Vacant Homes

 

 

23 February 2011

Joy greeted me this morning, “Hi Sweetie, it’s good to see you. I’ve been sick lately due to this cold. The guy, who sometimes sleeps here, told me that he’s been staying at the Shepherds, but he finds it very rough and noisy. Still, I’m happy that he isn’t sleeping on the sidewalk. I stayed there once, but never again. It’s no place for a woman.”

When we finished our conversation she said, “Bye Sweetie.” It made me feel so good seeing her again, knowing that she was uninjured and relatively safe.

~~~

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Heaven’s Daughter

 

woman

 

Sitting near the water weeping,
lonely maiden in deep despair.
Whippoorwills are snugly sleeping.
Willow weeping yet unaware.

Flowing gown of melancholia,
gentle goddess softly sobbing.
Moonlight mist and sweet magnolia,
tears like diamonds dripping, dropping.

In love’s embrace, friend and lover,
their cheating and their lies unveiled.
Double blow, she can’t recover;
her hopes and dreams at once curtailed.

Betrayed, dismayed, spirit shattered,
all is lost by cruel deception.
Without the one true love that mattered
death arose in her reflection.

Slowly walks into the water,
footprints soft upon the seashore.
Ripples radiate heaven’s daughter,
sorrow departs forevermore.

Sitting near the water weeping,
her lover mourns in deep despair.
His true love forever sleeping;
his only thought to join her there.

~~~

 

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Beneath the Cedars

 


I sit
beneath the cedars,
in solemn serenity.
Face red
with asking questions,
seeking answers
to the ways
of life and death —
molecules and atoms —
and how we’re all
connected.

 

My fingers
stiff, from cold —
a child’s stubby crayons —
make difficult the task
of turning pages,
jotting notes
about impermanence,
attachment
and letting go.


I’m surrounded
by spirits of seasons past.
I fear not —
they mean no harm.
Their faces radiate,
coming from the light.
In their eyes
I see peace and love —
they are free
of mortal suffering
they endured
in life.

 

They comfort me.
Grieve not, they say,
soon enough, you will join us.
You will experience the universe
and all it has to offer.
You still have much to learn.
When you are ready,
we’ll be waiting.

 

I feel the joy of life —
(maples sailing leaves
of red and yellow)
moments, lifetimes pass…
then they’re gone,
as they should be.


Beneath the cedars,
in their realm of wisdom,
reverently
I sit.

 

~~~

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Take It Off!

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Hot lights,
hot music.
You’ve got it now
but, soon you’ll lose it.
Perfumed skin,
leather and lace,
long blonde hair,
an angel’s face

Slow touch,
slow smile,
make me want
to stay awhile.
Take it off!
Grant a guy an eyeful.
Lend me a dream
for the lonely night.

Tough life,
tough city,
take my money,
gotta make it pay.
Shake it slow,
take it easy.
Make it last
for another day.

Lonely crowds,
crowded minds.
I get my coat,
dreams left behind.
Leaving alone,
leaving empty.
Night is cold
when I feel this way.

~~~

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My Muse

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muse2
“Untamed Muse” by Tom Kidd: A great depiction of my vision of a poet.

 

 

Sometimes, my words won’t come,
no matter what I try to write.
I softly call upon my muse,
entreat her
to visit me this night.

I feel her warmth within the room,
I’m instantly at ease.
I sense her reading my scribbles,
she knows my thoughts
and hears my longing pleas.

I feel her delicate fingers
upon my clumsy hand;
her words and phrases flood my mind,
things I’ve never seen before
from some far distant land.

I don’t know where she comes from,
(perhaps, from up above)
where ever it is
that she calls home,
she comes to me with love.

