on days like this
like so many days
and for no reason
and for all my reasons
this fragile heart can’t
face this relentless world

when all i hear is abundant cruelty
when all i know are slights and daggers
when all i feel is every desperate heart
when all i see is every place i don’t belong

remember… our first momentous night together

pine scented candles and your second hand flowered couch
when so tenderly stroking your forehead hushed you to sleep?
and content just to watch you breath your tranquil dreams

you knew then i could always do that for you and
i knew then i would finally share my every weakness
because there is no refuge in this world for me but you

passenger of the Night

passenger of the Night

my pull behind the steering wheel done, i can daydream
while sacred acres of farmland shaved clean of crops flanking
I65 South sleep quiet as the quick miles blur on by.
grateful…that the skulking skyline of the city
I can so readily despise, is now just a
road dust reflection in the rear view mirror.

and Band of Horses
they’re belting out “Funeral’ in my Bose,
such mournful vocal harmonies a warming elixir
to a soul that finds an odd comfort in abundant melancholy.
their echo reverb guitar licks swirl in sad circles around memories,
like the relentless night spider spinning its prey.

dropped far below the flat earth horizon,
Winter’s reluctant Sun wearily gave up on this day hours ago,
letting darkness lays its claim to the road and sky in flat black melding,
where the night language of mystery reads in permanent unison.
these eyes easily make the incremental adjustment,
exulting as the stark detail of days slowly erase from view.

i welcome the oncoming headlights,
the float of illuminated dashboard gauges,
and celebrate the digital glow of my laptop
as i compose poetry in this rolling writers retreat.

because it’s in the Night i trust,
in this copilot who’s steerage is always true by me,
in this forgiving solitude that my creativity prevails,
and in this Hope for another chance that only Night provides.


Monday Haiku: the bird of Love


to her….
will be random posting
of Haiku devoted to
Scout, my partner


Love needs air to breath,

and Love needs Trust to survive.

birds need wings to fly….


i learned to let go

and love her with open arms.
the nest… calls us Home.
images (96)
to Christina and C.K. for their inspirational
post Let Go, Jump In, Love Wide Open ty.

hearts can see

in this concrete, and its rolling steel,
this incessant clutter of continuous motion…
in the rushing hours of my city…
you either get in line or get out of the way.
there are though, many among us

living thinly on the margin,
who would, gladly…
if they only could. the
permanently uninvited, the lost
who never quite or never will…

and whether
you despise a job
or can’t wait to clock in
there is unspoken comfort
in belonging…in the queue…

of even a small cog
in something much larger…
i notice the, outside looking in…
i’m drawn to them, sigh a hopeful prayer to
those who can’t yet find a reason, untethered… because

i was them…but
the rushing hour is no time
for quiet contemplation… i sit
parked at the corner of four lanes
of one of the busiest thoroughfares in this city

i’d rather not call home. a couple walking by
clasped in an old fashioned arm-in-arm embrace
bouncing in their step and from the
waist up view i had through my windshield, they were
salt and pepper haired, past middle age.

and oh did they ever have so much to say!
their heads were bobbing, mouths moving
and walking their perfect unison. joyously oblivious…
i smiled to myself, ‘they really are in love’.
and it’s a funny thing,

we can always spot two people in love…
they turned, stopped at the corner and
he was slow swaying listening to her every word,
to the steady beat of her heart…as she
reassured her ponytail was perfectly in place.

as minutes ticked by, suddenly seeing
the two white canes brushing across the curb, waiting.
a smile replaced by concern they might
attempt to cross 4 lanes of rush hour traffic.
so, me watching the stoplight digits count down

5, 4, 3….my hand on the door
ready to intervene, help if i could but
i stopped myself… i had to,
because trust really is such a fragile thing….
2,1…and charging across the road they went

without even a care in this world, not
missing a single word of conversation, heads bobbing again
their love locked arm in arm, open heart to open heart. i watched,
exhaled, and saw them disappear slowly into the cool, close
shadow of tree canopy along the narrow street.

Don’t Dream It’s Over
Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win

Mary of thorns, of roses

Mary you’re covered in roses
you’re covered in ruin
you’re covered in secrets
you’re covered in treetops
you’re covered in birds
who can sing a million songs
without any words.

