Summer Day




Summer Day

Remember we played at your dad’s funeral home

you hid in coffins scaring the shit out of me

laughing your deep belly laugh

my body trembled as each lid opened slowly.

Where are you now Bobby, new games for you to play?

Did Vietnam strike you down like so many friends?

I’d rather think not, feels better that way

Where’s your horse sister?  I laughed as she galloped

the sidewalks of our neighborhood, a stallion with two legs.

Memories so dear to me now, I relive them every now and then

I hope you do too.


Funeral Song



Funeral Song

If you planted a tree for me

I would be happy

send you rain to make it grow

like trees should

with lonesome groans so quiet

not even earth could hear

such natural industry.

If you planted a garden

I would be so happy

I’d sing with thunder

and dance like lightening.

I’d visit with humming bird

silence and together with winged vibrato

we could sing the hungry masses.

If you had a baby I would sing

hosanna to a god of your choosing

give you a silver hammer to swing,

to praise the pope or Malcom X.

Let me be your silent servant,

your communist lover

Sieg Heil sweety and party on.

His Memory





The lantern cast shadows

like so many tentacles

reaching to each corner

in the dank dusty room.

An old woman stared sadly

a young man’s picture

framed and time yellowed

she once loved him fiercely.

Outside wind whispered life

through cracked windows

with eyes vacant

time robbed her of expression.

Secretly she kissed the picture

tucking it deep inside

her heart broken chest

and slowly began to die.




Somewhere between my birth and now I’ve turned seventy.  It didn’t happen immediately.   I’m not that naïve, but it happened.  I think it happened paranormally.  After graduation from high school I thought somewhere in this crippled mind of mine that I should serve my country in battle.  There was this little skirmish going on in Vietnam.  I didn’t know much about it, but give me a gun Uncle Sam.  Luckily Uncle Sam sent me to Tokyo instead of Vietnam.  That turned out to be fine, just very damn fine.

I spent most of my time in Tokyo drunk, puking raw fish, and learning how to poop in a slit in the floor.  That was 1965 and things were different back then so it seems.  Now that my foggy eyes strain to look back at those days I’ve learned that nothing has changed all that much.  Things may appear different but people don’t appear a bit different to me.  Our brains continue to gather information and our mouths tend to spew that very same information to the world in a very different format than the form in which it arrived.

Somewhere in these seventy years I’ve learned a bit of wisdom, gained seventy-five pounds, married three times, and continued to believe in the art of liberalism.  Don’t worry I won’t discuss that liberalism stuff.  It’s a circular thing you know.  Speaking of circular, it took me many years to escape that youthful denial mode.  You know the one, “I’m living forever.”  I didn’t admit to the idea of mortality until I was fifty.  There’s something about the age of fifty that reaches up and slaps you in the face and screams, “You’re dying dumbass and you will continue to die until you’re dead.”  Imagine that.

You see there’s a problem with all this living and dying process.  My body doesn’t move as well, my lungs have inhaled too much tobacco and cannabis smoke, and too much asbestos and diesel fumes.  My brain though tells me I still enjoy a smidgeon of cannabis, a whole lot of Pink Floyd, and a few nice cold brews.  My brain thinks all that is damn cool, but my brain gets in my way.

You see, I am an atheist so people close to me have a hard time with that.  “What about the Bible?” They ask.  “What about your soul?”  “You’re going to hell?”  Are you catching my drift?  My brain (beliefs) gets in my way.  I became an atheist about twenty years ago after years of Mormonism and Christian purity.  Guess what?  I feel good about it.  I have no God guilt, no Jesus guilt, and of course no drinking-a-hot-cup-of-coffee guilt.   Besides having a great wife, a wonderful son, and grandkids, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened in those seventy years of mind.



Black Umbrellas


Black Umbrellas

She dressed her best

ran a comb through the nest

raincoat and knickers

hiding all those tracks

it’s time to stick a kicker

start the engine and fly away

fly away into the fog

beneath the sad black dog.

Between her toes

a dance of angry holes,

a dance of false lovers

no monsters tonight

no heartbreak hotel for her

just another swamp of sorrow

on the edge of tomorrow

dancing with her  own big black dog.

South Chicago holds no Cinderellas

no kings or beauty queens

just old ladies

with their black umbrellas

and old men

with holes in their jeans.