 

 

~~~

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Crisis

woman in white long sleeve shirt wearing white goggles

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

The world is consumed by a pandemic.
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus,
COVID-19 is the disease.
To the human eye, it’s invisible
under a microscope, it looks horrendous
an evil octopus shape
that kills humans
by the millions.

pexels-photo-4031867.jpeg

Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

Researchers think the virus
originated in bats
then jumped to an intermediary species —
most likely pangolins, pigs, or civets —
who passed it to people.

As a child, I feared the dark,
not anything specific,
just the dark itself —
under my bed,
in our basement
behind the furnace.

I confronted my fear,
walked down the basement stairs.
I defied the mysterious dark
to do its worst.
I was tired of being afraid.

To my surprise,
nothing happened.
I had conquered my fear.
No longer was I a prisoner.
I was free!

Today, I fear COVID-19.
I wear a mask when not at home
but I’m told that the mask
is to protect others,
not to protect me.
What good is that?

If I contract the disease,
am confined to a hospital
on a ventilator
I may recover or not… but
will I ever see the angel
behind the mask?

 

 

~~~

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Universal Equality

 

In the past year
I’ve had a lot of time to think
about important and unimportant things
(long story).
I have come to some very basic conclusions
as is my right and obligation.
They may seem obvious to some.

 

To others, they may seem inflammatory.
Deal with it —
say what you want on your own page.

 

I believe that as humans
we deserve:
UNIVERSAL EQUALITY IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS: TO FOOD, WATER, SHELTER,
MEDICAL TREATMENT AND AVAILABILITY OF MEDICATION,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE OVER OUR OWN BODIES,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH,
DEMOCRACY.

 

These are big issues
that have repercussions in news events
around the world.
I haven’t worked out all the details, yet,
but I have seen a lot of headlines on television
in print media and on the internet.

 

On our planet
we must eradicate (as much is humanly possible,
as opposed to what is economically viable)
HUNGER
DISEASE
VIOLENCE
HOMELESSNESS
BIGOTRY
WAR
(and others too numerous
to mention).

 

My neighbors:
MUST NOT starve while I eat,
MUST NOT die of illness while I have access to a cure,
MUST NOT BE CONFINED BY NATIONAL BORDERS
if their lives, health, or opportunities
are at risk,
MUST HAVE universal access to the best education
in order to best express their natural abilities,
MUST HAVE equal access to meaningful, rewarding and satisfying employment,
MUST HAVE the freedom to make their own life choices;
these choices MUST NOT be dictated by GOVERNMENT
RELIGION, SOCIETY or self-proclaimed MAJORITIES.
LYNCH MOB DEMOCRACY MUST BE ELIMINATED.

 

In short, I AM my brother’s/sister’s keeper.
I WILL treat them as I would prefer to be treated.
I WILL NOT be the cause of abuse,
whether physical, verbal, mental or emotional.
I WILL live my life
according to the best of my potential.

 

‘NUFF SAID (for now)…

 

 

~~~

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New-mown Hay (1962)

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couple
 
 

In memory is the scent of new-mown hay
wafted softly over moonlit, prairie fields.
Car audio music eased the tensions.
Fingers, hormones and pounding hearts collided.

CKOM Radio’s “Hi-Fi Club” with
“Digger” Dave Palmer spinning the platters
blasted over empty high school stadiums,
riverbank parking lots and secluded fields.

No past or future. There was only present.
Only that one unforgettable moment
forever etched indelibly in memory.
At the time, it seemed, a moment to die for.

Clumsy fingers fumbled with stubborn buttons.
Heaving breasts longed to be released at last.
Guilt, knowing that parents would be home waiting.
Excuses that begged for plausibility.

Many a romance was started or ended
to a favorite beat, harmony or chorus.
The first three bars still stimulate the passion
and bring the past thundering to the foreground.

Where are those unforgettable moments now?
Where are those raging hormones and pounding hearts?
I look back, over years of maturity
and long for the scent of warm, moist new-mown hay.

~~~

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The Lost Boys

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.

I was a young boy with a withered leg,
abandoned, in a cold hospital bed.
Faceless attendants wore gloves, masks and gowns.
No parents for cuddles, kisses or love.

Alone were the Lost Boys with polio,
the silent, unpredictable killer.
Quarantined, isolated like lepers,
our only strength came from one another.

Expected to die, we boys joined forces.
We supported each other, forming a bond.
After lights were turned out we would whisper
together, “Shush, the Sisters are coming.”

Older patients had access to wheelchairs.
Sometimes they’d transport me to other wards —
to meet other boys was high adventure.
An empty bed usually meant a death.

