Poems from 2010-2016
p r o l o g u e

Some poems are from Water, Earth and Sky, some are from Please Don't Let My Son Go To War, and some are for an updated version of First You Laugh. I have many more poems that were written from 1963 to the present and these may eventually be placed on my website.


Categorical Denial

Chilean Mine Disaster Turned Celebration

Coat of Arms


Drill Baby Drill

Egypt Lives Just Around the Corner

Evy Kay In The Daylight


Garden of Weeds

Gun Mole Mama

How Can I Not Talk About Love?

I Am

Laughing Eyes

Love & Laughter Are The Best Medicine


My Mother's Diet

My Two Sons

Obama Gets Osama

On This Night

Predetermined Course

Right Turn to Wrong Thinking


The Design

The Junk Man

The 99% Occupy My Heart

The River

Titanic For Sale


Winters Past

Seeing is Believing

How To Do Nothing In Half The Time

I thought so, but on second thought..

Stars That Can Be Found Elsewhere Other Than The Sky

Stuck In The Middle With..

Can It Sink Any Lower Or Rise Any Higher?

Guns Of Autumn

Joyous Spring Zephyr

Key West Carnival

Nose Roll

On The Road To Floridaa

People Who Live On Sanibel Never Want To Die 2

The 3-Star Restaurant

The Last Game

The Writery (Two Ponds of Compassion)

Through My Window


Akin to most, I dwell in dialect of dichotomy.
My writing reflects those contradictions.

Some poems swallow me to the depths of pure agony.
I have born enormous burden of smothering sorrow,
squeezed my grief through constricted tear ducts.
My angry heart fumes, smolders, and burns to charcoal ash.
I am plunged breathlessly into unimaginable anguish.

Many poems soar over heights of a beautiful bond.
With an insatiable appetite to wordsmith my deepest thoughts,
I sing of a relationship that is innocent, intimate and elegant.
I experience the brilliant light of love’s glory,
celebrate in songs of adoration, passion and commitment.

This transcending seesaw ride of self discovery
is mirrored in voracious fury of my poetic rant,
tasted in tender tranquility of my lyrical chant.
I escape from the aching, dark, dreary, dastardly dungeon
into indebtedness for each and every morning sunrise.

Woodstock, New York
November 6, 2010

Categorical Denial

Battering rains fell heavy as iron pellets
soaking the already fully saturated soil.
Winds shrieked like a villainous vulture
screeching a deafening explosive roar.

Trees were ripped by the roots.
Branches tumbled like torn autumn leaves.
Bridge pilings were cleaved, sliced at the feet.
The river rushed like a muddy, frightened deer.
The swells snatched, carried worldly possessions
downstream on its humped back.

In humankind’s futile efforts
to dictate the course of events,
control the outcome of situations,
predict the future with certainty,
prevent the catastrophic calamity,
it is nature that once again
proves its ancient superiority
over its’ designation as a Category 1.

In man’s ongoing struggle to
hold back the tumbling tide,
put out the ferocious fire,
keep cool in the simmering summer,
warm a baby hands in the winter,
damn levees always break,
futile forests are always leveled,
horrific heat always swelters,
barbaric cold always kills,
fear becomes contagious,
multiplies into palpable, acrid acid.

Woodstock, New York
September 5, 2011

Chilean Mine Disaster Turned Celebration

Breaking News!!
A collapsed gold and copper mine ceiling,
700,000 tons of rock
miners, paid $1500 a month, trapped ½ mile below.
Pundit talk turns to the predictable outcome.
Slam Dunk Death!

The beginning of the end.
One by one men die,
either by gas inhalation,
starvation, dehydration
first one dead, and men turn to drinking blood, cannibalism.

This time is different
Hope not lies.
The world watches
a shaft is dug
a chute is built
a caged time capsule
nicknamed Phoenix is lowered and raised
by motorized ancient cable and pulley.

