Friday, November 29, 2013

Heavy Wind And UPS Failures

When the Christmas tree blows down
Before the lighting ceremony
That's got to be a lot like
Having your kids gift
The one they have been asking for ever since you didn't get it for them last year
Not arrive on time for their birthday
As I stand looking at a 15 foot deciduous tree covered with lights
I can't imagine
Ever getting away with presenting
A bucket
In the place of a drum set

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving's Tail End

Pie of the pumpkin
Pie of the apple
Pudding of the banana
Celebration of the Thanksgiving
To an end
Does come

Order Restored

My sister moves the chair up a foot and a half
So she can sit closer to the laptop
Which is perched at the edge of the coffee table
In so doing
She has thrown off the balance of the whole room
Since the interior director already had his stroke
Legos and Hot Wheels are scattered indiscriminately about
I’ll just move myself
My laptop
And the wicker bottomed stool underneath me
A smidge
Or two
To the left

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

a wet ass and the absence of dis-ingenuity

Wet and
Clinging precariously to me
Who was dry and calm
But now is trying frantically 
To get a reassuring grip 
On a very small and
Definitely damp
Little ass
It smacks of a usually far away primitive people being visited by a television chef 
Who eats monkey brains cooked in cow dung over an open fire and
Smiles and
Nods and
Seems both 
Enticed and
Until he and the camera man sneak around the corner of a hut and
Laugh and gag in hushed tones
Except of course
There is nowhere to hide from a wet ass

going home

eleven hours
blowing snow and endless roads
left at the doorstep

Saturday, November 23, 2013


A river
A lake
An ocean
Even water from the sky
That has yet to find its new temporary accommodations
Mark a line
On the walls of your
Like teenagers do with pocket knives on the trees in the local state park
You erase the marks
The initials written over double hearts
With the languid carelessness of a squirrel preparing for winter
New walls
New floors
New paint
Channels to redirect
The river
Even the water from the sky
Should the whim move it
To return
To a spot it hadn’t been to in years
To renew and venerate connections
Muck like F.C. and C.B.
In the woods
On a perfect summer day
With not a cloud in the sky

Friday, November 22, 2013


That’s what I want to say from the front seat
So that I can take all my attention away from the
Black and
Mostly white
It’s the white ones I can see in my mind’s eye
Them and
 The Dunkin Donuts and
 The Dairy Delite and
 I’m not interested in seeing any of them
Then or
And I want the radio to stop too
No more Katy Perry
I want to be able to turn around and watch her face
Immediately after I reach behind me and give her hand a squeeze
Before she reciprocates and
She always reciprocates
Almost automatically
But not quite
It’s a delayed twitch
And it’s delayed
Because first she has a natural reaction
Her whole little body relaxes
She smiles
Just a little
No teeth
No laughter
No hysteria
Just a slight upturn of her lips and
A different look in her eye
And then it’s gone
Before I can appreciate it or
Even be sure it was really there
Amongst the Accords
Coffee and
Ice Cream
I can focus my powers and
Make everything

The benefits of being a woodchuck, chipmunk, or bat

forty-eight degrees
in four months it will feel balmy
now it's time for bed

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dinosaur Duds

I’m like a milk dud a few days after Halloween
Perhaps aptly named but
Considerably better than nothing and
Even in an overflowing plastic pumpkin with a seemingly endless selection
Not a bad choice
Kind of like a hadrosaur
Given a choice
Who wouldn’t prefer a raptor or a pterosaur
But Now
Sixty million years or so later
The hadrosaur doesn’t seem like so much of a dud

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I have A Difficult Tree

I wonder about the tree at the end of my block
It seems like its been a month or more
Since it lost its leaves and
I don’t remember much in the way of
Red or
Before the branches went bare or
Mostly bare
A few leaves still cling in the upper reaches and
Are still green
Although more lime than kelly or forest and
A bit bedraggled
More Cleveland than Pittsburgh but
Not quite Detroit and
Without bankruptcy or angry creditors
Who knows how long they can hang on
I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes new leaves next Spring to push them out
The tree seems to be in active denial
As long as on leaf still hangs on
No matter how empty the branch
The long winter has not set in and
Rebirth is not necessary
I wonder if it were a boy
Whether it would eat its vegetables

Monday, November 18, 2013

Colder Temperatures

The weather finally seems to be turning cold
For more than a few days
Which with a little more than a week to go to Thanksgiving
Should be remarkable and
Especially for me
Who has been planning our next move
Since right after we signed the mortgage papers and
Is always planning the next vacation
From the beach and
Has a garage and
Filled with
Sleds and
I still remember
An afternoon of dodge ball
At a friend’s house
That I drove to and
I still remember
As I always did
That the last game of dodge ball
Was just as much fun as the first game
Which was how I felt
Pulling my son around the block in his wagon
Rather than watching him ride his bike and
Sporting short sleeves
Rather than my fleece
Which is hanging in my closet
More ready than I am
For colder weather and
Tomorrow morning

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Turning Over Old Leaves

It’s calm now, but high
Winds arrive early morning
I’m not done raking

My life as art

An unfinished toucan is watching me
Out of one eye
One green eye
Joined to an orange beak and
Surrounded by pink
Yellow and
Feathers and
It’s the white feathers which catch my eye
My brown eye
Set off by my reddish brown hair and
My yellow shirt and
Lots of white
The toucan and I have a certain simpatico
Here at my desk as we both wait
For the seven year old artist in residence
To finish coloring us in

