Cookie Jar

Cookie Jar

Revolution is what happens
when democracy is caught
with its hands in the cookie jar
by the people with the recipe
who are left holding the bag of crumbs.

Hanging by self-righteous fingernail fungus,
discharging smug sewage into airwaves,
seeking retroactive circuitous solutions
to perplexing puzzles of futuristic anxiety.

Stifling growth of linear thought process,
slicing schooling, music and art to its knees,
ripping at the foundation of scientific truth,
demanding the lockstep of anecdotal thought.

Demeaning the clarity of reason in treason,
diminishing the true nature of humanity,
creating the colored scapegoats of freedom,
scaring the hell out of sanctimonious sanity.

Raping logical belief systems,
supplanting truisms with incendiary cinders,
dismantling emotion piece by pompous piece,
in primeval progression from light to dark.

Revolution is what happens
when its leaders are caught
with their hands in the cookie jar
by the people with the recipe
who are left holding the bag of crumbs.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
March 12, 2017

Be Still My Heart

Be Still My Heart

Be still my heart
never doubt
it beats for you,
always know
my love is true.

I imagine the future,
your pain is my pain,
your joy is my joy,
your life is my life,
your song on my lips.

I face the future,
your hand in my hand,
your love in my heart,
your soul in my body
your kiss on my lips.

Be still my heart
never doubt
it beats for you,
always know
my love is true.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
January 18, 2017

Can It Sink Any Lower Or Rise Any Higher

Can It Sink Any Lower or Rise Any Higher?

Can it sink any lower?
Just when you think that you have heard it all,
that the Elephant’s rhetoric has sunk to new depths,
or the right’s political process can get any more salacious,
Donald Trump tweets and Ted Cruz twitters.

Can it Rise any Higher?
Just when you think that hate and Isis are winning,
or question if the 60’s revolution will ever come to fruition,
or that peace will ever be a reality,
a bird lands on Sander’s podium and Rolling Stones rock Cuba.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
March 26, 2016

Cry

Cry

When I cry over my Dovee,
I am lost in the bottomless gorge of grief.
I never know how I'm going to react
when I am lost in the loss of my innocence,
tumble down to the bottom
of the emotional roller coaster to hell.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
August 31, 2016

Walking My Dog In A Florida Thunderstorm

Walking My Dog During a Florida Thunderstorm

The rainclouds appear as a puffy silk shelf
from which gray garland cotton balls hang
from the saturated swollen sky
like ribbons of Christmas tree ornaments.

Cracks of thunder crackle with
flashes of lightning streaks that explode,
light up the darkness in flames
like oil and water sizzling in a frying pan.

A spectacle of blue spears
slice the sparkling heavens
illuminate the water-logged particles,
like dancing minstrels parading the engorged highway.

All this,
while my dog pissed and shit.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
January 7, 2017
Woodstock, New York

Real Estate Of The Mind


Real Estate of the Mind

My stories are contrived from concealed figments of
imaginary pieces of the real estate of my mind
that stalk the subconscious synapses of paradox,
unfold layers of evocative reflections of experience,
journey through poignant particles of brainwaves that
peddle through the thick atmosphere to empty space,
seeking time bomb snippets set to detonate at moment’s notice.

Minutes ago, words did not appear on this paper,
now language is squeezed n’ transformed
into poetic birth of another doggerel.
If I were a woman, I would breast feed this infant
so that he/she would manifest to completion.
But, I am a man whose innate ability to nurture
lay in the soil over which I toil each spring
as I till, seed, water, weed, reap, sow my paradise.

In stillness, my lucid mind wanders inward,
convolutes, then circumvents reality,
logic disappears, reason reflects observation,
a flicker of perception is ignited,
lyrics pour from philosophical vessel
onto slippery roads I travel, paths once forsaken,
given up for dead, only to rise in the sunshine.