One by one a sun-glassed man,
dressed in orange jumpsuit
magically appears in the cage
as if he is returning from vacation in Miami.

One by one, they are greeted by the light.
One by one, they are greeted by family, friends,
wife and children, the Chilean president.
One is greeted by his mistress, ooops.
His wife is at home watching the proceedings on TV.

One has found God and prayer.
Another high-fives,
dances as if he won the Super Bowl.
Another falls to his knees,
wraps his tears around his son.

These are images of a miracle.
These are photos never seen before.
These are men touched by God’s hand.

Woodstock, New York
October 17, 2010

Coat of Arms

How do I feel in the throes of depression?

Delving into discontent,
dwelling upon dismal loss,
despicable despair is a tapeworm inhabiting my gut,
bereavement burrows, becomes my thrashing buddy.

Stuck in gloomy glum muddy muck,
I am frozen in another despondent dimension,
inhabit this habitat of inhumanity,
rummage through myopic memories that quiver my skin.

Twisted within one’s own limitations
into repetitive confines of one’s own thoughts,
I am crippled by distorted past illusion,
solidified by sluggish calcification of soft brain membrane
into hardened vaporous surrealism.

Fish bone lodged in tightened throat,
knife blade sharpened to fine edge,
I am able to carve my own heart from rib cage,
lay it upon the screaming sacrificial altar.

Though my life overflows with reality of love
bursting the seams of beauty,
I live in miserable conditions,
squalor of dogmatic, dismal discomfort,
intolerant of any possibility of seeing light.

Unable to stretch my spirit into gratitude,
my soul bends into a wretched monster,
a galloping ghost without a galley,
a mislaid lion without a lair.

This bewildering badge is my tattered coat of arms.

Woodstock, New York
October 22, 2010


I awaken to the sacrilegious sounds of screaming sparrows.
I can hardly pry open my bloodshot eyes.
The morning sun drips cold and lonely into my veins
I can barely remember my name.
The stuttering sky is dark and dreary.

In the midst of my ancient, angst dream,
I try to shake the tree of life at its’ cemented roots.
Frightened of the next moment of thought,
I freeze in fear of dread of the dead.

Bloodied tears still bind me to their mist.
Glued to blind allegiance of ghostly hues,
staring into blistered mirrored soul
serving no one, God is squeezed from hope,
burning my will to survive.

This road of thorns is never easy
when one is stripped of love and legacy
when heart is torn from rib cage
when everyday is a test that cannot be passed.

Woodstock, New York
May 4, 2011

Drill Baby Drill

We watch dumbfounded while the earth explodes and bleeds.
Black blood worth its weight in gold
blankets the ocean with the angel of death,
stains once pristine white sand beaches,
coats and chokes innocent wildlife.

We are impatient with the culprits
who caused this violation of our mother earth.
We are helpless to halt
this out of control oozing of the earth’s core,
unable to grasp the catastrophic nature of man’s blunder.

We don’t need terrorists
to fly planes into our buildings.
We don’t need suicide bombers
to blowup our cities.
We don’t need insane dictators
to deploy atomic and biological weapons.
We don’t need our enemies
to dance on our graves.

We have our friends
to slowly drill us into extinction.

Woodstock, New York
July 26, 2010

Egypt Lives Just Around the Corner

Out of the clamor of chaos and killing
comes the whisper of clarity and birth.
Out of the demonic devastation of war and hate
ripples the holy reconstruction of promise and peace.

Transformation of any society is never simple.
Changing thought process from shackles of dogmatic credo
to serenity, equanimity and moral certitude
is always complicated by fear and panic mongering
by those who would take advantage of instability
to fortify their own narrow, inflexible, pincer-like agenda,
drive a blood-stained stake into the child’s heart of hope.

Out of black and darkened storm clouds
flows the liquid gift of growth.
Out of cracks and breaks of life’s mistakes
pours the reception of perfection.

