Tag Archives: random


I sit in the courtyard watching them.  It is square, concrete all around, the pad under my butt.

Grit everywhere.  Sand.  Small pebbles like irregular irises.

Sun beats down. It’s so hot and I’m thirsty but there’s nothing to drink.  I am stuck here, in this roomless cell with its roofless walls, a prisoner of my own making.

I have misbehaved again

and shuffle to the courtyard

head down, eyes narrowed against the strong sunlight streaming into my darkness

as I shuffle out into the courtyard

and sit down.

Counting ants.

Watching them.

Look at them scuttle, run around.

I pick up a small stone – a boulder to him.

and I throw it.

It bounces around, missing him.

I pick up another and throw it again.  Then a handful.

Bombs falling down

in the ant playground

while I sit watching them.



– This is from my childhood, when I’d get so bored and there was nothing to do.  I don’t know where the courtyard came from, but we were there. Sitting there in the hot sun.  Voices in the distance tell me I am not alone, but there is no one elsewhere that I can detect . . .
I was held prisoner sometimes
in that courtyard in my mind
and ants were the only entertainment I had;
that, and the blazing sun.

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The Eggshell People

The Eggshell People live in an Eggshell World
with an eggshell mind in an eggshell house.
They teach their children to be kind,
they wouldn’t hurt a mouse.
But they would be horrified to find one
living in their eggshell house.
They’d buy a sticky board to bind him
or a trap to let him out.

The Eggshell people don’t teach their children about war
or the horrors in the world.
They protect themselves and children
by censoring every word.

TV shows are banned, violence not allowed.
Guns as toys discouraged,
they cling to religious vows
they inspire and they encourage,
their children are terrors to be around.

“Be yourself!”, they say, “Be free in what you do!”
But not too different, and they’ll enforce their rules on you.
To protect their Eggshell World and their eggshell ways,
they will do anything that they can,
shutting out the outside world.
Demanding you be like them.

“Don’t conform!” they say.  But don’t act different from them.
“We treasure individuality!”
As long as it’s indistinguishable from them.

But perhaps you were brought up different,
not in an eggshell world.
Where guns were allowed and horrors abounded
and by five you’d heard every cuss word.
Where the struggle for survival was a struggle to survive
beyond your eggshell world.

The Eggshell people.
Children so unprepared.
Live in ruin around them.
Blind to what they see,
denying all that is around them.
Protecting their culture from reality
in order to build a reality around them.
Like an eggshell world,
their dreams if it comes crumbling down on them.
When reality pokes through,
raising its ugly head,
when faced with pain and horror,
they shrink away in dread.

The Eggshell People.
I have spent my life defending them,
hiding them from the horrors,
telling them “all is all right”
while I died and cried along their borders,
patrolling the world, patrolling the night,
in distant far-off lands,
committing atrocities and horrors
they condemn and can’t understand.

The Eggshell people!
How I envy them,
their minor squabbles and their grace,
not knowing that I died fighting for them,
giving up happiness and my place
peace and contentment
to protect the world they see.
The Eggshell people might condemn me
but without me where would they be?

(the lament of a young soldier . . . a long time ago.)


Filed under Marine, Matthew


I’ve been hanging around, you see.  The days are hot and the nights are cold, and I’ve gotten to know a few of the odd birds that come around.

Comes from hanging around, you see.
I watch the clouds drifting over, a brittle blue sky beyond,
and the ground below me looks inviting and warm
and I’m so tired of hanging from this tree
bones ensnared in the branches.
Hanging from this tree
my bones grow weary.
Why won’t the rope break
dropping me to the grave
that I slaved to dig?

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The Comely Frog

“Ribbet. ribbet.”
Said the Frog.
“Kiss me babe.
I’ll be your Prince.”

And she did.

Later on she left him, saying, “You are such a Toad.”

He smiled sadly and softly said, “And to think: I was as such a handsome and comely frog when we first met!  And now I’m but a Toad.”

And she hopped away looking for another Prince to kiss, collecting alimony checks all the way.

croak. croak.

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Whispering Leaves In A Barren Forest


A Forest in twilight, its limbs stripped bare.
A land, torn; branches reaching, grasping at the air.
Ash on the wind tastes like the ash of your own soul
as you wander this rolling land
with the trees all stripped bare.

Leaves blowing by your feet; scuttling away in the wind.
Whisper their tiny secrets like a clutter of scuttling friends
scurrying away from you
while above gray skies, plated like glass
stacked grayer on an endless horizon
greets your open eyes.

You are walking there,
Looking endlessly for something,
anything not dead and bare.
Something you lost long ago;
you ignore the whispers in the air
and the eyes that are staring at you from the hollows
of this distant land.

The wind blows: cold, yet eerily quiet
through the grasping trees,
yet not so quiet you can’t hear whisper of the whispering leaves
scuttling across the dry cold ground
bound for an unseen horizon
with a hushed and solemn sound.

They gather in burrows and boles
and among the roots and holes
of this forgotten land.
Those whispering leaves
which drive you mad
with the remembrances of times and places
where even the good times leave
you feeling empty and sad.

The autumn wind blows through the barren forest, stirring the dead leaves resting there.
Whispers of memory fill my mind as I breath the wintery yet dead air.
Of ancient memory and forgotten places,
persons that I loved.

Cold gray clouds like stacked glass panes rise into a striated sky.
I wander the hidden forest, watching those leaves blow by.
Each one whispers their secrets
as the northwest wind howls from behind.
Shhhh! Listen carefully
to these whispers from my mind . . .



Filed under Poetry

Dreaming Fish

There’s no way you can convince me that you’re not a fish in an endless sea, dreaming a dream of you and me.  For all I know and all you say, there’s no way to prove, no way to say
that you are not a fish sleeping in an eternal sea dreaming of you dreaming of me.

We could be clams with pearls of sorrow dreaming dreams that turn into tomorrow.

We could be lichens on rocks dreaming we wear socks.

You can’t prove different to me.

But am I dreaming your dream or are you dreaming me?
Is all I am just what you see?

I doubt it.

Perhaps you are in mine.

You could kill me; but that proves naught,
for perhaps in your dream you dreamed this thought,
for all you know you dreamt that, too;
all those long years spent in school,
those tedious days and tedious nights
and you dreamed your dreams of thrills and fights.
You dreamed your life, your love, your friends;
you dreamed the stars, the fields, the earth,
and there’s just you – sitting on the bottom of the ocean.

An urchin, a lichen, a star
sitting on the bottom of an endless sea
sleeping and dreaming and dreaming
all that is to be.

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On The Beach: A Hungry Sunset Mood

The tanned sands toasted brown by a western sun.
Marshmallow clouds drift on by
like piled pink cotton candy against the horizon
while white winged sprinkles wheel in the azure sky
as seagulls cry, each lonesome.

Waves whisper and twisted like licorice sticks
topped by whipped cream foam.
Bitter tasting, foul in my mouth
across a sugary beach I roam.

The storm’s a’coming, the storms abate,
they have their passionate mood.
As the sunset sets it seems late
and time for some good food.

A crab, a claw; a crustacean, a shrimp,
a fish would make a meal.
And if wishes were fishes I would wish for a fish
and become a frolicking seal . . .

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