deaths and birthdays


vague shadows of the long past
and the not so long
torn, jagged churn muted and dark

deep urgent longings
assigned to those shadows
passions with no time
nor luxury to explore

buried beneath this rock
this slide this mountain
will I ever find them
will I ever find myself


Old Dog, Old Tricks


Ago. For the longest time, my whole life, everything vital or important, was “ago.” Twenty years ago…

Twenty years ago today, I was a little more than two months from embarking upon the most successful enterprise of my life. The one that would take fully two more years to develop into the experience of a lifetime.

I was thirty-one years old. I thought I was mature. I thought I was experienced. I thought I knew so much.

Funny how, now, I look at thirty-one-year-olds and think of them as “kids.” Young. Callow. Green.

I would have been pissed, back in 1986, to find out that someone thought that of me.

Yet, la plus ca change, la plus c’est la meme.

I am fifty-one years old. And embarking upon what I hope to be the most successful enterprise of my life. So far.

The bags under my eyes, the shooting pains in my feet, the aching joints in my fingers, have me wondering whether I yet possess the physical stamina to get me through the fourteen-hour days, the ninety-degree heat…the demands that a thirty-year-old body could meet with alacrity, but a fifty-year-old body struggles to conquer.

Are the blessings that I seek from this new venture really too much for this more-than-half-used life-force to hope to attain?

I cannot believe that. I won’t.

But when I drag myself into bed after too many consecutive hours of putting out fires and walking tightropes over boiling oil, I wonder, at least briefly:

Is it worth it?

There can only be one answer.

blog ’03-’06


sneaked in
wrote life
sat mute
got seen
shy smile

shook hands
shed tears
dried some
felt pain
got kicked

kept on
waved ‘bye
stayed in
touched less
and less

no sound
fade out
see you
or not

One Way or Another, We’re Doomed

Leave a comment

For the past sixty years, human beings have held in their own hands the power to annihilate the earth and everything on it. Frankly, I am amazed that we have possessed that power for so many years, and have managed not to unleash it, even accidentally. But, as I grow older, I realize how pitifully short is the human life span. What, after all, is sixty years, piled on top of thousands of years, tens of thousands of generations, of human history? We may yet, possibly in our own lifetimes, see the nuclear “balance of power” slide far enough out of kilter for one of those precariously balanced bombs to hit the ground and explode…to what end, no one can fathom.

And perhaps that is the crux of the matter…the unfathomability of the cost of a nuclear contest. The threat is so huge that we can’t really wrap our minds around it. We only understand that the danger to the entity who launches the first nuclear bomb is as great as it is to the target. And so we hold these things in our hands and we wave them threateningly at one another, certain in the back of our minds that to actually throw one would be suicide. Grimly sobering…and a tad ridiculous.

Judging by today’s news, our ability to totally annihilate one another no longer satisfies our hunger to slaughter large numbers of our own kind. Now, we have spawned terrorism. Obviously, there is something particularly satisfying about blowing unsuspecting non-combatants to smithereens, with minute attention paid to assuring that the deaths will be painful, ugly, and very, very public. We invent all sorts of political, religious, self-righteous grievances…to justify our lust to kill.

So as much as Iran, North Korea and any number of smaller nations lust after The Bomb, perhaps it isn’t the danger it once was. Apparently, our inherent human bloodlust cannot be sated with the “flash, bang, all-gone” nature of the nuclear war threat. We seem to so much prefer the blood, guts, gore and anguish of conventional weapons, which reduce our “enemies” to gratifying piles of dismembered, disemboweled, charred carnage.

Will we annihilate ourselves with nukes? Probably. Time will tell. But, right now, we seem happy enough to pursue that course of ultimate destruction a handful of bloody pulp at a time.



consuming ache
the mid-century body
chafes at the discipline
of the long-forgotten dance
     two steps forward
     one back
     sidestep, duck, weave…

while mental fibers
desperately clench
clinging by fingernails
to a world of the mind
     hard-won and cherished

that prison, womb, sanctuary
holy place of silence, solace,
and finally rebirth
no turning back
     there to here
     then to now
     healing to healed

must fantasy die
by reality’s sword
must one door close
for another to open
     goodbye to words
     and art and abstract
     buried under concrete rubble