Saturday, September 30, 2006

Lost Cause

My being is a tangle
of unfulfilled desire
a cobweb left to dangle
upon a blackened pyre
where ardent avatars have lain
consumed by zealous fire
the remnants of a lost campaign
predestined to expire.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Fried and feeling rather grim
chance of progress very slim
dismal darkness seldom plumbed
sentence of a soul succumbed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tea with Honey

Relaxed on the porch I try not to scorch
my lap with this fluid aroused by a torch
which clamored to steep these leaves that I heap
whose tendrils of flavor will pleasantly seep—
ringlets of steam like mist from a dream
entice me to try something other than cream
so I sweeten my stein with bumblebee wine
and savor each drop, your hand clasped in mine.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ringing 14

Hello to the few who may read this, I am happy to report I made it back safely from Tennessee with a brain more confused than it was before, which of course doesn't bode well for my offerings already steeped in mediocrity, but I shall continue nonetheless. This weeks Ringing of The Bards is a nice way to come home and a big thank you to Jo Janoski for presenting another fine example of poetic linkage, so go check it out!

The Fall

The second day of equal measure
passed quite nondescript,
although a subtle change was in the air.
The angle of our golden treasure
dipped as terra flipped,
and hints of urgency were everywhere.

I stood beneath inviting globes
of crunchy-tart delight
where yesterday the blossom lured the bee—
behind those vibrant autumn robes
awaits the slip of night,
which all too soon will come to cover me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


We trudge through drudge
routinely fudge
the stats that hide
each little smudge
but nudge or budge
those stuck in sludge
they’ll plot a most
consistent grudge.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


When cornered in a moving car don’t shuffle, breath or cough
for everyone knows who you are and when you’re getting off
maintain that stoic awkward stance we misconstrue as grace
negating each convenient chance to elevate our race.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Beneath the golden globe I wax
a million miles from home
my mountain of dissension long eroded,
though lost I’ve seldom sought my tracks
preferring virgin loam
but now I think a map must be encoded;
I’m weighing how to neatly pinch
my vast unease to just an inch.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mourning Dove