Seven decades since, in the still of the night,
after lights are out, I can sometimes hear
that haunting refrain I heard as a child,
whispered, “Shush, the Sisters are coming.”

 
 
Note: Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century. By 1910, much of the world experienced a dramatic increase in polio cases and frequent epidemics became regular events, primarily in cities during the summer months which left thousands of children and adults paralyzed. The first polio vaccine was developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk and announced to the world on April 12, 1955 – Source: Wikipedia.
Image: http://www.immunize.org/photos/polio-photos.asp

~~~

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Chickadee

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chickadee2
 

It was a crisp, sunny
October afternoon
in the arboretum.
I was meditating.
My mittened hands
rested,
upturned on my thighs.

  

A chickadee hovered
in front of me.
Seeing a convenient perch,
it landed in my open palm,
then hopped upon my thumb.
She looked me up and down,
side to side.
Having seen
all there was to see,
she flew away.

  

She brought such joy,
this tiny feathered thing.
I valued her presence
as a gift of trust,
a gift of love,
a sign from nature
and the universe
that all was well.
  

 
Image: http://ow.ly/TL7MW

~~~

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Bourbon Street

Words from Holly Rene Hunter to take you to a kinder gentler reality.

House of Heart

During the late afternoons I sit at the counter of Woolworth’s sipping vanilla coke watching the day turn into night or dollar green but it seems as Gershwin said, not for me. It is dog days and I am hot and tired and mostly luckless, angry too, my new love dying on the vine. I daydream myself into a hot soak in a fancy clawed foot bath tub sinking my dusty body into lilac scented bubbles. I imagine lying back with closed eyes as the hot water flicks at my peony nipples. I am what one would call self employed these days.
Settling for a motel shower stall I scrub my body that smells of dusty magnolias with rose scented oil until it glimmers like alabaster. Dutifully stepping into a black sheath and slipping on thigh high seamed stockings and heels saved for the occasion I confidently make my way…

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Lioness in Heat

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lions2

I heard her
from a ways off,
the distinctive mewl
of a lioness in heat.
I licked my paws.

She’ll find me.

She found me,
paraded around
with her tail in the air,
leaving her scent
on the breeze.

I was interested
but didn’t show it.
She began licking me
I licked her back —
we licked a lot.

She crouched
belly to the ground,
tail to one side.
I bit her neck
then mounted.

This continued
for five exhausting days.
Eventually, she wandered off.
Perhaps, we’ll meet again,
or not.

~~~

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Silk Ropes

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bondage

Black silk ropes
tied to bedposts
secure her white wrists
and ankles.

 

Voluntarily
under his control
she wants, needs
to be dominated,
spanked, whipped
by the one man
to whom
she will submit.

 

~~~

 

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There Are No Horses Anymore

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It’s like you’ve been reading Dostoevsky
and your mind is heavy,
so you go for a walk.
You haven’t eaten,
but instead of soup,
you order two glasses of beer.
You know how Rodion felt,
because you’re him.
You walk into the street
and a dark horse is being beaten,
but, that can’t be,
because there are no horses anymore —

that was only a dream;
only in the book.
You think you’re going mad,
but, it’s alright,
you don’t have to worry.
Someone has just closed the cover —
you’re tucked away, safe inside.
Everything is alright.

~~~

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Morning Star

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images

 

Morning Star, Evening Star
North guides the sailors
count us our blessings
long into the night

weave me a blanket
made out of moments
dreams of discovery
adventures now past

will me, be still me
arms be my cradle
comfort and kindness
within your caress

sing me forever
that place far away
close as a heartbeat
our home where we’ll stay

~~~

 

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Careful With That Axe, Eugene

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barrettyoung.jpg
 

Eugene had a mind of his own,
not, as some would say, a sound mind,
but his own mind, nevertheless.

“It’s awfully considerate of you
to think of me here.
And I’m most obliged to you
for making it clear
that I’m not here.”

Eugene was a great musician,
taking music to the limit;
his songs will always survive.
Eugene took drugs to the limit;
he’s now in Interstellar Overdrive.

When we observed him with an axe,
you may understand our concern.
Was he in danger, or were we?

