Monday, June 18, 2018

dad this tribute to you / until we meet again

dad this tribute to you
until we meet again
above the sky beyond
in timeless time
we turn to memories
recollection stories
that make a smile
photographs become
beacons or stages

like the one
on the day of marriage
it is a bright scene
him prime steadfast
earnest heart united
with his bride and
she in white satin
bright as grace
or like lightening

together a life unfurling
great and unknown
they both so young
poised too in that light
it is so far away
and yet so close

miles moved
off to the west
the houses cars
children and stories
jobs commutes
songs dinners jokes
work roofs roofed
yards and fireworks
faithful dogs books
packards and campouts
redwoods bodega bay
industry passion
like an arrowhead
like a finding
and if needed a push
would give a shove
when striving
he won

for some he is in
everything we
ever thought
above all
he was and still is
not done but moving
in hearts and in minds
son brother husband father
grandfather companion
friend steadfast
a veteran

him in one
recent photograph
taken not far from here
a knowing smile
kind tilt of the head
caught in that light again
so bright so far away
and yet so close

love and joy
for him that comes
because he gave it

if you decide
to look for him today
you cannot find him
anywhere because
he is everywhere



Friday, June 15, 2018

under the purple sky

i dream quite a long time
vividly about being able to fly
in this dream flying is easy
and i can go vast distances

i fly to a land that has big boulders
resting on waves of pink stone
the people native to there
build houses at the bases of them

it becomes dusk and the lights
of all the dwellings start to come on
i watch this from a beehive shaped stone
i landed on under the purple sky


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

i had a dream of dying / in a micro hotel

i had a dream of dying
in a micro hotel
guarded by teenagers high
armed with automatic weapons

i woke up not in a
micro hotel on a day that
promises to breezy and sunny
with no problems really

the issues are all out of sight
developing in directions
causes and conditions form
like innocent clouds at first

but for this bright easy day
why should anyone worry
or think dark thoughts
of a broken world

on this bright awake day
there's still time to change
spread peace and hope and save
the parents of the parents

and their parents and even me
the owner of the micro hotel
and tyrant
in that dream


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

lie in my obituary

"No me dejen morir así, digan que dije algo ..."

 --- José Doroteo Arango Arámbula

lie in my obituary
tell them i freed every lion bear and tiger i met
tell them birds would land on my fingers
i could sing whole operas by heart
i knew 350 languages
i traveled the world
tell them i knew the best places that made shoes compasses marbled paper fireworks and beehives
i invented complicated technology that contacted alien life
that allowed barriers here on the planet to fall
tell them i was grateful dignified knowledgeable and funny
tell them i had a tattoo and a parrot and an orchard of golden apples
and when i swam every river i encountered i was like a dolphin
or like beowulf

tell them i had the sky in my eyes with a hint of lightening
all the world was in my heart and peace and justice in each hand
when i rested i was meek as a dove and when roused valiant like a lion


Friday, June 08, 2018

reading my father's obituary

reading my father's obituary
i'm a little bit angry he's gone
but it passes the details are nice
my sister wrote it for the paper

she works for them as an editor
how good does it get to have
your obituary written by family
but i suppose all obituaries are like that

and it comes to me that there is so much
i will never know and i never asked
because i resented the information
or i thought we had more time

in what you could know
in what you might want to find out
in what you keep forgetting to say
all my selfishness toward my father

for he is like a mountain that has vanished
mountains of mountains or even the sky
gone distilled into words on a page
with a photo on how he'd like to be seen


Wednesday, June 06, 2018


i've been poisoning my own mind
by thinking about what i want or what i'd like

as if desiring something right would justify
what i am doing in poisoning myself


Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Essential Knots: Lao Tzu Says Don't Be Sad

I learn 5 essential knots. When I get home I want to show them to Lao Tzu, who is sitting on the couch and petting one cat with one hand, and the other cat with his other hand.

"Here is the 'bowline' and here is the 'larkshead'" I say, "But I can't remember the other three essential knots."

"And the 'bowline' I just made fell apart. So I don't know the 'bowline' after all." I confess.

I feel very down that I couldn't tie 4 of the knots.

"Don't be sad." says Lao Tzu, smiling, still petting the cats, "If there were bows here to tie lines on, you would know how, and do it."



Chung Tzu: Why don't you give them a heads up like I do?

The morning is beautiful, bright, with a few stray clouds going west. Going to work, I get cut off repeatedly by a fiery red Dodge Charger. I think the driver is not paying attention, or they are crazy.

When I pull into work, it pulls up next to me.

Chung Tzu is at the wheel, and I see Lao Tzu and Henry Ford talking quietly in the back seat.

"I am astonished!" I say. "I did not know you could drive."

"Yaaaas?" replies Chung Tzu like Dean Moriarty.

"How so? Why?" is all I can say back.

"If you are aware you know so little, why do you take such pride in what you think you know?" says Henry Ford.

"Just what the man said." says Chung Tzu.

"But what about all the bugs and little creatures that will get hurt when you go speeding down the road?"

"Oh, that is not a problem." says Chung Tzu, revving the engine, "I just yell out from time to time as we go that I'm completely mad ... "

"I don't think that will work for me."

"Have you tried?" asks Henry Ford.

"Not yet."

"Well, if you don't try things, you'll never know." says Henry Ford.

"Even things that seem to be silly?"

"Yes." says Henry Ford.


Later in the day I call Chung Tzu up.

"How is the driving going? How are all those critters and bugs?"

"Just fine!" says Chung Tzu.


"Yeah! We can be OK out in the world, anywhere. The only person they have to watch out for is people like you! Why don't you give them a heads up?"

"I'd rather be the kind of person where they don't have to watch out for me at all." I say after thinking about what Chung Tzu said.

"Oh?" asks Chung Tzu. "You could try that too."


Cheshire Lane