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2020 Poems      September-December


Bright Cocoon           Print this poem only

Tonight a few minutes of soft music and poetry

urge me to stay wrap in the bright cocoon

and linger in this soft glory


Written 9-5-20


Old men will see visions            Print this poem only


I hear the piano playing softly

pulling me from these rutted plains

into a moist green meadow

a vision of a flowing brook down the hill

makes me believe the words of the Prophet:

“Your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

yes, I am old, but I see and feel the rising gentle treble notes

lighten my leaded limbs

awaken my spirit

and thrust me into the realms.

It is the touch and glide of the pianist’s fingers

across the ivory skin of the keys

that transports me

in the waning hours of this day.

How sweet it is!


Written 9-5-20

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Poor poor pitiful me            Print this poem only


I am broken

bent and misshapen

sad and lonely

dark side of the moon

not caught in undercurrents

but submerged in a bog

oxygen depleted.


Oh what a pitiful state

I’m embarrassed by myself

not s’pose to be like this

people need me to be upbeat and bright

not in darkness but in light

good for a laugh or a smile

wanna be with me a while

but this mournful me

like a salty dead sea

they’d rather not

I don’t blame them

I don’t even wanna be with me.


It’s dark outside

thunder storm rolling in

just perfect for my mood

I wanna thunder out loud!

Ridiculous huh?


Ha, oh what a putz!

Writing it all down like this

makes me want to laugh

at this oh so pitiful me.


I feel better already.

And here you are reading this

what a pure beautiful soul you are

obliging me by listening.


Now you can laugh!


Have a good day.

Author's Note: This poem demonstrates how writing in general and for me, writing poetry can be very therapeutic. When I started writing (that first stanza) I was just writing down my feelings and sentiments but it became a poem and as I wrote my feelings became transformed and I was able to laugh at myself. Thank God and his Holy Spirit for poetry.


Flickering Green Glass            Print this poem only


I am bowed by the weight of bad news

tentacles of evil

creep in to wrap around me

like a dark cocoon

at mixed intervals each day.


Oh how I need love!

It is the only power greater

than the clouds dripping, pouring upon us.


The burning candle

its flickering flame

in the green glass

speak life to me

life within

beyond the reach

of threats and fear.


I bow to the light.



love and its green flame

capture my attention

I adore it

and throw off the cloak of darkness.


Here I stand

now free

and open

in love.


Written 9-2-20


What would life be if…            Print this poem only


I could paint a rainbow on the moon

   Mozart came back to give me a tune

      climb in a conch shell and float its coral sea

         bring my Mom back to laugh with me

            I had a five-year old’s fancy and joy

               I giggled as free as a little boy

                  I could ride a buffalo on the great plains

                     course through Jesus’ veins

                         Chief Joseph advised me on a vision quest

                             I were never ever again depressed

                               Neruda came back to teach me to write

                                  I could take wing with butterflies in flight?


Author’s Note: This poem was inspired by a Garth Hill photo-creation (seen at the right). Garth usually has an inspirational quote below his photos on  This is the quote accompanying  the photo: “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Van Gogh

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Long Traverse            Print this poem only


My mind is active ever looking searching

to grasp what lies beneath the surface

but my intellect in its hectic quest

is unsatisfied

with the short verse

of its voyage.


I have episodes of wandering

misty passages

labyrinthine paths

with brief sightings -

a dim light cast

in the corner of this room or that

the church lot playing touch football

or singing in my prepubescent tenor voice,

Stokowski conducting,

me shaking his soft hand over cookies at rehearsal

for he, in his mostly stern visage,

loved children.


I open a dusty old book

and smell its yellowed pages

cast back to the university library

searching with eagerness

for evidence of Cortes, Aquinas, Longfellow

or other explorers of humanity and the divine.


I smell incense

and remember my mother kneeling

praying the rosary before Mass

and the candles glowing

gold vessels sparkling

where I heard the call to serve

and with sadness recall leaving the seminary halls

in the middle of the night

to enter the world and all of its allures.


Our fifty year journey together

of loving, laughing, and crying,

our many travels:

west across the Rockies

east to Daddy’s land as a child and young man,

south across the Sabine to the swamps,

crawfish, Zydeco music, mardi gras, cousins,

the Bayou Teche where Mama swam

and the cane fields

in the muddy acres of Inez' French roots

and back and forth to Houston

where I met my bride and her family.