**Have you ever heard one? Their song is very resonant and unique, known for its melancholy quality. That high pitched wail of lament, while a poignant reminder of nature’s beauty, can also cut to the bone when it rings in your ear with a painful accusation of arrogance long regretted.
**I was very young and still discovering the wonders of being outdoors, as well as just starting to understand how my actions affected those around me. My parents were conscientious people that stressed the concept of personal responsibility to all their children, and we took it very seriously. Of course when the naivete of innocence meets the imagination of a growing mind sometimes things can go awry, especially when a brand new BB gun is involved.
**Mom and Dad were very adamant about the rules concerning my new ‘toy’ - no shooting at my brothers (aw shucks) and no shooting at any creatures of any kind. They gave me paper targets and some clay pigeons they had secured somewhere, then instructed me in it’s use, pointed me towards the small copse of trees beside our house and said "Have fun."
**Well as you can imagine I was in heaven! Heroes of the day were the Lone Ranger and GI Joe, guys that knew how to use a gun, and I wanted to be just like them. I was already well coordinated with keen eyesight so shooting was almost natural for me. I burned through the targets in no time, then shot the clay pigeons until the shards were too small to hit. My brothers got some soda cans and bottles which also rapidly became rubble. We had a blast! We took turns shooting at trees and making pretend we were soldiers on the front like John Wayne (Dad’s favorite) taking down the bad guys with our last few bullets. "Charlie Company attack!"
**One day while stalking through the woods by myself, a slight movement caught my eye. I froze and slowly turned imagining a sniper drawing a bead on me, but it was only a bird, a sparrow I think. It was about thirty feet away, it’s head cocked sideways to get a good look at the intruder disturbing an otherwise peaceful day. I don’t know if it was primal instinct or seduction by the darker side of human desire, but suddenly I went into hunter mode. Feeling confident in my skills I slowly brought the rifle up and lined the sparrow in my sights. Within seconds my heartbeat seemed to double, sweat began to pearl on my forehead and my parents words echoed in my ears, "No living things..." and I hesitated. The bird must have sensed danger and flitted up into the higher branches of the tree making the shot much more difficult. I stood there for a long time it seemed debating whether this was a good idea, then finally decided it would be OK as my friend Pat had told me these guns weren’t very powerful; his brother had shot him with one and it didn’t even break his skin. I just wanted to see if I could hit it, like a real live hunter, so once again I sought my target.
**The sparrow was in the tiniest branches up on top of a tree and every time the wind blew it swayed a little. I clenched my teeth trying to ignore the lower branches that kept dancing in and out of my field of vision, took a deep breath, then slowly squeezed the trigger. I watched the little brass projectile fly and neatly miss the mark. I cocked the gun and aimed again, adjusting slightly for wind and distance, then squeezed - whoa close enough to make feathers ruffle. Now my heart started thumping even harder in my chest, my mouth was so dry it hurt, I knew the next shot was going to connect. I drew my bead and swoosh, the sparrow took off. No!
**I was a jumble of mixed emotions, largely relieved that nothing bad had truly happened, but also slightly disappointed that I didn’t find out what the result of a direct hit would be. I had heard family and friends talk about hunting, I understood the concept of death, or so I thought, but I just didn’t see it as a possibility. I went to bed that night feeling strangely dissatisfied, like I had somehow been cheated, but as we lived out in the middle of nowhere I was sure I’d get another chance to see what would happen.
**A few days passed and while trying to decide which apple tree on the other side of our house to climb, I heard a very distinct birdsong that was not familiar to me. Instantly I began to inspect each of about eight trees, slowly circling every trunk looking into the foliage for a telltale nest or movement. At the far left corner of our little orchard was a small pear tree, my favorite come fall for the fruit was plentiful and sweet. As I approached it there was that song again and a frantic flapping of wings. I actually ducked as this robin-sized bird with a long tail swooped over my head; It was greyish or light brown and landed a couple trees over. I quickly ran towards it and it took off again heading away from the pear tree. After watching it duck behind the house I jogged back over to the pear tree and instantly spotted the nest. I watched it for a while from a distance but nothing came back, so my easily distracted mind was readily occupied with my previous plan of tree climbing.
**As I lay in bed that night I thought about that big bird with it’s piercing song and knew I could definitely hit it with a BB if I could catch it in the pear tree, there weren’t many little branches or fat leaves to hide behind, nor was it very high. I began to devise a strategy for getting close enough without being seen and fell asleep dreaming of dark brooding images that made me wake in a cold sweat.
**After breakfast I managed to ditch my nosy brothers and headed for the door gun in hand. Mom, as moms will, sensed my impending brush with impetuousness, and said "Where are you going young man?" I informed her that I was going down to the creek behind the cornfield in back of the house. She gave me that penetrating stare, certain there was more to the story but I was careful not to let the devilish urges inside of me leak through to the surface.
**"Well you just make sure to be careful mister, and don’t you point that thing at anybody, got it?"
**I nodded as I swung the door open and zoom, I was gone. Down the hill, over the stone wall and into the sea of green leaves that smelled of earthy life. My face was stung by slightly moist blades that whipped me as I flew through the orderly rows, my small heart beating like the jungle drums in an old Tarzan movie. This was it, today was the day I would shoot my first living target!
**Instead of heading straight I took a sharp right and trotted towards the end of our property line. I passed our well and started to head back up into the scrub brush that bordered our land just beyond the orchard. Now I became the hunter again; each step was carefully planned to eliminate noise, it probably took me fifteen minutes to go forty feet but it paid off. There about twenty feet away from the lilac bush I hid behind was the pear tree and sitting pretty as you please was that bird, it’s broad breast calling me like the glint off a soda bottle.
**With deliberation I brought the barrel up and put my sight right in the middle of that unsuspecting birds gut. I had no doubt it would connect and imagined how loud beak-brain would squawk before it flew away. Once again my heart raced and my mouth turned into a desert but at last I pulled the trigger. There was indeed a brief sound of surprise but what followed was far from my puerile misconceptions. The bird dropped like a stone and hit the ground, a couple of feathers floating down near it, to lay silently beside that lone pear tree.
**I sat for a second, stunned. Perhaps it’s just knocked out, yes that’s it, I’ll just let it rest for a minute then it’ll be OK. After a couple of the tensest moments in my life I began to approach my victim expecting it to jump up at any time and fly away. When it was at my feet I noticed the slight hint of red beneath it’s right wing and my heart sank. I dropped to my knees and gently picked up the wounded creature, tears beginning to stream down my cheeks. Staring into it’s beady black eye I saw the spark of awareness go and felt, actually physically felt, the life force ebb then fade completely from it’s broken body. I sat there holding the poor thing, unsure what to do. I couldn’t tell anybody because I’d really get in trouble plus I was ashamed, I had actually taken a life and it was not a pleasant feeling. While sitting there in my nauseous stupor I heard a soft sound above me and a sickening revelation struck like lightening, this bird was a mother! Now I had to see so I shimmied up the tree and sure enough there were two small chicks in the nest. Well this was a disaster, my refusal to obey my parents had not only resulted in one life but two more were now on the line. I would have to feed them until they could survive alone, that’s all there was to it. I would dig up a bunch of worms and come every few hours to fill their little bellies.
**Burdened with pangs of unshakeable guilt, I buried the mother and headed back to the house with a sick feeling in my stomach but full of resolve to make up for my horrific act. I kept reliving that moment of senseless death in my mind, certain my folks could sense the evil that now tainted me. After a while I went back to the pear tree and to my great dismay the chicks were now at the base of the tree themselves quite motionless. They must have started crawling around when their mother didn’t come back and now they were gone too. This was too much for my young sensibilities to handle, I didn’t deserve to live! I ran back to the house and up to my room where I cried myself to sleep.
**Upon waking I felt slightly better physically but still devastated mentally. I knew I would never shoot the BB gun, or any gun for that matter, at anything ever again, but I had still caused death and this was anathema to me. I eventually told my friend about my crime and he informed me what kind of bird it had been. Turns out they’re considered game birds so hunting them is actually sanctioned but that never justified what is still to this day the most shameful thing I have ever done. I still like to walk in the woods, reveling in the abundance of life that thrives despite the careless acts of humans such as I, confident that at least my own actions will never cause deliberate suffering again, and occasionally I hear that haunting trill somewhere in the wild and stand for a moment with my head bowed in respectful remembrance.

