Friday, December 28, 2012

Rock Bed

Full marble moon
rolls snow shadows
across high Christmas chaparral.

A million moth fat flakes
fly in the face of a driven man,
wise tomorrow.

Short visit.
Long road ahead,
and beside the unblinking
lane change.

Family tree, measured
in miles. Our pace,
our place on the King's highway,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Apron Strings

The sweet part of an onion
stings. When you won't
call home, I cut slices
under water.

Setting plates around the table
one breaded breast enough for two,
but not enough for Christmas.

Heaven invites us to save
a chair, the number of chairs
to make a party, astronomical.

Old wounds don't need salt.
Grace, a feast for the eyes.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Silver Lining

The closest hawk 
cuts a silhouette against  milk clouds.

The horizon, half sea and half water reflected,
swallows the swell of the ocean at bay.

A kayak arrows to the sun's roll in the waves,
paddle length dripping back
to glide.

Worship is a tidal ventricle
pumping the planet's peace.

Jealous turtles surrender the shore to
muck boots in chorus, a choir of pink whispers
before the set.

Nature trumps the natural way of thinking,
it's the breath taking secret 
of the breath giver.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I save nine seconds of light
bulb life leaving the work room
for the kitchen. That much dark
I can handle,
the doorway never moves.

It's a home office,
the dryer dings between cold calls,
work shirts drape the ironing board.
The value I bring, on days I don't
sell well, is this separating peppers from seeds
slicing avocados into smiles.

Thirty years I've nuanced accents over the phone.
Eight to five I remember father
was a salesman, but
it was mother taught me, before
paychecks mattered, 'Think
of eating, before you're hungry.'

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


What we learned
can be forgot,
what we know

Who we are
is debatable,
why we're here
the cosmic question.

Whom we love,
and who loves us, is
the suring thing,
the truth we bring to

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Sure

While you vote,
I trim the driveway rose,
nine foot and then some thorn spindles.

The dew drowns my sleeve
by the quart,
every corner of the day star blinks.

What a plant proposes
blocks another's garden.
Bring light, bring light, bring light.

Task aside, the next door tide
of the polling booth repeats;
bring light, bring light, bring light.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


There's one bloom left
on the front yard rose,
being November that's not bad news.

The foreclosure should settle soon
and another round of birthdays
will end the calendar.

The bluff busy bees 
clambor a long lonely lavender,
winter already whispering.

To be useful
I open a book sent in the mail,
something about Jesus in a grocery store
sharing short cake in the storm.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Window Seat

The honeymoon lifts
to a cruising altitude
of eye to eye,
the rings catch light
chipped from tandem stars.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tide Fool

What I read,
hand shading the gold glint
of the ocean,
is my little pocket book
of lies
and aberration.

My wife trusts God
to know me
better than I know myself.
The small cold rock of
a song I sang Sunday
turns in my hand.

If my brother whispered
something similar I'd throw it
a mile deep, past dolphins, dinghies,
and the wrong side of dawn.

The bench I watch the west from
is a pew to the wide sky and white caps.

What I negotiate here, what I navigate,
what I need is a way to walk on land,
as well as He traversed the waves.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Early Harvest

Hollyhock high as a house,
yapping dog smaller than parson's shoes.
Gray wall of fog mutes
the pink tiles and garden whistler.

To grow things is to know things.
But I've assumed too much
having met my first atheist corn rower.

Not for me to prove seeds swelling to fruit
are for courage as much as cobbler.
Talking to dirt a comfort 
to being born of dust.

Scarecrow's got some sense.
Looking up for rain. It comes
with or without praying,
can't argue that.

Takes a certain talent to ignore
miracles. Imagine the poems
I could write
if this whole world
were up to me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pigeon English

A man seeds pigeons,
doesn't have to be a man,
eight bucks a month for coos
and guano,
crows come too
cawing for attention.

Not pretty, 
nobody watching
the scatter get pecked,
some fall by the wayside
and sprout.

The strange maize escapes the birds
and waves a foot higher
than the broken sidewalk.

My neighbor, never seen,
spreads the gospel of grace
to critters bobbing heads
and pedestrians carrying bread.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

BS Poem

Be still
and know I am God
Be silly
and know I am God
Be serene
and know I am God
Be strident
and know I am God
Be special, be singular,
be surprised
and know I am God.

Be sincere and know I am God.

Be salt, be Saint So-and-So,
be sober, be salubrious
and know I am God.

Note to self,
Be self being selfless
and know I am God.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Peeling sunned shoulders
means summer, berry stains worth
the scrapes,
sleep barely in the sheets
window fan
milk thistle
milk shake
braving the lake
skimming the river
picking out stars
He knows by name.

Monday, June 25, 2012

St. William's Day

Boil water twice over
coffee grounds
to stretch a cup into
the next need for it.

Birthday coming,
I'm short a grill,
clover too high to

My Closer Walk With Thee
gets me through the kitchen.
Blank page staring
like a bus window leaving town.

Folk's talk about
having your cake,
meaning humble is the best
slice of pie.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mother Told Me

Six wheeled trucks through
the residential,
low pine branch broken,
dangling accusation
on the march of cement.

Below the bluff house
of the forgotten Hurok
tsunami jetsam confounds
the beach.

A carbonated footprint
on the sands of time,
celebrating trees
with plastic magnets.

My mother told me
to forget poetry
and write bumper stickers.

