Monday, November 7, 2011

Art Is


Art is a lonely business,
its fire rebukes the tepid reality
of casual behaviors.
it is a fire
that always must be fed,
it is ravenous,
it is contemptuous of compromise.

Art is a deadly endeavor,
its ultimate goal
to consume itself,
to come to the final resting place
of definitive union with being.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Panning for Gold


I travel on the road

to nowhere.


There are old people in wheelcheers

queueing up at the food banks

with hopelessness dawning in

their eyes.


There are the hapless children

of the street,

wayward and indifferent to the

suffering they inflict,

hollow is their journey.


A growing army of those

on the margins,

desparate for joy and relief

from the unrelenting grayness,

from somber mornings and the

nightmares that plague their dreams.


I travel on the road

to nowhere through

miles of parched terrain,

towering hillocks of blackened earth.


Men, women and children

features darkened by the

coarseness of dirt

crouch down on aching knees,

relentlessly searching for any bit

of gold that might be

trapped within the fabric of the

beleaguered soil.


I travel on this road

to nowhere,

into a future

overtaken by humanity's

horrific conclusions.

Monday, October 31, 2011



Volatile and restive planet,

cities are dispatched like

annoying growths

at the end of a surgeon's scalpel,

civilization's handiwork,

marvels of human engineering,

products of tireless effort

delivered to oblivion

within the fleeting grasp of

passing time.


Humanity is but a transient

miniscule passenger

on this vibrant world,

terribly unconvinced about

our theoretical importance,

order delivered to chaos

one moment to the next.

Early Morning on Thasos

Earth thrusts upwards to

ensnare the sky

newly enshrined by

sun's sweet and enabling kiss.


Along the hillside

engulfed in bedrock

white, red-roofed houses

shine softly in the grip

of eastern light.


From a distance

unmistakable chants of roosters

welcome the dawn with

characteristic erudition

chasing the foreboding

dreams of children out of

their sleepy heads


Synchronous sounds of a

multitude of bells

echo off the hillsides

as shepherds move their flocks

to neighboring fields

where no fences intrude.


An old man waits with

patient anticipation for the bread man

as he makes his rounds

along narrow winding village roads

hawking his fresh-baked goods.


Two uniformed girls

books in hand

step out of their houses

still laden with quiet

and walk the path to school.


Early morning on Thassos

mountainess isle in the north agean

enraptures us as willing hostages to

sun, azure skies and emerald water. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Idle Thoughts on a Wistful Afternoon

Wistful moments entice me, yet

reality continues in pursuit of

all the inescapable consequences of



It is indeed a remarkable planet

circling its star that

delivers life as a simple outcome of

its unruly nature, yet

humanity has no appreciation of this

wondrous bit of magic.


Crows disrupt proud eagle's

carnivorous intentions,

plants yield up their

brilliant flowers to entice

industrious insects and

impale on human vision the

breath of the divine.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

What is the Significance

What is time's significance

within a mindless age,

life's meaning

where escapism is the norm.


Birth, death, aging

packaged for expedience by

marketers of greed,

denial the watchword,

ideas of peace

endentured upon the yoke of

dull and enfeebled acquisition.


What is time's significance

in such and age

where intellect is despised and

wisdom refuted.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

From Cradle to Grave

I'm sitting in the
corner of my cell,
one dim bulb
barely enough light to see
these scrathings on paper.

It's called death row,
they've just turned down my
latest appeal,
my attorney tells me it's
the last.

It could be anytime,
they'll lay me out
strapped down on that insidious gurney
expecting me to resist
as if i don't know that
there is no escape,
as if i don't have a mind of
my own,
as if i can't see the steady, relentless
drumbeat of naked reality,
as if i don't know death,
as if i can't feel his icy presence,
as if i can't recognize death,
my cellmate for all these years.

There never has been any
seventeen years now
in a cage,
gnawing confinement,
relentless and unforgiving boredom,
the endless hours,
the frightening moments.

It's like living
inside out,
viscera exposed,
bones and sinew
raw and beaten,
thoroughly beaten.

