Sunday, October 22, 2017

you don't know

y'all think i'm cold
looking at my daughter's body
and then turning away

you don't know me

i was asking where
she was found

i was asking when
she died

i was asking how long
it took before
she passed on

y'all are wrong to think
i wasn't thinking
of her

i was in the business of
finding out
what happened
to my baby

her body can stay
right where
it is

that's all i have left

i gotta hear
what happened
i gotta see
what happened

i gotta know
what happened
before i feel again

emotions can wait

i gotta know

for tereasa martin

Saturday, October 7, 2017

just a song at twilight

in the quiet
autumn moonlight

sit with me

the old people will point
and call it "spooning"

the young ones will whistle
and call it "scoring"

the smart ones will nod,
and call it "none of their business"

we'll call it love
(or maybe something like it)

hold my hand
warm my heart

understand me
for just a while . . .


Saturday, September 30, 2017

glares and giggles

the memory
of you
is a fog of words
and gestures

that sit and fester

and pester me
while i work

the spirit
of you
is a blur of war
and wiggles

a mess of
glares and giggles

all intermingling
in a cloud of haze

that i remember
in these dead days

just before winter


Wednesday, September 27, 2017


don't try
so hard
just let it out

don't be
so profound
just make it shout

don't look
at me
for any advice

just write
it down
don't think twice

and open
your mind's inner door

until you 
can't write anymore


painting: The Passion of Creation
by Leonid Pasternak  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

can't explain, won't

i can't 
look at you
with any sort of fondness

i can't 
believe in you
with any bit of conviction

please don't
ask me
over and over
why it has to happen

please don't
hurt me
over and over
why is it hard to understand?

i'm tired 
of not knowing
where i stand 
in your world

i'm tired
of not saying
what i mean
to your face

i'm tired
of always lying
when was i ever
going to breathe free?

take two
small steps
backward from me

turn around 
and walk away

you're not 
getting any more

you're not 
getting any more

you're getting
a silent
from my lips

and a cool breeze
to carry you 
on your way


Sunday, September 24, 2017


all i want
is to be taken out
of the equation

nothing's ever been

nothing's ever been
good enough

nothing's ever been

all i want
is to be erased
from the sentence

nothing's ever been

nothing's ever been
strong enough

nothing's ever been

with all the real
i thought i was

the steps i walked
will fill in again



Saturday, September 23, 2017


i don't want to
hear you out

you never heard me

i don't want to
let you talk

you never listened to me

i don't want your poison
to entwine in the heart of me

to stop and let go of me

to slowly get rid of me
until there's nothing left

except for your pride

and what's left
of my soul

too bold?
then stop


Friday, September 15, 2017

secret drawing

i saw your secret 

of a darkness
you never show

i read the words
and kept the image

deep within my mind

and even though
i can't say to you

what i know i saw

i will keep reaching out
to you 

in hand and dwelling
in words and spelling
in hope and dispelling

telling you over
and over again

that you are good

did you get the darkness
from me?

how can it be?

i always thought
i kept it secret

from you


Friday, September 8, 2017


you want
too many words
from me

you think
i can talk
the same language
as you

you romanticize
everything i say

even if it's just
"hello, sweatheart!"

or "i picked up
some chips from
the store.. want one?"

or "do you want this
shirt, because if you don't,
i'm going to throw it away

it may or may not
be your favourite

it may or may not be
really soft

because i know you
like soft things

(as if anyone really
talks like this

to anyone else

but you)



never gonna get
what i want from you

never gonna get
what i am to you

all i get
are words
about you

all about you
and not me

never gonna try
to understand you

never gonna try
to demand from you

anything that
my heart wants
from you

never gonna get it

don't stay
just go


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

reasons to stay

you stomp
too loud

and you toss your hair
too much

and the clothes
that wear you
wear me out

but i try
to understand
and i live with
what you are

i don't know why

but there's excitement
where you are

and i want to live it

before the sun
goes down


Monday, September 4, 2017

no more sorrow

let the familiar songs
fill the room

she's sad again

let the bygone tunes
cover all the pain

it's a long night ahead
and no one wants to think
about to-morrow

no more sorrow
no more sorrow

the smallest thing

it's funny how
the smallest thing
that's said

changes all
you see and
do and feel
about someone

no matter how
he says you are

no matter how
you think you are

no matter how much
you want to ignore
the instinct

to let it all go

you know
what to do

even in
your darkest pain

walk away
and grow

or stay
in the darkness
of what was

and never will be


Friday, September 1, 2017

night whispers

you worshipped me
with every word

traced my soul
with every fingertip
on my back

breathed in
my spirit
as you nuzzled
my neck

and whispered
over and over

how much
you loved me

how soon
i'd leave you

how long
you'd keep me

in your memory

and darkness
would drift
in between the
cracks in your


will the night
ever be
so calm again?


