ghost town

escaping the clouds as the plane descends
toward my hometown by the western shore
nothing here to mourn, no way to make amends
no one meets me at the airport anymore

drifting through the crumbling buildings
blankets of fog shroud a concrete tomb
ashen streets filled with broken spirits
wandering through the rain and gloom

places once explored, friends since lost
childhood memories turn to haze
conveniently discarding, not counting costs
forgetting those whose souls I couldn’t raise

the lonely disembodied search the city each day
kicking through the ashes of everything I burned
ghosts surround the graveyard, pausing there to pray
in futile expectation that the living will return

pointless hope becomes despair
their dying souls reject the sun
the spirits vanish into liquid air
haunting days are finally done

(2010)

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cold coffee

coffee’s cold again
although I miss the point
of heating it up once more
there’s no more left to pour

thoughts are disjointed
accusations pointed
as we sit upon the floor

future seems uncertain
look behind the curtain
to see there’s no one running the show

it’s up to us to decide
if love wins out, or pride,
and which of us will choose to go

rain streaming down,
it seems to want to drown
the feelings lost today

there’s no more debate
I’m resigned to my fate
as I watch you go away

 

(2017)

shampoo obsession

showering one morning, using my shampoo
a universe was found in the ingredients there
laboratory experiments only known to a few
I never realized what was going in my hair

hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
sounds like alcohol and wood
I didn’t learn much chemistry
I was never very good

at deciphering complex formulae
and chemical diagrams
ammonium laurel sulfate
perhaps it’s found in Spam

methylisothiazolinone
your name eats at my soul
were you planted by the government
for subversive mind control?

Acetomidopropyl trimonium chloride
propylene glycol, D&C red and blue
all suggest dark thoughts of suicide
were I to drink this vile shampoo

Tetrasodium EDTA, water (purified)
2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol
I think I want to run and hide
or maybe surrender and end it all

When I’m no longer obsessed with shampoo
perhaps I’ll study cologne
for now your ingredients remain unknown
methylchloroisothiazolinone

 

(2004)

fields of light

skies on fire
countless stars
shining, glowing from beyond

silent woods
no trucks or cars
just us, gazing in wonder

holding hands
fingers intertwined
dazzled by your shimmering hair

silver night
dreams alight
reflected in your loving eyes

interrupted
a broken spell
a wanting world intrudes

dreaming ends
can we ever return
to our fields of light?

burrito – a tragedy

order:
perusing the menu at Casa Paco
the first food group I encounter
the waitress said it’s better than the taco
I had no reason to doubt her

burrito:
wrapped in a soft flour shell
the ingredients I savor
it was crafted very well
for me to taste the flavor

meat:
whether chicken, beef, or pork
shredded meat, the finest filling
whether in hand or with a fork
to eat it any time, I’m willing

beans:
mashed and refried into paste
the small nutritious legume
cooked and seasoned to taste
pause to swallow, then resume

cheese:
queso brings me to my knees
with its fat hydrogenated
oozing when I give a squeeze
gooey flavor, much anticipated

digestion:
as we leave I start to shiver
then an unexpected stumble
when my intestines start to quiver
and my stomach starts to rumble

driving:
hesitant to sit in my car
‘cause I don’t want to soil it
I’ll be wishing on a star
when I’m headed for the toilet

finale:
I know I’ll have to raise my voice
when at last I plead for help
tomorrow I’ll regret my choice
I won’t give good reviews on Yelp

crystals

snowflakes on your body
not melting on your frigid skin
protecting you in a layer of perfection
a quiet peace you’ve never known

crystals in your hair and in your veins
the warmth has left your pallid face
unblinking eyes went cold long before
pale blue windows on a broken soul

snowflakes falling, drifting, blown
lying in an alley, all alone

(2014)

untitled rain poem

I make the rain
gently falling from the clouds like weeping eyes
running down the window pane, the tears on my face
for what we had in another time and place

I ride the flood
raging currents, regrets I feel inside
overwhelming me, I begin to drown
in sorrow for the days that we had known

I am the ocean
swallowing despair from a generation
swept away, their sinking souls asking for release
I take away their pain in restless seas

(2013)