The margin for prophets
wide as streets paved in gold.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The sweet spot
found the blink of an eye,
infant boy on my shoulder
a full minute longer.

My grampa cha-cha
making sleepy smiles
and training my calves for the
marathon of the next twenty years.

Its grace,
not bloodline, giving
me goosebumps
and burp duty.

I married into functionality,
fill in the blanks,
take the steps
step-fathers take.

Quick, rock back,
I saw my parents dance
once, in fifty years.

What they gave up for us
I want to play over and
over again, before its time
to change my diapers.

Monday, May 21, 2012


guaranteed to miss

The first strawberry picked
a day early,
the chorus entered twelve bars
late. Stare at the sun
you can't see behind the moon screen
of the kitchen window.

A son returns,
a grandson turns 
from a camera flash,
and the anniversary of demise
lands on the calendar again.

Only eternity
outlasts confusion.

The certain heart fills
a certain part of
the puzzle, the outlook
and the in, look like rain
before drizzle.

I put off penning,
the blank page no calmer
than this stage of our lives.

This too is perfect,
no matter the grammar.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


and life making
a boy or a girl.

That moon
pulling oceans
with a head of hair.

The clock can't count
a catcher's mitt
pacing the hall.

Manger, mansion,
Momma, breast,

The name game
and solved.

This day, pink sky
blue plums,
your place in the sun.

Grand schemes,
grand pianos,
grand baby

Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Year in April

Blue through clouds
is the eye of God's promise.
A ray is a way of hope.

All that rumbles
in the bottom of our hearts,
will rise as steam,
after night fall's rain.

Any day you wake up
is a good day.
My Momma taught me that.

The next day she wakes
will be the Last Day,
when we look at clouds
from the other side of blue.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Tangle

Lilac and chestnut
sweeten the tromp,
wild radish and mustard
high as a streetlamp,
pink plums tangle telephone lines.

The awaited sun,
since January,
since March,
not just the crazies and homeless
barefoot the beach.

Warm, warm
of heaven
softens the wait for Jesus.
Weather or not,
we believe,
but it is easier
in bloom.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Elk stands,
mallard roosts,
a big lagoon
named Big Lagoon,
the drive to Pelican Bay State

The boys have tattooed heads
and necks,
insignia knuckles,
state issued pants as low as gravity
and code permits.

Forgive Us Christ King
is carved in the plaster chapel wall,
grammatical rescue, sound

A sleeping Villa Boy
startles to join the choir,
mercy chasing all the days of his life.

His forgiving heart
slips eternity
past the guards.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Curve of The Earth

There's an ugly plant
in Africa.
A crusty star aloe,
looks like something a dragon
spit out when Adam was struggling
to pronounce wildebeest.

Its root holds dust dear as a child
and the flower bobs centuries old
under the sweltering Serengeti moon.

When the rain comes in buckets and tubs
in Northern California
I think of the thimble full it would take
to make the desert dance
and how Isaiah promised blooms
would supplant thorns.

My throat gets dry
as I argue.
If God meant for this,
then why is there that,
knowing full well
He asks the same thing of clouds
and neighbors.

I saw the curve of the earth there.
The horizon has that much play,
to bend things,
as if the earth has a choice to smile,
or frown.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fog Fold

Our ocean slams the sand under fog.
The gulls won't fish this slop,
train inland to peck trash
at Wal-Mart.

The buoys in chorus,
the light on the head rock
give bearing,
on glassy days they're quaint,
like Scripture and hymns.

A poster on the meeting board,
under plastic for the rain
that falls on the just,
and the just so,
sells a lecture on 'The Folly
of Faith' for five dollars.

Ought to draw some disgruntleds,
except for the storm.

My windbreaker wraps
my preposterous soul
against the pull of the moon,
my worn portrait of Abe Lincoln
folded in my jeans.

This side of the grave
ignores the tide,
but every sea
has another shore.

Clever won't cut it,
when the waves break
higher than a man can
stand himself.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


What the rose knows
about saving daylight
is dismissed by the poppy.

The first to shed
a winter hull
is the only expert
in the running.

Plant politics.
Put down roots,
face the sun,
even through clouds.

Mud is so less useful to me
than them with stems,
stain my hands and shovel,
make or break the stalk life.

Bloom where you beat the other guise
to light and water,
we assigned such grace
to cutthroat chlorophyllians,

but soil or soul,
it's a battle for the seed
to spring forward.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Night Willows

Worry winds whip
the roof tiles,
pounding the dog's heart rate
a yelp above normal pulse.

Willows bend
outside my window,
storms come
and leaves blow, with an occasional branch,
down the bluff.

I won't walk out on the choppy bay
but go to the sink
for a drink to calm down.
Dehydration a very spiritual metaphor.

Midnight prayers
with morning in mind,
selling the stark dark short.

There is a root
I belong to,
fruit connected to faith,
not shadows on a wall.

a trunk.

Man like arms
and hair
up raised.

Jesus slept through
worse than this, so
it must be the dog
keeping me awake.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Buoy Bell

An anchored bell
sounds noon
above a bluff of
fishermen, California seals,
and children that won't wear
wetsuits for years.

He brought me here,
this Lord of the winds, to know
the twenty steps from East Street
to West in a harbor town.

I count the boats
easier than waves;
crab traps, buoys,
mechanical foghorn
in a Mecca like song
to be stilled, and know,
the call to be a fisher
of men, comes with boots.