Out There (haiku)

A peaceful blackness
Quiet murmuring giants
The space between stars.


This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Tuesday Challenge: Quiet & Space.


Plato’s Cave (Tanka)

Shapes on the cave wall
Mind-mist, distorted; unreal
Crawl into the light
Eyes adjust to sunlight
Reality seems insane


This was written in response to Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 53 – MIST & SHAPE.

There’s a Dream I Keep Having (For Tom Petty (1950-2017))


A ten year old boy from Gainsville,
Whose uncle introduced him to Elvis
On a movie set in Ocala,
And traded his Wham-O® slingshot
For a stack of the King’s 45s,
Saw the Beatles on Sullivan,
Bought a guitar, joined a band,
And never looked back
As he ran down that dream
Through the mud, across America
To L.A. for a date with Heartbreakers.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
With his guitar, his band, and his southern accent.

Never giving in, never backing down,
Learning to fly with the stars;
Still singing with the voice of the people,
The voice of the poor,
The humble salt of the Earth,
The voice of the lonely,
The downtrodden, the unheard.

A rebel with a cause and a conscience,
Writing his truth,
Singing our lives,
Living his dream.


Don’t Forget


The new iPhone X has
Dual 12 megapixel front facing cameras
That operate in unison to produce
Crisp lifelike photographs with
Bright vivid colors from across the spectrum
And true depth of focus.

But you will still die someday.


Visions from the Wasteland

Standing alone in the wasteland
Of dying dreams and abandoned ideals,
I watched the greatest country in the world
Decay into an over-sexed, under-educated
Cesspool of self-gratification,
Intolerance and ignorance.

I saw culture, art, and creativity die,
Suffocated by the new plastic culture,
Whose sterile halls and prefabbed cathedrals
Were crowded with worshipers
Biting, kicking, scratching;
Trampling each other,
Screaming in a frenzy
Just to catch a glimpse
Of the great greenback god
And his hollow gifts,
Promising to fill the voids
And empty spaces
So you no longer wish to die.

I saw a once fit intelligent citizenry
Grow fat, lethargic, and dumb
Minds vegetating, souls atrophying
Entranced by hypnotic figures of light
Dancing in illuminated black boxes.

Continue reading

My Generation

I wasn’t born with a club foot
I didn’t fight in Vietnam
I didn’t teach at Columbia
I wasn’t fooled by Nixon’s charms

My generation was as lost as Hemingway’s
And just as productive.

I didn’t escape Minnesota in a snowstorm,
I didn’t go mad at Arfderydd
I didn’t smash a guitar at Woodstock
I didn’t drown in Delacroix

My generation was just as angry as Townshend’s
And just as destructive.

Arfderydd is pronounced Arf-der-ith (“th” as in father)


“Thou art a little soul bearing about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say”
– Marcus Aurelius, translated by George Long

Life is short;
The Universe is forever:
An ocean swallowing
The teardrops of human existence,
Born a thousand eons
Before our earliest ancestors
Had drug themselves from
The primordial ooze.
So long ago that
Only God was there
To witness the blessed event.
Though, perhaps, even He
Is too young to recall the day.

A dozen millennia after
Our great-great-grandchildren
Have become dust
Blown on the solar winds,
It will still be here,
Waiting patiently
For its appointment with Death
At the other end of Eternity.

19 July 1999

The Gift (Haiku)

A song on the breeze
Gentle, soothing; organic
Gifted to us all.


This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 51 #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: GIFT & SONG.



Not opposite
Poles apart,
Nor contradictions:
Complementary continuums,
Spectrums growing from
And into one another.

There is no tall
Without something short
To be taller than,
Nothing is close
Without something far
To be closer than,
Nothing dark
Without a light
To be darker than,
No light
Without a shadow,
No up
Without a down
To be upward from,
No left
Without a right
To be to the left of.

The stairs that lead up
Also lead down,
The road that goes away
Will also bring you back again.


Written after reading Chapter II of the Dao De Ching. The image is the Yin Yang (from the Chinese 陰陽 (yīnyáng), literally: “dark-bright”, “negative-positive”

Children of Danu

Danu, our mother,
Goddess of the Danube,
Sister of the Rhine,
Liquid lifeblood
Of Germani and Kelts.

Mother of Irish gods,
Who arrive in Éire
Riding clouds of mist and fire.
Ruling the Emerald Isle
Til the coming of the sons of Míl
Drove them to retreat underground,
Into the ancient sídhe,
Shadows in the Otherworld.


Pronunciation key:
Danu – Dan-oo
Germani – Jer-MAN-ee
Éire – Air-ya
sidhe – shee.

Note: I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to Irish Gaelic pronunciations, so some of these may not be exact. Corrections are welcome!