That's the way it was
for years,
living with an open wound,

I could have wasted them all,
but i put my mind to use,
it was woefully neglected in the streets
where i was taught,
where we were instructed
in our own self demolition,
where the lessons we learned,
that our lives would come to naught,
that we were not deserving of the effort,
where we were prepared for the grave
and the prison.

I've put my brain to use,
I studied,
I've learned to love knowledge,
to embrace it,
to caress my thoughts,
to nourish them,
even within this insufferable

It is forever cold here
where justice has been thoroughly
where  the only illumination comes from

I am not ready, yet
I am ready.

Don't misunderstand
I don't expect to recover,
to be greeted by angels,
to be be enlisted in the
devil's army,
once the needle is thrust into my
rebelious arm,
once the poison is forced into my
mortal body
whose only goal is survival,
once the light inside my head is
turned off,
I will make that leap
into the abyss of darkness and
return to that place where only
molecules reside.

I didn't kill that storekeeper, but
he had a reputation,
ruthless, brutal and unforgiving,
he hated us for our color
for our swagger,
for our determination to live.

It doesn't matter what i say,
truth is of no consequence
when justice must be served,
for he was white and I am not,
for it is assumed that i am of
little worth,
that was the lesson that
I was expected to learn,
I didn't learn it well.

My guilt or innocence is of
no import,
somebody must be held
they chose me.

I am not bitter,
I gave that up long ago,
far too corrosive.

I have forgiven
all of them although
I can't forget.

This corner of my cell
feels damp and cold,
yet i am comforted by
my thoughts,
I take pleasure in these words
that i scribble with this pen
 i'm not supposed to have
lest i take my own life and
deny justice its opportunity.

I cradle my days,
savor them,
improve my mind,
nurture it,
I have an insatiable hunger for
even though it has not
served me well.

Soon they will come for me
expecting the worst,
they do not understand that
I am a man,
that I am ready.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When They Find My Bones

                   When they find my bones,

will they know their history,

will they recognize the delicate moments,

will they trace the poignancy,

the joy and the laughter.


When they find my bones,

will memories be etched upon them,

from the hollow of my rib cage,

will the heart leave its shadow,

or some tell-tale dust to mark its

infatuations and its passions,

will the line of my pelvis

give an indication of its bygone libido.


When they find my bones,

will they detect the scars and the mending,

the time of my passing

and all its laments.


When they find my bones,

will the spirit of my presence

reside with them.


When they find my bones,

will humanity remain

haunted by the darkness.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Emotions Rag

I hold onto my emotions
lest they disappear into the
overwhelming silence,
lest they shatter on the
jagged shoreline,
crushed by waves of
sheer indifference.

I encircle my emotions
within my own embrae,
coldness is everywhere.

I no longer insist on acceptance,
or futile gestures
bearing more shadow than meaning.

I’ve planned the ceremonial drowning of
my own meager expectations.

I anticipate no visitors at the
bedside of my dying for
i will soon be forgotten
as it should be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

By the Bedside of a Dying Man

Death clearly in the room,


attending the intricate details

of departure,

waiting for permission

to descend and revoke the

transient contract of the living.


He spoke to me

of his confusion,

of his search for meaning

regarding the undeniable

status of his dying,

trying to extricate

the greedy cancer that

gripped his body,

replacing order with chaos,

stability with ruin,

trying to end its siege

with the power of his mind.


He was beyond consolation,

I took his feeble hand and

held it,

it was a final good-bye

to a man approaching the

portal of the ultimate silence

that puts all worldly considerations

to final rest.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Collateral Damage

Collateral damage,

what exactly is it?


Is it a rock band,

perhaps heavy metal,

some obscure

auto insurance term

itemizing what's not covered

in case of an  accident

written in miniscule print,

a mistake a surgeon might make

in the midst of a delicate operation,

those individuals

indirectly injured from the

side effects of a nasty divorce,

debris left over from an

overzealous football game?


Collateral damage,

what exactly is it?


The stupefying carnage,

the chaos and mayhem that

accompanies ferocious and brutal violence,

the torrential flow of blood spewing from

shattered and broken bodies

separated from the yolk of the living,

the pungent odor released from

myriad corpses strewn upon fields of

overwhelming death,

the instantaneous incineration of entire families,

the horrific and bountiful products of murder

cannot be expunged by the simple application of

innocuous words in a vain attempt to

circumvent the reality of

such depravity.