The sky is a cloudless incandescent blue.
The 80-degree temperature is the perfect palatial pallet.
The sultry wind crawls 5mph from the warm gulf waters.
Swan families are floating in file beneath the boat dock.
Married eagles are nesting in needles atop the pine trees,
Playful squirrels are fidgeting up bark of the palm trees.
Poking, peaking, long-beak White Ibis’ aerate the lawn.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
February 12, 2017

Last Night I Had A Dream


Last Night I Had a Dream

Last night I had a dream.
I danced at my daughter's wedding,
marveled at the birth of my son's baby boy,
another Benjamin named for my father.

In that dream, she wore a white gown,
glowed like a princess and her smile lit the room.
Always daddy's little girl, she looked up at me
and told me she loved me
and that I would always be
the most important man in her life.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
October 9, 2016

Nose Roll

Nose Roll

It is a chilly Sunday early evening in late April,
at 5 pm in Woodstock.
I am always asked on the phone
by the techs and hotel managers I contact,
Is it where the festival took place?

I always answer, “it’s not where the festival of ’69 took place,
that’s 100 miles away in Bethel in Sullivan County,
but rather where the producers lived at the time.”
That’s how Woodstock got its name
and my little town has reaped the notoriety since.

The birds are going crazy,
chattering like old friends at a high school reunion.
The sound of the peace drum circle wafts over the valley
like a blanket of hush.

My dog, Henry, loves this time of day.
He senses that dad and him will run in the yard
to expel that pent up energy,
zooming from side to side,
I call his moves, “nose rolling in the grass”


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
April 24, 2016

Key West Carnival

Key West Carnival

Key West is like a permanent carnival.
The Roosters are crowing,
the Barkers are barking.
Everywhere on Duval
everything sells for $5.
or must sell everything at 80 % off.
Like prostitutes standing in the doorway
merchants rip off the wealthy touristas
docking from the ships.

It’s a mob scene on Mallery Square Dock.
Hundreds lining up 10 deep,
fake Cuban cigars hanging from bearded lips
cell phones raised over heads,
taking photos of the star of the show
the sun setting into the ocean
behind the jugglers juggling fire.

It is quite spectacular,
this spectacle of nature.
For the moment, there is stillness and quiet,
as the sun disappears,
swallowed up by the horizon.
Then clapping and cheering vibrate the new night sky.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
March 16, 2016

Merry-Go Round Of Terror

Merry-Go-Round of Terror

Our global stage is played upon
a merry-go-round of terror.
Once a joyful children’s ride
now on a journey to stop the slide
in see-saw survival fight to turn the tide.

Who are these preying purveyors of hate,
these praying devils incarnate,
these predatory evil servants of Satan,
these plundering prophets willing to die for their cause,
killing as many innocents as possible?

Is there some way into their hearts
or are all their hearts just broken?
Is there some way into their minds
or are all their minds soaked with venom?


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
June 29, 2016



The Clown With The Red Hair

The Clown with Red Hair

Congratulations America!
You have just elected
The Clown With Red Hair whose agenda is
to drive your country into the abyss,
to fry your constitution in the fire,
to grind your freedoms into dust,
to unleash backlash against the masses,
to promulgate prejudice against the innocents,
to destroy civil and personal liberties.

Complacent America!
You have underestimated
The Clown With Red Hair whose ability
to use the power of fear mongering,
to use the power of the internet,
to use the power of television,
has released every rat and snake from the sewers,
unleashed every despicable hate monger
from beneath every rock that they hid beneath.

Laughable America!
Now you have got to live with
The Clown With The Red Hair as you,
watch him dismantle all you cherish,
burn your books and treasures,
line up his enemies against the firing squad wall,
while the kkk and white supremacists
don their white sheets and fiery crosses,
iron their brown uniforms and swastikas,
proudly parade confederate flags down Main Street,
to celebrate one of their own
who will lead the free world.



Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
November 13, 2016


How Can I Live Through The Next Four Years?

How Can I Live Through The Next Four Years?

Reality Show Check-In.
He will be our President,
no matter what we try to do.
whether we recount the votes
or attempt to influence the Electoral College,
“The Clown With The Red Hair”
will be tweeting us back into the dark past.

