I was relaxing with my late afternoon Margarita in our hot tub, I was listening to old jazz on Pandora, Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker and others. Such memories of those days of jazz in underground smokey bars, drinking whiskey sours and smoking my Camel straights, driving home wasted at 2:00 in the morning after last call. Then getting up at 6:00 for work.

Were times better then? Maybe simpler, but not what I would say were better. I remember driving to work during the Cuban Missile Crisis wondering what the nuclear attack would be like. Would I survive? I elected it would be better to not.

Women’s rights weren’t. Neither were any civil rights. We lived in a world struggling to still know who we were after the horrors of WW II and Korea. I realize now how the veterans of those wars drowned their memories in alcohol and drugs, trying to pretend they were okay when they staggered home after work, after drinking in some dive bar, home to a housekeeper woman and children who feared him, his anger, his sorrow.

No. The world is never settled. We aren’t ever settled. Life is the time, the times, we live. Why does it seem always a struggle? Wanting more? A newer car? A bigger house? More wealth? Living in fear of  ‘the other’ as we are told to do on the evening news during commercials selling crap no one really needs.

Some days, some nights, I long for those jazz bars where I spent my time and money all those many years ago, satiating my own fears of what my own life would bring.

All Hallows Eve

The piper played the requiem

calling the mistral home

busy after the equinox

and blood moon eclipse

that set surreptitious specters

free from epic sleep

dreams of fanciful fancy

where the princess found

no charming after the storm.


Play piper a desperate dirge

so all souls can laugh at

such a jaded jiggered joke

that the death of dearth

requires on the day that

celebrates souls that travel

in invisible steam powered airships

bringing mortals dreams

filled with empty awakenings.


Celebrate the 15 minutes of fame

fortunate mortals endure

as their incomplete life

lacking luxury of immortality

while Mother Mary smiles

with tender understanding 

tears falling from empty eyes

that once saw their truth

as only a moment lost in 

a deep sea free of light.


Awaken from the night of 

the dead now the once 

roaming spirits return to

their simple existence of

pure languorous light to

to tell stories in poems

that the piper might play

again more eloquent eulogies

to charm those who can listen.

Last Train South

Two robins packed for the last train south.

Trees now but skeletons of summer splendor.

The gypsy mystic was long gone from city streets.

Once alive parks and playgrounds empty of laughter.


How has our time together vanished so quickly.

Our halcyon banter evaporated like fog in the sun.

Joyful excursions through mountain flowers now dead.

We swam naked in a cold mountain river now frozen.


Bear sleeps hungry in a hidden musty forest cave.

Red Tail sails in the sun looking for a last meal.   

My kitchen sink overflows with last week’s dishes.

Outside my window a lone flower longs to bloom again.

A Dead Boat

A dead boat lay solemnly upon white sand

too far from the turquoise water shoreline

at the border of impenetrable Mexican jungle

where Mayans and jaguars once held court.


Hemingway knew he should die in 1961

when there were no more stories to tell,

when everything became too hard to say,

when fiction had become too real to write.


A tall woman in a shimmering white dress

that glistened like scales on a silvery fish

arose from the sea sliding slowly to shore,

she more for living on land than in sea.


A lone red buoy bobbed in a gentle swell

witness that all had been finally resolved.

I Came of Age in a Time of No Heroes

I came of age in a time of no heroes

except for the horn man

who blew jazz blue bebop music 

from a golden wailing sax

to the city canyon tall buildings

to all who passed and those

… who didn’t.


A regular feature

on a regular corner

on regular nights

making unregular sounds

for irregular people

who were regularly groovin’

on something irregular

… or not.


A time of the beat poet

alcohol drug induced creative 

writing, art, music, sex.

Jack, Diane, Allen, Lawrence

Neal and all the many more

who pushed it all so the 

normal might think

… or not.


I came of age in a time of no heroes

lost in city funk

writing, drinking, smoking

lost in loves in a one 

room flat with a mattress

on the floor and a needle 

in my arm 

… and hers.


Many years many loves

now reformed to 2.5 kids

in a suburban nightmare

creativity in lost a box store

where I lost my soul 

in aisle 3 by the canned goods

I sleep in dreams 

… of lost times.


I sleep in dreams of the horn man’s 

music still moving in my soul

permanent in my empty psyche 

of sad love loss and life

while I sob to sleep

my father’s golden sax

stares its one eye

from the shelf

… now quiet.


The Meadowlark

She wore a man’s hat draped in crocheted finery

deserving more respect than some tawdry decoration.


“Where are you going?” asked Old Crow

from his perch on the cigar store sign.


“Off to see my sad Meadowlark friend

who lived alone in the field by the road

where the dry grass burned yesterday

destroying her house and possessions.”


“What possessions can a meadowlark have?”

asked Old Crow as he flew along her side.


“A Jack of Diamonds,

an Ace of Spades,

a golden ring she wears in her nose.


“With green fields gone to ash,

she lives with me in the hollow tree

in the glade by the fairy pond

where we will share our winter 

in sweet song to awaken the cold sun 

who languishes too far south.”


“Caw,” said Old Crow.