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Storm Rising

A rushing rumble
like rapids,
like a river in full flood,
stampedes into my dreams,
and steals me
from my sleep.

I rise like a lightning bolt
race to windows dark,
pull back purple drapes,
and look out
into a midnight storm,
rising to the fullness
of its deep.

The wind trumpets
in the glory of its pride,
roars like a lion
at its kill.

My breath catches,
my heart thunders
within my breast,
as if it no longer
belongs to me,
but as if it is
some strange part
of a wild, savage beast.

I tremble, and like a thief
brought before the law
I surrender
to the storms all-consuming thrill.

Caught by this mighty muse,
deafened by her keening wind,
I begin understand her need
for destruction,
and in that moment
I hunger in my soul,
to go where she goes
until the beauty of this wild ride
comes to the fullness of its end.


Down to a Sunless Sea

Upon the day the world began,
God did decree in his master plan
that there must be peace for every man,
and that all peoples should be free.

But now we are bound with chains
of fear, of death, of loss and pain,
and we believe there is nothing left to gain,
and our songs are filled with a sad refrain,
and we struggle, we strain, we cry out in shame
as we try to reclaim our holy perfect name.

Mankind has gone so far astray
that we can no longer find our way.
Is it because of the darkness in our day?

We now stand trembling upon a precipice
staring down into a dark, bottomless abyss.
Is mankind intended to really end like this?

We have tumbled down from Olympian heights
into the stony crevasse of an endless night.
We have strayed far from the golden halls
and are now lost between empty canyon walls.

A canyon where no moonlight falls.
Where a perilous narrow path winds
between cracked, haunting obsidian walls,
down to the shores of a sunless sea

Sarah of the Sunlit Sea

I called her my Sarah of the sunlit sea.
She was a woman of seductive mystery,
an enchanting child of the morning light,
a poem in living color, a midnight dream,
that always danced me through the night.

My world turned on her finger,
and a ring of gold bound us together,
and her name was written in the wind
with purple smoke and a burnished flame,
and I knew if she ever left me
my life would never be the same.

We danced to the end of time and back again
to the music of a violin played by a drummer
whose drumsticks were made from willow,
and whose mind was filled with madness,
and his songs were made from words
that no one could ever understand.

His fingers were gnarled and broken
so the music was just a token
of what it could have, should have been
just like things we would never have
or know, in our tomorrows dream.

She didn’t mind that things weren’t perfect,
because we lived beneath a rainbow,
where the snow was white, and sparkling
like the diamonds on her fingers,
like emeralds in the morning light,
like a dew drop on a red, red rose
and the smoke from our fireplace
always smelled like lilacs,
and the embers on the hearth always glowed,
and her smile always touched my very soul.

When she caressed me with her fingers
she sent shivers flooding through me,
and our hearts beat out our love story,
as we danced through the moments of our life.

The purple smoke has vanished in the mist
and time has dulled the burnished flame,
but her name still lingers in the midnights
and her face is still vision of my memory,
and until the end of time, her picture will hang
upon the hallways and corridors of my mind.

A Midnight Troubadour

I’m a lonely troubadour,
and I play my songs at midnight,
beneath the blinking lights,
when the streets are empty,
and the wind blows cold,
when there is no one to hold,
or listen to my songs,
or to sing along,
or tell me right from wrong.

My songs are for
the political prisoners,
bound up in jail,
bound by iron chains,
without any hope
of getting bail.

They are for the children
that are lost in the rain,
and going hungry,
and for all those
that are now
crying out for freedom.

I am a lost troubadour
singing in a box car
in a rail yard
waiting for a train,
to be going nowhere,
and my songs are
for the hungry,
the naked,
the homeless
for the hobos
that are singing with me.

Mr. engineer,
hiding behind
your priestly clothes
and a saintly smile,
please hook up
the boxcar to a train,
give us an umbrella
to keep us from the rain,
and some wood
to keep us from the cold.

If you do,
I’ll play a song for you,
until my guitar
strings are broken,
and my fingers
start bleeding,
a few kind words
are all that I am needing.

