When I feel like my position in life should be more advanced,
I give God the glory for granting me another chance.
Because tomorrow is not promised, yesterday is gone and the present is a gift,
Therefore I have accepted that I am not in control and it is He who sees fit to lift,
My eyes open another day to enable me to see...
That what He has for me is for me.
Even when it seems like I try harder for what comes to others naturally,
I remind myself that first and foremost ‘What God Has For Me is For Me.’
It can't be lied upon, gossiped about or stolen because it's free,
I tell you that I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that what God has for me is for me!
Because tomorrow is not promised, don't you agree?
Yesterday is dead and gone and the present is a gift and
‘What God has for me is for me.'
If I close my eyes,
I can feel how soft, how
spongy the path lies
beneath my running feet
If I look up, day-dreaming,
I see myriad waffling leaves
flashing in the sunlight
high above me
If I listen back in time,
I hear brother and sister faintly
through the forest calling,
All ye, all ye, in come free!
on the seemingly endless road
one car after another
each carries its own load toward some destination
trapped in the traffic
there's no way of passing
or turning back
he stares straight ahead
waiting for a glistening crossroad
to rise up
are we there yet?
Before the snow flies
and covers the unsuspecting grass;
before the cold bears down
and destroys the fragile flowers;
before the frost bites into my thoughts,
and the ache of dead-end winter
settles in my mind and bones;
before the ice freezes over land
and captures random beauty,
holding her in an amber moment;
before I pray for warmth
amidst the crystallizing breath
that hangs mid-air as it escapes
in a scream;
before the night calls to end
the long orange and yellow days,
I will watch the sugar maples
caramelize in the dying summer sun.
Autumn, always my favorite,
begins and ends too quickly.
It briefly ushers in the year’s end—
colorful leaves a pictorial
of everything God can do.
The air, a sensory experience,
both tranquil and crisp,
like the scent of fresh linen.
Scampering animals, foraging
for those days on the horizon.
I’ve come here to share
an autumn day with you,
to say happy birthday
and watch the leaves turn to gold.
You should be eleven now.
Instead you are forever turning two.
Your season will remain,
I have loved
night’s last black hour
as the universe
lifts invisible hands
to break the egg of morning
into Earth’s iron skillet—
orange yolk on the horizon,
whites spreading thin,
sizzling into the sky.
My appetite is sparked
for the feast
of another day,
of a long night’s
(Encore Prize Poems, 2016)
Through darkness they step
Indian-file and silent
like cloistered nuns
following a single candle.
All that is known of their syntax
flashes upon the screen of the mind
instantly rendering judgment:
keep or dismiss, use or discard,
until with little jostling
into orderly rows of students
or lazy, lounging courtiers
or, sometimes, into beauty.
(Published in California Quarterly,
Vol 42, Number 2, 2016)
Sounds capture me:
hurricane Matthew is a lion
snarling through Jamaica
and Cuba and Nassau.
Florida is evacuating
after shuttering its windows.
Rain slashes like knives;
winds uproot trees.
Yet, in central Illinois
the sound of rain, soft
as a cat’s nose
under my armpit
soothes my sleep. Folgers
slurps and sluices through
the waiting filter.
Sounds of morning
and safety surround me.
I pray for those fighting
the lion, hands grasping
its mighty frothing mouth.
The house evolves into small globs
of kids, cousin groups, the senior folks’
corner, all lit with the moment…
this speck of captured time together.
A child takes the stage atop the kitchen
stool. She rotates arms, stamps a foot and sings
off-tune, indistinguishable verse, which only
she understands, yet everyone feels.
Even ceiling fans slow their blades.
Clapping, then brief silence.
Folks contemplate the performance.
Their thoughts fly to other wonders:
circuses in back yards, Uncle Joe’s campfire
stories at Cultus Lake, children’s Nutcracker
appearances, church choir concerts,
All this begs to burst from memories
now primed for laughter, yet folks
are hesitant to break the spell.
A moment, unexpected, relished, touched
by delight. Groups re-convene, wish
for another display that binds and heals.
the day started like any other
early morning walk
followed by cold cereal and coffee
while watching the talking heads
go on about something meaningless
then moving to my office
and the emails
and on-line news reports
of the same stories
the television personalities
were blathering about
but in the air was something
an errant breeze or change of temperature
tickling a long dormant part of the brain
warning of danger unseen unknown
a feeling like a coming storm
as it had in humans
since the beginning of time
causing an unease
a restlessness of spirit
the urge to do something
but not knowing what that
finesse my heart
with your subtle intrusions
i am gladly violated by your smile
and deft touch
the physical beat accelerates
the emotional beat makes me move
in your direction
the rhythm of need
entwined with the migration of want
and we dance purposefully
in a circle of silent words
felt rather than spoken
a token of a chemistry that finds its own steps
just forms colliding.