Monday, August 28, 2017

infinite tuesday

i want
an infinite tuesday
with you

a no more bluesday

hide all the glue day

see a great view day
with you

a coo coo catchoo day

go past the stew day

mew mew the mewsday
with you

i want
an infinite tuesday
with you


Saturday, August 26, 2017

apart to-gether

i worry that
if i don't take

of the conversation

you'll plague me
you'll fool me

you'll trick me into

that your way is right

i do have
the greatest sympathy
for you

even though
you hate my mercies
even though
you push away
my comfort

even though
you strike at any
i give

i think good of you
and boost you
to the others

as they turn an
unwilling ear

the words sear
in my throat

but i persist

God knows why
at this point


Tuesday, August 15, 2017


all it takes
is an unexpected

to make things
go offtrack

all one does
is misplace a

to make feelings
go astray

in the silence
of the night

when each passing light
is a falling star
in your heart

all you can do
is bottle up

and start again

it doesn't matter

(remind me what for)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


let it be real

let it be new

learn how to feel

learn what is true

let me inside
even if
it is stark

know it is love
even when
it is dark

i'm not an illusion


they say

idle talk
about specific things

stormy clouds
empty rings

tender times
are far away

sunny skies
hopeful days

dream away
what's left of the night

surely things
will be all right

they say

Sunday, August 6, 2017


beware the one
who tickles your ear
with jokes and laughs
about others

she's also the one
who delights your friends
with jabs and sneers
about you

your child

so glad your child
isn't mine

i'd teach him some manners

with love and attention
and humour

i'd be strict
up to a point

at all times

ready with a hug
(not a strangle)

and real

you should know
you have a smart
and loving child


it just takes awhile
to excavate him

out of the world's

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


if you can't see
my face
how are you so sure
of how i feel?

if all you're going by
is my voice
how are you so sure
of my anger?

if i breathe
the wrong way
will i lose you forever?

i walk
toe to heel
on the line

hoping this time
to be right


Wednesday, July 5, 2017


the pages
my heart

again and again 
and again

my words
your story

again and again
and again

the dreams
your will

again and again
and again

my life
your love

again and again
and again

(can't win)

in a world that's constantly changing (matt and stella)

(july 11, 2009)

he thought he had it all, but he wanted to be sure.

matt moved to the side of the restaurant counter, sliding the food tray with him. he checked over the orders. her cheeseburger, mayonnaise no onions. (because she's allergic to onions.)  his cheeseburger, mustard, no onions. (because he wanted to be kissed some time this decade.) ok. fries. cups for drinks. all there. good.

he carefully walked to the back booth, and put down the food. gently, he pulled the ear bud from stella's right ear.

"what do you want to drink?"

startled a little, stella looked up from her writing.

"um . . uh . .something diet. thanks."

matt kissed her ear, causing her to pull back with giggles. he grabbed the cups, and went on a beverage hunt.

he came back with drinks, napkins, and ketchup balanced precariously in his hands. he saw that she had unwrapped her burger, and spread her fries next to it. he did the same, slowly shaking out the fries from their container. he then took the ketchup and drizzled it in a crisscross fashion over the side order. he pulled his tray closer to the edge of the table, put the napkin on his lap, and looked up.

stella had already taken three bites out of her burger, and was holding a big handful of fries near her mouth.

"what?" she asked, voice muffled by food.

"n ..nothing." he smiled slightly.

she nodded, and inhaled potato.

he watched her for a moment, admonishing himself. of course she was hungry . . .it had been hours since breakfast, and very late for lunch. why didn't he remember that she was a real person, who ate regularly and did things at their normal times? for all the nuttiness, and quirkiness that was stella, she still had a schedule she kept to. people depended on her at more predictable times. and even now, on her vacation, he could tell she was trying to keep things orderly. well, as orderly as she could with him around.

"i'm sorry."

"why?" she had slowed the pace down a bit, and it was easier to understand her through pickles.

"i didn't know you were so hungry."

"no .. i'm ok. i always eat like this, unfortunately." she smiled as she caveman-ripped at her burger. she put it down, and reached on her lap for the napkin that wasn't there.

"sorry. here."

he handed her what she searched for, watching her delicately spotting the paper to her lips.

"thanks. quit saying you're sorry."

matt looked down quickly, trying to hide his eyes.

"i *am* sorry, though. i didn't mean to starve you."

"it's ok. i'm here with you. i'm fitting into your schedule."