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

Well I'm off to the University of Tennessee this afternoon for some work related courses. I started last year then got sick, and while I was home recuperating I started this blog which rapidly approaches it's one year anniversary. I would like to thank anyone who has stopped by to read and especially those that take the time to comment, it motivates me to write more which was the whole point of this thing in the first place. I'm not sure how much writing I'll be able to do this coming week but want to share a little ditty I wrote last year when my illness made me less than enthusiatic about traveling to this statistical process class:

Count Me Out

Collecting information, such a futile thing to do
as everybody everywhere sees naught but their own view
contaminating data, making it much harder to
see which way elusive truth is likelier to skew.
I am also leaving another of my melodramatic memoirs for perusal. I wasn't sure when I wrote the first one if I would do more but it seems these buried episodes are anxious to seep out as they will. Maybe someday I'll put a book together, but for now it's been enough just to get them out of my system. Take care, see you when I can,

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Keep Current

At times it’s unamenable
this deluge of dejection
torrential torpor tumbles
into pooling introspection
the stagnant surface thickens
a morass of misdirection
whose slimy draft will sicken
to corrupt sincere reflection;
we all face damned impediments
but seldom dredge the sediments
rebuild your rocky riverbed
to let the silt flow free instead.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Can electrons bear emotions through the ethernet?
I’m not sure if they do, but am confident to bet
that surges of compassion can transcend having met
creating connectivity no wire could beget.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Observing fluids percolate and flow
from flask to tube, my Bunsen burner flares
a bluish flame, reminding me of stares
your loving eyes would commonly bestow.
Those many fruitless nights I spent in search
of answers, you were painfully alone,
expecting that the diligence I’d shown
would bring success; but faith can only perch
upon its pedestal so long before
it falls. I heard the crash and rushed like mad
to see the single constant that I had
lie shattered, like a beaker on the floor.
I’ve struggled since that night without a break—
redemption is a compound hard to make.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Most Unwanted

I’m not a bard
who’s avant-garde
or rife with erudition
I can’t inject
my dialect
with facile intuition
I scrawl these runes
intone my tunes
as simply as required
and can’t refuse
this stubborn muse
that prods till I’m inspired
but do not read
or ever heed
these lyrical confessions
my heinous crime
is writing rhyme
the worst of all transgressions.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I Am Bound, I Am Bound

I am bound, I am bound, for a distant shore
By a lonely isle, by a far Azore,
There it is, there it is, the treasure I seek,
On the barren sands of a desolate creek.

—Henry David Thoreau

For so long I have been confined
within this plainly troubled mind
recoiling from a world unkind,
slowly rotting inside the rind.

Extensions of my inner need
through sightless eyes emotions bleed—
conscience calls, I don’t heed
negating my chance to be freed.

I snuggle up to this cold chain
embracing all my bitter pain,
reflection casts intense disdain
until just livid scars remain.

A lucent tunnel lurks unfound
beyond grim depths of Lonely Sound,
I need not search yon empty ground
to see the way that I am bound.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We'll Never Forget

We’ve paid for our freedom with blood and sweat,
to defend liberty, entered the fray;
heroic spirits we’ll never forget.

We stand tall to answer the thrown gauntlet
refusing to give up and walk away,
we’ve paid for our freedom with blood and sweat.