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Of the unknown and the familiar

When heading into the unknown
Be it a hallway at his sister’s school or
The cleaning aisle at the Shop Rite or
Watching snowboarders hurl themselves down craggy mountain sides while we eat lunch
He asks for my hand and
I give it because
Nearly every day
I myself
Feel like a five year old
Walking through a downward sloping hallway
Past pictures and dioramas and
Lots of doors
Keeping my head o a swivel and
My eyes open
Ready to see a familiar face

Friday, November 15, 2013

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Twenty minutes until we have to be headed out the door
No one has eaten breakfast
My daughter's hair needs to brushed as she screams bloody murder and
Then something has to be done with hair bands
I have to at least run some water over my body and
Put some clothes on that don’t make me look like a threat to the safety of school children
One lunch has to be made and packed
Both backpacks need to be checked and put in the car
The appropriate jackets have to be selected and
The kids have to be talked into seeing the necessity of wearing them
Footwear must be selected and fitted and secured
Teeth must be brushed and
The naked boy
Who is dancing around in front of me
As I attempt to put underwear over his feet and up his legs
Needs to be dressed
Which is why I clenched my teeth and screamed
He was hoping to sit down with his metal lunchbox and
Extract his stuffed dog and his stuffed turtle’s blanket
Which is why he said
Screaming at underwear really doesn’t help anything

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Discipline: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat

On my knees
My hands on his shoulders
My eyes on his
His eyes on the ground
Our voices soft
And in total agreement
We hug
We kiss
We zerbert
We laugh
We silently agree to do it all again soon

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rakes and Responsibilities

A few snowflakes were in the air this morning
The very first few
Setting off dreams of
Four foot drifts and
Nightmares of a lawn and
A driveway
Full of leaves
Covered in snow
Probably about six inches but
That’s the difference between Four and
Sleds and snow angels
Rakes and responsibilities

Parental Perspective

Kids upstairs screaming
I pause before going up
To clean up some leaves

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Turkey shoots and freedom

My daughter and son
Like their father
Do not know turkey shoots
Annual or otherwise
Won't spend much time watching a fishing pole
Stuck in a plastic tube on the beach
Won't ever sit on my lap
Whilst I drive the tractor
Surveying our corn
The boundaries of our world

Chincoteague Wild Ponies and Green Grass

Hey horses 
I've got news for you
Wild ponies
Are horses too
Just like you
Only they are a long ways away from humans
Who inexplicably stand in large groups
Staring at them through binoculars and 
Taking lots of pictures of them
While they stand in a swamp
A a swamp of a particularly vibrant green

Friday, November 08, 2013

Check Mate

You know that old ram
The one from the nature documentary
That was injured in a fight during rut
Cornered in a freezing cold river
And eaten by a pack of hungry wolves
Well someday buddy
That will be you
And me
The freedom
Any possibility of booty
And the privilege of recognizing check mate

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Why I Stay Up Late Every Night

Almost every night
As the next day hangs threateningly over the one I am in
I sit in front of the computer
Like a ghost hunter
In the waning hours of a fruitless search
For something
No one
Really believes in and
Only I
Want to


once a month we sweat
even now as the leaves fall
to the last dollar

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Driveway Fly Fishing

I’ve never been fly fishing
But I can only imagine
That when you are standing in the water
Slicing through the air with the fly rod
Almost dancing
With rod, fly, and fish
It must be a lot like almost dancing with my son
On the sloping grass next to our crumbling driveway
Whatever catchy but vacuous top 40 song that happens to be on
Flowing out of the open car door and
Picking me up as
I pick him up and spin him around
Slicing through the previsoulsy quiet and still air
Hoping for what happened today
Hoping for the request
To do it again
Hoping for a catch

Monday, November 04, 2013

He's A Hands On Kid

His hot little hand is on my shoulder
His voice is its usuall high pitch and high and
Still earnest but
Unusually soft and quiet
I am staring at the computer screen
Looking at the zoomed in close up of
A meticulousy crafted
True to life and
Fully functioning scale model of
Some piece of farm machinery
That I will never in my life be able to accurately identify but
I still feel his eyes looking at me and
In a daze
I answer yes
Coming to soon enough to try to put a bit of a break on his expectations
He doesn’t argue
Not this time
He just puts his hot little hand back up on my shoulder

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bovine Dreams and Urban Legends ... Or ... Let Sleeping Cows Lie

She is a cow apart
At least a dozen are asleep on their feet under a live oak tree
Huddled close in the cool night air
She is a good fifty yards away
Close to the fence
Legs twitching just a bit
Like a dog chasing a squirrel while sleeping
Or a cow sensing someone approach while she sleeps
And trying to run away
But not doing
Though she is moving now
Just the slightest bit
Revealed in her markings
Markings just like a cow costume
The black blending into the background on a starless night
Like their clothes probably does
The white just a lighter bit of dark
But enough lighter
To reveal ripples on her left
Probably starting on her right
Where she can almost feel the hands pushing
As the ripples increase
As does the leg twitching
And then she starts listing
Like in the black and white titanic themed nightmare
Of someone about to leave on a two week north Atlantic cruise
Except the iceberg isn’t larger than the boat
Above or below the water
And it isn’t white
Standing there as
Slowly she goes over
Landing with a soft thud
But failing to drop beneath the surface
Then her eyes snap open
And she is lying in the wet grass underneath that live oak with all the others

Illuminated in the light of sun rising up over the hills