Monday, March 28, 2011

From the Diary of Abraham Lincoln

I remember Illinois
when i was a boy,
i remember the rugged winter’s snow-blown rage,
the sharp rush of cold air that turned my breath to smoke
and the good feelings it spawned within me.

I was happy then
carrying songs with me wherever i went,
i knew joy and
slung it over my shoulder,
but now,
the snow is mingled with the
blood of careless youth,
the wind carries sounds of distant drums
and screams of soul-less bodies
enshrouded in the stitch of their uniforms
and their devotion to a cause.

Death visits early
with my signature,
ears are funneled to catch my every whisper,
how have i come to such power
over like and death,
over pain and grief?
i am even looked up to and admired,
i am very very tired.

It’s been a long time
since i could close my eyes and rest
without the icy breath of death
withering my dreams,
reminding me incessantly of exactly
where i stand, and yet
i am seen the hero,
even the negroes bless me with their chanting,

I have not given myself to rest
for so very very long,
i dream of an end to this nightmare,
someone come and take this pain away.

Somewhere along the way to this office,
to this imposing desk
burdened by official memoranda,
i have lost the urge to weep
over these appointments of slaughter
i keep,
over these endorsements of impending carnage
i can will to and attest and sign
so easily,
so easily.

My cabinet and aides oblige me
and kiss my ass
with vain assurance,
their cajoling is seductive but
does not ring true.

If i could order all europe to smoke and ashes
and command the sun to boil the seas away,
they would all find goodly merit in such a course,
i dream of an end to this nightmare,
someone come and take this pain away.

In the mirror
i see this tight-lipped mask of humor
quite often the fool at a party,
i am often quoted.

If truth should reach print
what disguise would i contrive
to meet that delicacy,
my wife provides me no release
and has no patience with my fears.

No one clearly knows me
no one can enfold me.

I dream of an end to this nightmare,
someone come and take this pain away.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Black Holes and other Cosmic Orifices

Universe stretches like a
condom over the elusive penis of god.

In their fiery raincoats,
brilliant stars share nimble songs of desire,
planets dance throughout creation
and exploding firmaments
leave black holes and eternity
for us to ponder.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Love Song # 37

The night creeps up the
lattice of my desire,
like ginger root
impales my heart upon
your sweet endeavor,
i am tasteless without you.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Driftwood told us many stories
of storms and riotous oceans
and bottomless pit of winter nights
when the wind mourned loneliness and
stars themselves shrunk from the tempest.

Stones ground to a smooth polish
from water's relentless perfection
displayed their wondrous colors,
surely the creations of celestial dreamers
in their god-like sleep.

Seals broke through the water's surface,
their shimmering sleek heads danced and,
spoke of the playfulness of nature
with marvelous tales of undersea kingdoms
where porpoises ruled and
children found solace from nightmares.

At the end of this finger of rock
the white spire of a lighthouse
maintained its vigil and remembered
icy and thunderous shipwrecks
along the Dungeness.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ode to Costa Rica

Sun, ever present,
life fills every aspect of the landscape,
completes every sentence in the
sweet vocabulary of nature.

Resplendent palms,
multitudes of trees that
nurture grand varieties of
greenery whether by design or
the circumstance of the sheer
power of the living.

Unrelenting paradise for
those who truly embrace nature,
vast laboratory for the
persistent diversity of the
bounty of planet earth.

Birds that bind all the
colors that sunlight can yield
within their feathery garments.

Birds are everywhere,
they fill the rhapsody of morning
with song,
tucanettes and scarlet macaws,
the elusive quetzal wearing
a kaleidoscope of colors
that puts the painter’s pallete to shame.

Surrounded by two oceans,
we dance in the warm surf
under tropical skies,
beneath the inebriating and
erotic call of the tropics,
propelled into each other’s arms
enkindling our gypsy hearts with the
alluring rhythms of the sea.

The persuasive call of howler monkeys
like wind that echoes through the trees
above  the relentless sound of
driving waves pummeling the shoreline.

Costa Rica,
land of visual and sensual delights that
tells such a vivid story
regarding this glorious earth and
its sublime potential.