Saturday, January 23, 2021

Poem: Taken Pebble


Taken Pebble


quartz-laced pebbles

roll to and fro

as bully waves leave wet bruises

that shine.


the slow bleed of stubborn minerals

doesn’t care.  won’t distinguish

forces gradual and murderous

from a window sill.


taken, then,


from comber to trinket,

perched close to a desk,

to hobnob with fossils

and a few shells.


once harried and fretted,

now a staid ornament,

embossed over steady seasons

with all-too-human dust.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Poem: Boulder In the Woods


Boulder in the Woods


slumped and lopsided,

shabby with lichen,

above a trough of brown water

where larvae jackknife

through rotted flecks.


you chronicle, you stand sentinel,

the forest has deputized you.

you are not like the rubble

that litters sterile planets.

nor a stone delitescent 

on the moon.


death, too, 

entrusts you with events,

disintegrable leaves

that shoo color sprays

into dirgeful gales.


there’s a hint of warm-bloodedness

when morning slips through,

braving a gauntlet of kraken wood,

to imbue your medullar cape.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Poem: Turnoff




stumbling through what she was,

challenged by the pretentious beast,

she knows full well,

even without eye contact,

that the riddle has no puzzle. 

the quest lacks result,

beyond the trick.


there are wings, yes,

but no flight.  there are teeth

that cannot chew on substance.

what confounds

cannot hear.


she turns away, into the cold,

even though god stays lukewarm

and says he could forgive

this lack of faith.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

My Thoughts and Feelings Right Now


My thoughts and feelings right now.  With the ransacking of the Capitol, we enter a new phase of the fascist uprising.  Awareness of the threat--finally--seems to have sunk in with the mainstream.  For years, the mainstream normalized Trump.  There is still the foolish  use of “conservative" to describe his followers.  This needs to be changed to an accurate adjective.  Say, “authoritarian.”  Immediately.

In all my 57 years, nothing ever like this.  Capitol not ransacked since 1814, and then by a foreign force (the British).  My initial elation that the traitorous mob was repelled (also, of course, the Democrats won the Senate, and Trump lost the election) has given way to a deeper realization that one of the most hallowed buildings of the United States Government has been defiled.  I myself am a victim of sexual abuse; and so I feel I can say, with great sincerity, that this feels like a rape.  I've been triggered.  Everything I thought was solid--my moor, my trust, my basic framework--now violated. Rendered ugly.  Destabilized.

A scary, scary time ensues.  Because the fascist mob successfully penetrated the Seat of the People, and hasn’t suffered that much for it, not yet, they will try again.  Next time they will be more organized.  Bolder.  Guns.  And thanks to the internet, attacks can be planned anywhere in the United States.  The odds of this escalating into lethal-weapon skirmishes are high.

I don’t think anything will quell this mob mentality now except, at minimum, incarceration or very heavy sanction/fines.  En masse.  Also, it is extremely important to shore up the loyalty of the police and military. 

A good, honest message:  Defend freedom, or descend into anarchy, destroying the greatness of your 214-year-old republic.  The control of thousands of nuclear weapons is at stake.

My prediction is that the republic will survive, but wounded.  There will most likely be a split in the GOP, leading to the existence of a White Nationalist Party, such as exists in at least 19 European countries:

This is sad, indeed.  The best way to counter fascist fanaticism is (a) therapeutic education, (b) reduce corruption through Robin Hood-style governance (take from the rich, spread the wealth through the people).  How much the USA can do this will determine, well, probably the fate of civilization.

Although I predict survival of the republic, I could well be wrong.  What happens in the near future depends on vicissitudes and dice throws.  If factions of the military or police defect, full-on civil war looms.  And then doomsday scenarios are possible (again, thousands of nuclear weapons, from submarines to silos).

The best way to deal with the stress is to focus on day-to-day.  Find beauty, find happiness, in specific moments.  Isolate and be in those moments.  Make time to shut out all the noise and just retreat into your own recreational, meditational or relaxation mode, whatever that entails.

There are miracles everywhere.  For instance, when I am washing dishes, I sometimes marvel at the amazing properties and lovely fluid magic of H20.  Simple water.  

Immersive activities are good for longer escapes.  For me, this is writing, reading, gaming, hiking, or other exercise.  And yes, Netflix.  Do your thing.

However, everyone should take this seriously.   To US citizens:  Your freedom and republic are in peril as never before, since the civil war.  Take care of yourself, but FIND SOME WAY TO FIGHT.  I don’t mean physical battle (though if you are law enforcement, yes).  I am not advocating violence.  Use your words.  Use your status in society, your job, whatever it is, to send messages, whether blatant or subtle, whatever seems best.  Pick your battles and strategies.  But strive.  Do something.  Fight.

This is it.  Step up.  If you don’t, your country, the USA, will become a fascist dictatorship under Donald Trump.

