Peace at Any Hour

Never took the time
to go out at night,
to look at the stars,
the shooting stars,
to listen to nature’s song
of the birds, the bugs, the coyotes.
Was told that bad things
happen at those hours
but it seems that bad things
happen at all hours.
Why not find beauty
in the late and early hour
if it can be found
in the waking ones too?


Gray Area

You stay strangely vacant
from the grey matter these days.
Why, it was a traveler–a vagrant–
who saw you
so that they could relay
it to the rest of us.
Eyes, so to speak, who composed
music of the loveliest girl
in the world.
Translated it too. Translated it
for all the senses, for all the muscles,
the blood, the bones.
Why did they look to you
when they can just get by?
I could get you off my mind
but the vacancy
seldom lasts.


Rhapsody in Black and Blue

The impossible, improbable,

sprouts fruit from a vegetable

and the still-life watercolor

becomes vibrant video.

The screen fades, the frame falls,

the world so real

you could lay in the grass

and wake on the clouds.

Laughing. Smiling.


comes a fall

and the grass

and the frame

and the screen

and the colors shimmer,

dulled into a tattered canvas.

Maybe when we fell

it should have been

back to reality,

but maybe, no, probably

it was not for nothing.


Mheall Sí Lena Glórthaí Mé

I don’t miss the days

of being young and dumb

when I am just a bit older now

but sometimes when I hear a note

on the old piano

I hear that French tune all over again,

played by an inexperienced player

who made it her goal to learn it,

who played her heart out

even further

than its usual place

at the opening of her sleeves,

who dared to be herself

and smile all the while

they told her not to,


only sporadically do I wish

to step back in time

that I might let her know then,

or earlier,

or later

that her voice carried through life

and it carries through time

with grace and charm and admiration.

Not just the song. Not just the one time.

Not just the words

nor the words of this poem.

It was everything she did,

and she enticed me with her voice


Cold Hands

There is a feeling

as if the purest oxygen

filled your lungs

when she is near.

I was lost in a trance

but heard all the mimes and monks

sing Che Gelida Manina

as loud as they could

just to get her attention.

Cold hands indeed, Puccini,

for the warmth is a raging furnace

in her heart.

I’ll not be Rodolfo; please don’t be Mimi.

I’ll take your hand

if you want me to,

only if you want me to.

But I’ll still sing love in my heart.


Driving Past the Rest Stop and Welcome Center

A little late

but the interstate is forgiving,

moving, empty.

Dwight Yoakam

sings Buck’s other song

and an old memory

of a cardboard CD case

touches my exposed fingers

not holding the steering wheel,

a phantom of the honky tonk

(if Leroux pays no mind, anyway.)

The radio surprises me sometimes

but memory almost always does.

It was a gift–not forgotten,

just not remembered–

from someone that I

have spent too long

remembering to forget



Waiting, Wanting, Needing

She dances gracefully

on the wisps

of non-existent memories

in my heart,

spurred on by music box melodies

of songs yet to be written.

I want and I beg

for her to leave,

to trod on the worn-out

welcome mat

on her way out,

but the thought of her leaving

hurts me in another, yet familiar, way.

My head bobs,

my foot taps.

Some pollution of ignorance

still travels through

my veins.

It wants her to go


I need her

to stay.