post #NaPoWriMo Shorts

I sing your praises
again, again,
for hipping me,
a spry, old man,
to the eternal merits
of the stainless steel
French press


Don’t worry,
it’s half decaf,
and I’m up before dawn
reading American Gods

#NaPoWriMo #29 — revolution song

It took some time
for me to recognize
the lyrics of our revolution
song was a villanelle poem.

I would have expected
a complicated sonnet,
or a love-sick ballad,
some blues to bring us

information for our liberation.
But in retrospect,
the villanelle was the best
form to kick it all off –

repeating lines – easy
to sing and to remember.

Grandola, Vila Morena

#NaPoWriMo #28 – bullets

I’ve dodged some bullets
in this life. Cigarettes
won’t take me out,
nor alcohol or drugs

though I may get run over
by a car in the crosswalks
in this town. And there’s poison
all around, in the food,

in the water and air
that might just be the cause
of my demise eventually.
But it won’t be sudden death

or overtime. No, this game
will end in regulation time.

#NaPoWriMo #27 – poetries

There is poetry
one writes on long walks
beside a slow river
emptying into the sea.

And a different poetry
on the subway, hustling
to switch to the Red Line
to reach the shuttle on time.

And a different poetry still,
inspired by music’s sound,
and the sculptor’s vision,
and the painter’s emotion,

and the architect’s dream
come true. All different
poetries, different types
of reflections off a mirror

that darkens on the edges
with the passage of time.

#NaPoWriMo #25 – poetry magazine

is about time
I stopped & read


month they arrive
and unwrapped and moved

the dining room table
to the coffee table

to my nightstand –
moving stacks.

#NaPoWriMo #20 – machines

Ray wants to write Haiku tonight
but I won’t let him – I decide
what gets written & how & why.
Ray’s at his best operating machines –
processing inputs that produce output,
while he minds gages and thermometers
that measure the machine’s internals.
Ray also likes to garden – I let him
do it every now and then. He loves to see things
pop out of the ground, break the surface
and lean towards the sun. I think it’s odd
but I let him because I know machines
capture his soul and try to convert him
while gardening brings out his soul’s sweetness.

#NaPoWriMo #18 – Sunday night before the storm sonnet

It is not my wish to be a center,
the center of anyone’s attention
save my own, and maybe not even that
most days. It’s too much work, too much effort
to keep all the little pieces on track,
all the debts paid, the payroll met each week.
Instead, take me to the periphery
where I can read my books and write my poems
in total peace, not concerned with no one’s
interiority except my own,
a river flowing gently to the sea.
Plant my seed deeply before the storm comes,
irrigating the dry soil above it,
leaving my future calmly in its place.

#NaPoWriMo #15 – sonnet for a Saturday morning

(A thunder storm woke me up way before the crack of dawn. The sound of the rain was so relaxing, the thunder so comforting. I fired up the iMac and saw where the new Donald Glover and Rihanna video, Guava Island, was live streaming for free on Amazon Prime. I have to say it was a 55 minutes well spent. I wrote this poem, then made some coffee, a San Salvador blend from Trader Joe’s.)

Our story has a happy ending.
I’m telling you up front so you know
what you can expect – how to overcome
any temporary darkness that may
attempt to cloud out the light we emit.
Our story is not a pop video.
It won’t make you dance or sing. Ain’t no blues
to wail, to welp, to beg, to plead, to scream.
Our story ends in celebration.
But Twitter and Instagram won’t tell you
what’s really going on. You have to read
between the lines, between the images
that flash past you faster than light or sound.
Don’t be depressed. Arise & celebrate.

Listen to it on SoundCloud here:

#NaPoWriMo #14 – boring collections

I have a very boring collection
of fountain pens. None of them
are fancy or expensive, just your
garden variety everyday writing utensils.

I clean them out monthly with hot
running water to dislodge all the old
encrusted ink. In my imagination they are
my brushes and palete with which
I create works of art, poetry
I hope will stand the test of time.