February 4, 2011
Woodstock, New York

Evy Kay in the Daylight

Evy Kay yawns in the daylight of her dawn
twinkling eyes of diamond stars
this daughter of my eldest son
is God’s Grand Gift to me.

Created from silent song of love
from tiny trickle to rolling stream,
this soon to be born child of light,
visited me recently in a dream.

“Father of my father,
I am from blood of your blood,
I am from flesh of your flesh,
Take me in your outstretched arms.”

Sounds of sparrows scurrying upon windowsill
awakened my sleeping soul.
Comprehension of your kiss and cuddle
curved my lips into a shit-eating grin.

Woodstock, New York
October 29, 2012


Forgiveness burns bridges of hate.
Forgiveness melts mountains of righteousness.
Forgiveness tears down walls of stubbornness.
Forgiveness slays the dragons of fear we carry.
Forgiveness sees God’s reflection in your enemy’s eyes.

Forgiveness lifts the entrenched anger.
Forgiveness lightens the heavy heart.
Forgiveness allows the soul to sing again.
Forgiveness oils the wheels of peaceful intention.
Forgiveness is packaged in 8 pounds of baby girl.

The stillness of the morning air
harkens me back to my innocent youth,
when anything was possible,
life was a straight road to happy land where
bumps and bruises were minor impediments.

The torturous wind is now behind my back.
I look forward to manifesting a benevolent future.
The melancholy of a millennium of bereavement,
supplanted by the elation of celebration,
signaled by the gesture of a smile and a simple hug.

Woodstock, New York
January 20, 2013

Garden of Weeds

I am growing a garden of weeds,
into which, at times,
I cast vegetable seeds that will nourish my family.

Today, I am picking weeds
in this endless cycle of man vs. plant.
Man conquers, but, for a short moment in time.
For the plant always breaks through soil and
one day soon will cover our graves.

The thunder and rain push me beneath the shelter.
Plants flourish in this environment.
I am grateful for this liquid magic gold.
For a few moments,
bees, hummingbirds and butterflies suspend their movements.
Then, the mesmerizing dance
of fertilization and reproduction continues.

The thick rain pelters the red-flowered bee balm.
One by one the petals fall to the soil.
They are my favorite flower,
medicinal they say.
Magically, one flower appears
through and on top of the bottom flower.

It is the role I savor.
Savior of earth.
Keeper at the gate of the garden.
out from which Adam was tossed.

Woodstock, New York
May, 2010

Gun Moll Mama

The guns he used were his mom’s.
Semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction legally purchased
for defense against home invasion,
sometimes used to shoot mice in the yard.
But now is not the time to talk about gun control.

He plugged mom first in her bed asleep
dreaming of her recent trip to the shooting range.
Then he drove her car to Sandy Hook,
blasted through the windows,
methodically shot and killed twenty,
I said twenty,
6-10 year-old children,
I said children,
at close range so he wouldn’t miss.
The forensic pathologist counted 11 bullets in one body.
But now is not the time to talk about gun control

Seven adults including the principal, school psych and teachers were murdered, some placing their bodies to shield kids.
But you can’t protect anyone from insanity.
And now is not the time to talk about gun control.

Woodstock, NY
December 18, 2012

How Can I Not Talk About Love?

Everything contained within, entirety without,
aggregate I sense, perceive, never doubt.
Visionary multicolored rainbow reality,
dancing brown-eyed moonlit fantasy,
singing sparkling dreams in the night sky,
leaving me forever indebted to your emerald castles.

Our Love is boundless, endless like the ocean tide.
Our Love is limitless, infinite like the sun’s light.
Our Love flourishes in the darkest, coldest night,
Our Love thrives in spite of voracious voices of fright.
Our Love abounds and soars like an eagle in flight.

I am eternally beholden to you my beloved,
for gently holding my hand, walking with me through fire,
for lifting my heart, filling it with desire,
for ceaselessly revealing your intimate orb,
to which I aspire, of which I do not tire,
leaving me perpetually yearning, begging for more.

