Friday, September 30, 2016


Oh, coffee! Many are the praises sung
Of your black brewéd body every morn,
And many also are the laurels hung
Upon your name save among the foresworn.
I add to them such lauds as I can give;
No paean does my voice so well uplift
As you deserve, but still, while I do live,
In spoken word I'll not give you short shrift
Or in the written word I you deny
All claim of honor and gratitude for aid
You offer me. On you, I do rely
For Stupid God's despite, as I am made.
For if another god has blesséd me
Than Stupid God, the blessing you must be.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


O, Stupid God, whose faces are too many,
Turn your visage away from me and mine,
Look not upon my works or upon any
That I would put to use for kin and kine,
But look instead upon those who are not
Sworn and dedicate to your despite!
They are the many upon whom you ought
To bestow your blessings, day and night,
For it is they who act upon your will
And they who, acting ever in your name,
Will shout their falsehoods from atop each hill
And fill the valleys with sounds of the same.
I am blessed enough by other gods;
Let others know and feel your staves and rods.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


As I stood in the shower this morning
Because I wished to be clean,
I felt the water grow colder
And stood straight up from my lean.
I know that my mind had been wand'ring,
That I my attention had laxed,
But I suddenly found myself worried
That I had myself overtaxed
In some way that caused me to black out,
For I would have solemnly sworn
That more time had passed than I'd realized;
My shower is usually warm
From when I begin to its ending,
But it was not like that today.
That it was not was surprising;
What was I to think or to say?
I looked at the clock when I got out;
It showed a time that would make sense
Not if I had truly blacked out
But been in each moment, and hence
I know that I remained conscious
As water went from warm to cold,
But I know that I remain cautious.
Losing time makes one not bold.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


The Stupid God wears many faces.
They appear in many places,
Not least of which are 'lection races--
As we have had to see.
As the people dance and sing
And trumpet every little thing
That upjumped puppets forward bring,
The Stupid God feels glee,
For worship gives the gods their power
And worship is in every hour
That a god's works are in flower;
Stupid God's grow free.
In the gods' place, there is war
Eternal; it was fought before,
And now it works out quite well for
Stupid God's devotee.
Come fight the Stupid God with me.
Starve the god; help people see
That better things can come to be
Although they won't come easy.

Monday, September 26, 2016


The night just passed did not pass well,
Broken by the shallow knell
Ringing through the home, no bell,
As my daughter was coughing.
The sleep I slept was split in half
By high-pitched hacking, not a laugh
Covered up to avert wrath--
No, my daughter was coughing.
With water, ginger, menthol rub,
With holding arms and soft back-rub,
My wife and I tended our cub
And stopped our daughter's coughing.
She's sleeping now, my little dear.
Her breathing seems to be all clear
But I'm still straining, seek to hear
If my daughter starts coughing.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


A stack of first-year papers
Waits for my attention;
Review of written capers
Of which some deserve mention
And new assignments' writing
Are my tasks for the day.
In one, my sometimes biting
Commentaries I allay
In the hopes of more
Good work done by students
To see. In all truth, for
The other are intents
The same; I want to see
My pupils all succeed.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Although my pixelated pen still writes
Each day, or near enough, and I can leave
My lines behind in many bits and bytes,
My inked-end shaft I too seldom upheave,
Too little put a ball point to the page
And spill across it mind-blood in its train.
Arcane symbols, frustrating to rage
The reader unaccustomed to my strain
To make with hand-work words easy to read,
Day after day I neglect to inscribe,
Failing my loud inward voice to heed--
I hear it e'en if I don't imbibe.
Each day I hope to somehow better be
At writing more; hope springs eternally.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Another work week's come to an end
And I sit alone at home, no friend
To talk to or laugh with, at least not for now,
But I think I perhaps ought not laugh, anyhow,
Given the state of the nation this week
And the way the world looks askance at each peek
Into the innards of this two-ocean land,
At each revelation of the still heavy hand
That grasps at the throats of the people held long
In bondage, chokes them, still demands song
And dance from those people, then rebukes their "play"
By calling them lazy who work not each day--
But calling them worse when they work across hours
And are not at home to tend to the flowers
Planted in nights between sheets--or, worse yes,
Stopping them reaching their homes, or next breaths.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


