old red flatbed truck

old red truck



old red flatbed truck

it was just an old red flatbed truck
sitting lifeless and still
no one had ever claimed it
probably no one ever will

it would probably never run again
obviously, it hadn’t run for awhile
still i wondered where it had been
over the years and over the miles

i saw a reflection in the glass
turns out the reflection was only me
so i wondered about my years and miles
and what a passer-by would see

i am so much like that old red truck
and i feel quite lifeless and growing tired
stuck in a field of weeds and trees
tires deflated and sinking in mire

freddie the happy hippie

Years ago there was a man who sang from the back of his pick up truck…while it was being driven along Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, And yes, he played his piano as he sang. I’m not sure I ever saw a man with a bigger smile as he sang…out of key.



freddie the happy hippie


freddie played his yamaha upright piano
mostly airplane and grateful dead
while brenda drove past fisherman’s wharf
and little melanie slept in her crib-like bed

the old pick-up truck served the family well
as they never had to be apart
and brenda heard her husband’s songs
when he played and sang from his heart

he didn’t sound much like jerry garcia
and certainly not like gracie slick
but he belted out every song he sang
and he had plenty from which to pick

freddie was a happy hippie
and made brenda a delighted bride
and little melanie grew up laughing loud
cause she had a lot of love planted inside

who knows what happened to the piano
who knows where the old truck is now
somehow i can still hear ol’ freddie
the happy hippie still being a clown

so today when you think of sadness
and things have pulled you down
play a little grateful dead real loud
and see brenda driving freddie around

 paul and gustopher

paul and gustopher

folks around the pier called him paul
though they didn’t really know his name or
how he came to live where the pier meets
with the boardwalk

they knew only one thing for sur
he had a dog, big mutt
named gustopher or gus
laid around mostly and never barked
those days were behind him

ate better than paul
though they didn’t really know his name
locals bought him pretzels and corn dogs
gus loved them
paul broke them and gus got the larger part

paul knew some things about himself
gus knew only that he  was tired
and the race was on
with an undetermined finish line
the end of the pier seemed so far away
so they slept
where the pier meets with the boardwalk

paul laid down  on thursay
cold november night
and there
where the pier meets with the boardwalk
he took his last breath
so gustopher laid with him and quietly died
he was tired
and half of his heart had died



Joshua was a Boston Terrier. Eleven years
old and yet still an opinionated puppy with
lots of attitude.

He made an impression and when he went away,
he left that mark with me.

We lost Joshua on Wednesday, November 6th.

He had won his battle with lung cancer two years
ago but now tests revealed a massive tumor on his
liver and it proved to be inoperable so this time, he
lost and consequently, we lost.

At first, I wrote this as if it was a lost love, a woman
who simply walked away but I have learned that when
your heart is broken, you have to go with the truth.

So Joshua…this is for you.


joshua in prescott small



pieces of memories are gone

that bed where you slept

pillows with your scent

the places we laid around when
there was enough rain falling outside
to keep us inside

the path we walked some mornings
just when the sun was rising
making us protect our eyes

i never wanted you to shield yours

but one time
one time
you looked at me
and i knew it was goodbye

never had i seen you wearing
in your eyes

like all things you wore
you wore it well

salvation shoes

salvation shoes

just before tossing his white tennis shoes
into a green city-managed dumpster
he looked to the heavens and said a quiet prayer
barefooted he walked away
having one fewer encumbrance now
and left with only the clothes on his back
he spoke louder than he knew
angrier and sadder at how his life had ended
“ended”, he smiled as he heard the word
he remembered the white tennis shoes
and the day he bought them,
the day he took his first step in them
“first step”, he said aloud.
with that, he remembered his children
as their voices crowded his out
returning, the old man rummaged
through the green city-managed dumpster
looking for white tennis shoes
placing the shoes on his feet
he smiled, and with a quiet whisper, said…
“salvation comes from the strangest places.”

where do you hide your sin?



where do you hide your sin?

walking along the disjointed shoreline
where sand dollars and broken shells lay scattered about
i watched the rolling waves cover over them
moving in to cleanse, then flowing back out

as i watched this natural phenomenon
happening over and over, time and again
i asked myself this piercing question
‘where, oh where do i hide my deepest sin’?

