Being Bald

Your eyes flicker hope when they meet mine.
Your lips curve into that pink ribbon of wonder.
I’m not surprised when your hand grabs for mine, clutching.
And then you ask: Are you a survivor?

I smooth my shorn head, sum you up, smile.
Are you holding out for hope or hanging on?
Should I shake you up or cut you loose?
Will I make you cry…or shall I?
I have a different truth for every stranger’s dare.
I’m brave enough to answer.
Do you have the courage to listen?

Biker Chicks

The girls who kiss me
don’t drive those
straight delusions.
You are what you love.

[word collage]


Haiku 2

Late season fireflies
trace paths for transient stars.
Galaxies collide.


National Parks,  p 44
National Parks, p 44

A quest for the perfect,
take the slow road.
Wend your way improvisationally.
Resist the mecca.
Anchor the sprawling quiet,
Bathe in the protected Harbor.
The next worthwhile stop is home.
At any point: you.

[a found poem from a National Parks clipping, page 44]


every clock
ticks the minutes
with the same
as the one across
from the hospital bed,
in the emergency room,
at hospice.
Even time says
its goodbyes.

Summer 1986

I am the last one left
to remember those trails
carved by beer-loaded coolers
from car to Lake Michigan shores.

Dragging towels, we sashayed across
drifting sand dunes until
someone called camp.

And then you were gone.
Your trysts were legendary.

No one worried about sunscreen
even as the sun hissed through
the industrial Indiana haze.

Not one of you
died from cancer anyway.

Natural Disaster

I should have been prepared for this:
how random words form swarms overhead,
how colors crash and collide mid-air,
how sounds ooze into small spaces,
how memories meld yes, no, maybe.

I should have smelled the chaos of these poems coming.


Reluctant fog clings
to seductive night waters.
Sunrise sends warning.


I watched a Netflix documentary about these guys cramming to take their Master Sommelier exam in a 48-hour window, and that’s how I’m going to approach this marathon. I’m haiku loading, charging up the sonnets, tapping out the iambic pentameter and pulling all the stops for the free verse. I am in the zone.

I’m hoping to teach some creativity classes this fall, so I thought this marathon would be a great inspiration. Good luck everyone!