I am a lost troubadour
born out of war,
and other bitter places.
From lying
I will refrain
if it will help me
catch a train
to the southland,
or where oranges grow,
or keep me from
the acid rain,
or help me in my dreaming.

I’ll play my songs for you,
if you promise
not to be blue,
so please be true,
to yourself,
even if you
must lie to others.

I’ll play my songs
in the rain,
or on the train,
or on the tracks,
that lead to the shacks
by the river,
or on the way
to my tombstone.
I’m a lonely troubadour,
and I play my songs at midnight,
beneath the blinking lights,
when the streets are empty,
and the wind blows cold,
when there is no one to hold,
or listen to my songs,
or to sing along,
or tell me right from wrong.

That Which is

Silence echoes
so deep, so deep
into full darkness
of the sterile room.

A faint thump,
thump, thump stills.

Pale white gleams,
light fades, fades,
love fades, fades
from translucent green,
that once mirrored,
that once beheld
all things that passed,
all things that came
into their view.

Cold, cold, cold,
a hand so still,
the remembrance of breath
lingers in the gloom.

Silence, empty
of tomorrow’s dreams,
so deep, so deep,
trembles in full darkness
of the empty room.

From, “Serendipitous,” my new book of poetry.

Goodwill to all Mankind. Really?

(Aleppo’s Children)
As people tear open their presents on the morning of December twenty-fifth, chortle over their loot, the things they didn’t really need, or complain they didn’t get what they wanted, or they spent much more money on their family, than their family did on them, and an argument breaks out, or they take another pill for their hangover, or shout at their children to shut up, I wonder how many will stop to count their blessings, stop complaining, and think for a moment about the children in Aleppo. Think for a moment that they will not be waking up to presents, toys, stockings stuffed, stockings flowing over, and spilling candy on the floor. No, these innocent little ones will be waking up to rifles crashing. They will be waking up to bombs falling. They will be waking up to death.

As people sit around the family holiday table, a table groaning, a table threatening to collapse under the weight of gravy bowls slopping brown turkey gravy over the sides every time they are moved, bowls of mashed potatoes and mashed yams glistening from melting butter, bowls of steaming vegetable, other bowls heaped with three kinds of stuffing, pineapple glazed ham, waiting for the turkey , a twenty-five pound monster to be carved, will anyone stop to think for a moment about Aleppo’s Children. Will anyone care that they are not sitting around a table groaning from the weight of food piled on top. Will you, or you, or you, or will you just say, pass the turkey please, and begin stuffing your face with a turkey that was stuffed only a few hours ago, cooked to a golden brown for your pleasure. As you heap your plate again and again, as you stuff your face and your stomach until it hurts to move, will one thought, will just one stray thought be for Aleppo’s children.

Oh how they weep,
as bombs
fall on the street.
How deep they cry,
as they watch
their family die.

They cower.
They shiver.
They weep.
They cry,
and then
they too die.

Who will
weep for them?
Who will weep
for Aleppo’s children?


Let them find rest
from the bombs
falling by night.

Let them find rest
from the bullets
flying by day.

Let them find rest
from cold death
that walks with them.

Let them find rest,
for they are
the innocent,
they are
the children.

They are too young
to be pawns
in any war.

Freedom means nothing
to minds shocked
by death.

Democracy means nothing
to bellies
that are empty.

Politics mean nothing
to lives
forever shattered.

Orphaned and homeless,
battered and bloody,
they have no part
in the great Arab spring.

They cower in buildings,
amidst the windows
among their possessions
by bombs
forever falling.

They lie in their filth,
with no one to clean them.
They cry for their mothers,
grenades are their answer.

Soldiers march by
glance in the window,
see the movement of life,
and raise up their rifles.

From my new book of poems, “Serendipitous,” Just click this link to get your copy today http://amzn.to/2dbCxrH

Silver Stones Across the Water

Silver stones skip across the water.
Golden bells chime in your mind.
Moonbeams and starlight
are now so hard to find.
And there is no use
chasing after rainbows,
because there is no pot of gold
for you to find, or ever to hold,
and no matter how much you want
things to be better than they are,
there is only the misty morning,
a burnt out falling star,
and raindrops, and tears for you.

