my eye, gangly and excited as a child
bursting with a secret it would share only with you.
The few leaves it had left hung attached to the ends
of spindly limbs, as if pinned to its wrists by Mother.
As it heard your voice upon that illuminating breeze,
it waved a greeting only a few would understand,
and I hugged the light in the east to myself,
warm, one more day.

Merry Christmas, from me to you! 

Warm Memory

in darkness

in darkness (Photo credit: Qaoz)

Darkness resides here,
in the cave where once lived hope.
It invaded us
with stealth and a blatant lie
and left this sunless life,
empty echo, like shadow
that rings black on black inside.

I’d faith that maybe
spark or flame I could ignite,
pounding fists like rocks
on the hardened walls of flesh
that pumped desire once through me,
driving out that dark,
bringing back hope. Then…we’ll see.

And should I fail,
as so often I’ve fallen,
would you brightly smile
once more, so your image remains?
A flash of hope, cold
on my walls, I can steep in
its warm memory.

A free-write poem going back to my original style of linking 5- and 7-syllable lines. I don’t know from where it came, save a period of physical pain and deep depression over the past couple of week or so.  Sharing the result with my friends at dVerse Poets Pub for Open Link Night.

The Third Degree


Sun (Photo credit: DBduo Photography)

The sun is still asleep
over the foot-end of my bed,
no sign yet of its tousled rays,
while I am cooing with
the mourning doves.
Who, who! they say
in definitive reply to
question unspoken, unheard.
Who, who? I ask,
with no one but me
here to hear an answer.
As I lie back now, resting
from this interrogation,
Sun glows bright in my face,
giving me the third degree,
asking burning questions
about my day, this life,
for which I’m still
searching in this dark
for answers.

Mining for Reality


Tunnel (Photo credit: wwarby)

Where do I go should the lights
come on, exposing the shadows,
long and short, among which
I ever stand? And when again
they dim, do I find illumination
to stumble upon truths over which
I would inevitably trip anyway?
Within perpetually penumbral walls
of stone, wood or worry,
walls that smother reflection
and passion, I still wield this
inky torch in fingers ever-scorched.
Its ashen glow warms sooty scars
and creaking bones under the land
and flesh, stirs us to burrow deeper
within the stony dark, to a vein
of reality, so shining, sensual…
imagined or otherwise.

This Voice

I will whisper hidden secrets in your ear

I will whisper hidden secrets in your ear (Photo credit: HAMED MASOUMI)

Can you hear this voice?
I can only whisper in the light,
speaking aloud in words I breathe
to you or build upon paper and pixels.

Only in the silence of night
and bare dawn can I express
what I see in my dark recall,
eyes open and hawk-alert,

hunting in my heart for that
you’ll never see until I tell you,
whisper it to you when day comes
and I retire to the shadows of sunrise.

An upside down way to live,
but I love this breathing life
of whispers, where before existed
nothing but silence and groping blindness.

Shared With the folks at dVerse Poets Pub on Open Link Night.

Lincoln Slept Here

American Penny

American Penny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Thin crescent moon shines so brightly,
casting wavering tree shadows
that pace my bedroom floor.
That long stretch of brilliance reveals
the penny resting before my pillow.
I turn down the pale green bedspread over it
as I climb within the bed’s embrace.
That penny and I will sleep in that hug tonight;
I’ll be on my back, Coppery Abe on his side.
Whether face-down, or tumbling within
or out of my pocket, he’s always on his side.

I don’t think he’s much of a snorer, though
I tend to sleep dreamlessly, snorting,
occasionally gasping or grasping
and kinda of thrashy. Thus, the great
splitter of rails will probably bail for the
Dust Bunny Soldiers Home by 2:00 AM.
I’m not sure of the meaning of all these
ghostly impressions of shadow and light,
but you can see what distractions beset
my restless mind, in total dark or lunar light,
once we’re all tucked away for the night.
They come even when I don’t have
a penny for my thoughts.