When prejudice and racial profiling were legal, state of the art
and brown people were lynched,
when women went to back-alley abortions, hangers tore uteri and girls bled to death,
when Jews had to change their last names, get nose jobs,
and hide under stairways,
when immigrants faced humiliation, indiscriminate deportation,
and families suffered separation,
when Neo-Nazi’s and KKK roamed streets freely, displayed flags
and dressed in brown shirts and white sheets.

Perhaps I need to not read newspapers, magazines,
watch television, listen to radio or surf the internet,
where I can by chance come across
another smiling photo of the devil in disguise,
or learn that another part of progressive agenda
fought so hard to realize
is blown apart and dismantled.

NOOOOOOO!
I can’t just sit back and ponder.
I can’t just let my mind wander.
I can’t just allow progress to be placed asunder.
I can’t just crawl into fetal position.
I can’t just lower my voice of opposition.
I can’t just fear being tried in the court of public opinion.

YESSSSSS!
I have to write what my heart and soul believes.
I have to overcome the inertia my body conceives.
I have to join with those who share the same causes.
I have to lift up the spirit of the oppressed
to fight with every ounce of my breath
to overcome “The Clown With The Red Hair.”


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
November 27, 2016



The Last Game

The Last Game

My son is about to play his final game of any organized sport.

I have been a dutiful parent, coached his teams a few times and even won Little League and Babe Ruth championships.

I have driven thousands of miles to watch him play and stayed in motels in NY, NJ, CT, PA, MA, VT, NH.

I sat on blankets, chairs, benches and bleachers no matter the weather conditions or the comfort level.

I spent countless dollars on camps, fees, uniforms, hats, gloves, bats, balls, jocks, books, dvds, cleats, sneakers, socks, shorts, sweatshirts and sweatpants.

But mostly, I watched and videotaped him play sports since he was 5 years old.

First t-ball, youth basketball, and youth soccer, then Little League Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, High School Basketball and Baseball, and now down to the wire after 4 years of College Basketball.

The results of his activities were impressive.

First string JV basketball point guard, as a Sophomore and Varsity as a Senior, and a trip to the State Finals in his Junior year.

First string IN/OF/Pitcher High School Baseball for 4 years and the 2
nd baseman on the State Championship team as a senior.

College basketball for a 5’7” point guard, a bush amongst trees, a David amongst Goliaths, was certainly challenging.



But in the end, there was nobody who played as hard with an overabundance of contagious energy and fiery spirit. Guaranteed to never leave anything on the court or the diamond, his unselfish, in your face, take no prisoners attitude, coupled with doing the little things that don’t show up in the statistics made him an indispensable asset to any team he played on, one who was admired and respected by his peers, and one was always a fan favorite.

And all this was coupled with academic success.
I often wondered where he found the time to do it all and when did he sleep?

So here it is, my son, the final game is near.

I am an emotional man, one who is known to cry at weddings, movies and passing thoughts.

As I sit here, alone, writing this tribute to you, I understand that I have been truly blessed.

This is essentially a thank you to you, my son, for filling my life with so much indescribable joy that it can never be repaid.

As we enter into a new and equally exciting phase of our father-son relationship, I wanted to relish this moment and tell you that I am proud of your accomplishments, I will forever be grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to sit in the stands, cheer your every moment, hug you after your losses, laugh with you after your wins, and most of all, giving me the honor of being your biggest fan.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
February 8, 2016

They Look Too Little They Look Too Little

They Look Too Little

They look too little to walk
Yet they wiggle waddle like
ducks in a wind storm,
Always in play mode,
unending curiosity leads the way,
minds soaking in the sun.

They look too little to talk.
Yet, they jibber jabber like
parrots on a pirate ship.
Always in teach mode,
mystical philosophy leads the way,
words growing from the soul.

They are too little to eat.
Yet, they dribble drabble like
kittens slurping in a milk bowl.
Always in voracious mode,
insatiable appetite leads the way,
hunger rising from the unknown.