Woodstock, New York
December 31, 2011

I Am

I am lost in the love of you, body, spirit, the whole of you.
I am absorbed in succulent curves of your lap n’ hips.
I am thrilled by luscious licks of your lilac lips.
I am drawn to delicious flavor of your nape n’ neck.
I am impassioned by contemplation
of your veiled treasure map.

I am driven crazy by the passion of your allure.
I am obsessed by surreal dreams
emanating through seductive mirrored eyes.
I am stupefied by soul wisdom hidden within.
I am imprisoned by sanctity of your secret garden.
I am comforted by delicacy of your touch.

I am beholden to your dazzling magnificence.
I am smitten by irresistible spaces you conceal.
I am devoted to your brilliance, sparkling like a star.
I am entranced by your luminous essence.
I am pleased to savor each moment of time,
grateful to simply be your husband, friend and lover.

I am, I am, I am.

Woodstock, New York
October 3, 2010

Laughing Eyes

Music transports me to another dimension.
Surprised by my body’s emotional reaction,
tears well in my laughing eyes,
throat breaks into hopeful hymn
of faith in miracles and God.

Perception of a beautiful lilting voice uplifts.
Lighter than air ascent to stunning sky.
Mystical songs of newborn baby cries,
beauty of last whisper of elder who dies,
wave the magic wand, I am born again.

Symphonies always stir my soul.
I drink each note deep into my cells.
I savor every sound like fine wine.
My being soars, is raised to heaven.
I am forever transformed.

Woodstock, New York
October 25, 2012

Love & Laughter Are The Best Medicine

Laughter is medicine for the soul.

In the sunlit dewdrop morning
your giggling voice never ceases to amaze me.
Never in my soul’s history has love so enveloped
and swallowed my being
as if to lift my spirit up into the sky.

Love is medicine for the heart.

I can tell you it’s true.
I swallow your tonic aura
and I am whole.
I lick the bottom of your chocolate spoon
and my heart sings.

Woodstock, New York
September 15, 2010


I cannot comprehend this country.

Electorate chooses the first black president.
As soon as the ballots are counted
the spinners spin their validation web,
the calculating holy rollers crucify the chained sinner,
the lynch mobs knot their assassination ropes,
the witch hunters strike their matches, light the stake,
the firing squads load their guns and
Ready! Aim! Fire!

Forgetfulness fuels dissatisfaction.
Dissatisfaction dives into impatience.
Impatience breeds discontent.
Discontent becomes contempt.
Contempt leads to thoughtlessness.
Thoughtlessness gives way to stupidity.
Stupidity results in a Republican vote and
Ready! Aim! Fire!

Woodstock, New York
November 4, 2010

My Mother’s Diet

On the same day, the obituaries proclaimed that
Bagel Guru, Murray Lender, and
Mr. Coffee Maker, Samuel L. Glazer both died.
I was reminded of my mother.

That combination of bagels and coffee somehow kept my mother alive and healthy for 78 years.
Those two basic foods along with the confectionary, JuJuBe’s, were the staples for my mother’s diet.

Oh sure she put milk in her coffee,
butter or cream cheese on her bagel,
ate leftovers from family meals, restaurants,
bar mitzvahs and weddings,
but Bagels, Coffee and Jujubes were the items
I actually saw her put in her mouth on a daily basis.

So my condolences go out the Lender and Glazer families.
“My mother thanks you,
my father thanks you,
but most of all, I thank you.” *1

Woodstock, New York
March 25, 2012

*1 Al Jolson

My Two Sons

My youngest son crawled into my arms,
buried his tear-filled eyes into my shoulder.
Reality that high school was over had set in.
Reality that life had turned the corner,
Transitioned from childhood into manhood.

Transformation is never easy.
Shedding your skin,
Moving into the next phase,
College is on the horizon.