The elevated train screeches
every ten minutes past a rectangle
of light where even to breathe
will shatter the summer night.
In the harbor, masts walk on water.
The beach backs away
into skyscrapers, the Ferris wheel
Microcosmic dreams ping
the elevator at the end
of a lonely corridor. Footsteps
take the stairs two at a time
and the yellow light of a single bulb
mimes the moon.
(Published in The Journal).
day breaks the lacquered gloss of night,
swallows the grey that lingers until the sky
beams onto the ocean an indigo so fine
it unrolls like silk, undulating, stretching.
Mangroves unwrap from shadows,
burst upward in a mantle of forest green,
tile roofs on the hillside mirroring
that ruddy flame.
Land, sea and sky play separate, together,
weave in and out of each other like voices
in a Bach chorale, lifting and expanding
the visual space.
A pelican flies high, wings flashing
in the sun that graces this Baroque morning
in such translucence he shines black.
(First published by The Blue Heron)
Not every single day can be bright and sunny
And not all of life’s problems can be solved with money
But one day we shall see the land flowing with milk and honey
Until then, let us continue walking on this earthly sod
We know that our battle is won in spite of the odds
As long as we are infiltrated with the Army of God
Only God has the power to cast out demons and omens
“Love what is good; hate what is evil” says the Book of Romans
So would you rather be a liability or an asset?
Would you rather fail a test or pass it?
To make a long story short
Jesus Christ holds down our forts
What always begins at home is charity
Being devoted to Christ should be our deep clarity
He lets his children know He cares by giving us a nod
It is definitively good to be infiltrated with the Army of God
Do not allow secular worldly things to take control
Let the Holy Spirit’s power to do it with all your heart and soul
When the fight is over we stand brave, courageous and bold
An everlasting bond with the Lord is the greatest story ever told
A story that is ageless and will never grow old
Part One: The Ghostly Woman
A ghost is walking across the top of my car, (1)
just vagrant haunting strains of soft guitars.(2)
I pause; hear the rush of wings flying home, (3)
Its spirit such as I would own. (4)
Like an old Indian woman near death and solitude (5)
each look at nature brought the call anew. (6)
Your vacant eyes host realms I cannot share, (7)
on the tall trees to jump in the blowing air. (8)
I cannot rest. None of those lurking about here (9)
or the woman I loved lived for over twenty-five years. (10)
I live where it is possible, and die when it is not, (11)
like little men of “Gulliver’s Travels, “ who bravely fought.(12)
and ghost-lit lantern into a sea-like liquid wind,(13)
even the dog knows, its time to come in. (14)
1) page 111,Spring Sequence, Clyde Kessler,
From Petals in the Pan-published by A.J. Huffman
2: page 24: Bits of Stars –Joyce Shivers-
first prize from Pennsylvania Poetry Society 2015
3:page 21:The Whistler-Lynne Hardy
Pegasus-Kentucky state poetry society-summer 2015
4: page127-Cornish Gold-Michael Dundrow
Metverse Muse from India September 2007
5:page 92 the Mustang mare- Susan Parker
6:page 46-Cracks in the Armor-Robert Schinzel
A book of theyear-2016-Poetry society of Texas
(7) page 118-I live with a stranger-Ellis Campbell,
Metverse Muse India-September 2007
8:page 85 Bird’s Eye View-Sudharanjan Dey,
Metverse Muse-April 2009-India
(9) page 42 Carnton Mansion at Night –Elizabeth Howard-
“Fresh Breath” a collection of poetry to live for..
(10) page: 18: An abundance of Absurdities Ann. M. Penton
(11)Sandcutters-2014-Arizona state poetry contest
page 43-I love the dead-Alexis Child- Petals In The Pan
11: page 85-Bird’s Eye View-Sudharanjan Dey, India
Metverse Muse April 2009-March-2010
12:page 508 Marine Snow- Miram Gamble-Poetry magazine-2015
13:page 34 Country Life-Deborah Guzzi-Legends-Greywolfe-2015
Part Two: Halloween Solitude
Mark! Where his carnage and conquests cease!