"but i don't *have* a schedule."

stella sighed.

"it's ok. your lack of a schedule is a schedule, too. it's just a free and easy schedule. sort of a . .non-schedule thing. "

she giggled. he looked up.

"let's see how many more times i can say "schedule" in a sentence."

he looked down again, this time to smile and shake his head.

"eat, matt. it'll work out."

so they ate, and talked, and giggled through their meal. well, she giggled. matt smiled wryly a few times, and let out small explosions of laughter that surprised him. he felt strangely. . . optimistic.

he may just have it all, but he still wasn't sure.

Friday, June 30, 2017

i'm a lot like you were (matt and stella)

after dinner, after computer time, as they settled down into bed, matt and stella like to read. it seems to be thie only thing that takes the hyper out of stella, and matt is more than happy to lie next to his sweet one.

one night, he noticed a frown on his dear one's face. (ok, ok, i'll stop with the cutesy labels. he does think she's sweet. and dear. and adorable. and . . oh, i said i would stop. sorry.) he leaned his head over, and slightly bumped hers. she bumped back, and looked over his shoulder.

"whatcha reading?" she whispered into his ear.

"robert benchley. you?"


"oh." matt straightened up a bit. " it's cosmo night?"

"no. this is an old one."

"oh. ok. i thought it was too early in the month."

"you thought right."

they smiled at each other. cosmo night was . . .ok, do i even have to go into it? when you get a new cosmopolitan magazine, you have to share it with your partner, don't you? there's the test at the end, and the "would i look good in this?" and "smell this, would ya?" as well as the "are you flexible enough for that?"

stuff like that.

anyway . .

stella sighed.




matt warily went back to his book.

stella sighed again. most emphatically.

"ok. what?"


she looked up. he stared at her with the "get on with it" look. so, she showed him the article she was reading. 'how to live to be a hundred' it read.

"i used to think i'd only live to twenty one. then maybe twenty five. but, now it seems like, with all the preservatives, and the steroids, and all that . . we can live for forever."

matt smiled. stella was animated, tossing her hair and flashing her eyes. she didn't speak with the correct grammar he always tried to use, but she had more emotion in her voice than he ever had, which to him was a hundred years better.

"would you want to live to be a hundred?" she asked.

"i didn't used to."

she caught on almost immediately.


"yes. really." it was hard for him to keep a straight face.

"when did you start wanting to live to be a hundred?" she wheedled.

"i don't know." he looked away, smiling.

"yes you dooooo."

"no, i don't. really."

"yes you doooooo."

"no. i really don't."

"yes you . . ."



"stop talking to the dogs."

"hey!" she shoved at him with her shoulder. "my voice doesn't go that high!" she composed herself, solemn face, sparkling eyes.

"is this better?" her inner bullfrog said.

"ew! now there's a dick kill!"

"too barry white?"

matt leaned over, and glared at her.

"most decidedly." he intoned.

she kissed him lightly on the lips, and went on.

"so . . .when did you want to live to be a hundred?" she asked, in her 'perfectly feminine' voice.

"when my life became more worthwhile." it was his turn to whisper in her ear. "when i met you."

"ohh, maaaaaaaaatttt . . ."

"ok. ok. don't get so puddly."

"yes sir."

"you'd better read up on ben gay. you'll be using it soon enough."

"ew. thanks for the visual."

matt leaned over again, and kissed her hair.

"i love you, dearie."

stella laughed in surprise.

"i love you too . . .you old codger."

Thursday, June 29, 2017


she kept things
in words

sentences and

be captured things
in pictures

scenes and

they met
in between

her describing
feelings he'd
never felt

he showing
places she'd
never seen

she wrote
in her notebook

trying to make
him see

but his eyes
were elsewhere

looking for that
next perfect

to still
and hold

for eternity


the crisis of remembering (matt and stella)

dear matt,

i was trying last night to remember you. really remember you. i can't.

i tried for how you looked. i know, i know. i could just look at the pictures i have. they don't help. they don't move. they float silently on my monitor, stiffly smiling, with dead eyes. paused. not free.

i went for how you sound. easy. i hear your voice every day. but, did you know that the phone makes your voice deeper? harder, in a way. sort of . . . untouchable.

i've given up feeling your arms.

can you do something for me? can you really, really *try* to get well? because i know when you do put your mind to something, then it happens. and ... you *do* want to see me again . . .

. . don't you?

i know. i know. i'm forever silly. you do miss me, as much as i miss you. but, after-a-while, it seems like no matter how much you try to assure me . . .i mean . . it's like the words get meaningless as we repeat them over and over again. but, i do love you. and i do miss you. and i do want to be with you again . . 

