For Valentines Who Feel Alone


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For Valentines Who Feel Alone

I’m digging in the science zone

A place unlikely you might think

To find a touch that’s soft and kind

To substitute for kiss or wink;

But here’s what floats into my mind:

If once you loved and now love’s done, 

I tell you that it’s never done.

The lover’s kiss forever lingers

So too the madly roaming fingers. 

But Love is more than memory’s touch

It’s also wind and rain and such:

The breeze, the bird, the buzzing bee

The rose and blooming cherry tree

Your love and lovers are in these.

Forever round the atoms go

So why not love the rain, the breeze? 

Of course there’s pain yet even so—

Cold winter stings of snow and ice

Yet warmth of heart’s recall is nice. 

Each bird and beast of earth is kin.

From birth we’re taught our clan is thin.

But life, in truth, is all One Tree.

We’re all connected, don’t you see?

Photo by Cindy Gustafson on

Alone is how we’re trained to feel. 

To stare at plastic, cash and steel. 

While all around us: Family. 

Love every creature large or small.

We choose our love’s diameter.

It’s something you may choose to do:

So, you can choose to love it all. 

Or, keep your circle very small.

You get to pick parameter.

Your sphere of loving? Up to you.

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Doggie Doggerel

The Forest

Ah Wilderness

You Must Remember This

Dance of Billions

Roar, Ocean, Roar

Mother’s Day

The Magic of Numbers

Life Will Find a Way

The Walkabout Diaries: Sunsets

The Walkabout Diaries: Bee Wise

Skirting the Turtle

The Puppy’s Snapping Jaws

Sadie is a Thief!

A Cat’s a Cat

A Suddenly Springing Something

Doggie Doggerel


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Seeing Sadie standing in the daisies

Helps me deal with the crazies;

When she’s got her muzzle grounded

It helps me stay robust and rounded.

Sadie is a golden doodle

She doesn’t look much poodle

But she’s just as golden as can be

In the sunlight she’s just as she as she can be

Which also makes me feel more me.

She romps along the beach

Chase and chasing anything that isn’t still.

Tries to meet and greet by nosing each

And every moment is a lifetime’s thrill.

At end of day, she dreams her dream

Tomorrow is another day

For her to spring and sniff and scheme

For her to turn the world to play.

Sadie is a Thief

To Relish the Steps


A Cat’s a Cat and That’s That

Happy Darwin Day!

Life Will Find a Way

The Walkabout Diaries: Sunsets

The Walkabout Diaries: The Life of the Party

The Walkabout Diaries: Symphony

The Walkabout Diaries: How Beautiful and Green

The Walkabout Diaries: Bee Wise

Skirting the Turtle

Grandpa Fed the Animals First

Sadie the Sifter

The Puppy’s Snapping Jaws

A Suddenly Springing Something

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Freedom Fries


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Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

Freaky Friday and French Fries come to alliterate my mind. 

Do you recall when we called them “Freedom Fries”?

Do you recall why we called them ‘Freedom Fries’?

Because the French didn’t join in our Second Gulf War. 

We’ll show them! 

We’ll show them!

How many times in your life have you heard someone say that?
How many times in your life have you said to yourself: “I’ll show them!”

And how many times in your life did that actually work for you?


I’ll raise my hand and volunteer to go first. 

And the answer is: 

(Drum roll please!) 

And the answer is: 

(Longer, louder drum roll! Don’t forget to ready the cymbals too!).

And the answer is: 

(Maybe we should lead into the drum roll with a simple flute solo).

(Maybe we should let the violins pick up the tune and let the whole string section join in). 

(Maybe there’s a brass counter-point). 

Photo by Nork Photography on

If we decorate this house of cards ornately enough, perhaps we can slide right by the answer which is:


I’ve shown many things to many people and taught such things as: 

How to design an experiment.

How to conduct an interview.

How to do Analysis of Variance.

How to tie a shoe

How to throw a spiral pass 

How to serve a tennis ball 

But never once

Never once have I

Successfully shown anyone anything by being mean. 

Freaky Friday and French Fries come to obliterate my mind. 

When did making fun of a friend make them a better friend? 






Next time, I think I’ll just offer some ketchup. 

Dance of Billions

Knock Knock

Listen You Can Hear the Echoes

The Wall

The Crows and Me

A Drop at a Time

After All

After the Fall

Siren Song

Lost the Word for War

The Forest

You Must Remember This

The Puppy’s Snapping Jaws

A Cat’s a Cat

A Suddenly Springing Something

Who is Tending the Garden?


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Garden or guard? 

How does your garden grow? 

How about your guard?

You see what I’m getting at here?

I hope not.

Not yet, anyway. 

