A Vinyl Night

You and I sat cold by the tent

you were stoned

I didn’t know

California nights

could be so bone cracking cold.

We watched campers

moving in and out like ants

on a drop of sweet

it was a vinyl gypsy night

as campfires curled snake smoke

against a carbon ink sky.

The beach was stark empty

you needed friendship

I offered only silence

silence and a beer

you wanted neither.

We smiled as laughter

rolled from nearby tents,

love laughter, bare skin giggles.

No stars shined in a bleak darkness

just a gnawing void never leaving.

God I feel it again today.

Time Well Spent

I saw my crepe hands reaching for a grandchild,

my crepe skinned arms wrapped around her small

waist, just one hug, just one small innocent gesture

before the wind and rain wash me away. Not a giant

step for a last, eternal bonding. So innocently she smiles

at her dry, wrinkled pap. For years now the clouds

have been gathering with tentacles of crashing horses

bearing down on my lungs and limbs. Soon my child

I’ll be seeking autographs from Jesus and Mary, two great friends.

The Golden Dance

Saw you last night walking the girders,

Golden Gate, not golden, not for you.

Metal diving board, a death trap for the sad,

I never knew and now my delusion comes true.

I am so sorry life has been cruel to you.

It’s been cruel to many before. I will never

feel those arms around me, those lips pressed

wetly against mine. What did you think I could do?

Did you see wings on my shoulders or sandals on my feet?

You’re gone, now I’m lost, I am sadder than you now.

Sad is the only word I can use, my eyes speak with my destiny.

The Beachheads of Galilee

I am strong.

Is that too snobbish for you?

I admit most women and men’s strength

far exceeds my trench of thought

but I know about wrong and right more than many,

less than some.

Being born in a manger doesn’t get it for me,

a step towards tribalism,

a graduated step towards modernism

not modern thought.

Worshiping in mansions and super domes

Is like Pink Floyd,

Queen,

Beatles.

Your Jesus, your God, and Holy Ghost

left for Tahiti years ago,

first class seating on the U.S.S. Striker

I can only guess their whereabouts today.

Dead I suppose.

Sent to sea on a raft with burning coconuts.

Graduation Summer 1964

My mind the big screen

Of my past

I watched me

watching you

slumbering in my arms

red hair satin soft

I watched us laugh

driving fast on gravel roads

kissing and so much more

can I find that path

back to those dark summer nights?

Will I laugh again

winking with a certain smile

touching so precious

we could barely breathe

Wrinkles caught

forever in our mirrors

golden years

more brass

than gold.

Poison Leaves

At this moment life is a child

swaying in its attempt to walk

without falling to its knees and screaming,

Help me daddy.” Daddy left for Tulsa.

He’s dancing with a reaper,

carelessly throwing breath to the wind.

His lovers will die before Autumn leaves

touch the summer scorched grass.

Is it time now daddy?

I cannot say Apocalypse. My lips are blue.

Ashes

So you broke down,

trying to find peace.

I know you don’t know

me. it happens you see,

you never see my yard,

weeds have taken over,

take cover I am dying.

Keep me somewhere in a pocket,

my family’s not on the docket

you say sardonic taste in my ears.

Go home little one, place my face

in a drawer, in an attic. I’ll see to it

you have part of me for Ash Wednesday.

Amen.

Time

Damned if time is waiting for you.

Whatever time means

just numbers on a piece of paper,

manmade hope and loss of memory.

We invented time and time disappears

without thought of you and I.

The world turns and with each turn

we gain a gray hair, a toothache,

wrinkles, somebody named Jesus,

his buddies God and something called

the Holy Ghost. All of whom fit into

an SUV, preferably a Toyota. For them

there’s no such thing called time.

We are the only creatures forgetting,

planning, hoping, and wishing for time.

Gray

Last time I spoke to my mirror

things were good and safe.

It’s been awhile since then

so today I decided to have a look,

change has come.

Gray clouds engulf my face

I think I’m about to rain.

The Cliff

There you were walking in the snow.

My baby boy grown, a free bird,

a man more than I could ever be.

Needless to say I love you my friend.

I can never find the words, I avoid them,

If there’s a heaven I hope we find it

together the way we used to fish when young.

I changed the hook and you made the catch.

Now, I’ve nearly lost you, just hanging by white knuckles

on a cliff, the cliff only a father and son can know.