This is not why we are born

This is not why we are born,

So that our deaths
and the men that make then
can become the next step
in the social medialization of outrage,
the emoji tears for a murder
scattered in bytes and not sliding across skin

Though what else can I offer

if I think
if I pray.

She said the victims, running away,
looked less real than video game characters
fleeing bullets,

but there it is

People died.
The blood in the video was not splattered, graphic ink or false colors.

People died.

Stop and think for a minute
between the coffee memes and cat videos

This is not why their mothers birthed them.
Named them.
Taught them to read, think, trust, love, pray,
Simply to become footnotes
to someone else’s message.

This is not why we are born.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

No more heroes

Superman doesn’t fly anymore
since his heart stopped
and now, with Lois Lane dead
who would he rescue anyway?

Our problems are too tricky to solve
by spinning the planet backwards

We outgrew our old superheroes and made new ones
but like anything else made over
they are less shiny, more crass and dented,

Deadpool replaces Spiderman
and men of steel rust
in stale storage.

Posted in free verse poetry, New Free Verse | Tagged , | 4 Comments

today, when the crocuses open

today, when the crocuses open
so yellow, so birthdayish
and so late

that I have both together this once
and in May
is remarkable

I will thread them with forget me nots
and smile for the sake of all
your other birthdays

because today is too beautiful
to remember only your absence

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Not even worthy of a title

How does this poem
differ from thoughts and prayers
sent to people full of thoughts and prayers
so full when their mouths open
words pour out
floral and lacy as funeral cards
but minus the cash.

How does this poem
stop deaths, stop people too selfish
in their own pain from simply ending one life
and instead take 10,
20, and yesterday 17?

This poem stops nothing.
This poem changes nothing.
This poem does not celebrate life
or sanctify death.

This poem just shakes its head
as it walks out the door.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

empty pedestals

After the stones fall
we should have something here
bigger than the bones of a war
lost but still dug up
over and over, resurrecting dead
who simply want sleep

we should have a monument to loss
but it needs no flags.
it needs no glorification.
too many of our sons dead.
if there is a monument to this war
it should be gravestones
with the names worn off

it should weave through it the lives
of fatherless who raised families.
it should invoke women
who loved again
bittersweet with the tannins of old pain.
it should be perfume edged with smoke.

my hands are not strong enough to sculpt it.

Perhaps monuments of this magnitude
need to be shaped of air, posed over
empty pedestals.

****This is in no way done, but I needed to get this unformed idea out there.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Base economy

The food pantry is out of rice
but has plenty of boxed potatoes
leaving room for barter

a base economy
of beef stew traded for tomato soup
or egg noodles for rice

Me?  I wanna be base-less
and free of cans

Rich people don’t eat canned food
and buy fresh or frozen
shop the edges of the store
while we shop the middle
a choice between hamburger helper
and ramen, hoping someday

for better meat.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 3 Comments


They call it grief bacon
that cushion of extra tasty
layered over pain

It is not delicious?

Nothing sweeter than old tears
lacing chocolate.

Posted in New Free Verse | Tagged , , | 9 Comments