In the meantime, he will spend more time with his friends,
give extra hugs to his dog,
sleep, head under the covers, until noon
declare his love for mom and dad.

My oldest son is his father’s son.
Clearly, he is in the mix,
present at every event,
coaching all ballgames,
cheering his children to victory,
sharing lessons of dealing with defeat.

Swimming in the pool,
submarine body dragging his children on his back,
throwing Nick into the air,
playing Marco Polo with Lexi,
sharing fashion sense with Jacquie.

The words barely escape my swollen throat.
I can hardly contain my body when they call me gramps.

June 24, 2012
Woodstock, New York

Obama Gets Osama

Crimson innards splatter cross front-page headlines,
stuff airwaves and Internet.
Excited leader led libido
stimulates overtly dramatic pundit jabber.

It’s been nearly 10 years since 9/11.
Spontaneous celebrations erupt at Ground Zero
into chorus of patriotic songfest,
kissing and hugging in a play that is
reminiscent of the end of WW2.

One thing is perfectly clear.
Humans are so easily killed.
2 bullets to the head and chest
splinter the skull into pieces,
unravel intestines onto the pavement
photos too shocking for public viewing.

Don’t pop the champagne cork quite yet.
Survivors and supporters seethe.
Someone will step into his blood-soaked sinister shoes.
Someone will fill the hate filled gap.
Someone will exclaim and extract revenge.
The angry circle never ceases.
You can’t kill malevolent memory of the malicious mob.

Woodstock, New York
May 18, 2011

On This Night

On this night
what can I give you my son?
If it’s legacy or history you desire,
then stand next to me,
absorb the heat you feel,
open your eyes to the site that you see,
feel the strength of men standing around this fire.

Your brother and I, and these men
have taught you by our mistakes.
Try not to make them.
Your brother and I, and these men,
have taught you by our deeds.
Try to learn from them.

Live in the space of peace.
Never pick up a weapon against another being.
Do not be fooled by war-mongers
There are other brilliant ways to serve your country.
to give to your community.

Try to live and allow others to live in dignity.
Allow your heart to lead the way.
Allow poets and writers and singers to inspire you.
Pay attention to your breath,
for it is the gift of life.

Be a man who turns to men for your support.
Be a man who turns to men for your guidance.
Don’t be fooled by men with prejudice and hate,
or are manipulators.

They will bar your path,
stifle your growth.
become barriers to the real meaning of life
the why of why we are here.

Search for answers with an unquenchable thirst.
Ask questions with a ravenous appetite for truth.
Dance dances until your feet ache.
Sing songs until your voice is hoarse.

Be loving, kind and gentle with the women in your life.
They will depend upon you for their safety
They will turn to you for protection.
Treat them all as if they are your mother.

Be gentle with the old,
you will one day be an elder.
Be thoughtful with the young.
you will one day be their teacher.

Be open to new ideas.
Be a life long learner.
Be trustworthy.
Be humble.

There will be a day when I will not be here
to answer your questions.
to show you the way.
to teach you right from wrong.

So now is the time to take advantage of this man
who loves you unconditionally.
Though you may have been born from different flesh,
our souls will always be tied together.

I Love You,

Woodstock, New York
April 19, 2010

Predetermined Course

It is difficult for humans to peel off their skin.
to shed their bodies at the entrance.
Their hearts always bleed for loss,
but the soul knows no remorse,
it has but one predetermined course.

We all believe that we will inhabit this casing forever.
That the world just can’t go on without us,
We fret over who’s going to pay the bills.
We are vexed, perplexed at the unsolvable puzzle.
Then reality brings these illusions to a screeching halt.

Do not be filled with trepidation my fellow traveler.
I have witnessed the other side of the door.
It is beautiful light that patiently awaits.
Eternal sunshine that will bathe us with warmth.
There is nothing to fear.