To put it another way,

How much for plowshares?

How much for swords?

How much for love?

Or for planes above?

Planes that have bombs.

Bombs that explode

Sending shards in every direction. 

Killing anyone around.

It’s not just a loud sound. 

So this is a killing for willing and unwilling alike.

Soldier in hiding or a boy on a bike. 

Photo by Pixabay on

And, yes, it is true. 

A garden unguarded can be taken from you. 

But do you ever wonder 

How far down the killing path

We must go

To guard our garden? 

Let it grow? 

How does our garden grow?

How about our guard?

And, speaking of guards. 

Are we really guarding what needs to be guarded? 

Are we really sure of the guards who guard us?

Photo by Jakob Jin on

Do we arm every school bus?

Avoid walks in the sun? 

I once dreamed of a tall skinny man 

Who built a nice garden with veggies and green

The nicest plots I’d ever seen

So he was happy for a good long span.

Until he began to insist on a wall, 

The tallest wall but that’s not all.

Upon the walls, hired shooters sit

The garden’s gone to weeds and silt. 

The alarm awoke me to a sunny day.

And I forgot the dream until today. 

Thank goodness that nightmare’s done.

I’m so happy that type of error

Is never for the the daylight air. 

Never for the real time fare. 

Aren’t you?



After All

Crows and Me

The Word for War


Siren Song

Math Class: Who Are You?




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So, our instructor assigned us to write a story with a strong emphasis on irony. Mine is about a hypothetical future American tragedy of a coup financed and designed by the Kremlin. By way of summary, this is how it related to irony and I appended this to the story for the instructor’s edification. 

“And, the most ironic part of the whole American tragedy was this: even though he spent his entire life conning others, it was beyond his ken to consider that Vlademort Putrid was likewise conning him. He had been lying and bragging so long about his competence in all things that he actually came to believe he was smarter and a better strategist than Putrid. Putrid likely could have done it alone. But, of course, he did not do it alone. Putrid had the collaboration of highly trained, highly dedicated KBG/GRU professionals to help. 

“In principle, perhaps he could have enlisted American experts, but he didn’t feel the need. Furthermore, he faced a real dilemma. He couldn’t openly ask any but the corrupt for help against American interests. And those who were corrupt were generally far less competent and always less well connected to a healthy network of professionals than their more numerous and genuinely patriotic counterparts. 

“I said that was the most ironic part of the whole American tragedy, but there are near contenders. Another highly ironic part of his entire con game was that the played the game as though the only thing in the universe that mattered was his own pleasure. Of course, no matter what moves he made or is yet to make, he is not actually immortal in and of himself. By lying to himself and everyone else, he essentially cut himself off from being part of The Great Tree of Life (or at least from being a non-cancerous part). Rather than living on through his actions that benefited the whole, he delimited his life, curtailed it, circumscribed it to his own physical mortality. 

“The intertwined corollary of the above is that even while he lived, he missed out on the best feeling in life: being in caring and loving honest relationships. In order to absolutely and positively ensure that he grabbed as much as possible for himself, he limited his “prizes” to mere material crap and the pleasure of cruelty. “

So, this is how they responded: 

“When it comes to being ironic, this is definitely A plus material. 

However, sad to say, there are also some serious problems with your narrative. First, of all Americans are too well educated to fall for the lies of a known con man. And, why not simply make the character more believable? It’s not plausible that so many people would fall for the con. Apart from that, the cowardice you portray on the part of so many within his own party is also unbelievable. 

Still, the mechanics of the writing was also clean, so I’m giving you a B+. Next time, focus on believability rather than forgoing that to punch the irony.”

Was that a fair grade, I ask you? 

Poker Chip

Donnie’s Final Gift

Plans for US; some GRUesome

Three Blind Mice

Stoned Soup

The Ailing King of Agitate


The Titanic

Con-Con’s Special Friend

Trumpism is a New Religion

Essays on America: The Game

Essays on America: The Stopping Rule

Essays on America: The Update Problem



My Cousin Bobby

Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

Dance of Billions

Knock, knock


Photo by Domenico Bandiera on

Knock, knock.

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Why? Do you care?

Knock knock. 

Block the rock. 

Rock the block. 

Do you dare?

Do you dare to care?

Do care to dare to care?

Care you here?
Care you there?
Care you everywhere?
Or where?

Or anywhere?

Photo by Feyza Altun on

Knock. Knock.

Too too many!

At my gate!

They’ll all rush in 

Let them wait!

We can’t let others crash our cash.

We can’t let any crack or gash.

Knock, knock.

No-one’s home so go away.

Come again some other year.
Come to yet another gate.

Where you can wait. 

You can wait

Another decade.