Eugene had already left us in spirit,
but he wandered away that day
and was lost to us forever.

~~~

 

barrettold

This poem is dedicated to the memory of “Syd Barrett (born Roger Keith Barrett; 6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) who was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist and artist. He is most remembered as a founding member of  band Pink Floyd, providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work, although he left the group in 1968 amidst speculations of mental illness exacerbated by heavy drug use.”

Axe is also British slang for guitar. Pink Floyd’s use of the title Careful With That Axe, Eugene may refer to “Barrett’s behavior (which) became increasingly unpredictable, partly as a consequence of frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs such as LSD. Many report having seen him on stage with the group, strumming on one chord through the entire concert, or not playing at all. At a show at The Fillmore West in San Francisco, during a performance of “Interstellar Overdrive”, Barrett slowly detuned his guitar. The audience seemed to enjoy such antics, unaware of the rest of the band’s consternation.” (Source: Wikipedia)

~~~

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self-discovery

url 


each sunrise
brings me closer
to the self
of my intentions,
my choices,
perseverance,
failures,
disappointments.


dreams
can be deceptive.
truth is never simple.
i work with what i have
and go from there.
the trail winds
sometimes back on itself.
i proceed.


i learn or unlearn
truths of my existence.
an unseen hand
beckons me forward
into the unknown
of self-discovery,
my future.