I have noticed that my rhyme
Coupled with a longer line
Does far better in the time
That I give it
Than do shorter, open bits
Of my exerciséd wits
That in many places sit
Where I post it
Something in stanzaic form
Seems still the expected norm
And when my writings conform
People read 'em
But the structure's not the thing
Rhythm is not a brass ring
Rhyme of verse is not the king
Yet I still heed 'em.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Hidden, fearing wrong,
They stood around too long,
And I just trudge along
I put words to a song
As though there's nothing wrong.
Now forward, moving strong,
I gaze upon the throng,
Singing pitches wrong
And holding them too long,
Knowing all along
That stopping at a song
Does naught to right the wrong

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Things seem to go from bad to worse
And people wonder what's the curse
While I sit back and write some verse
As though there's nothing wrong
Bomb-blasts shake the city streets
The child hungry little eats
And people fear those whom they meet
I put words to a song
Money makes the laws and still
The moneyed do not feel their fill
Although many poor them shill
And I just trudge along
Stranded drivers have to die
And too few think to question why
Saying they had it coming, aye,
They stood around too long
All such things are bad, of course,
Unjust use of unjust force
And heads remain in sand perforce
Hidden, fearing wrong

Monday, September 19, 2016


There, of course, is much to do
As I face my students today.
At the best, I'll take them through
And make them feel at play,
But doing so is quite the chore,
The more since all unfeigned
It must appear, or else a bore
Of me they'll have complained.
Since I am now insecure,
Of contingent employ,
The students' wills I must endure;
I am, in truth, their toy.
So I must hope they play well,
Lest I remain in job hell.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


The time has come again
When I must sit long
Poring over papers
Parsing out the songs
The students seek to sing
Of their lives, of their past
Pushing through the hours
That doing so will last

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Strange dreams follow
Days spent at full-out runs
And even though the memories of them fade
Something remains unsettled

I need to have more coffee

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I do not work today
Not in any formal sense
Although I still have a
Lot to do

Because I do not have to
For a while
And that only later
And to in-laws
I decided
I'd take a few extra minutes

They didn't help.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I woke
Feeling I had hardly slept
Although it had been hours
And I do not
So far as I know
Wander about asleep

I do not know what happened

I do not think
I can get a nap in
For a while
And I worry
I will need one

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


A few minutes
Early on
Makes a great difference
And not too much later

The few more minutes of sleep
Were not worth the trouble

Monday, September 12, 2016


I dreamt of potty training
Not of taking it
But doing it
And that makes sense
Since that is going on
But the kid on my toilet
Was not mine
Either in the dream
Or in truth
I think
What the hell is going on?

Sunday, September 11, 2016


I remember where I was

It is not so far from where I am

It is worlds away

I am not sure
I would go back
Even if such a thing could be

But I was not there
I did not lose people
And so I know that my reaction
My reflection
Is not what matters

Perhaps some others might
That they are more similar to me
Than to those
And standing nearby

But they won't.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


When short-line rhymes one might well rave
That one thinks on Burma-Shave
Or something like it, quickly found,
Despite it running into ground
A verse idea Butler used.
Commerce has the thing abused,
And now in couplets is most rhyme,
Used to mask poor work of mind
And frame it in "To each their own,
Because art is what you make of it."

Friday, September 9, 2016


You know
I gave up smoking
Years ago
And I usually do not miss it
I am coughing like
I've had a pack a day
For years
And I am not happy about it

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Work continues
As ever it does
And I get to keep doing it
Which is better than
Some alternatives
Although it is less good than

I leave it to readers to determine
Which is which
I clearly cannot make sense of things

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


From my journal (yes, I still keep one):

Sticky, moist handfuls
Flung with reckless abandon
At cars passing by
Not by roadside children
But flyers clad in
Dusty, diaphanous gold and orange and black
Kings--and mostly kings--no longer
Unless of barren planes
Sun-baked and rubber-scraped
...say what I am?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


She had trouble
Getting to sleep
Last night

I have to wonder
How much trouble
She will have
Trying to wake

Monday, September 5, 2016


I would raise my fist today
In solidarity
For it is the day for it
And I have been a union man
It will do me no good
And I need that hand to
Write with

Sunday, September 4, 2016


I am reminded
That I have much work yet to do
And I need to get about it

Saturday, September 3, 2016


The ground is stable
In the Texas Hill Country
As it is not
And I am glad
I am where I am

Friday, September 2, 2016


It is good
To be home again
If briefly
Before going out

Thursday, September 1, 2016


My air intake
Is currently experiencing
Fluid loss

I hope it is only because
The fluids are being
Changed out

At the moment
Performance is not so good
But I have to keep driving