They are too little to cry
Yet, they weep n’ sob like
mothers at their child’s funeral.
Always in cautious mode,
weary tales of war lead the way,
fear rising from the heart.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
October 29, 2016

The Writery (Two Ponds Of Compassion)

The Writery (Two Ponds of Compassion)

Two Ponds of Compassion
teeming with life forces,
species of fishes, tadpoles, insects and turtles
scurrying about, upon and beneath the still-surface waters.

One pond is murkier, muddier, cloudier,
with an unseen, mysterious bottom.
The other pond is crystal, clean and clear,
sure of its’ path from the mountain.

I thought that my life at this moment
was reflected by the crystal pond,
to live here in this home of “until death do us part”,
perhaps in the garden or pool, I would breathe my last breath.

But now, I aspire to that other more, muddy pond
more muddled, fuzzy future,
laying by the harp in an unknown hazy habitat.

So while I sit in this room meditating upon
these Two Ponds of Compassion,
I choose to be compassionate with myself,
to be patient with myself,
to truly love myself.

I may not own these two ponds
or even really own my own home
or have the means to have everything
I want right at this moment.

This beautiful life I have led
captured in my fleeting memory,
is enough to sustain me
as I travel from the crystal to the muddy pond.

Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
April 16, 2016

Through My Window

Through My Window

Through my window, the full moon ignites the black canvas.
Silver dollar orb shines brightly and floods my eyes to capacity,
Behold cherub beams that are musings from ancient peoples,
gazing in wonder at that mysterious sphere in the dark sky.

This medallion around the edge of night,
this rock in space that drives men mad,
this sneering mirror that creates havoc in the tides,
this smiling, hurtling, pock-marked diva
feels so close that you can touch its outer rim,
breathe in its dead, sensual scent.

There is no means of traveling to the past,
Time machines are creations of fiction.
Alternate universes don’t exist except in one’s mind.
One cannot unweave the fabric of history,
Unwind the threads that tie you to this life,
re-write the substance of your story.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
January 22, 2016



The 3-Star Restaurant

The 3-Star Restaurant

I eat another unsatisfactory dinner with my wife.
It is a local, popular, overcrowded, loud, 3-star restaurant.
I feel as if I am in a wind tunnel,
having to shout across the table in order to converse,
being forced to hear the deep dark secrets of my neighbors.

Once again, my vegetable dish is less than desirable.
As a vegetarian for nearly 50 years, I am used to it.
I am always asked if I want to add beef, chicken or fish.
Knowing the answer, I half-heartedly respond,
“no thanks, do you have any tofu or tempeh?”

Inevitably, I am served small child-like portions,
Sometimes white rice, sometimes brown rice,
interspersed with un-cooked hard kernels,
flavorless, over-cooked, mushy broccoli and carrots,
under-cooked, crunchy brussel sprouts and onions.

When the server asks, “how is your meal”
I want to respond loudly, so the whole room can hear,
“I wouldn’t serve it to a dog,” or “it tastes like shit.”
Instead I smile, grit my teeth and in a low monotone
force out the word “good.”

When will I ever learn to tell the truth?

I eat another unsatisfactory dinner with my wife.
Two young families, each with a boy and a girl
occupy the table next to ours,
deeply engrossed in conversation
probably gossiping about baseball or soccer parents.

I am reminded of the days when I had young children,
little boy eating ice cream, observing the conversation,
little girl, arms wrapped around her daddy, like a vice,
looking into each other’s eyes,
never wanting to let go.

Time has passed me by so quickly,
like water flowing beneath a bridge downstream,
looking back to where I came from,
never aware of where I will be,
rushing to the end into the unknown sea

You spend your whole life
seeking answers to riddles,
dreaming impossible dreams,
achieving unreachable goals,
never wanting to let go of your children.

When will I ever learn to let go?


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
January 10, 2016



Dennis Wayne Bressack
January 10, 2016




Stars That Can Be Found Elsewhere Other Than The Sky

Stars That Can Be Found Elsewhere Other Than The Sky

They say that stars can be found elsewhere other than the sky,
but, I am not certain that is true.