Fly Well In The Dark,




Thursday, January 7, 2021

Poem: Conversion




within a blizzard of faces,

somewhere in a catacomb of rectangles,

another when erodes into a financial if.


a conversion.

another two-legged sort of the six-legged slog.

columns, rows,


marching in bottom lines.


the obit haunts the face.

cheekbones like tombstones,

firm in the garden of compromise.


this whole city once celebrated petals

that starbursted

into now extinct plants.


today, just another pair of drained irises.

bobbing and crushed

in the Cauldron of Clocks.


boiling inside, yes,


but strait-laced.  calm-surfaced.

the heartbeat a riptide

sucking the heat back down.


one cringing thought rises for a breath:

a middle class beggar

in a pressed wool yoke.


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Margaret Sullivan, of the Washington Post, Gets It Right: the Trumpists are NOT conservatives.

Some of the key points in my blog entry on 9/24/20:

Owl Who Laughs: Stop Calling Republicans Conservative. It's Totally False PR

closely match an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday (1/4/21), by media columnist Margaret Sullivan:

Stop calling Trump?s enablers ?conservative.? They are the radical right. - The Washington Post


Sullivan suggests the term "radical right" to describe those who, following Trump into darkness, claim that the recent election was rigged by Democrats (it wasn't, as 50 court cases, brought by Trump, have shown).  

I use the term "authoritarian."  Better would be White nationalists.

My piece engages in a lot more conceptual analysis, at the philosophical level, resulting in a broader indictment of the GOP.  Sullivan, though, hammers home the point that the radical right gets a comfy ideological shield, a "free ride" when the mainstream media refers to them as "conservative."

Look at the definition of conservative, as I do in my blog entry.  They are NOT conservative in any sense.  

I find it amazingly frustrating that the media continues to use the label "conservative" to effectively coddle a cadre of traitors.  The label is contradictory and denialist.

Face the music:  This is one of the most dangerous times for freedom in the history of the United States.  

I am not alone in saying this.  On Morning Joe, for instance, the Lincoln Project guest commentators (previous Republicans who fled Trump's leadership) have been making this point for a while. 

 Fly Well In the Dark,



Monday, January 4, 2021

Poem: Ice Play


Ice Play


flashy on naked oaks,

tadpoles of teeming sun.

boisterous in bevies, they scamper off,

renegades amok, exquisite,

to incite gales of primose and golden rod,

illimitable whips.


dawn had been seraphic and gossamer.

daylight mortalized bliss.

and yet, now, the finale of red horizon

succumbs to purple nightshade.


onyx haunts

the crystallized bushes and branches.

it fashions their hairdos into hydras

which only half remember

the sauvignon drama of tears.


moonless, now, so moonless …  


no, a pomegranate moon,

and basins of brittle tongues in winds,

so desperate to lick, to attain even a scintilla

of that castaway glimmer.


stars, brief yet faint.  wish seeds, nubilous,

high above the frosty medusan heads.

what oasis in their midnight dome,

that desert?


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Poem: Sins




anemone tentacles

on the throat of a dove,

or threads unwinding

from a beggar’s coat,


they barely bind,

hints of jail or guilt,

a trace that won’t sleep.

adulterous silence.


until it’s dark enough,

then they chant, soft as dew,

patterns in clammy octaves.

the wards of skeleton keys.


an armoire opens.  who guessed?

grandparents pine there,

their frowns like thumbscrews.

hands secretive as moths.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A Note On Poems

 Thank you for looking at the poems!

A quick note.  I often edit a piece quite a bit after it goes up.  The more-or-less final version, the one that settles in, arrives after a few days of the initial posting.  (It's almost fair to say that a true 'final version' is like the Holy Grail and not likely to ever materialize). 

Admittedly, this is a feeble strategy.  I use it simply because it gets me to edit faster and more attentively than if the poems were merely tucked away in a folder.

The big downside is that readers who visit right after a work goes up are often met with a less-than-stellar version.  For this I apologize.  Again, my only excuse, albeit feeble, is the quirkiness of my own craft.

If you have comments or suggestions, or potential topics you'd like to see, you can email me:

Again, thank you for your time,



Monday, December 28, 2020

Poem: A Widow

 A Widow

a widow culls

the many lies of men,

smiling still,

wanton as she goes,


from shack to shack,

mansions of the heart,

every accident or bed



ants to lions, none remark.


but humanity, profuse,

gasps to curse when lungs stall,

cashiering chains and chores.


elephants dwindle down tusky roads.


but ill to violent crowds

beat on the ground,

mawkish as they sink,

clutching their wasted lives.


birds chirp last fermatas,

insects chirr in choirs.

these, the widow feels,

never turn to dust.


it is those tethered to tombstones,

or ladderlike prayers,

or who cling to lists of what wasn’t--

because because because …


and so it goes,

shack to shack, bed to bed,

through mansions of the heart,

wherever desperation lies naked.


A playful poem, believe it or not, in the sound patterns (probably to offset the morbidity).

I would prefer to use "wym" instead of the male-aligned "men."  "Wym" escapes gender.  But the neologism would be distractive.