 

~~~

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confessionals and currency

This is a very seductive and stimulating poem. Holly’s mastery of metaphor is stunning.

House of Heart

Sheer scarves cover

a bed side  lamp

as night slips in on tiger paws

the swaying beams of a velvet

moon drift through  veils  of lilac tulle

Her egg shell limbs are  caught

in binds, her breasts alert gazelles

she is the red of womanhood

her eyes the shade of currency

Her mind is  his confessional

and there is no sin grave enough

two bodies

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unobserved

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unobserved
i gaze upon you
lost in the world of a book.
i wonder which poet,
which author
holds your wrapt attention
to the exclusion
of all else.

 

Is it Burroughs?
Aristophanes?
or is it lighter reading,
a novel perhaps?
erotic historical romance?
i could ask you
but hesitate
to break their spell.

 

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borderlands

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chair


i live in the borderlands,
between reality and imagination,
just this side of fantasy.

 

reality is okay.
i visit there
to check my mail,
earn a few dollars,
pay some bills,
buy groceries.

 

reality is an okay place to visit
but, i wouldn’t want to live there.

 

i’m happiest in my mind
where I filter my thoughts
like an answering machine.
i delete the negative,
dwell on the positive.

 

people may see me walking alone.
they don’t see the beautiful woman
at my side
with her hand in mine.

 

i may be seen sitting at a table, alone.
nobody sees the delicate hand,
with the magic fingers,
sliding up my thigh.

 

or, the passionate kiss
being planted on my throat,
the fingers running through my hair.

 

where i work
people see me smile.
they think I enjoy my job.
they don’t know me.

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Shadrak

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woman in a black dress 02


Saturday found me at the Shadrak,
a downstairs club that had it all.
A woman took the floor in glad rags.
I felt I was in for a fall.


She spied me lounging in the corner.
My eyes caressed her every move.
She beckoned me over to the dance floor,
sleazy blues held us in the groove.


She was a tall sleek woman with a class act,
slummin’ and feeling so high.
Knew this was wrong, her legs were so long,
dress was cut up to her thigh.
She had to be a wife or a girlfriend,
no man would let this woman slip by.


Soft fingers stole away my reason,
for her I’d do right or wrong.
Flash of a thigh, wink of an eye,
she played that dress just like a song.
Maybe her lips, or the sway of her hips,
she had my number all along.


The scene couldn’t have been sweeter,
‘till Johnny sauntered through that door.
Cursed us a while, said we were vile,
reputations trampled to the floor.
Should have walked away, that isn’t my way,
his accusations cut to my core.


No backing down for right or for wrong,
for her I had to settle the score.
Glint of a knife, the end of a life,
Johnny lay dying on the floor.


Built to tantalize, she knew she was a prize;
she was a tall sleek woman with a class act,
slummin’ and feeling so high.
Knew this was wrong, her legs were so long,
I couldn’t let this woman slip by.
I wouldn’t let this woman slip by.

The Hollies: https://buff.ly/2snWAzr
Image: http://ow.ly/TwlRS

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desperation drive

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a015a738f9dec4461cb4effe9492b679

 

I’m just kicking stones, chasing loneliness — nothing much to do;
In my dusty hat and western boots — soles are worn clear through.
I’m leaving heartache, going nowhere fast, more dead than alive.
At daybreak, feet are pointing to, Desperation Drive.

When you’re down and out, in a hard luck place, no stars shine at night;
I’ve been looking down, such a long, long time, just can’t see the light.
Haven’t got a cent, haven’t got a friend, no will to survive;
That’s the reason why, I’m heading for, Desperation Drive.

There was a woman — vowed she loved me, caught the midnight train;
She took my money, left my broken heart, drowning in the rain.
Got to leave this town, have to hitch a ride, out on highway five;
If they ask me where, I’m going I’ll say to, Desperation Drive.

I miss that woman, she’s still in mind, the breeze whispers her name;
She’s mean and evil, but my lonely heart, wants her just the same.
On the waterfront, I check the bars and every lowdown dive;
If she’s not there, I’ll find a place on, Desperation Drive.

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Fairies

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Autumn-Fairy-Cosplay-05

 

If you wander into the woods
stealthily peek behind the trees.
Fairies may be in hiding there;
they’ll vanish, quick as you please.

The fairies are a friendly folk,
at least, they may appear that way.
They’ll lure you with their fairy wiles;
siren-like, they’ll lead you astray.

Timid, beautiful woodland nymphs
swathed in soft diaphanous gowns.
In subtle shades of nature’s hues
bright leafy greens and somber browns.

Whispers in the rustle of leaves
will lead you to their secret glade.
They’ll gently soothe away your cares.
Why would you need to be afraid?

Fairy maids will wine and dine you.
They’ll whisper that they love you so.
You’ll think that you’re in paradise.
They’ll never, ever let you go.

Weeks and months will pass unnoticed.
What seems a day maybe a year.
The world outside continues on,
while you remain in limbo here.

Fairy mists will envelop you
so you can never see your way.
Memories are, but long lost dreams.
From Fairyland you cannot stray.

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Fireplace

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fire3

I’ll put a fresh log in the fireplace
if you’ll pour us a glass of wine.
We’ll relax on overstuffed pillows,
smell the scent of burning pine.

Leave stress and hurry behind us.
It’s the time to let worries lie.
We’ll watch the constellations
appear in the darkening sky.

Magic, your eyes by the firelight.
Warm, your smile as you hold my hand.
Tell me your grandmother’s stories
of a nearby but distant land.

We communicate in silence,
My reflection is in your eyes.
Soft and gentle, your fingers.
Delightful, the sound of your sighs.

Stories of us to remember,