Woodstock, New York
September 28, 2011

Right Turn to Wrong Thinking

How does one explain that in 2010,
Stone Age thinking still garners media headlines?
Fear is the driving force behind
“everyone who is not like me is the enemy.”

If you don’t believe in Wall Street, you are the enemy.
If you don’t believe in Capitalism, you are the enemy.
If you don’t believe in Halliburton, you are the enemy.
If you don’t believe in Reaganomics, you are the enemy.
If you don’t watch Fox News every night, you are the enemy.
If you don’t love cuddly grizzly mommas, you are the enemy.
If you are not born again, you are the enemy.
If you don’t believe in heaven as the reward, you are the enemy.
If you don’t believe in the wisdom of war, you are the enemy.
If you don’t believe in the “final solution”, you are the enemy.

If you are gay, you are the enemy.
If you are black, you are the enemy.
If you are poor, you are the enemy.
If you are Islam, you are the enemy.
If you are a witch, you are the enemy.
If you believe in global warming, you are the enemy.
If you believe in Universal Health Care, you are the enemy.
If you use condoms or masturbate, you are the enemy.
If you believe in a woman’s right to choose, you are the enemy.
If you believe peace and love are the answer, you are the enemy.

In this world’s dramatic turns of events,
drinking tea with the KKK,
exhorting Civil War mentality and feigning patriotism
steals the ratings.

Woodstock, New York
October 6, 2010


I descend into cavernous sinkhole of my life past,
where scattered scarlet shards stains of insane pain remain.
Though turbid storms of decades of time have passed,
where wretched games of blame and solemn sorrow ingrain,
I still slip n’ slink into that vile void.

Grievous thoughts lurk in my somber psyche,
plunge me into shaking whirlpools of perpetual emotion,
plummet me down from primal cliffs to shark tank below.
Subtle reminders stain every corner of memory
nibble on the balance beam of my uncertain sanity.

There is no secret formula to formulate and follow.
Daily wandering a winding pathway
that becomes more slippery and constricted,
I am pointed toward my pre-ordained dead end,
not knowing what fate awaits around the next mysterious bend.

Staring into mirror at swollen and bloodied eyes,
I am consoled by awareness that this existence
is sprinkled with soothing moments of conscious ecstasy,
infiltrated by layer upon layer of incessant love
surmounting fear with the swift sword of passion.

Woodstock, New York
December 18, 2011

The Design

“There is a crack, a crack
in everything,
that’s how the light gets in”
Leonard Cohen

There is design, design
in everything,
that’s how conception begins,
holy construction within.

We are designed to find
spontaneous scent combustion,
desirous of interior mutual composition,
symphonic, orchestrated vibration.

The soul searches for its’ mate
in secluded corners of communal reflection.
The body explores distant cosmos
for comfort in familiar embraces.
The heart quietly pulses energy
seeks to meld with heat of another,
share alternating beats and harmonious breaths.

Convergence of touch to touch
leaves a trace of remorse when apart,
feeds the need of intimacy
in this seemingly haphazard, complacent world.

Impulsiveness of compulsive creativity
is an entity this poet recognizes.
Internal etchings of a single sliver of love
bestows life to the static carcass of this beast.

Woodstock, New York
October 25, 2010

The Junk Man

It is presidential politics as usual for the party of Lincoln,
who tosses and turns in his grave as I write these words.
Tolerance was the keystone to his tenure.
Intolerance is the foundation of their party platform.
False prophet philosophy of small government
stretches octopi limbs into the national bedroom,
lurking like some mad scientist
tearing open the uteri of women,
snatching newborn infants within.

Surrounded by well-trained junkyard dogs,
poised to suck flesh from the opposition,
conjuring grandiose lies in the blink of an eye,
armed with righteousness of religious belief,
the junk man is here to sell us his bill of goods,
every four years whether we like it or not.