Perhaps our guilt will fade.

If we never have to see their face.

If we never have to grant them grace.

Photo by Neda Kekil on


You’re not like us so go away.

Come again another day. 

Another year.

Another tear. 

Another decade. 

Another time. 

Become a whiter tone as well. 

You don’t belong 

You sing a different song. 

You eat a different meal. 

You cannot share our deal. 

We fought long and hard to take

This land

From savages who had no gun. 

So how could they be good?

For good God’s sake!

They made their things of wood!

Such a primitive band!

Who stood in the way of progress and steel!

Good God! They didn’t even have the wagon wheel! 

Photo by Paulo Cypriano on

Knock. Knock. 

It is the sound 

Sounding all around. 

The sound of islanders whose

Islands are no more. 

It is the sound of 

It is the sound of

An echo 

A reverberating shot

I think:

I’ve got mine 

So, hell with thine.

The savages didn’t even fell each tree

To farm the land more easily. 

Knock! Knock!

It’s louder now. 

A pileated woodpecker 

A tree wrecker. 

A double decker

Bus and train and sandwich stack.

Busted brain plays whacky shack. 

I need more gold.

I need less cold. 

I will not fold

My life in half to share

I do not dare to care 

For others 

Born of other mothers

Dark of skin 

Who undoubtedly sin. 

Photo by Irina P on


It is the sound 

Of the ground 

Of the Ice

Of the Sky.

So busy building scrapers

And tanks

So busy building 

Tankers and tanks

So busy building 

Machines that can kill

We destroyed all the krill

Filled our ground with plastic fill.

And therefore killed the seas.

We’re spreading disease. 

And all our —

Hold on! Someone’s knocking at the door.

No-one important I should say.

They are dressed all in black. 

Little more than a formless sack.

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on


They are knocking as we speak. 

Guy looks like a freak

Holding … what the hell … a scythe?


I always meant to tithe. 

That was fast.

Pearly gates at last. 

I’m knocking knocking at the door. 

Knock. Knock. 

Knocking at the door. 

The days and nights 

The darks and lights.

Extend into infinity. 

No-one seems to hear my knock. 

No-one seems to hear my call 

Or see my bloodied hands.
Or care or know I’m here at all. 

I can hear the music of celestial bands. 

Distant, faint, behind the sheer and rocky wall. 

But no-one seems to care at all. 

Photo by Pixabay on







As Gold as it Gets

A Horror Story

Hot Dog

Donnie’s Final Gift

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Dance of Billions

After All

The Crows and Me


Roar Ocean Roar

Sunday Sonnet: Sadie the Sifter


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My Sadie is a sniffer and a sifter after clues.

The rainy days I find so gray and nondescript, 

To her, are better for odiferous wetter news

She finds in dew on every bush and blade she’s nipped.

She finds the flights of crows a mystery and a soar

She loves the lights that twinkle in the starry sky

Not only now and then but now and evermore.

She follows — Wait!  — the scent of rabbit wanders by! 

The dislocation of my shoulder’s no big deal!

We can’t let that become priority o’er prey!

How can a merely human soul resist her zeal? 

She streaks through every scene of every act each day.

And then…she snoozes with her head upon my feet.

How oddly weird that dogs make humans feel complete. 

A cat’s a cat

To Relish the Steps

The Puppy’s Jaws

Sadie is a Thief

A Suddenly Springing Something


The Turtleets

Be Careful What You Wish For


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The Kevin said he’d lead the band!

Be strongest man in all the land! 

But when the traitors came to slay,

The Kevin hid then ran away.

The Kevin blamed the Trump that day! 

But soon, it seemed, he flew the coop! 

To Florida to eat a scoop. 

And there he pledged to be a wimp. 

For coups and couscous be a simp.

For nuts & guns, he’d play the pimp. 

And now he sits atop his throne.

He reaps as sown; his cover’s blown.

Photo by Ben Phillips on

He brags that now he leads the band!

When really he just pounds the sand.

The saddest man in all the land. 

Pretends to power; total slave. 

Photo by Clown Caramello on

And here’s the really foul deprave:

By wanting all the power for him.

The Kevin’s just a shadow limn.

There’s nothing left of what was him.

Photo by Min Thein on

A rootless rot upon the land,

He opens gate for treason’s band.

So bent upon his bid for power.

He lost it all in shameful hour.

The joyous tune has turned note sour. 

Photo by Julius Silver on

Bereft of honor, truth and heart,

Robotic role – a walk-on part. 

The words upon his lips are dust.

As Putrid speaks, so Kevin must.

His mettle now just rotted rust. 

