Not Magic

The man who owned the bookstore was not magic.
Far from it
He was as farthest from magic a man could be
with his tiny glasses perched at the end of his nose
a small, wiry frame
and wispy thin white hair
almost ready to be blown off his head

He never recognized me
no matter how many times I came in
during a month

He was too busy with his nose in a book
transported to another time and place
each tome on his shelves
a magic carpet ride of the imagination

Was he in outer space?

Deep sea diving with fantastical tenacled sea creatures?

Having a love affair with a countess?

Slaying a dragon in front of a medieval castle?

On a voyage to a new land?

Or just sitting in a sun dappled garden waiting for his beloved?

There was no way I could tell
as I waited for him to emerge from the book’s depth
to ring up the tattered paperback in my hand.


Ever since I saw the photos
of those giant heads made out of stone
I have dreamed of the island

The most remote land mass in the world
floating somewhere halfway
between Chile and Tahiti

A mystery still
how those huge rocks moved
why they are facing away from the ocean
a culture barely understood
of birdmen cults
long ears
short ears
a tiny dot on a map
devoid of trees
stranded in the vast Pacific
with just a bunch of statues

and a couple of rongo rongo tablets
that no one can decipher.

What happens when a people gets locked
in their past
their history long forgotten
but so public in its permanence?

Do their voices get carried in the wind
long lost by the gales of the sea?

Are their secrets whispered amongst the underwater sea creatures?
Like mermaids who never existed
outside of human dreams?

No one will know
only the statues
with no mouths to sing their stories
and no eyes to cry for their lost past


The sunshine won’t carry me to my dreams
but I sure would like to ride
those golden rays
out towards my future.

The sun won’t bring me any joy
but I want to spread my wings
like a butterfly
in the warm fields.

The sunbeams won’t take away my worries
but I squint my eyes
in anticipation of
a brighter day somewhere.

If I look hard enough past the rays
I can see something glittering
in the distance
beckoning me
out of the darkness
into something that could be called

The Speck

The path from the cottage
to the seaside
is usually quiet
and solitary.

But today
a boy sits on the grass
watching me.

I start as a speck
getting larger in the distance
and I see him
a speck on the grass
morphing into a boy
sitting in the rain
waiting for my speck to pass.

I nod and say hello.
My voice too loud and sudden and coarse
in the stillness of the drizzle.

He nods and says good morning
as if to not disturb the llamas
standing in the fields

Did you know they hum when they are happy?
Do you hum when you are happy?

I want to ask
to spill out all the words welling and bubbling up
so many questions
but they stay bottled up
unable to escape the room inside
where they are kept safe
from embarrassment
from hurt
from closeness

It’s just the two of us on this island path

Two specks
one passing the other
on the line to nowhere

Will you be there when I return?

The question hangs strange
in the heavy air
as my speck disappears from your speck.

Tiny Panther

So small and black
all covered in fur
crouches down low
sliding on her belly
so silent
so stealthy
ready to pounce
on the unsuspecting lizard

The Season of Goodbyes

It wasn’t supposed to be that way

The way everyone started leaving us
like they were destined
to ride a star out to another galaxy

It wasn’t supposed to happen so fast

We were supposed to be able to sit
around the fire telling stories
for a lot longer
than the fire lasted

It wasn’t supposed to hurt so much

When their last raspy breaths
left their bodies so limp
and lifeless
and the light left everything
and no amount of watching
the scene in movies
could’ve prepared me for the emptiness
their absence left behind

So hollow
So goodbye

A Random Walk

A random walk is the best
when you have nowhere particular
you want to go
and you’ve got all the time in the world
for exploring the farthest reaches of your mind

Let your brain meander through you past
while your feet take you to your future

The clean air clears your spirits
while the swaying trees remind you
of your mortality

A brisker pace
only rouses the birds
who fly away to their freedom
leaving you behind to toss away
your worries
down the canyon

never to be seen again

I Bake When It Rains

I turn on the oven
Its warmth fills the house
as I start whipping eggs
and adding vanilla
and sorting
and tossing
and turning
kneading the dough in my mind
waiting patiently for it to rise

punch down
stifling the bad memories that come up
let it rise again

I wrap the smell of home baking
around me
like a protective blanket
to fill my insides
to shield me against the hate

Dear Luis

Dear Luis,

We didn’t know how serious it was. And it sure was sudden. I wish we knew how serious it was. The way your head swelled up and swallowed you whole.

I don’t think your family ever appreciated you. I don’t know if anyone ever did, enough.

You were so generous with your time, your life, your everything. How you literally gave anyone the shirt off your back. How you showed up one day without a word, handed me a CD at the door and disappeared.

You were like that. Never asking for anything in return while all the vampires sucked you dry.

I’m glad you weren’t there at your funeral. How they carried on in their snake handling ways. Speaking in tongues and proselytizing, trying to convert the people, when we were just there to say goodbye to you.

I’m sorry for everyone.

And I’m sorry we never said how much we truly appreciated you when you were alive.



Like a quiet snowfall in the night
nature is hushed and covered
while crystal clear icicles hang
dripping from eaves
in the December sun.

Do I dare disturb the unmarked beauty
with the dirtiness of my steps?

Must I venture out to leave my mark on the world?

Or shall I just sit and watch
for once

Just enjoy the beauty
someone else left for all of us to enjoy
before another fleeting day
melts it all away?