I have passed across many boundaries

for good and evil

gone through stages of life

and it seems I am here

like the Ancient Mariner

with regrets for my sins

and joys for my victories.


I found in Coleridge a verse

to help me navigation what days are left:

“He prayeth best, who loveth best

All things both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.”


Written 9-19-20

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Your Splendid Shallows            Print this poem only


You are an ocean of love

I float and drift on your surface

but under your sparkling skin

teems an ineffable life

another world mostly unseen,

selfless, unsung, and undeserved.


But here I am not even skin deep.

Am I afraid

of drowning in your depth

of being overwhelmed

in my modest capacities?


Oh my love

even if I see only what you reveal

to the sighted

I saturate myself in your splendid shallows

and await those precious interludes

of your deeper touch.


Written 9-17-20


Gray Man            Print this poem only


He leans against the old battered lamp post

just as twilight fades away

hands in his pockets

the lamp spills its soft rays on him

as if to assure him there is light left.


His rumpled gray suit

has seen its better days

perhaps in a high rise a few blocks away

it hangs on him like a haunting shadow.


Despair looms in his eyes

a frown droops his pale face

he barely breathes

staring at the drainage grate

just beyond his dusty shoes.

Has his life seeped down into the gutter?


He is bowed by some awful weight.

And across the street


I gaze at him


in my own shadow.

Written 9-21-20

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After the Storm            Print this poem only


In early dawn I watch

the syncopating rhythm

of yellowing elm leaves falling,

wounded by an autumn storm

their drifting seems so gentle

but I slept through the storm

its violence ripping off a limb.

There is no healing of this feud.


I loved that limb and its bird feeder.

Is my small grief wasted

or does it cling to my soul

in tiny measure

to deepen it

like forgiveness after a marital tiff?

Written 10-3-20


Predawn Awakening            Print this poem only


It is the cool of the predawn morning

and I lay in my bed

your peace settled into me

in spite of the troubles that awakened me.

Here in these moments

you tip toe into my bedroom

and lay beside me

your being so soft and peaceful

I hardly notice your presence.

But this is so typical of you, my Lord.

You do not arrive with bombast

of the need to be noticed

as I have done the largest measure of my life.

You are the Great Mystery.

I have seen your silhouette laying upon the mountains

in the gray and orange twilight of the west.

You are all around me

in the deep layers of being.

You are there in storms

with your lessons for my species

that we ignore to our detriment.


Still you do not force Yourselves upon us

but always free us from constraints

allowing us to say no to You with alacrity.


But I am humbled by your silent soft presence

early this Sonday right here in my bed beside me

awakened by you again -

You gently inviting my consciousness

into your heart

into your Love.


Written 10-4-20


Hold My Hand            Print this poem only


I have my hand out, won’t you hold it?

I won’t hold your hand

I want you to want all of me

my sweat and body odor, my dirty feet.

If I give you my hand, you will stop looking for me.

Before you feel my hand in yours

I want you to find me beyond these walls

where the old man falls

the hungry child calls

touch me out there

and in your wife’s chair

with your eyes and your lips

caress her hurting loins

go to the widow in another place

and don’t forget the book of grace.

That’s ok, Lord.

I know you are here beside me

on my shoulder I feel your touch

Lord Jesus I love you so much.


Written 11-1-20


Emerald Days             Print this poem only


The afternoon sun shines green in the Elm

bathes the day in transparent glory

autumn grants a few more emerald days

in a clear bright sky of blue.

Oh how the wonders of this earth

cast hope to me

piercing shadows with what is true.

Written 10-31-20


October Muse             Print this poem only


I embrace you in all your goodness.

I embrace your spirit, the breath of freshness.

I embrace you the creative force in the universe and in me.

I embrace you in all your humanity that I love,

in my humanity I love.

I am waking up to you in my day dreams

where figments of you

sneak into my psyche.

If I but take a moment to laze, to relax

and give the slightest effort

to place myself in your presence

you creep up into me

and even in a shallow breath you enliven my lungs.

You are here in the slow cool breath of winter,

hardly seen in the young tallow trees

whose hearts are just barely moved

but even in what cannot be called a flutter

they shrug the change of the seasons

as if to say to you:

we are here, ready to be transformed.


Written 10-31-20


Stubborn            Print this poem only


How stubborn am I

switching off the guy

who dares disagree

or who once offended me

like the pious phony pols

their oily speeches and hollow calls.

See what I mean?

I can’t resist a keen

cutting critique of my doctrinal foes

in my poetry and my prose.