Photo by Wendelin Jacober on

Essays on America: The Game

My Cousin Bobby

Absolute is not just a Vodka

Poker Chip

Stoned Soup

Three Blind Mice

Come back to the light

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

The Crows and Me

After All


Life is a Dance

Beware of Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing


Satire Slain

Freaky Friday Fibbing Fest

A Drop at a Time


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The walls are steel.

The walls are high.

The walls are strong.

The walls are long.

Photo by Frans van Heerden on


The soldiers train. 

Sunshine or rain.

The soldiers march. 

The soldiers march. 

Photo by Nafis Abman on

Drip. A peasant shares her bread.

Photo by Geraud pfeiffer on

The lash is long.

The money tempts. 

Cruelty rules.

Lewd one drools. 

Photo by Regina Pivetta on

Drop. Drip. Someone truly cares.

Photo by Pixabay on

The king lacks love

Wears iron glove.

The lackeys obey

Every day.

Drip. Drip. Drip. Another chooses love instead.

Ozymandias too:

He strove to do

What can’t be done. 

Not done by anyone. 

Pitter patter. Pitter patter. Another someone dares.

Agent, spy, tank and gun.

They cannot keep you

From your golden grave

But weapons do deprave.

Photo by Skitterphoto on

Splash, splash. The understanding reaches flash.

Afraid of brains, 

The kings use chains. 

With freedom gone, 

Creativity drains. 

Muddy waters roil. 

Burble as they boil. 

Photo by Avery Nielsen-Webb on

Lashes wound but waterfalls

Become a tide of epic fails. 

All who live in stony jails

Hear the sirens; hear the calls. 

Dripping drops become a tide. 

A mile high, a hundred wide. 

At last we learn the hidden cost

Summer simmer, frozen frost. 

At last we see the trees.

They bend and twist

In twos and threes. 

Forests die while hates persist.

Fires, floods and famines find 

Fertile land for odious brand.

Brigand, brag, and burning branch.

The Golden Rings to powers bind.

Photo by Pixabay on

And after all has burned to hell.

And nowhere left is fit to dwell. 

Then at last will everyone see. 

We didn’t have to play for greed. 

We could instead have planted seed. 

And let the water gently fall upon the land. 

We’d Eden in our grasp it seems. 

Instead we joined the bang-up band. 

Drip. Drip. Another act of kindness turns the tide.

A tidal wave a mile high, a thousand miles wide. 

(Or we could turn this ship of fate

And open every heart with gratitude

Alter every selfish attitude. 

Live and love and dance and mate). 

Photo by Midory Pho on

The answer lies with what we do. 

Not just me. And not just you. 

It’s what we all could choose to be. 

We could save humanity. 

We will save humanity. 

Not just me. And not just you. 

The answer lies with what we do. 

It’s what we all could choose to be. 

Dance of Billions

Paradise Lost

After All

Have no word for

The Crows and Me


The Fungus Fools

Your Cage is Unlocked

The Forest

Roar Ocean Roar

Listen You can hear the ripples

The Broken Times

Paradise Lost


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Paradise Lost

(First appeared as part of The Poetry Exchange’s Featured Poet, Spring, 1997 under the title: “Deforested”)

Gray day wasted while the whippoorwill
Wishes that the slushy city sewers
Had not replaced the only lonely home he knew.
The groggy foggy unfocussed hurly-burly rushing
Of splashing autos on the gray macadam roadways
That gnarl through the neighborhoods
Is vaguely deja vu.
Silhouetted smokestacks shadowly seen,
Limned in gray on gray-green,
Remind the mind how poor people pass the day after day.
Where no home fire hearth lighted cabin
In the winter woods beckons, beacons, hearkens
Heartily a red sunset glow on white snow
For a day’s work done.

One hardly knows.

Here, where machine clouds of steam unsentiently sip, sap the soul,
You wonder as the rain water wanders,
Then rushes through the gurgling gutters,
What foul trick man played upon his own brave soul,
To have forsaken all the fiery emotion that makes life great
To sit at desks, to stand in lines, to wait.
Where are the country color and
The rich thick loves hidden
Beneath the inventions, interventions, and pretensions of society?

We wander in our own gray-glass cages
In a lurching kind of mock-precision,
Like the nightmare dream of a psychotic technician.
And the only color the commuter encounters
In his travels to and from,
Is the scarlet and the gold of a raccoon
Too stupid to stay off the highways of modern civilization.


Pet Sematary (A relevant book by Stephen King which was a partial inspiration for the poem)

Isn’t the extinction of species a “normal” thing? Yes…and no.

How many animals are killed by vehicles?

How much “labor” is actually “saved” by our “labor-saving devices”?

You must remember this.

The Forest

Ah Wilderness

Dance of Billions

Your Cage is Unlocked