Oh sure, there are shooting stars in your eyes,
their feet etched onto television’s “Dancing With The Stars”,

there are Hollywood’s movie stars with their names
etched into stone walks in front of Grumman’s Theater,

there are musing music stars making millions with their voices etched into vinyl discs sold on itunes for .99 cents a digital song,

there are Manhattan theater stars in lavish, overpriced productions, their names etched onto Broadway marquees,

there are stars on the sleeves and chests of soldiers,
their names etched into endless rows of white marble, surrounded by small American flags,

there are gold stars given to students for work well done,
their names etched on molding diplomas found in attics in every small town.

Yet, nothing quite compares to
those twinkling, heavenly bodies of hot gas
that stipple and fill and light up our black night skies.
as man looks up in wonder at the brilliance of
untouchable shining bodies,
unreachable except in one’s imagination.



Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
February 17, 2015

People Who Live On Sanibel Never Want To Die 2

People Who Live In Sanibel Never Want To Die 2

I thought that I would never be that Alta Caca driving down to Sanibel in my car loaded to the gills
with suitcases filled with clothing I will never wear.

But here I am walking on the beach,
head down shopping for seashells,
glancing at the Seagulls and Pelicans,
playing games with the oysters and clams
as the yellow sun spray reflects in a fluorescent beam
on the calm gulf waters.

I wonder why I pick up some seashells and pass by the others.
I pose this question to passersby,
“do humans find seashells or do seashells find humans
or is it a combination?”
The answers I get are filled with
philosophical quips and spiritual anecdotes.

I join these humans in the sunset of their years
gathered like a flock of birds,
milling on the beach, watching the sun set,
drink in hand, talking about the “good old days”
our children and grandchildren,
where we are from and what we used to do for a living.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
February 29, 2016

On the Road to Floridaa

On the Road to Floridaa

I am on the road to Floridaa
Being on the road to Floridaa is like passing
through the bowels of hell to get to the gates of heaven.

I am most fascinated by the breakfast buffets.

All these motels, regardless of genre have such similar fare.
3 kinds of dry cereal, Fruit Loops, Wheaties and Raisin Bran,
Oatmeal, sometimes in quick Quaker paper packets,
dry day-old scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon,
biscuits and gravy if you’re south of the border
coffee, juice, milk, half and half in packets
waffles, smothered in fake maple syrup,
that is seemingly the favorite,
white and whole wheat bread, Danishes, muffins,
Fruit-Flavored sugared Yoplait or Dannon yogurt packs,
bananas, oranges and apples or fruit salad in sugary syrup.

Everything is pre-packaged and pre-cooked.
Nothing is freshly made,
merely heated in the micro.

The way these people rush to the buffet at 6am,
you would think it was dinner at The Gotham Bar and Grill
or Gramercy Tavern,
not buffet breakfast at the Best Western.



Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
February 29, 2016











Stuck In The Middle With...

Stuck in the Middle With …

“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right
Here I am, Stuck in the Middle with you”

I look around my home and see and touch
material objects to which I am attached.
I smell scents and sense I am not alone with my thoughts as
I listen to Stealers Wheels’ “Stuck in the Middle with You”
stuck in the middle of my mind
like some Amusement Park Ferris Wheel.

I am stuck in the middle with
only irreverent rainbows for my tour guide.
Though I believe that the soul never dies and
its’ energy is transformed into some other formation,
I am often pushed to the lonely edge of my sanity,
staring down over the rocky cliff into oblivion.

In its’ essence, this poem only deals with this physical body,
in this cognizant moment in time on earth,
when I reach for some recognition that I am here,
that I am akin to skin and bone and blood and gut,
and not just wispy, spinning spirit stuck in the middle,
choosing between life and death.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
February 8, 2016


Guns of Autumn

Guns of Autumn

Familiar sounds crack the silence,
vibrate the still, crisp air.
Innocent eyes query.
Cowardly crackles echo,
sending hooves scampering
toward the mountain mist
in fear for their young.

Justice is not weighed
in the balance of nature and mankind.
Value on life is miscalculated.
Choice is but an echo,
lost in swollen memories,
drowned in sullen sorrow ,
beliefs relived, rewound time and again.