Why can’t I give up judging

and like you, be stubbornly loving?


Written 10-29-20


Return            Print this poem only


Again I come back to you

head bowed in shame and guilt

like Israel of old who abandoned their love,

the love they could not hold

against the lure of glittery gold

and empty promises of pride

and ego we can barely hide.


Written 10-28-20

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Breakthrough            Print this poem only


This morning tiny drops of rain

hang on the leaves and branches

without the slightest strain

small dim lights in the cloudy expanses

but right now

I am above the clouds

in the stratosphere

soaking energy as the sun allows

hoping it won’t disappear

when the shroud of darkness again pulses here.


Author’s Note: I am hoping to transform my attitude and to live with the fact that I am just an ordinary man blessed with extraordinary love and light throughout my life.

Written 10-26-20


Narrow Window            Print this poem only


I stand before the narrow window

and see more clearly more deeply

in this smaller space

than my years with the picture window

and its crowd calling for attention. 


Author’s Note: I do not negate the immense value of a life filled with variety and richness, but lately with a smaller aperture, it seems I can see some things more clearly, more deeply.


Written 10-25-20


A Delicate Challenge
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Silence silence nothing

at this moment of now

this nothing is not nothing,

but a delicate challenge

to a mind used to saturation in noise

goals busyness



What do I fear here in this now

what phantom do I imagine

lurking in the darkness

basking in this brightness?

Written 10-24-20


Tandem            Print this poem only


I watch Paul putting his ladder in his truck

atop the plywood to begin his day

on the road to a job.


From my perch slightly uphill

seeing him and his wife,

partners in the seasons

walking in their yard barefoot

looking at plants, watering them,

speaking softly to one another

puts a kind of fragrance in the afternoon.


This tandem talking and walking

a sweet intimacy that assures me

in spite of turmoil and conflict on the planet

here in this small patch of earth

things are as they should be.


Written 10-24-20


The Front           Print this poem only


Before dawn the front thundered in

launching with its deluge

the first glimpse

of an approaching winter.

To how many more autumns

will I bid farewell

before my own returns me to heaven?


Written 10-23-20


Crawling            Print this poem only


The ants

                      are crawling


                                          on this screen


hoping like me


                                                to find the inside


                       of this light



Author’s Note: Dedicated to shamamama of – see his pages at: .

Thanks shamamama for the idea for this poem.


Written 11-3-20


Edge of Winter            Print this poem only


The leaves are falling

I hear the winter calling

but autumn is stalling

on the window ledge

waiting for the cool edge

of frost and its solemn pledge

of the softness of snow

on the jagged land below

on the rocky landscape I know.


Written 11-3-20


Accretion            Print this poem only


What is it I love about autumn?

Is it the syncopated falling -

an umber mirror of my life

the chronic crawling

back from a dying state,

the challenge of letting go,

hope of writing a clean slate

or is it the blessed wait

of this transition season

for the coming blast

and its harvest

of accretion?


Author’s note: I’ve often said that autumn is for poets. I think about how autumn is a season very reflective of the process of creation. Just like giving birth is full of pain and suffering, without it there is no new life. Just about the time we think we are in control, basking in the sun of late summer, we are thrown into a state of dying in this present season, this present reality. So in a way, autumn is a natural process of growth. The adolescent must let go of the joy of childhood. The adult must let go of the passionate soakings of adolescence. Definition of accretion - an increase by natural growth or addition, (astronomy) the formation of a celestial object by the effect of gravity pulling together surrounding objects and gases.

Written 11-5-20


Uncertain Journey            Print this poem only


The simple peasant girl

received some blessed news

that would overturn the world

she grew up in, the life she knew.


Chosen to receive a special gift

she was confused and dismayed

to get this favor she had not wished

for which she had not prayed.


She felt unworthy, confused, and awed

she knew not whether to make this start

on this journey to which she was called

but said yes and opened her heart.


I wonder if I would have the nerve

in spite of feeling so unworthy,

knowing this gift was undeserved,

to be open to such an uncertain journey.

Written 12-14-20


Ode to a Young Tree in Fall            Print this poem only


I see the ebb of your small life

preparing for a new season

you have turned amber gold

as you fly on the wind

luminescent in the morning sun

as you join your tiny breath

to the great murmur of earth

sweeping across the landscape

here in the december of this sad year.

