Monday, September 24, 2018


why does a dictionary weigh ten pounds?
because humans are filled with a million sounds
they twist them and stretch them and play the game
but in the end they all sound the same


i was not wild and free
i was never meant to be
and walked silent on the earth
to death from birth

my fellow humans stopped to look
as my weary steps i took
for the very mark of cain
on my face was written plain

but when i turned around
no trace of me was found
on the earth's unyielding crust
i left no footprints in the dust

i took it slow
for where was there to go?
i looked up at the gray sky
and it said goodbye

Sunday, September 23, 2018

ode to sinners

o come all you sinners
with guilt fit to burst
lets go down to the river
and see who is the worst

let us stand up and testify
and write a message across the sky
about all our evil schemes and tricks
and how we wanted to get our kicks

kicks, man, that's all there is
not fame or money or show biz
or christmas dinner or apple pie
or scratching your head and wondering why

we're riding through the endless night
not even putting up a fight
tossing here a nickel and there a dime
in the tin cup of borrowed time

Friday, September 21, 2018

a letter

a kitty kat has whiskers
a puppy dog has a tail
i wrote a letter to the president
and put it in the mail

i told him he was an idiot
i told him he was a fool
i asked him what he ever learned
when he was a child in school

he never sent an answer
he never sent a reply
i wonder if he goes for walks
and looks up at the sky

and if he sees the hand of fate
pointing at his face
and showing him the sands of time
in which he will leave no trace

he goes back to the white house
and climbs the white house stair
to find inside his office
a visitor in his chair

who is this importunate stranger
who sits there with a smile
with no sense of decorum
and no sense of style

everybody has a stranger
who follows them through their days
and shows their face when the time has come
so do not be amazed

Thursday, September 20, 2018


this is a poem i wrote
in the water it would not float
in the air it would not fly
in the rain it would not stay dry

in it i confess
my pathetic helplessness
swallowed without a trace
by a void without a face

words may be blessings or curses
in expanding universes
they may be slow or fast
but never last

o bubbles in the stream!
o disappearing dream!
one last moment i beg of you
one last word - or maybe two -

everybody can't be a hero

to be in a book but not be the hero
that does not sound like fun
but when the hero dies his heroic death
you can still sit in the sun

reading a book about the hero
in lively vivid prose
sipping iced tea or lemonade
and wiggling your toes

the hero lives forever
at least the book says so
“in glorious memory”
but how do they know?

when the hero goes to the gallows
protesting his innocence
you can laugh or cry or close the book
and wonder where the time went

desert island

sometimes i feel floppy
sometimes i do sag
sometimes i put my head in a box
sometimes i put it in a bag

i don't like the human race
or the world that it has made
i want to find a desert island
and lie in the palm tree shade

let the coconuts fall on my head
and pound it into mush
and lie there drooling in the sand
in the glowing sunset hush

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

a strange dream

i dreamed of a place last night
the strangest dream I ever had
where all the bad people were good
and all the good people were bad

I dreamed I was in a courtroom
of shiny paneled wood
i was tied to an old oak tree
accused of doing good

the judge sat high above me
with horns upon his head
adolf hitler was my lawyer
and all the jurors were dead

the judge asked me how i pleaded
to trying to do right
and as i opened my mouth to speak
i beheld a terrible sight

the gallery was filled with angels
with burnt and blackened wings
their golden harps were melted
and they could not pluck the strings

a witness then was summoned
to give evidence to my fate
’twas none other than st peter
who had abandoned heaven’s gate

what say you, saintly wise man
asked satan from the bench
as he waved a ten pound hammer
which in his fist he clenched

his eyebrows fairly sizzled
and his lip was sneering curled
what say you of this specimen
who wished to save the world?

what say you to this sorry cuss
who challenged my dominion
who thought eternal damnation
was just someone’s opinion?

have pity, lord of darkness
the sad eyed sage appealed
and his white beard it did flutter
as before the fiend he kneeled

he is only a poor human
incapable of thought
and the lessons life has taught him
i guess he just forgot

the demon roared wth laughter
as he brought his hammer down
a noose was placed around my neck
and on my head a crown

and on the crown was set a stage
on which a play was playing
my old dog ran across a field
to join my poor old mother praying

a serpent slithered through the grass
king arthur raised his sword
jesse james threw me a lousy dime
it was all he could afford

william mckinley and wyatt earp
raised their voices in a hymn
and i thought i saw abe lincoln
but it was only railroad slim

i awoke upon a green park bench
with rain upon my face
and all the players in the dream
were gone without a trace

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

country ways

the lamp burned in my little room
above the silent stable
i looked out in the winter gloom
as well as i was able

no bird disturbed the brooding night
or horses hoofed the road
no angel at the window
offered to share my load


in an icy wintry blast
as the snow was falling fast
i went out to milk the cow
and tripped over the plow

that the lazy hired man
who since the world began
had been sleeping on his feet
without missing a beat

had left there in the gloom
to hasten me to doom
and he laughed in his dream
floating down a shady stream

where an apple cheeked lass
winked at him as he went past
and i lay in the mud
in the mud, in the cold mud


silas martin picked an apple
but didn't feel like eating it
sarah jenkins shook a rug
but didn't feel like beating it

everything that moves
moves at its own pace
sometimes nothing moves at all
upon the earth's dark face