You can’t trust the junk man.
This brazen chameleon dressed in sheep’s clothing
relentlessly seizes failed ideas and renders them anew,
unrepentantly pilfers lifelines from the poor,
shamelessly siphons finances to the wealthy,
unapologetically alters his position paper every day
to reflect shifting direction of wind,
leering down upon the frozen masses,
hiding his Uzi beneath a toothy grin.

Woodstock, New York
October 25, 2012

The 99% Occupy My Heart

The Arab Spring has become the US Autumn.
Darlings to the Left,
Devils to the Right,
this unorthodox, unorganized,
seemingly leaderless movement,
instills consternation and fear in the 1%,
tears holes in their protective stone walls,
creates democracy from the ground up.
It’s a labor union movement and the 60’s all rolled into one.
“We’re not gonna take it anymore,” is shouted in the streets.

Behind closed doors, dismayed government officials
try to figure it out so they can defuse the situation.
Let’s call them a jobless shifty mob.
Let’s impose a midnight curfew.
Let’s claim sanitation issues, illicit sex and drug usage.
Lets call it overcrowding and evict them.
Let’s use police in riot gear to arrest them.
Let’s shoot tear gas to disperse the ingrates.
Let’s call it a privately-owned park
in which tents or demonstrations are not sanctioned.

The 99% will not be discouraged.
They will not be swayed from their simple goals.
They will not be deterred from their historic quest.
They will not be influenced by lobbyists.
They will not be bought by corporations.
They will not sell their souls to Satan.
They are in it for the long haul.
Our lives depend upon it.

On the night of November 14th,
the NYPD in full riot gear
evicted the protestors from Zuccoti Park.
As part of the “cleanup”, 14 people were arrested.
Tents, clothing, food and books were tossed into garbage trucks.
The image of Nazis burning books on Kristalnacht,
Bull Conner using fire hoses and attack dogs on black children
seared across generations of historical perspective.
Government never allows too much protest
of their stranglehold on power.
Ironically, the former name of the park was Liberty Park.

Woodstock, New York
November 13, 2011

The River

Your brown eyes flow through me
like a river winding into my soul,
cleansing the very core of my heart
with cool clear magic liquid
that frees me from fear’s lies
that grip and choke.

Absorbed in luminous whirlpools of adoration,
surrounded by hearth of soft silken white light,
enthralled by endless faith in love,
fueled by vital force of devotion
that reaches toward the boundless sky,
explores within universal emotions
that feed and nourish expansion of our universe.

Woodstock, New York
February 5, 2011

Titanic For Sale

NY Times Ad:
On April 1st, 2012, in conjunction with
the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic,
Guernsey’s Auction House will hold a huge yard sale
offering more 5500 items in a single lot.
Items, including fine china, ship fittings, portions of the
hull, have an estimated value of 189 million.
Please Bring Your Checkbook or Credit Cards!!

There was a reason the ship was named Titanic.
Those White Star Line builders had gigantic egos
as massive as the mountains of ice
that tore into that giant floating metal metropolis
like an electric can opener.

Bound for NYC from Southampton, England,
the liner hit an iceberg that tore into the hull for 10 seconds.
In a few hours, the 40 thousand ton colossal ship,
advertised as enormously unsinkable,
became a holy gargantuan grave
for more than 1500 souls that drowned in frozen waters
as the band played on through the night.

Class determined your access
to a barely legal number of lifeboats.
Woman and children were first,
then the elitist upper class.
Common folk and workers were left to drown.
Captain Smith went down with his immense ship,
but not without a sorry epic prayer.

What was left of that self-contained city of ornate appointments
had slept undisturbed on the tranquil ocean bottom,
had bathed in the salty sea for a hundred years,
400 miles off the Newfoundland coast,
until court approved salvor, RMS Titanic, Inc.,
located, salvaged and savaged
vast treasure troves of artifacts.

