what now?

What of all the ground
scarified with insights
Spattered with shells of experience
Mixed with the clippings of expectations
and chips of disappointment
Layered with shavings of grace
heaped and seeded
in a mound of good will?
What of the sprouts tended,
pinched and tutored
under a sky cleared
of doubts once splayed above?
What fruits may grow
I’ll never know
as I’m beholden
to only move on
Lest my shadow be too long


In books and films
characters say
most poignant things,
well timed, well phrased
While we abandon
soul-baring thoughts
to uhms and uhs
as lights change
and people start across
and the chance to finish
is once more lost,
and next time, the subject
won’t come up,
and the time after that
it won’t matter much
and it probably never did,
Still, it would have made
a story far better than this

last dance

By when we’d earned
our turn to shine
with bodies bound to duty
our tongues tied in lies
we swayed in the corners
of our crowded minds
trained wallflowers
entranced by the dance
that could have been our lives


This year’s sunshine
promised new life
but mostly dried up
what survived
the long winter
Leaving leaves withered
hopes splintered
and lumped hearts of cinder
to weather
the blaring heat to come
What’s left bleats
blearily in the sun
to be gleaned
tethered and strung
as relics and measures
of where we went wrong


Every word I wrote
was to shape for you a door
with a view to a world
Never crossing the sill,
from each you turned until
I ran out of views to
Now I ponder old doors
once craftfully adorned
and what came just before
they were shut
one last time
Then abandoned for ever more

made up

I wish I’d made you up
You’d be freer, slightly older
Perhaps somewhat shier,
or maybe even bolder
Your quips would be quotable
Your observations notable
Your suggestions unpredictable
Your jokes always hinting at
A sadness only I could shoulder
You’d seek me out on every shore
And I would like you so much more
Than I ever did before I knew you

where did you go?

You let me in
at the edges with
small gestures
sparse words
randomly scattered
leaving no pattern
or path to follow

With no vista to turn to
I wandered in circles
I gazed far and wide
scanned low and close
tried so many detours
it took years to find
your center and stand
in your emptiness

still the same

Oh, how we tire
of these same places,
same spaces, how nothing
ever changes inside
the walls of these cages
in which we hide and abide
by rules to stopper
the flow of these days
bleeding by

Let us rearrange
the pieces, smooth out
our brows’ creases
until we are able to sit
at this table unabashed
though unmasked
by questions asked
to sort out our thoughts
while our hearts lie
contorted between
resistance and persistence
exhorting a distance
our insistence can’t breach
All worthwhile is out of reach

Let us sit still
with our words silted
to the bottom of the glass
counting slurrs
swallowed back
in a silence we dare not disturb

rounding the bend

This time
something’s different
the rhyme won’t rise
to make its way
to the end of the line
to compress the space
or impress minds
more inclined to look
towards what’s on hand
than bind to a rhythm
yet undefined
and let time unwind
into a line
to be crossed
or crossed out

Something’s gone wrong
This beat is not strong
enough to leap into song
or turn the lulling trance
into a dance
that leaves room
for chance stomping
of malign acts
and distorted facts
birthing belief
that relief
lies down the line
and if we would all
clap our hands
just right
something different
may happen
this time

#godoggocafe prompt


The smiles from the ads
hint at what I can’t own
While faces around me
hang like dried autumn leaves
I think of this past winter
and what didn’t grow
As spring reloads
its new green
Sometimes you just have to
let things go
Even if much awaits
to be seen

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