. . . and i don't know how to tell you in a new, beautiful way that will heal everything.

please remember me. i can never forget you.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

you are missed

you are noticed
you are loved

you are missed

even though
i know
you're having fun

even though
i know
you'll come back

your presence
(so constant and calm)
is not felt

your voice
(so caring and kind)
is not heard

it's quiet in the corner
where you stood

and lived
and loved
and laughed

come back
and be with us

you are missed


Thursday, June 22, 2017

for the worst

it started sketchy
then you filled in
the blanks

vowing your love
as long as i
told you everything

and i told you

baring my soul
night after night

you took from me
my problems
and gave to me
your solutions

lecturing me
over and over
about what i
must do

for the best

but somewhere
along the line
your words took
a turn

for the worse

and you started
magnifying the
darknesses that
i tried to hide

telling me
over and over
what i must do

to end it all

and i followed
your steps
to the letter

spelling out
my life before
my eyes

wishing and hoping
it didn't have to be
this way

but it was better
this way

you told me so
and i believed

(the end)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

too soon?

you have
that shine in your eyes

like she did
like she did

when you look at me

like she did 
like she did

you laugh
in that familiar tune

like she did
like she did

when you hear me holler
at the moon

...but is it too soon?

shouldn't i be immune
to love right now?

shouldn't i be living
in a tomb right now

with her?

sometimes all i
see is the her in you

it makes me want to run

like i did
like i did

when she first walked my way


Thursday, June 15, 2017

the limit

what happens 
when even just a little word

makes it all bad?

what does it mean
when just a movement

leads to sadness?

what was once 
has turned into
a chore

and what once 
was forever
is now 

it all changed
with goodbye
didn't it?

that was the limit
to happiness

and uncertainty


Sunday, June 11, 2017

the end

the end
can be like the beginning

sudden and

full of the spirit
that you once loved
(but grew to hate)

the parting
can be unnoticed

subtle and sustaining

a disintegration
that sneaks up on you
in your lonely night

the silence
can be like thunder

rumbling and

reminding you
how close you
once were

to the everything
that was
before he whispered



Saturday, June 10, 2017

too much

i can't flex
without hitting my head
on the ceiling

i'm too big
for this world

i can't think
without causing a commotion
in the room

i'm too bad
for this world

i can't tell you 
how i feel

show you 
what i see

let you in
on what becomes me

without tearing 
myself apart
in agony

i'm too real 
for you

i'm too dead
for me


in the dark

was ready
to let go

was ready
to break free
from me

for you

was hoping
i could bare my soul

however old

in hopes to
feel again

foolish heart
led me astray

to what i thought
was you

beckoning me on

now i sit
in darkness

a novelty
i'm used to

and yet
if you lit up

i'd follow

who knows

no butterfly
ever lasted
so long

so long
so long


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

british ways

i wanna be
like the british are

cultured and calm

sly eyed knowing

but it's hard
to measure up

when i can't metric

it's hard
to drive around

when i can't find
the lane i'm supposed
to be in

it's hard to imagine
the turmoils of

when i can't even
spend my last pound

without turning around

and going back for a

nothing's ordinary
about the british

(thank goodness!)


Sunday, May 28, 2017

sense memories

she walked out
in the misty rain

escaping from
the words and deeds
that had her swimming

the wind gently combed
through her hair
as if it were trying hard
to calm her down

she was crying again

and even though
everyone was ok
and even though
it was all talked out

she still was
stirred up
by the stupidest things

the accent of a stranger
that sounded so much
like his voice

the colour of a shirt
that she knew he had
in his closet

the smell of a tree
that reminded her
of his hygiene

neat and square
calm and strong
and clean

not at all like her

she walked slowly
through the blue
from above

lost in the spell of
the splatters and drops
before her

wondering when
the sun would come back
into her world

and when she 
could smile 


the pest

i used to hate it
when you cracked
your knuckles

with the beat
of every song
you heard

i tried my best
to keep up with
your words

when you would
ramble away at

each hiccup that
each burp that

went on a list
inside my head

the pest

but oh
what i wouldn't give
to hear you
laugh again

do you know i
feel your smile
before i see it?

do you know i
smell your hair
before you round
the corner

to my heart

do you know that
it's been rains
inside my soul
for many a day

as i wait for the sun?

i wince
at every petty word
that i jotted down
in anger

wishing for a way
to a reprieve

but how can i
cross bridges that
smolder in smoke

in the remote chance
of forgiveness?

and now i find
the pest 
is me



Saturday, May 27, 2017


Is there anything
you regret about this?


i learned about me
and what i could create

i learned about him
and how socks mate

i felt the warm breeze
on the bare of my head

i didn't wish i was dead
half the time that i
used to

But you do now......?


but the darkest clouds come
at the hint of the dawn

and the loudest noises happen
at the end of the song

i feel like the universe
is starting to blow

and i've learned long ago
that i cannot smile

without paying the price . . . . .