Parent company, Premier Exhibitions,
won’t announce the results until April Fifteenths
100- year historical celebration.
I can’t wait until the monumental relics trickle to Ebay.
Then we plebeians can finally buy
a piece of its huge classical history.

Woodstock, New York
December 31, 2011


The full moon stares through shaded window creases
points to a dappled speckle seared on my bedroom wall.
Articulating this moment in awe,
all is peaceful and protected in my life.

I am awakened by early morning vibrations,
as the sun starts its’ circle dance in the sky,
tosses shadows lingering down the pine valley,
igniting the mountain with fiery fervor.

Taste of bittersweet, jaded, nightshade nectar
seeps from sugary purple flowers
that yields poisonous red fruit
lethal to my heart and sanity.

Toxic memory bullets challenge me today.
I am an exemplary father of 2 sons whom I love.
I cherish each and every memory
of their lives with me.

There are flashes of barbed-wired darkness
that infiltrate my bloodstream
invade the sheltered envelope of reality
There is sadness that pervades every inch of space.

Woodstock, New York
June 18, 2011

Winters Past

I stare out my north-facing window,
at the mountain pinnacle draped in pastels,
perceive the large pine limb shattered,
cracked from giant ancient perennial,
strewn upon swollen ashen snow,
like a beached hump-back whale
draped in green gown of tears.

I examine unfolded past memory blogs,
reminded of youth’s prior frozen winters,
sunrises spent wishing for school cancellations,
full days whooshing, whooping and whopping
down glazed, slippery hills on belly.

Fingers numbed by frigid cold,
eyes crusted by melted ice,
I return home exhausted at dusk,
greeted by scented steam of hot chocolate
brimming with milk of mother love.

Storms shook the house at its’ foundation,
rattled the attic ceiling rafters,
blizzards blew white dust in tornado funnels,
windows clattered tirelessly to tempest music,
my father’s phonograph played 50’s show tunes,
I was a safe and content child,
satiated in pleasure of intact family.

Woodstock, New York
November 26, 2010

Seeing is Believing

Seeing is Believing.

Does that mean one who is blind does not believe,
does not believe in faith in God,
does not believe in obvious truths,
does not believe in a lover they can trust with their heart?

Hearing is Believing.

Does that mean one who is deaf does not believe,
does not believe in faith in God,
does not believe in obvious truths,
does not believe in a lover they can trust with their heart?

Talking is Believing.

Does that mean one who is mute does not believe,
does not believe in faith in God,
does not believe in obvious truths,
does not believe in a lover they can trust with their heart?

Walking is Believing.

Does that mean one who crippled does not believe,
does not believe in faith in God,
does not believe in obvious truths,
does not believe in a lover they can trust with their heart?

Belief is a double-edged sword.

It can either free us to see the world with curiosity, hope and love,
or enslave us to see the world with rigidness, helplessness and hate.

We humans like to believe
that we can choose our path,
that we can build our home,
that we can grow our food
and all is well.

Yet we quite often face lessons that we must learn and grow from,
One lesson being that seeing is not believing.

Woodstock, New York
February 5, 2016

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
January 30, 2016

I thought so, but on second thought..

I thought that Republican primary campaigns for POTUS
had reached the lowest common denominator
in 2012’s assault on the President’s birthright,
had sunk below pig manure spread on killing fields,
had exhibited every drunken, dirty trick from its vile playbook.

But on second thought,
then the 3 non/amigos, TRC, arrived on the scene,
dressed in suit, shirt and tie,
riding side saddle on black stallions,
waving shredded constitutional parchment,
pointing AK-47’s at anyone crossing the border.

Dennis Wayne Bressack
February 28, 2016

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
February 17, 2016

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
February 8, 2016

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

March 26, 2016

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)

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
March 5, 2016

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
March 16, 2016

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
April 24, 2016

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
February 29, 2016

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
February 29, 2016

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
January 10, 2016

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
February 8, 2016

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
April 16, 2016

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
January 22, 2016