the smile

he wrapped his final smile
in a brown paper bag
wrinkled by the squeeze of his hand
wet with sweat
and yesterday’s tears

he knew
of course that there was
no smile
for his lips never knew that pleasure
stolen away
before he could know of such things

like ham and cheese on pumpernickel
the taste of his smile left him
with nowhere to turn

while stepping from the curb
of yesterday’s memories
he wondered
if the wind would be especially kind
on this night

and if the ripple in his bag would help him
those things
he never cared to know


he didn’t much care
whether crystal chandeliers lit by morning
were hung like quartz
in the shadows of arches painted golden by a merciful sun
or whether a spring green salad
included dried cranberries and candied walnuts

his desire was for one last poem before it was all gone
and to feel silver words from his tongue

where does it go
in the matter of moments when sounds of the oboe
and softness of the trumpet
offer marching orders

cadence and pause become one note
in the quiet of life’s journey
raspberry vinaigrette covers a multitude of sins
and reflections from the crystal chandelier
casts shadows where memories can no longer hide


tumbleweed mirage


he pressed a 7-up bottle to his lips
clear liquid still hot from the arizona sun
a taste flatter than the desert sand

it was a matter of time
always had been, always would be
her lips taste better than 7-up

mind games live and die in the mind
like divots in sifting burning sand
convinced him she had walked

tumbleweeds erased her
as though she had never been
in places he had never seen

pebbles in time


, , , , , , , , , , , ,

he watched the circles in his mind
ripples in yesterday’s water
where stones once were tossed

pebbles really,
yet enough to form concentric wrinkles
soothing over rough edges and drowning clowns

the circle died and glass-like waters
were still,
undisturbed as though he had not been there

he hadn’t

in his mind circles rolled onto circles
and the pale painted pony leapt
easily over his uncontested path

the music stopped
his eyes closed and no circles remained
ripples collapsed and pebbles dropped inside his quiet mind

i am

i felt the ocean breeze biting harshly against my face
tracing the deeply plowed lines
where tears flooded memories
of places i had seen while doing people wrong

like open wounds
the scars of yesterday were tender
yet carved into the gentle places of my heart
as i wept,
drowning in sorrow of an intractable past

I had lived as a philosopher,
a judge, a poet, a liar
floating in caverns of fluffed cotton candy
swimming in molasses rapids,
bumping against golden nuggets
my mind took me to places never found on any map

the cool slap of salty ocean spray
became my link to life
as I drank it in with renewed passion
while holding a cup
empty of all but memories long forgotten

material girl


the madonna

when i saw her looking out
over the streets of tuscon
my imagination wept
in places where her song once lived
cradled in her lips
like a newborn

she was painted on glass
with piercing eyes
and mustang-wild hair
unable to move
frozen in a moment when
an artist said boldly


this is who you are



i took this picture in tucson, arizona
where windows were painted with
images such as bob dylan, jimi hendrixx,
and willie nelson.

madonna was prettier than each of them.

the dance

the dance

Sometimes we see such small things and realize they are bigger than we first knew; sometimes we see such large things and realize they are not so big after all. Our perspective changes with our willingness to slow down and look at all the world offers. Whether it is a field of daisies or a pair of rusted nails, I encourage you to take the time to experience your surroundings. Tomorrow may steal what yesterday promised and the minute it took to write this is forever gone.