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2012 Poems

May - August




In Between          Print this poem only


How often I miss the in between

focused as I am on the goal

the destination

the there


instead of the here


in between last night and tonight


in between

the yesterday's tears for my injured brother

and my desire to call my dying cousin


you are here

with me
in me




right here



this eternal moment.


Written May 28, 2012





Pink Exuberance          Print this poem only


From the heart of its Mother

irrepressible blood

surges up its slender limbs

explodes from the tips of its fingers

shouting with joy

the budding pleasure

and pink exuberance

of crepe myrtle.


Written 6-13-12





This Sadness          Print this poem only


This sadness weighs heavy

its tentacles reach into my body

suck my energy

into its darkness.


My breath

shallow, tentative, halting

unsure of the way through

this thick and stuporous fog.


I fall into it


fearing its pain

but knowing

its creeping tendrils

will find me

wherever I go


to escape.


Written 5-21-12





To Carmen        Print this poem only


Author’s Preface:

I wanted to try to express my own appreciation, as a cousin, for Carmen, Gary's beloved wife, for her dedication to

and love for him on his long journey through cancer to death.  As I started to write something down, it came out in

Gary's voice.  I hope Carmen doesn't mind my attempt to get into Gary's head about what he might try to say to her. 

The content of this poem comes from my own admittedly limited observations and knowledge of their relationship,

and of course, it is essentially what I would like to say to Carmen. I wrote it out of love and great respect for Gary

and Carmen.]


You worried about me

without betraying

in your face 

or words

or inflection

a moment without hope.


You held my hand 

in the horrible minutes

after the doctors left,

no trace of horror on your face,

just a quiet waiting ---

while I paced back and forth

in the halls of my mind

just trying to find

a piece of the map

some chart or scrap

of where to go next.


You watched me fade

from my joking fun-poking self

into foreign states

where I'd never been

and from whence

I would not return,

but you never faded

in your gentle kindness

courageous heart

and silver shining soul.


Even now

in the company of angels

I cannot find the words

to give you even a feather

to  gleam

my gratitude

and the joy that abides

from the priceless diamond

of our special alliance.


But... making my own prayer

from a glorious church hymn

I say to you

my dear love:


“I will raise you up on eagle's wings,

bear you on the breath of dawn,

make you to shine like the sun,

and hold you in the palm of my hand.”


When I got to the end of writing this poem I recalled standing in the church at the wake/rosary for my mother, many of her friends gathered there to grieve with my family.  We were singing "On Eagle's Wings."  I was weeping, hardly able to carry on.  But then almost as if in a vision it seemed that Mom was trying to say to me that she was free now soaring with the eagles and she wanted me too to be free from worry and concern about her. 


["On Eagle's Wings" is a hymn written by Catholic priest, Michael Joncas, and is loosely based on Psalm 91 and Isaiah 40:31]


Written 6-24-12






Upon waking from my nap          Print this poem only


Somewhere beneath the soft but insistent urging of my hunger
is a layer of gloom,
heavy and sticky
on my legs and back,
unwilling to raise its head
enough to be seen clearly
in the light.


This gloom with its gnawing teeth
hollows out a void
from the pulpy abdomen,
the vital but hidden organs
of my mind.


I am Edison, Eastman,
Jobs and Gates,
Houdini, Tesla

and Copperfield.
Inventor of a thousand
mechanisms of escape
from the normal pinches and prunes,
from the wrinkles and burns
of desolate afternoons.

So here I am again
searching for a word or phrase
to capture in the haze
an ember or ash
from the cauldron and steel
of the real...

upon waking
from my nap.


Written 7-7-12





We hitched to his joy        Print this poem only


It was late and I had fished too long

the sun was setting fast

twilight bay singing its song

would the boat's old motor last?


Back toward home I sputtered

Would I beat the end of day?

Limping along I muttered,

"How will I find my way?"


And then a quiet came over me

and in that still I looked out.

Just ahead I could barely see

a man landing a speckled trout.


"Hot dog!"  he shouted with zing.

Then he glimpsed  my little craft.

In Cajun brogue: "Cher you like fishing

this bay like me, yeah!" he laughed.


I hitched my boat to his joy

then saw the smiling face

I've known since I was a boy

in that glad New Iberia place.


How many of us have hitched our vessel

to this man and felt the surge of his life,

and spoken to him when in a wrestle

with our problems and our strife?


 Who of us have taken flight

as a passenger in his jet

or trusted him through our night

or... sat down with him to bet?


Have you been hooked

by a joke or a story or a listening ear

or eaten fresh fish he cooked,

drank his cold Corona beer?
He managed to find a little more gas

and touch of humor in his steep hard climbs

Or exclaim "Kiss a fat man's ass"

in the fishless times.


In good stretches and bad

in calm of lake or fury of ocean

as husband and dad

he taught us devotion.


People kept him going.

it was his goal to make us smile

to get our energy flowing

and enliven us for a while.


For all who were family or friend

he trained us in the art of love,

to respect, to learn, and to bend,

to ride with the Guide from above.


He knew how to really hear

with compassion and kindness

our letdown, anger, and fear

till we could see our own blindness.


We are sad that he is gone

from the bays and lakes of our earth

but the ocean of his love lives on

and in our moments of joy - his rebirth.


So let us all sail

and let us all carry

let the spirit prevail

of our dear precious Gary.


Author’s Note: Dedicated to the enduring spirit of Gary Reed who passed from us Thursday June 7, 2012.


Written 6-9-12






While stomping around in the desert         Print this poem only



What harm will it do to believe

that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

that he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies?


Next time I stumble into that desert

I hope I can remember

to look for my loves, writers and poets

to encourage, challenge, and inspire me.

I hope I can make my way into their presence,

sit a while


and listen.


I was stomping around

out in the desert the other day

avoiding the cactus

lost in doubt

wondering if there was a god

who would help me avoid

binging on the delectables

that promise rewards

I think I deserve

and need.


I can step into that desert

at any moment:

two hours after I have prayed

or read Rumi, Rohr, or Thomas Moore,

believed their visions

and felt a smidgen of their ecstasy,

or ten minutes after orgasm

the naked leg of my lover touching me

and I feel sad and lonely.


The doubts

the aloneness

creep up like flood waters at night

eroding months or years

of confidence, and tranquility,

two hundred mornings begun with "Dear God..."


that I thought

were well-rooted in me.


Then at a funeral the other day

the preacher reminded us of the 23rd psalm

and I knew that God was right there in that place

in the mourners

and would deliver us from our grief

or at least hold us as we walked through it.


I remembered what a sage once told us,

my wife and I

as we struggled through a rough time,

that love is a decision.


I must choose belief and acceptance

as surely as I must choose my beloved.

Written 7-31-12

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