He makes solitude, and calls it-peace!
The trees are gone, the parents, sibling too, (1)
which pass beneath shadows of solitude.(2)
A menacing, black bird disappears behind the moon, (3)
unabashed by medical reports, or deaths brought on too soon. (4)
As the dawn yawns awake, birds trill a wakeup tune, (5)
your grandmother is in bed, waiting for the spoon. (6)
Another leaf-fall numbs like pages torn from books never read, (7)
as hawks and condors swooped overhead. (8)
a time of frustration, as snow becomes equated with dread, (9)
What a lovely day ahead, but I would rather be in bed! (10)
(1) Photo Album-M. Frost Delaney- Massachusetts poetry-2015
(2) Sonnet words-David Austin U.K-page 37 Metverse muse-Sep.2015
(3) page 107 The Snores of a Hibernating Storyteller Larry Wahler
The Rockford Review-Summer-Fall 2015
(4) page 60 Tobacco Patch Fresh Breath from Poetry society of Tennesee
(5) page 65-Morning-Linda Banks-A Galaxy of Verse- Texas-2015
(6) page 484 Poetry magazine-September 2015-Nuggets-Alan Gillis
(7) Page 66:William Doreski Something to Remember-Petals In the pan-2015
(8) page 82: Joined between Squalls-Jennifer Lagier- Rockford Review-Fall-2016
(9) Page 52: The Wait of Winter-Anna Jungles-Rockford Review Fall-2015
(10) page 65-Morning-Linda Banks-A Galaxy of verse- Fall 2015
Not right fit
Back to Illinois
Found a condo
Found my niche
Anchored in spirit
I’m back to me
...there is no break between the two substances, and no limit.
~ Rene Magritte
Magritte's woman stares as if in a trance —
black hair, red lips, oval face, black almond eyes
held still. Wood-grain strands swim onto her right hip,
her midriff, and higher to striate her breast. Mahogany
grain swirls onto her right arm, up the hill of her shoulder,
then drops to engrave her left forearm. Seductive fingers
sliver forward to impregnate her. Language of wood
grazes her lower lip, evokes a shadowy smile.
I imagine my grandfather, a cabinetmaker,
chiseling design and shape onto slabs
of wood. Lost in its fragrance, its pliant spirit,
he hums as his tools work their magic. The wood
guides his leathery hands the way stone leads
a sculptor's. He engraves patterns onto edges
of a table, the wood feeding through fingers,
no longer his own.
(Previously published in The Ekphrastic Review)
Illinois’ hot and flat
July plains wind-rustled
corn red-ball sunsets.
Country club bars
and warm blue pools
lit Saturday night...sport
single gin and tonic splash.
10 p.m. drive home
alone navigating quasar
galaxies and dark roadsides.
I heard a man
who spewed forth lies
the stench of which
but no one else
seemed to care
as people flocked
from every where
For to their noses
smelled of roses
and they breathed them in
again and again
And though it seemed absurd
I decided to listen
to each and every word
So I dutifully recorded
and this is what I heard
He was clear
He said his mission
was to improve
And he promised
to make us
For what we were thinking
he was saying
He knew who to blame
and he called them
And we all felt connected
for he made
us feel respected
to help us cope
to give us hope
why he was best
A land of milk and honey
would make money
And we believed
what he said
That he alone
knew what to do
So when he was done
we called him
And he became
more than a man
our only plan
For we knew
if he was right
He could end
our terrible plight
For he drank
from our tears
with our fears
He did away
with all our sadness
So I joined
the insane madness
And as I listened
for a while
a knowing smile
As the crowd began to chant
The mini skillet,
clean after last night’s wash cycle,
nests in the bottom drawer
with others twice its size.
I always reach for it first.
I tap the shell of an Eggland’s Best
on the counter and its liquid protein pools,
expands, dances on the Teflon.
I like how white and yolk are walled in
by the edges, secure.
The sunny yolk, framed
in the middle diminishes
the day’s gray as it promises lutein,
Vitamin E, Omega 3, energy.
The nucleus, the last to give in
to the heat, charges nothing
for making plain the beauty
of staying centered.
(First published, Emerge Literary Journal)
…for he did fly,
his wings toward the sky,
matching rhythm and pace
with mallard and goose
on a warm summer day.
