Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holiday's Everyone!

To a wonderful & safe holiday & a fruitful 2009, with love, prosperity, & of course muse!

exchange rose hips--
Christmas morning

originally published, The Heron's Nest

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poems of Myself: 10/19/1955-10/19/2055


Let us walk for awhile. Bring along the pick ax, spade and knapsack hanging in the shed. You will find them on your right just inside the split barn door.

Walk through the trellis in the rear garden, it is the trailhead that leads through the forest. Be careful, there are roots to your left sticking up from the grade from an old pin oak—I don't want you to spill me, well, not yet.

Follow the trail until two paths merge, then stop. Take the pick and break up the hard pan. You will find ribbons of clay and sand. Mix them together with the shovel to create loam.

Add the ashes from the velvet bag that you will find inside the sack, this will improve the soil too. If you feel inclined to say something over my remains, then, that is fine, but it is not important, since you have done enough.

It will be spring soon. Already, you can hear the chickadees.

recycle day
a washed out worm
in the rain puddle

To Whom This May Concern

To whom this may concern:

While I watch the magistrate falter crumbling fields of reveriea halo of blackened clouds float overtures, where once a firefly flickered--Whose children taunt children killing children of Santee and Columbine Whose parents weaken gun control Whose parents leave gun unsupervised and obtainable Whose little girls abort and abandon babiesWhose parent's kill little girls in the name of righteousness,with there red panties and pink lipstick. Who carry picket signs of wordswritten by boredom,parading activists, and singing songs of saintly tunes. And in the melting mindsthat leap from tree to tree, building to building. In a haze of Crack, Angeldustic-ecstasy Where my mind went mad from fermented potato-mash,PCP, Rag, Jazz and Blues--Where blue skies once sailed endless from sea to sea. Shimmy in minds of the pretenders' Tangled in dreams and lovers. Who's shadow know the darkness of these concessions met by the mandate. Who cut trees, cut trees Who kill the ozone, kill the ozone. Who's world has withered, in this desecration abomination, of these the avian ... Who use petroleum base and plastics killing fish animal and man, Whose entre of atmosphere, enter our water, dissolving in our food, and destroys the sperm count of our youth. Whose artifical estrogen will conquer Nations. Yes, this is true! and the in saecula saeculorum of these songs: Birds do not sing for our ears! For whom a disease, monkey's developed,AIDS, have made the hetero shy, and the anus of a gay man sincere. Where Cholera showed in an Ocean City Bay, and What's killing the Brants in Forsythe? Where West-nile is strong enough to kill a horse Whose State sprays for Lyme disease-- Killing fish reptile and birds, Whose carcasses are devoured by raptors Who have endangered the Timber Rattler' Who keep building and building and to my wonderment...Where will we get water when all the Jersey spungs are dry... Am I barking at the moon? Whose moon is leaving the earth's grasp While environmentalist take the Utility dollar Who's consumers sponsor said pay offs'And are the main pollutant and fossil fuel user. Who write opinions on paper and glass, Tagging walls of steal and stone-- That no god would know, nor a poet would write. And to know the deaf ear can hearAnd to know the dumb tongue cans speak, Where they, the blind, need no eyes to see.


forty-six years
writing my name
yellow in snow

July 4th —
small talk over beer
with a redcoat

morning sun —
fish scales glisten
in the otter scat

shooting star —
father’s ring
slips off my finger

Indian summer
a bee bounces around
in the beer can

cancer ward--
a get-well balloon
in the trash

Berlin Wall
a smooth stone
in my pocket

quiet pond
a stone turning
in my palm

talk of devorce
two starlings
back to back

where my brother stood —
twilight chill

snowed in . . .
fire wraps
around a log

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Poems for Derek Michael July 9, 1997-

Batteries Not Included

Christmas is such a joke every year: approaching middle-age you'd think that I would read the text of the package before purchasing something and include the correct size batteries for each present. At day break, I rush to get dressed, brush my teeth, put on a baseball cap to hide my bed-hair, hop in my pickup and rush to the local WaWa with a list of all the battery sizes that I need, before our child's face grows long with disappointment.

dim light ...
in her night-stand drawer
a cold vibrator

Dinosaur and Dragon Bones

This weekend is going to be different; my four year old will head the expedition in a quest for dinosaur and dragon bones. Our bellies are full; we're well clothed so we won't be hunting butterflies and birds. We empty the backpack full of cap guns and water pistols, and replace them with small picks, trowel, sifter, basting brush and any useful kitchen utensil we can find.

Just as we break camp, I spot a scarlet tanager and Derek said it was a parrot. We continue down the path until we reach the verge overlooking a deep pit. As we follow the grade adjusting to the terrain, rocks start to slide, unearthing a flat piece of yellow quartz, triangle shaped, with one side notched inward-out, like a canine. Derek convinced me it belongs to a T. rex. The sun is high; sweat stunk-down the hair covering our napes and sideburns, collecting in the blue and white bandannas tied loosely around our necks.

On the way to the ancient forest, we found pitch pine and sassafras saplings. Dug them up. Replanting them, well spaced—for proper growth.

*bedtime story
the child never
stops talking


the gleam
in a child's eyes—
starlings shift direction

first light
I pretend to shave
my son’s lathered face

morning dew
I trace my son's


home from work
he asks me: did you
have a drink today?
two arms tighten
around my waist

Contemporary haibun On-line vol.1:3 December 2005, Lynx vol. 23:2 June 2008,
Hermitage 1:1, 2004, The Heron's Nest vol. 5:5 2003, The Heron's Nest vol. 7:1 2005
Hermitage 3, 2006

Note: *the haiku was originally published as:

bedtime story
the child never
stops stalking

Which was a typo on my part within the submission.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Poems for Jacob Ryan

-Jacob Ryan Murtha, stillborn, Memorial Day weekend, May 26, 1996

Miller's Pond

Jacob avoided everything from the start:

All the easy stuff I could have shawn him
from the saw-tooth edge of an alder leaf casting a lazy fly rod at Miller's.

I never wanted him...perhaps he knew.
Never could see myself as a parent,
.....or felt the need to be a letdown.

While Linda carried him, I was happy for them.
Watching her third finger trace his body
.....squirming in her belly.

After I delivered him, I held him just so
brushing back brown hair from his cold,
limp-still body, and sketched those features
.....that were mine.

When in thought, I find myself on a bank
at Miller's Pond, where mallards dabble,
a hooded merganser dives
.....and not until it surfaces I breath.

Jacob's Song a lullaby

life's full of joy
baby boy it would be
the nursery was made
by my wife and me

the toys and the cloths
tucked away in his room
baby would play
while in his mother's womb

the day would come
he'd play no more
tears showered our eyes
cascading to the floor

an angel emerged
from this tragedy
I'm sure Jacob watches over
my wife and me


caught in a dewdrop—
the empty swing

spring mist—
a mallard paddles
through our stillborn's ashes

Memorial Day—
a layer of dust
cover's the urn

spring rain
a child's ashes
mix with clay

tanka series untitled

his brass urn
I walk to
the bedroom's far wall
and straighten our photo

dreams of
how I never wanted you
your ashes
sift through my fingers
so many tiny bones

I look
to the constellation
count each star
one by one
then, name you

© 1996-2008 Memorial Day, Golden Swamp Warbler Press, The Heron's Nest, The
Valentine Award Issue of THN, Temps Libre, Mad Poet's Review & Hermitage