Unconscious minds promulgate inconceivable,
unconscionable acts of violence,
first of man versus animal, then of man versus woman.
There is no wonder that a child steals his parents’ weapons
marches to an elementary school
and methodically murders other children.

Immoral, icy, crystalline vapors engulf insane decisions,
mistaking manic, shadow puppets for reality honchos.
Then, it’s on to the next topic of conversation in the manifestation of the pundit manifesto.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
January 26, 2016 (Began October 2015)
Woodstock, New York

Joyous Spring

Joyous Spring Zephyr

Joyous Spring tries to squeeze itself from
winter's dark, dreary landscape.
Moody, layered gray clouds fill and block the blue sky,
slide north toward the mountains.

There is a soft, warm waft of wind,
tickling the chimes, belly dancing with the swaying pine trees.
Barren maple tree's red buds wave in the silent breeze as I
sense the change to cold that is about to slap me in the face.

The first robins sit on candelabra branches,
sing accapella without abandon,
search for some shelter in which to build their delicate nests.

Two majestic chicken hawks seem suspended in the draft,
soaring round and round in search of prey,
perhaps for a mouse or a snake that will serve as dinner.

I sit and contemplate the coming end of my time here.
Not of my death,
but rather the movement into the next phase of my life.

I love this piece of land I call my home,
this plot of earth from which I reap my food, my sustenance, from which my soul is nourished
this place in which my dog can roam free.

I will close my eyes, open my nostrils,
then hold back the tears and remember this moment.

Now the sky is sky-blue blemish-free
with occasional vaporous wisps of white transparent clouds floating east like an army peering
and then lifting over the mountains.

There are those 2 hawks circling again
like some long lost friends of mine
floating on air over the valley
like kings of the horizon.



Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
March 5, 2016

How To Do Nothing In Half The Time

How To Do Nothing in Half the Time

Time is the great equalizer.
Everyday another rock icon dies
and a little bit of me goes with them.

I am certain that life is uncertain,
crawling past me like a python
ready to strike at my jugular.

So rather than sit idly by
and wait to pay the piper,
I do nothing in half the time.

Politicians are a rare, never brief-breed.
Certainly in rating prime rib beef,
they are bred to be raw and cantankerous.

Especially true during the presidential caucus circus
that comes to small town USA once every 4 years
to spread bull manure on virgin fields.

Honesty is left at the roadside tavern,
lies bloat the airwave edifice as
they do nothing in half the time.


Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York
January 30, 2016


Dancing Dolphins

Dancing Dolphins

When we walk on the beach looking down
scouring white sand for seashells,
mollusk armor of dead clams, oysters, snails,
we miss the sight of the wind tickling the tide,
of undulating sounds reflecting white ancient souvenirs,
of Dolphins prancing and dancing in the water,
of Pelicans open-beaked diving for lunch.

Solitude offered by repetitive rolling water
fills my soul with gratitude.
I am never without words
to describe the wonder
of a baby playing with toys in the sand
while dad fishes for whatever bites,
of watching three young men in a motorboat
in their daily ritual,
one throws a net over and over
into the water next to the dock
desirous of catching the bait, one at a time
then leaving to fish the mangroves til sundown.

As humans, we are fragile as light is thin.
Pain feels like our enemy, yet is often our friend.
Hate fuels our revenge, yet teaches us love.
Grief floods through our bloated veins, yet opens our hearts to the sky.
Fickle-eyed daydreams stir the edge of drifting death.
Nascent native tongues carom narcissistic wanderings.
The promise of promiscuous poets paint cave walls with truth.
Never is a word stricken from language of biblical verse.
Priests are the enemy of children, soldiers are the lovers of men.
Man wages war on one another and the bees are all dying slowly.
Show me the way, I will build you the tools to create.
Fly me away, I will cross over borders that separate us.
Walls are the answer you give, never is the question I ask.

Dennis Wayne Bressack
Woodstock, New York December 15, 2016

Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing.

Does that mean one who is blind does not believe,
does not believe in faith in God,
Read Moreā€¦