And we did love,
our limbs lustrous with sweat
to taste the ambrosia of the gods
and the fading mist of tomorrow,
knowing that we, like Icarus,
didn’t fail, but simply arrived
at the end of glory.
(Published in Art Times,
A freight train rolls along the outskirts
of town sending sound waves
Quavering against the shore
of the summer Solstice.
A wandering Moon
hides his full blown face,
Drifting in clouds, as noisy kids look for
fireflies to chase.
Raindrops, leftover from a shower,
drip down leafy boughs,
Splashing lovers who walk eager pets
that strain against short leashes.
Wailing ever softer, the locomotive rumbles on
with its click-clack, clickty-clack,
Toward hamlets where oldsters sit by open windows,
breathing in the music of faded memories.
Risen from the crypts, domain from under—
Innocent lives he will plunder.
After years of sleep, he is now awake
To feast on your blood and your soul to take.
Vampire of the night--die by the light!—
Killing every human soul in sight.
At dawn he sleeps, at dusk he feeds,
He'll rip your flesh and drink your blood he needs.
Walking the nights, watch the full moon rise—
Awaiting his victims in disguise.
Biting the neck, sip the sacred wine,
Drinking the blood in unholy divine.
Civilians in rage in which they tell,
To send this beast to the depths of Hell;
Torches and stakes leading through the night
To bring an end to the townsfolk plight.
Many brave men want to try the test;
One young man comes forward among the rest:
"I shall slay this thing or beast,
Man or animal of nocturnal feast.
I will dump its head at the city gate
To end the terror before it's all too late.
Fear no more, family and friend,
I shall battle the beast 'til the end."
The hero returns with horror in his eyes,
Caked with blood--reality is just lies.
At the gate, he dumps the vampire's head,
"Fear no more my people, the beast is dead."
The king grants the hero his every demand:
"Whatever you wish is my command."
Then the hero smiled as he stood,
Revealing long, protruding fangs: "Blood!"
I can hear
In the moonless dark night
Winds getting sarcastic
Leaves flying out
Saying goodbye to their trees
And then gently settling down
On the ground
Time for tea
Time for tea
I make sure
All is safe
And sound inside
I pray for well-being
Of everyone everywhere
On this turbulent night
But fair nor foul the truth is this
No more, no more to be for me
A door has closed forevermore
It didn't slam but surely shut
And locked against a lonely soul
That prayed to help, to win the trust
Instead to find a truly broken heart
So go forth now and seek the truth
Tolerance is just not nearly enough
It takes acceptance for all to flourish
Dying vine, weed of hope untended
Or cared for twining hopes thrive
To bring forth nourishment blessed
In some yet unknown sacred place.
It is an algorithm, well proven, age and soft stone
result in worn rock, like this tiny cave, a crevice barely
seen on a solemn hill of stone: dusky, shallow, lean-to shaped,
a raw, barely opened , silent mouth of stone above the river's bank,
beneath the windy commotion of trees
caught in the always unsettled Illinois wind.
Barges, below, on the river drone a deep toned,
always lonely song. Here I pause at a place ignored by maps.
I am mid-trail, I am at mid-day. I am overdue for lingering,
and the walls of this place entice, the cave's soot-infused
wall art tells a story in monochrome. Surely, it was sought after,
once upon a time, I think, I can see that shelter, here, is scarce.
It must have shielded pelts, skeins, animal hides,
offered safety, a place for small fires,
a place to heal, to seek wisdom.
A small cave, like many others, it is a forgotten
relative in an odd family tree, its scions are tree houses,
attic rooms, desks overlooked in the corner of
damp basements, dormered rooms in overcrowded homes,
chairs left on backyard decks in all seasons. Its lineage
is knowing of the empty tables where someone sat after the
household has gone to sleep. Is it just another forgotten
place that somehow I feel I know? Oddly empty as I leave,
that has long filled an ancient need to be temporrarily alone.
Out through my train's
dirty window I see
the clear yellow sun
sliding its way
down into stardom.
A sudden stand
of trees whisking by
allows water to gleam up
from between their trunks,
still as the reflected sky.
too new for trees
like fashion models
on a stage.
Sinking like an
the sun is being
licked away fast
Dusk is now underway
with this ambivalent sky,
neither gray nor blue,
tempting my train
westward into nightfall.
I have lived long enough
to have respect for tomorrow.
I have one sun only,
and only one tomorrow.
I wait and wait
for tomorrow until
it's all I am.
(From Knocking on the Sky)
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