Written 12-10-20


Near Approach            Print this poem only


Here in the gray light of dawn
I see you, gentle and tender,
approaching us
and I am in wonder
thinking of my ignorant and obstinate species
and curious about why you keep coming back to us
you beautiful being
each morning and twilight.

My deep sleep dreams disturb
confuse and trouble my mind,
but awake here and now I find
the placid lake of your presence
and abide in your uncanny arrival.


Author’s Note: I have been thinking about the recent alignment (December 21, 2020) of Jupiter and Saturn in the twilight sky. This alignment of the two planets and ours is called a conjunction. The last time humans saw such a close conjunction was 800 years ago. And the experience of this near approach reminds me of the awesomeness and force of the universe, yet it seems such a tender quiet moment like the arrival of dawn.


God’s Sadness            Print this poem only


I am sad when I see what you are doing

fowling your lakes and streams

melting your icecaps

killing species after species off the earth

your obstinance annihilates

by the dozens, by the thousands each day.


My eyes are doleful

at how woeful your actions

and without remorse

you burn your trees

turn rainy lands into sand

create excuses for your sins

then make excuses for your excuses

with logic and reason

and assumptions false and corrupt.


Written 12-16-20


This Island            Print this poem only


I come here

to this island rich in growth

clear warm fluid

to catch its currents

and swim its nurturing depths

where I can breathe underwater

and leave traces of my darkness

to float like drops of ink

in a glass bowl.


These tropics

reside on the map of my heart

for me to locate

when covered

by layers of sand

in the desert

on gray slate days

barren days of lost inspiration

when I am turned in on me

and my tottering self

the me I see

on my pockmarked well-traveled and aged face

each morning in the mirror.



I arrive here

each time with a glimmer of hope

that I can find

within a point of light

some soft and pure place

a source a force

where I can rise again.

Written 12-19-20


Rûah                   Print this poem only           


Dear dear Father, my love,


send your rûah into me

build in me a new reality

a reality of resurrection.

Lord, raise me up from the dead today

so that I may believe

in your resurrection tomorrow.


Let me not forget my daily resurrections

when I approach death,

the death of discouragement, hurt, despondence,

the death of my body.

Let me remember your breath within me

when I came back to my beloved,

from an ego-anger

when she could or would not hear my hurt,

your breath that came from my love’s mouth

in her invitation to me to come back to her.


Author’s Note: The Hebrew word rûah can be translated as wind, breath or spirit, but it is often ambiguous as to which of these it is, or if it is some other manifestation similar but not exactly one of these three. It is a word whose meaning is really based on the context in which it is used – as is so often the case with poetry. This ambiguity in the poet’s hand is like the brush in a painter’s hand the stroke of which is formed by pressure, angle, and the chosen paint and pigment. The ambiguity is intentional, perhaps, because the painter wishes to elicit in the viewer a highly individualized reaction based on the viewer’s mood, disposition, experiences, and even the amount and angle of light and heat in the room in which the painting is viewed. This freedom of expression in poetry is what allows it to be a thing of the spirit/Spirit.


Written 12-10-20


Prodigal                 Print this poem only


I always thought prodigal meant

profligate, dissipated, or debauched -

such unpoetic but robust words.


There’s the story of the prodigal son

the young man who got an early inheritance

from his old father and left home

to spend the wealth

on whores, and sinful living

yet when he returned home broke and broken

his father received him with open arms and tears.


Sadly I can identify with that son

having spent so much

in such a way

over my lifetime.


But a man told me it should be called

the story of the prodigal father,

the daddy whose love for his son

was utterly lavish, reckless, and generous.


Oh, to be a man

with such an extravagant love!


Written 12-8-20


Remember the Greek            Print this poem only


I told the wise old man I didn’t like the word, “sin.”

He said:

“My son, remember the Greek

an archery term – to miss the mark -

no human always hits the bulls-eye

just practice your aim

train your muscles and eyes

so next time you release the arrow

you will come closer.

Practice, practice, my son.

Don’t wallow in shame

it will bog you down.

Instead, stand up, pick up arrow

check its feather

raise it and bow together

open your eyes and again take aim

release yourself from darkness of blame

and again your humanity claim.”


Written 12-3-20


Don’t Wait            Print this poem only


Don’t wait

til it’s too late

take time to love now

don’t put it off til somehow

or sometime I will find the time

to spend a moment with you, to speak

to listen with great attention and reflect

on what you say to find your soul and connect

with it if just for a moment a moment of eternity…


Written 11-29-20

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