Are you always this dramatic?


but you have to expect that
from poets



Friday, May 26, 2017


no matter
what i say

it's my fault

no matter
what i do

it's my fault

no matter
how clearly
i describe what's inside

on the outside,
i'm wrong

thanks for
reminding me
what's due

nothing's ever
true when i
spite myself



Thursday, May 25, 2017

in faith

in faith
you crossed
many miles

just to see me

all the time
about the thought
of me

and how your dreams
would all come true

but the smoothness
had some wrinkles

and the truth
had some lies

and yet you
defied everything

just to be with me

and now you list
all the excuses
to stay

and all the ways
you can leave

nothing good 
can stay 
to the willingly

and so you
in a trap of
your own making

lacking in the graces
it takes
to extricate yourself

what fate
brought you far
away from your

and into the
puzzle of what
should be?



Tuesday, May 23, 2017


once friends

two people
in the sun


frame the sky
one to one


separated by
all the rain


moving past
all the pain


one to hold
in the park

now end

nothing left
but the dark

i was nice to you

i was nice to you
then you cut me deep

i was nice to you
now i cannot sleep

i was nice to you
and you cut me off

i was nice to you
even when you scoffed

i was nice to you
and you didn't play fair

i was nice to you
and all you did was stare

i was nice to you
i stayed the man

i was nice to you
but you didn't understand

i was nice to you
i was nice to you
i was nice to you

i was nice to you
but you know what?

who gives a damn


i used to lean
on what words
were said

now i lean
on the past

i used to look
at the first
of the day

now i look 
at the last

i used to know
how worthy
i was

now i know
i was wrong

i used to hear
the beauty
in me

now i hear
a different song

i used to wait
to read each

now i wait
for you to send

i used to think
you would stay

now i think
about the end



to innocence

to loss

to confidence

without cost

to sunshine

to songs

to happiness

that rights the wrongs

and decided

and true

the world
was brighter

with the heart of you

now passed
now gone


Sunday, May 21, 2017

last time you called

i'm sorry

the last time
you called
i couldn't hear

but wind and
and rain

and the soft
i was used
to sending
your way

turned into
a volley of
screams of frustration

not at all
what i want
to leave you with

i know my voice
is a word picture
of what i am

and i want
that image
to be perfect

to see you through
the night

bookends of
conversation can
make for volumes
of beautiful words

as long as
the connection
is true



Sunday, May 14, 2017

whispers of kitties

he was an orange cat
who laid out in
the sun

she was a shy

hiding from everyone

he was the only one
who cared enough
to visit

she was the only one
who understood
his spirit

without words
they talked around
the differences
they had

good and bad

one choosing
to ignore
what the other one

the other
what the other one

living in the
true and now
that fables hoped
to be



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

at the automat

who will she meet
who buys the meat
at the automat

who's in her head
who's got the bread
at the automat

who'll hold her hand
who'll open the cans
at the automat

mysteries abound 
love can be found
at the automat

at the automat ....


Saturday, May 6, 2017

the knife

he held
the knife
so carefully

and cut
with such

his tone
was soft
and casually

he told her
his decision

she winced
with each

but hid
behind her smile

she waited
for some

but that
was not his style

all she heard
was the chopping

of the blade
against the board

all she felt
was the beating

of her heart
and how it tore

each time
the shaft 
separated the bone



Monday, May 1, 2017

a task

i'll send her
a message

i'll give her
a task

i'll see if
she answers

and do
what i ask

i'll form my words

so carefully

and see
what she'll do
for me

after all,
isn't that what
love is?



Saturday, April 29, 2017


what's foggy
in my eyes

is forever
in my heart

what's shaky
in my voice

is steady
in my head

what began
with us
out in the misty light

will be carried
with me
until darkness comes

no one
will remember

but me


Thursday, April 27, 2017

death in dreams to come

i have a fear
of death

you wouldn't
think so
with all the
books i read

about dead
archaic maladies,


and other sad

i lie in bed

thinking of
the last moment
of agony

was there
a clarity
just before it went dark?

i never thought
i would die
of my plague

i was always
i would conquer

but the closer
i get
to the sun going

the more i fear
that i haven't done

for everyone

i just want to help
while i can
when i can
for who i can

before the end
takes the colours away