as i look at my wordpress and facebook pages
of a gull flying over ocean waves
i can hear the crashing waters raging
as if it was just yesterday

these same waves are no longer there
yet many more have taken their place
they slap the rocks and return to the air
it has always been the case

i’m sorry to say the bird has passed away
and flown to where old seagulls go
yet i remember so clearly that special way
he posed for a shot only we would know

this all happened in a place called bydasea
a place that covers both the east coast and west
so if you find yourself standing there bydasea
please give those special gulls my very best


I took this picture of ocean waves several years
ago in Carmel California.  The photo of the gull I took over
forty years ago…with something call film.  He was flying in
the opposite direction from what I show here but otherwise
I left him completely alone.  I only turned him around in an
effort to help him get home.  I know I need that sometimes.

silence of tears

ohio tracks w daisies wpress complete

silence of tears

i wept for silence where there was none
where swirling dust laid itself to rest
at the feet of scurrying children
and the voices of anguished mothers
embattled soldiers and  loud-mouthed senators
meshed with the sounds of searing, twisted metal

i prayed for swaying daisies pirouetting
to the sound of quiet
on morning’s hushed battleground
muted through streams of hopeful sunrise
buoyant with promise
that seeds planted yesterday, watered with tears
may spring forth in spite of who we have become

weeping and prayerful expectation
kneeling prostrate
onto the ground upon which we live and die
brings no silence to ears that have heard too much
eyes that have seen too much
a heart too far broken
i wept for silence where there was none

reflections in an opened window

thank you DiAnne Ebejer, for offering the picture for my interpretation.
i appreciate your sharing.

reflections in an opened window

looking in i remember her
looking out
to full-blossomed flowers
rolling hills and the wonder of morning

i listened to my mother’s voice
as an old philco scratched out songs
and static in worn out grooves
on the disk, a revolving 78

her hands dipped in soapy water
her eyes fixed on the distant hills
she stood much longer
than breakfast dishes required
but never long enough
now that my memory of her  has faded

when i look in
a soldier, back from war
i see only my own reflection
and a window i hoped to return to
filled with sound and my mother’s face
beckoning me in with words
and the smell of bacon

it is not only soldiers who die
on war’s battlefield
but also
those who could not watch them go


note:    richard brautigan was an american poet and writer. he is best known for his novels trout fishing in america and in watermelon sugar. he was much more than a poet/writer and some considered him the voice of a generation in san francisco.  tragically richard took his own life in 1984 while standing in his living room, looking out over the pacific.  the exact date of his death is not known because his body was not discovered for weeks afterwards.  this is my telling of his story, in his honor.



in the afternoon
i read richard’s poems
topped off by little books with big ideas
trout fishing in america and in watermelon sugar

both were like some decadent dessert
too small to cause harm but too big to have a second helping

most margins were filled with illegible scribbling
printed words crossed out and rewritten

today i am older than then
days roll like gentle ocean waves to become months
before retreating and coming in again as years;
the measured metamorphosis so slow

but i am going nowhere
in our rush to get from here to there we fail
and so many things in our lives are pushed aside
to make room for new things to be pushed aside

i’m still yearning for a phone booth
where i can make a call for a dime.

i’ll always wonder if maybe
someone called richard but he never answered
there was no need
his answer had already preceded the question

broken silence

red door cafe word press

broken silence

blank stares
left over from midnight
settled like dense fog on our faces
as we swallowed words
like over-cooked bacon strips

the smell of cheap coffee and sweat
jabbed like a broken fighter
and our sentences were passed around
like street corner condoms
rubbed hard and spent but once.

we talked in short semi-circles
weaving our words tightly
while clutching slippery handles
on thick off-white coffee cups
and looking for reflections
in one another’s eyes

a new morning sun crawled
over waiting buildings
and shadows crept
like thieves into empty hallways…
yet silence still filled the air

then a single word resonated like the first note
of a well-planned symphony
and you moved a step closer to
being further away
as I sat holding the sound of goodbye
through an opened red door

salvation army

purple clothes

salvation army

she wore purple because she liked it.
hanging stiffly on the store rack,
yellow goodwill tag with smudged blue ink,
was it a three or five?
she argued for three—willing to pay five—she did.

her breasts had followed the alphabet
from a to b to c to d
and settled back on c
after some of the air had escaped her life
and left her haggling over purple dresses.

somehow salvation was unreachable
and the army refused to go home,
but she had purple swatches to mend the holes
and fingertips that blended too well
with gunnysack purple and bruised memories.

she remembered life in yellows and oranges,
bright colors that worshipped the sun.
but that was when she dreamed while still awake
and wished without a penny.
purple happens to life.  and it did.

biographical eulogy


biographical eulogy

the eulogy was spoken well
by those who thought they had known
but really didn’t…for otherwise
he never would have gone

the fog rolled in like silence
it kept the sun contained
damp darkness filled the morning air
it really should have rained

there were no flowers scattered there
along the mountainside
for severed flowers like broken dreams
have no reason to survive

their faces wore no smiles
their eyes were sad but dry
lonely people stood in disbelief
and only wondered why

who took this life before its time
and laid it in the dust
and was it fair for those concerned
that he had lost all trust

those are only questions
that need no real reply
his season of life has passed
no one will ever know why

journeyman of words

journeyman of words

today i found your name
and imagined you died without knowing me

tomorrow i may find who you were
and what passions we have shared

oftentimes i have dreamed
that you were a journeyman of words

that sentences and verses waited for your command
to line up in single file fashion
waiting to march off a page and into someone else’s life

you were inspirational in your never being there
as some others have been inspirational by their presence

perhaps someday i will see you
when the minutes of yesterday collapse onto tomorrow

hiding behind the façade of traveling salesman’s clothes
with a box of plastic brushes or black leather bibles

you may recognize me or think you do
but only my eyes would reveal my likeness of you

and only your eyes would dare ask questions
to answers you hoped to forget