i watched cumulus clouds forming to the west
and squawking sea gulls flying all around
as seafoam bubbles splashed softly at my feet
i questioned myself without making a sound

can i know the depths of my own heart
and will spotlessness live deep within
i had no footprints on the hard-packed sand
so where do i hide my deepest sin?

i sat all night watching nature all around me
crawling crabs and sandpipers my newest friends
and while i watched god’s creation unfold
i knew he had forgiven my deepest sin


his suitcase was well travelled
light brown leather that had seen the world
hiding his life in its belly
holding secrets of who he really was behind closed doors
“don’t make ‘em like they used to.”  i offered
standing over my canvas samsonite bag, steady on roller wheels
the old man stood, taking his luggage by the thick handle
without a word he walked away, only the length of a box car

as he sat down on a station bench, he leaned over his suitcase
and as i watched he patted the brown leather bag
while speaking lovingly to it before presenting a light kiss
with closed eyes the old man leaned back and sat still

the blast was tremendous as pieces of leather soared
and some were found hundreds of yards away
the station was demolished, and i had been only a train car awa
so thanks for reading…but obviously i could not have written this


maria’s travels

maria’s travels

juggling awkward bags
she carried her life on her back
filled with memories and dreams
and wishes for a better world

sewn pieces of canvas and leather
held burdens heavier than expected
lighter than anticipated

she still heard the blessing of her mother
as they released one another’s embrace
for surely the final time
now her heart shattered like fine crystal

was it fear of death or determination to live
that made the weight on her back shift?
she thought of the sign on her home town market
“no returns accepted.”

‘this’, she realized, ‘is the true meaning of limbo.’
a country to the north, a country to the south
and only the cold steel of a railroad track
as a highway converting dreams to reality
or altering hopes to nightmares

the bright morning sun reflected her tears
and for a moment
that mirror of compassion and human kindness
echoed the true heart of mankind

my name

my name

uneven braids defined his hair
deep crevices demarcated quadrants of his face
his eyes betrayed any quest for agelessness
as did slick blue jeans cast in shades of black

he leaned back too far on the painted bench
his heels holding his place in the world
he knew he should have died a hundred times over
yet he looked at the sea as if he held the title deed

“malachi,” he spoke, as i stood watching him
passing judgement was easy to do
and my fears that he had died were solemnly dismissed.
“what brings you to my part of the globe?” he asked sincerely.
and as i started to speak i looked into his world-worn eyes

his blue eyes sparkled, not from their natural color
but with tears forming, he said, just above a whisper,
“i’ve never been loved by someone who knew my name,
perhaps i’ve never been loved at all.”

as if from nowhere she was there
long blonde hair undoubtedly bought from an online search
her black skin glistening in the fading sun
as she clutched a wrinkled paper bag before speaking
“i’ve brought a sandwich and i hope you enjoy it,
sorry i’m late but you know how the world is.”

i watched her now, shimmering as she moved
beautiful skin and large brown eyes,
sparkling as if reflecting his tears back to him
with no other words she handed him the bag,
turned and said with a sultry voice, “enjoy your day, mister.”

intrigued, i asked, “why did she call you ‘mister’?”
“oh she doesn’t know my name.” his eyes burned through mine.
as the lonesome man bit into his sandwich i curiously asked,
“you told me your name, why not tell her?”
with another bite the old man looked up and said,

“i’ve never been loved by someone who knew my name,
perhaps i’ve never been loved at all.”

i learned that day that a man named malachi still had hope
perhaps this beautiful woman, in never knowing his name
would someday learn to love him
beyond sandwiches and smiles.

“my name,” he would proudly tell her, “is timothy.”

she knew

she knew 1233 corel


she knew

she knew he liked old clocks
rusted out buckets
and smiles worn by beautiful women
intrigued by these
he became a collector of sorts

she gathered photos of log cabins
and pictures of dogs in need of love
while he composed a library of romantic songs
and wrote poetry that never rhymed
as they shared laughter together

he hoped to become a wordsmith
simply to clothe her in picturesque meadows
where her most beautiful dream homes
watched over the shenandoah river
or surveyed the appalachian mountains

through it all she kept her smile and he kept his poetry
broken clocks and rusted out buckets sat quietly still
the shenandoah river still flowed
the appalachian mountains were still stunning
while she searched out log cabins and stray dogs
he looked for words that rhymed

after all, love is the victor
what better way to fill rusted out buckets?