My favorite color ink is a mixture
of forest green and empyrean blue.
I name it navy green. My wife insists
I mix it near the kitchen sink.

#NaPoWriMo #10

gifts of joy abound –
sometimes in non-descript places,
at unexpected times,
and for unanticipated reasons.

a friendly smile,
an unencumbered sigh,
a silent, non-verbal gesture
can be a gift shared,
a joy redeemed.

I’m not telling you
anything you don’t
already know, haven’t already
figured out from scratch.

Don’t look in the places
where you already expect
to find your gifts of joy.
Look elsewhere, between things,
inside of thoughts and dreams,

between the lines and strokes
of poetry and songs lyrics
and works of art. It might
surprise you what was always there.

#NaPoWriMo #9 – Possibility sonnet

A Posse Ad Esse – Possibility Sonnet

From the possible to the actual
has to be at least a two way highway –

thought and reflection come before action
but action must result in new thinking

and reflection – a circuitous route
that self-reinforces and never ends,

creating a stronger relationship
and a tighter bond – esse quam videria.

And I’m not just showing off my Latin.
It’s an honest statement of fact: to be

rather than to seem moves the possible
to the actual and the actual

back in mirror sync with the possible –
opening multiple possible worlds.


#NaPoWriMo #8 – Villanelle

Blues Villanelle

This love song is a villanelle:
The format makes it easy to recall –
Poetry in two shades of blue.

Repeating sends the thoughts aflight:
The lines of text emerge in time –
This love song is a villanelle.

The words and sounds convey their truth,
The essence lies inside the tune –
Poetry in two shades of blue.

The blues they wail at disco night
Become the Sunday morning hymn –
This love song is a villanelle.

Our wanderings are all askew:
Our feet are painted backwards bound –
Poetry in two shades of blue.

We celebrate in loss or gain
In joy, in sadness, and between –
This love song is a villanelle:
Poetry in two shades of blue.

#NaPoWriMo2019 #7 – elegy

Our tribesman battles for her life –
small things we lose can be replaced.
A sister’s love we replicate
with sadness near the end,

and joy that soon, her journey done,
and celebration knowing that
her contributions were not made in vain.

We mourn our own unfinished lives:
the goodbyes that we fail to say;
the compliments we should have paid
at little cost but great reward.

We recognize our end must come –
embraceable at every stage
of life. Avoid the waste, the vain.

#NaPoWriMo2019 #6 – cherry dreams

The cherry blossoms
reached peak bloom today.
They were magnificent
in their splendor,
all along the campus
and the river.

Tomorrow’s rain
will wash the pinkish petals
into sewers underground,
flushed to secret places
in our dreams and memories.

These cherry dreams,
alas, do not bear fruit.
It is only for the visual –
no chance to taste, to chew,
to savor by the handful.
And blossoms make me sneeze.

#NaPoWriMo2019 #3: Tax Blues

Tax Blues

last Sunday in March,
headstart on April.
Hard to wax poetic
about Turbo tax –
though I am thrilled
we got it done on time,
two weeks before the due date.

Federal tax we owe.
State we get a refund.
Can’t say I know why,
can’t say I care.
Writing that tax check
is a drag, man,
hate seeing that money go out –
but the refund is a ball
that still has bounce.


Anticipating NaPoWriMo 2019

I always remember – one teaspoon per cup and one
for the pot – a simple recipe that solves all ills.
Sometimes I forget not everyone’s been exposed
to nautical rules of the road – not everybody
alters course to starboard to pass port to port
in a meeting situation – though they should –
nor do folks automatically maintain course
and speed if stand on in an overtaking –
though it’d be better for them if they did.
I try to remember to walk a mile in others shoes
before passing judgement, and to pay attention
to running lights at any crossing of paths –
And always give the older ones the final word
in an argument that’s of no consequence anyway.