And you will never be
more than a wind across the water,
more than a ripple
on the river,
more than a new born child,
more than a dream that has
never been dreamed.
You are like a flower growing wild
that withers in the sunlight,
that shrivels in the wind.

You are a shadow shivering
in the mellow moonlight,
a stranger in a land
filled with dark
and lonely places
and you know
that peace, and love
will never set you free.

So there is no use in trying
to untie the ropes
that hold you,
or bind up your wounds
that are bleeding,
because someone else
will find you,
and take your hopes,
and freedom from you,
once again.

You watch for silver stones
to skip across the water,
but they never will again.
And the golden bells
that once chimed
the words of peace
in your mind,
have grown silent
and the tears
that you cry
aren’t for the dying children
but for the love,
and hope, and dreams
that you could never find.

Silver stones skip across the water.
Golden bells chime in your mind.
Moonbeams and starlight
are now so hard to find.

Desdemona Jones

Desdemona Jones dances in a poem
that lingers on the fringes of my mind.
She wore ribbons made of rainbows
in hair softer than the early light of dawn,
and the sweetness of her laughter
echoed in the hallways of my memory
ever after she was gone.

She came into my world.
like a river in the spring time,
like a bright and flaming star,
and took up my every waking hour,
laying down dreams that will last forever,
filling up every empty place within my mind.

We met on a summer evening,
in a park down near the ocean,
and the sea added its own drum beat
to the music and the laughter of the wind.

I asked her to dance in the moonlight.
She smiled as she told me
that she preferred to dance alone,
and that her name was Desdemona Jones.

She was as slender as a willow.
Softer than the down of a thistle.
As beautiful as flowers in the spring.
But she is just a memory
that is fading with the twilight
one that clings to the edges
of so many distant yesterdays.

We use to go for coffee
when the rain was falling,
and we’d talk for hours
about the things we planned to do.

She asked me to sing to her
as we walked beside the ocean
but no matter the music I was playing
or the words I that I sang in the rain,
she always found a reason,
no matter the day or the season
to leave half way through my song.

When my heart beats out its last moment
and my final breath fades in the distance
I will be somewhere in a poem,
and as the music is softly playing
I will be dancing, with Desdemona Jones.

Coffee, Conversation, and Yesterday’s Dream

I write down these words
as the traffic roars down the street,
while winter lays heavy,
and the snow piles deep.

I write them as traffic lights
no longer blink red or green.
I write them over coffee, conversation,
and yesterday’s dream.

I watch an old soldier
begging for change.
A young girl passes by
who is obviously lame,
and for a moment,
all of these things
I wish I could rearrange
but life consumes us all,
in a bright burning flame,
until only a few pale embers remain.

So I write down my words
while traffic lights
no longer blink red or green.
I write them over coffee, conversation,
and yesterday’s dream.

The radio speaks
of children dying in war,
of people going hungry
as they have done
so many times before,
and I begin to wonder
if our old world
can take very much more.

But all I can do
is write my refrain,
while traffic lights
no longer blink red or green.
I write them over coffee, conversation,
and yesterday’s dream.

I have heard the last whale
sing its’ sad lonely song.
It made me finally realize
that we have done so much wrong.
A hungry, mangy lion
eats up the last of its pride.
How long can it be
until the rest of us die?

But all I can do
is write my refrain,
and watch this old world
writhe in its pain,
while traffic lights
no longer blink red or green,
over coffee, conversation,
and yesterday’s dream.

  • Keeper of the Sword

    It is often a simple thing, the roll of the dice, the turn of a card, or a chance meeting that can change one’s life forever. For Josh Campbell, and Morgan Connelly it was a seemingly harmless chain of events, a fight after school and performing a ritual that neither one of them believed in.

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    Full of fear and excitement Keeper of the Sword (The Sword of Kings) Josh notched an arrow to the bow string, pulled it back to his ear, took careful aim and released the shaft of death, and before it reached its target, a second bolt sliced through the dark. (To find out more, just follow the link.)
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