our stars melting gently above.
Never before have I felt such joy
as our presence together in love.

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Melting Stars

 

 

It was a soft October night —
quietly fell the snow,
flake by gentle flake —
making domes on fence posts,
on mailboxes,
tracing upturned branches
of waiting trees.

I know you heard me
on the porch
(you always do)
thought it was
a stirring of the breeze,
or moaning
of the boards

Drawn
to quiet times
knowing you are here,
I feel your peace
(alone)
and come to you.
You know I’m here,
can feel my warmth.

I see you smile.

Let us sit in silence.
Nestle
in my embrace.
Words
need not be spoken
as we watch the melting stars,
listen for the chorus
singing somewhere else.
This moment
all that matters —
quiet filled with you.

 

 

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frost

959 Jeff_Rowland_romantic_pictures (10)

 

 

a dove sits on a snowy bough,
her song cuts through my heart.
we both know how the lonely feel
when love is torn apart.

there never was an emptiness
the way i feel inside.
the ache is deep within my chest,
i have no place to hide.

was once a time my heart was full
when spring was in the air,
but Frost has draped me with her cloak,
my tears fall in despair.

the midnight train is leaving soon.
my bags are packed to go.
i shiver on the platform bare,
a specter, slinking low.

 

 

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First Snow Fall

 

snow

 

white flakes
(like eider-down)
flutter from heaven
collect on tree branches
hedges and shrubs

like your kisses
soft and sensuous
they caress my cheeks
brush my lips
burst on my tongue

they blanket all
leaving the path
an untouched virgin,
a wonderland
of mystery

all traces
of my coming
have disappeared
making me question
am i here
at all?

 

Image: http://ow.ly/TD9D8

Sample my books for free — To date, $1945.00 has been donated to the homeless:

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
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http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($.299 Download)
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borderlands

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chair

i live in the borderlands,
between reality and imagination,
just this side of fantasy.

reality is okay.
i visit there
to check my mail,
earn a few dollars,
pay some bills,
buy groceries.

reality is an okay place to visit
but, i wouldn’t want to live there.

i’m happiest in my mind
where I filter my thoughts
like an answering machine.
i delete the negative,
dwell on the positive.

people may see me walking alone.
they don’t see the beautiful woman
at my side
with her hand in mine.

i may be seen sitting at a table, alone.
nobody sees the delicate hand,
with the magic fingers,
sliding up my thigh.

or, the passionate kiss
being planted on my throat,
the fingers running through my hair.

where i work
people see me smile.
they think I enjoy my job.
they don’t know me.

 

Sample my books for free — To date, $1945.00 has been donated to the homeless:

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
http://buff.ly/1SGzGCY ($2.99 Download)
http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($.299 Download)
https://buff.ly/2lUfp6Q ($.99 Download)
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They Call Me Red:
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Concrete Box

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bar

 

I work in a corporate, concrete box;
no windows, only a computer terminal
to link me to the outside world.
Only second-hand accounts
of weather, traffic,
whether it is day or night.

I sometimes go to work in darkness,
return in darkness.
I don’t know if the sun
remembered to rise at all.
Like the light in a refrigerator.
Does it really turn off
when I close the door?

At a keyboard, my fingers type numbers,
millions of numbers.
My mind wanders woodland paths.
I watch birds flitting from limb to limb,
chipmunks scurrying, stopping,
looking around, then scurrying again.

My mind plays tricks on me.
I imagine that just 26 floors down
I could exit on Beale or Bourbon Street.
Hear sounds of the South,
guitars, saxophones and raspy voices
that rule the rhythm of my body and soul.

Take me on a blues ride.
Let me wander with the lyrics
down Highway 61, “The Blues Highway”.
Let me smell the sweat and the booze,
the jostling at the bar,
the waitress who will smile for a tip.

Let me smell magnolia, bougainvillea,
where Spanish moss hangs below the branches,
see the darkest eyes and brightest smile,
hear that special whisper, “Come with me.”
We’ll walk for miles, be holding hands,
and never want for any more
than our window to a dream.

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Image: http://www.neworleans.com/nightlife/bourbon-heat/

Tennessee Honey

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DSC_4796

 

Thoughts drift south,
Jack Daniel’s country
where the weather
suits my mood.

On a barstool
I park my bones
Inhale the Jack, magnolia–
sweet, sweet surrender.

A woman alone
at a corner table–
darkest eyes,
brightest smile,
auburn hair
to her shoulders.

I think, Why not?
Our eyes meet,
I saunter towards her
and know, from the look she gives,
she’s heard it all before.

“Ma’am, It would give me
the greatest pleasure
to buy you a drink
and share your table for a while.
If I can’t keep you smilin’
I promise,
I’ll take my conversation elsewhere.”

She said with the utmost
southern grace, charm
and hospitality,
“You’ve got ten minutes.
I don’t like to be disappointed.”

I fell into her raven pools,
somewhere, I got lost there.
I don’t know my way too well
around these parts
but, I’d swear she lured me
with some kind of mojo.

My eyes refused to look away
from ruby lips (so sensual)
as they spoke words of love
in a voice
of the sweetest, southern honey,
words…dripping…
tantalizing.

The evening passed,
holding hands across the table.
I was enthralled and enchanted.
Where it went from there
I refuse to say
(gentleman’s code of honor).

Such beauty
I have never known.
It keeps coming back
to haunt me.

My thoughts
were only passing through
but, in my dreams I see
the darkest eyes,
brightest smile,
hear her voice–
Tennessee honey.

Sample my books for free — To date, $1945.00 has been donated to the homeless:

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