Saturday, November 22, 2014


I imagine this being sung in a prohibition era nightclub in New Orleans.

I ain't got no money,
and my face is kinda funny,
but my outlook's pretty sunny,
'cuz I got me a honey.

Now she's the bees knees.
and a bit of a tease,
so I've got to say please,
give me that honey.

When she walks in the door,
my jaw hits the floor,
gotta get me some more,
of her sweet, wild honey.

Now I don't like to boast,
but the part I like the most,
is pretending I'm toast,
and she's spreading that honey.

So take it from me pal,
gotta get you a gal,
a sorta femme fatale,
and get you some honey.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Life is all about the push.
A plant's roots stretch till they
strain against the walls
of the pot, seeking ever more sustenance,
more space, more room to grow.
No bird makes its nest big enough
for its nestlings to stay forever.
We are meant to go forward
always. Hummingbirds the size
of fragrance bottles
hurl themselves across
the Gulf of Mexico, butterflies
will their tissue paper wings
across continents, salmon ravage
their bodies, the flesh hanging from their
bodies like satchels of flesh to return
home to spawn.
Maybe the end of life,
the slowing down,
the rickety body,
the aging flesh,
is just preparation for that final
push. That final lunge upstream,
those last desperate miles of
flight till the final barrier is reached,
and we push forward, break through life's final wall,
to begin another journey.

I didn't move all night.
Your side of the bed
left pristine,
in case your returned,
and wanted to slide in,
next to me,
like an otter
slipping into a stream,

Okay, I've stopped.
Now where are the roses?

Here's to women who wear purple!
Combining red-hot passion
with icy blue perfection,
Only a woman could combine both
and remain clear sighted.
Please sew together
the heart you tore
In two.
Use the red thread
so the sutures
don't show.
Put buttons on my
heart. So that next time
it may be torn in two
less easily.
And when you are through,
cut the thread that
binds me to you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


An old woman sits
in the very last pew
praying the rosary.
The beads and her faith slip
between her fingers,
decades and mysteries
hanging on a string.

The ghost of yesterday's incense
still hovers in the air
like the aftershave she still smells
on her late husband's shirts.

Her prayers rise to the vaulted ceiling
and flutter there like bats.
How much higher they go
she is not sure, but still she rolls
the beads between her fingers,
 and proclaims the mysteries.

The mysteries joyful, sorrowful,
glorious, and luminous
are held in her hands and proclaimed,
but the real mystery
held in her heart,
not her hands,
is why he is gone,
and she is still here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Writing Novena 2/9    11/14/14

"Do you have the answer key?" my student asked.

"My dear, If I had the answer key
I would wear it around my neck
on a fine silver chain
and when a question would trouble me
I would go to the answer box
and insert the key in the answer lock
and open it to find a slip of parchment
quivering in the updraft of the opened lid
with the answer written in fine gold script."

Life is a terrible test.
The proctors won't tell you how much
time you have,
the multiple choices shift under your pencil
and as soon as you darken an oval
another choice appears.

Maybe it's best to just
doodle in the margins
answer the essay question
with a poem
or just stare out the window.

You see there is no permanent record
no honors program in life.
We are just here together.
So rather than look at your neighbor's
paper for the answers.
Just look at his face.
The answer you are looking for
may be there.

Writing Novena November 13

The prompt this time was an old spoon once owned by the grandmother of one of the members of the group. I wrote this and added my own picture of my grandmother's spoon.

Rummaging through
a box
I found my grandmother's
spoon. I hold it now
to feel the smooth wood
she must have held thosands of
times. It is suffused with her grace
and the joys and sufferings of her life.
Wood holds the memories best
having once been a living thing

Okay, so I have been doing a terrible job with the writing novena. The last nine day cycle was about poems of gratitude. I fell behind and never caught up. I am going to try to write something every day for this novena November 13-21. This time someone posts a picture and we use that as a prompt. Before I begin, I will share with this blog the one gratitude poem I did write. I had to use my phone and I wrote it on a plane. There is a typo that I decided to keep.

Friday, October 31, 2014

"Why calaveras?"
they ask me
"Not your tradition"
"Not your people"
"Not your language"
And "Aren't they a
little Satanic?"
"But look!" I answer.
"Where else can you
see the symbol of death
creating the symbol of life?"
Death out of life, life out of death
That's really the whole story,
is it not?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The common folk have made
a friend of death.

And why not?

The wisest and poorest among us
know he can't be avoided.
The rich may use medicine, tonics,
and surgery to hide their trails,
but he can't be avoided.

He is as inevitable as sunset,
as inescapable as a cold front,
as inexorable as a glacier.

Death has a bloodhound,
all nose, teeth, and feet,
on our trail and no matter how fast we run
we all end up in
a tree with his hound baying below.

So, why run at all?

Let's take Death's power.
Take away his scythe,
and replace it with a cane.
Take away his cowl,
and dress him as a dandy.
Why fear his bloody hound
when you can make him wag his tail?

Drugs, lust, liquor, and smoke
are Death's secret weapons,
and laughter is ours.

So laugh at the dandy,
throw rocks at his top hat,
and make that bloodhound
sit, speak and roll over
for our bones.

Tony and Anna had been best friends forever, so when.he said he wanted to get married and join her family she naturally assumed he meant her. Turned out he meant her brother Ted. She wore the dress anyway.
Catrina never married,
or had children of her own.
It' hard to make sweet love
to just a pelvic bone.
One day she found three dogs,
a merry little pack,
She found them in the woods,
off the beaten track.
She lavished them with love,
and made them little hats.
She didn't care if the village people,
thought she had gone bats.
Dias de Los Muertos
was her favorite holiday.
She made the children sugar skulls,
and with her dogs they'd play.
She had no children of her own,
yet the children called het mom,
each one was special in her eyes,
each playground her kingdom.
This was many years ago
in a hamlet far away,
where people say they still are seen
on the Dead's favorite day.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Ballad of Timmy and Tommy

Timmy and Tommy were strange, twin brothers,
different as night and day.
Timmy said "yes, please" and "thank you much ma'am"
Tommy said "Screw you!" and "No way!"

Timmy played soccer for his school's home team,
under the stadium lights,
Tommy played hooky, drank beer, and smoked weed,
and got into numerous fights.

The two young men loved and hated each other,
as only two brothers can do,
Tommy said, "Won't  you try once being bad?"
Timmy said, "Try being good, can't you ?"

One day the brothers were sent to the store,
to buy their poor mama some bread,
Timmy was driving as safe as can be,
till a cement truck struck them both dead.

It matters not how good or bad you may be,
is something that's hard to apprehend,
A good life or bad life, its all up to you,
the cement truck is how we all end.