New traditions

My father, who I think about all the time, used to go nature walking at some local trails (Beaver Lake Nature Center). It’s where I laid his ashes to rest. 

I now take my little man there as often as I can. I need him to see these trails as sacred, as our church. 

These are the stained glass windows that hold more solemnity than anything man made. 

These are the waters that should hold reverence, be sanctified like the entire natural world…protected. 

I’m trying to raise an eco-warrior. 

Just remember…

At the cellular level

You’ve changed

New interconnections formed

The web thrums

From conscious to subconscious 

It lurks like deja vu

Like the food that you ate

Is now a part of you

Microchimera mothers

Carry baby’s DNA in their brains

Symbiotic…parasitic relationship

The inoperable conjoined twins

Dormant virus waiting in the wings

Hepatitis in a Trojan horse

Rolls through the liver’s gates

I’ve passed through the blood-brain-barrier

A transfusion of illusion 

Go ahead and close the app

Shut off your phone

Power down your PC

Just remember…

I’m still here


Early morning stillness

The rusted out dumpster

Behind the local grocery

Holds the promises of love

The tap tap of rain on cellophane 
Really mourning illness

The busted-out lackluster 

Remind with vocal sorcery

Old is the ominous ‘enough’

The apt rap of reign on ball and chain
A few black spots

And couple dropped petals

Instead of clutched to breast

You rot giving no pleasure

The picking and pruning’s love’s lost labor
A view lacks plots

A decoupled, cropped unsettles

It’s dead if touched to behest

You wrought gifting no leisure 

The licking and preening sloughs last savior
Take these discarded roses

They’re not perfect

These second chance tokens

No one is perfect 

And we all deserve a second chance. 


I’ve basked in the warmth 

Of summer days

A golden skinned child

Faced sunward 

Heliocentrically tracking 

The star’s arc

Childhood friends standing 

Tall as sunflowers 

Photovoltaically kinetically frenetic

Darting like hummingbirds 

We drank the nectar of youth

Denying tomorrow’s existence 

Invulnerable in our naïveté 

We walked the wire

Between boy and man

Eventually the rain clouds move in

And I learned to enjoy

The time 

To think


Take the tap

Hammerfist it into the base of my heart

Turn the spigot 

Drain the too-heavy-sludge, the sediment

Press through cheesecloth 

Boil my blood into syrup for your paincakes 

Wear good gloves

A single scratch and a mad hatter you’ll be 

Moments too heavy

They lay upon the cloth, dull like lead

My soul’s poison

Dry it in the oven’s heat until powder

Fill the urn 

Sprinkle it in the woods in a hollow log

Tethered I’ll be

Until the day the moss purifies the mecury

Then I’ll soar


Crazy old man

Greasy spoon

Corner booth…alone

Speaking in tongues 

He knows Magic is real

He’s seen the beneath

*          *          *

She’s sitting passenger side

Sun has dipped beneath the tree line

She closes her eyes to the strobe


The flickering activates optic nerves

*          *          *

He’s said this passage a thousand times before

This time he stresses new syllables 

Empty corner booth no one but waitress notices

He tipped everything he had

*          *          *

Latent memories from eons ago

Press at the back of her closed eyes

She weeps, knowing her path as clear as day

Her mistakes, her victories all led her here

*          *          *

He is twenty-two again and ground falls away

His true love sits next to him, holding his hand

The Ferris wheel stops with them on top

The world stretches out before him

He can feel in his marrow it’s a different world

Close…but different and he doesn’t even care

*          *          *

She opens her eyes

Leaning over she kisses her boyfriend’s cheek 

Her left hand releases the seatbelt 

Her right reaches for the door handle

She’s airborne for a moment then…


*          *          *

He kisses her hard and deep

The air rushing around them

They make their descent

He feels weightless

*          *          *

A neon light flickers overhead 


She’s sitting in a classroom

Graduate level organic chemistry 

She’s top of the class 

*          *          *



Matter reacts differently when observed

Reality is subjective 

In another world we are in love

In another world…a zero transposes to a one


Early this morning, hours before our normal wake up time, he woke up crying. His crying had peaks and valleys of sobbing and screaming. I picked him up and drew him close. 

I spoke soothingly, “Did you have a bad dream?”


“It’s okay baby, you’re bubba is here,” I assured him, as I rubbed his back. His crying quieted and I could see he was starting to drift off. 

Then, just before dozing back off, he brought his face forward and kissed my chest. I smiled and was overwhelmed by a mix of emotions. Tears rolled down my cheeks. 

In that moment I felt whole, that I could be the father he needed, and simultaneously I felt the loss of my father, who passed just a couple years ago. I also felt the gratitude from my little man and knew that, despite typical two-year-old behavior, he was becoming the kind of person I’d hoped he would. 

Every day is an adventure that I look forward to.