‘Mary’, Patti Griffin

roses 5-14 007

For as long as anyone could remember she was there every spring in the same spot, her own safe corner of the garden center answering questions about the roses she tended wearing her familiar garb a uniform, the well worn wide brimmed straw hat circled with a thin black silk ribbon, an oversized faded to almost white denim shirt sleeves twice rolled neatly, the tail of the billowing shirt reaching mid thigh her torso hidden, loose fitting, faded and frayed Levis folded to just above her ankles showing white cotton socks, black canvas Keds the white rubber banding forever soil stained. When she wasn’t wearing her trademark flower imprinted canvas gloves her right hand held a cigarette and it was only then you might notice her hand trembling slightly as she slowly brought it down to rest on her knee as she sat low on her small stool as the smoke slowly exhaled and curled up around her head.

From a distance her narrow face barely visible hidden behind the once flaming red loosely curled hair now muted with grey rested shoulder length, the wind occasionally blowing stray ringlets sideways across her dark perfectly round faux wood framed sunglasses never seemed a bother, never elicited a wipe away response as if it was all planned that way. She moved slowly as if scripted, gestures planned in advance leaving no room for error with her graceful posture she didn’t walk as much as she glided, a pale shadow sliding across the pavement and between crowded containers of the tender young rose plants she adored.

She was a carefully crafted enigma carving out a living doing what she loved, talking of roses to any who would listen even as she did her best to become invisible. No one knew where she lived or where she came from, a human without a history even to the many longtime employees she was simply known as The Rose Lady and that’s exactly how she wanted it be.

No one knew she wrote either but him, writing page after page of tightly composed hand penned black inked script, the penmanship so disciplined almost machine like and impossible to decipher except by her, exactly how she wanted it to be. Her stories each accompanied an intricate impossibly detailed companion pen and ink drawing, the technical skill beyond reproach.

roses 5-14 009

They would meet once a week during that spring and early summer sitting on the roughed granite steps to her favorite place, her refuge, a tribute garden full of only roses perfectly designed in the classic formal English style she went there often to wipe away the world and disappear, become invisible again. This almost secret place was in plain view on a busy street but there were rarely any visitors except for the old man who tended the roses and meticulously manicured the gravel path before he left leaving it perfect placing every small grey rounded stone where it should be.

It was there amidst the safety of everything that was familiar, under the protective cloak of the expected and the perfect order that never disappointed that Mary took a chance and did the unexpected which for her was nothing less than a blindfold leap into the abyss. It was there, sitting side by side with her pages and drawings between them their eyes adjusting to the dimming light, that uncertain bright to near dark transition that Mary began revealing her story to him slowly, inaudible at first as he gently cradled the drawing she could barely hand him. Even as her voice slowly gathered it’s strength it was never more than a low single note monotone effortlessly reciting her stream of conciousness testimony as if rehearsed daily and committed to memory, the only punctuation her breathing, a brief pause as her narrow frame rose to meet the next paragraph.

Staring straight ahead sitting on the steps that late spring afternoon as the noise of the busy street behind them faded he heard nothing but the soft floating sound of her voice, like the smoke from the cigarette that she held in her unsteady hand it enveloped them both. It was only when he began focusing on the drawing, the twisted bodies and anguished expressions represented in painful detail did he emerge from his own trance and begin to hear her words.

Mary did her very best to disguise the pain and trauma contained in her passages, her controlled emotion a rage compressed, the matter of fact delivery another possible detour offered but nothing could hide the horrible truth when he finally listened through it all to hear her words, listened as she told story after heartbreaking story of the violence and torment she experienced first by her father and then an abusive husband, finally leaving him her destination a secret.

In awe of her courage, her truth rubbed raw his own childhood wounds never revealed, he felt helpless so close to her pain when he could never confront his own. Wanting to help in some small way reassure, struggling to find words he found none so he sat there on the steps beside her and simply listened thinking he had let her down, that he’d failed her somehow. He couldn’t know it then but there was nothing more healing for them both than his silence.
one of her favorite songs…..

written March 2012