From rebels that caused a monarch regret
to brothers choosing on which side to stay;
heroic spirits we’ll never forget.

Evil tyrants causing global upset?
Grab a helmet, time to get underway!
We’ve paid for our freedom with blood and sweat.

This proud country once more was a target
but bravery, as usual, held sway;
heroic spirits we’ll never forget.

Victims unaware that they faced a threat
gave their ultimate due that fateful day—
we’ve paid for our freedom with blood and sweat,
heroic spirits we’ll never forget!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


We mar the majesty of night
with all our paltry man-made light
distracting those that need to spy
an orange orb ascend the sky
discarding veils of twilit mist
engaged in its revolving tryst
while dancing higher through the dark
to help arouse a knowing spark.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ringing XII

Week 12 and still going strong, ROTB is something I look forward to every week and this week is another fantastic offering. Head over to Russell's blog Yuckelbel's Canon and check out Ringing of The Bards 12. Great job Russell, thank you!!

Down Shift

I may have slowed down but I still get around
despite this attraction I feel to the ground;
each morning begins with a disheartened glance
at the drooping effect of my bipedal stance.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Baleful Bucky
the epitome
of evil-minded malice
killed the man
then meekly ran
denying righteous solace;
nooses tightened
defenses heightened
they’re closing on their quarry,
he’s left his hole
the cameras roll—
get ready to be sorry!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy 80th

The Great Defenders’ regal diadem
has sparkled brighter than ever before
to dazzle all viewers beyond its shore
beneath the glow of the fortieth gem.
The might of a nation is not in its size,
it’s gauged by the thunder of loyal hearts,
and none beat louder, as no one imparts
more pride than Lilibet, who never cries,
the fearsome blood of a conqueror still
alive within. So raise a pint and toast
with gusto, ringing true from coast to coast
saying, "God Save The Queen!" then drink your fill.
If future monarchs reign with half her grace
then England shall forever have a place.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

River Song

I remember fishin’ with my friends down by the river
When I was just a boy of ten
There was a tug on my line, I reeled in my prize
But it felt like I had betrayed an old friend
So without a single word I turned and set that sucker free
We all just watched it swim away so peacefully

Then we sat beside the Mighty Mohawk as it rolled by
And talked of what we might achieve before our time to die
Watching that dark water on its way down to the sea
We dreamed about our destinies
Yes we dreamed of great destinies

There were many sunny days beside that river
All through my high school years
We’d play our guitars, singing songs of life
And talk about all our fears
We all knew that soon we’d have responsibilities
But we were in no hurry to face maturity

We played beside the Mighty Mohawk as it rolled by
Contemplating mysteries that made us wonder why
And as that dark water made its way down to the sea
We wrestled with our own insecurities
Yes we learned all about uncertainty

Then High School ended and we went our separate ways
I left to see the world 20 years ago today
Now I feel it’s time to head back home, settle down and stay
I’m looking for that river 'cause I know it’ll show me the way

Now I’m sitting here beside the Mohawk River
I finally made it back to Amsterdam
I know where I’ve been, got an idea where I’m going
But sometimes I still wonder who I am
I’ve heard it said before that you cannot go home again
But I just stopped by to visit an old friend

As I sit and watch that Mighty Mohawk roll by
I realize I am home, and it makes me want to cry
And as surely as that water makes its way down to the sea
It flows from deep inside of me
Yes it flows from within the heart of me

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Goodbye Mate

A heart as vast as the world he stalked
as wild as the beasts he framed,
whatever he talked he always walked
the Hunter was finally tamed.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Front

Forsaken babes of liberty are flung
like paper boats to face a hurricane,
expected to arise because they’re young
and stonily accept the pain in vain,
to sacrifice each tortured droplet wrung
contributing to those unjustly slain.
Back home the ramrod seeks a sign from God
while praying none will see through his facade.

Ringing 11

Hello, hope all is well with everyone. This week's Ringing of The Bards is another poetically inspired masterpiece by Pearl at Poetry Springs Boing, Curl, Sproing, so bounce over and take a look. Thanks a lot Pearl, great job!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Professional Courtesy

Stiletto seams
and wit to match,
infrequent beams
a glimpse will catch.

That stalking gait,
fedora low,
imply a date
with sanctioned woe.

One lethal shot
right through the head—
a chalked-out spot;
regret long dead.

His holstered glee
awaits the blow
from someone he
will never know.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Another solstice fast approaches
certain limbs will dangle lower
thinning fruit recycles slower
the longitude of loss encroaches
and still we gather at the gate
to boisterously celebrate.