Monday, October 31, 2016


It seems odd to celebrate fake fear
When real threats are all too near,
As we have been told through the year,
And many months before.
It seems odd to put kids in masks
When much has been made of the tasks
Of stopping crime, but no one asks
About the coming "more."
It seems odd to pump full of sweets
Children we bemoan that treats
Are too much what each one eats,
But I'll go to the store.
It seems odd I on holidays
Seem to seek out sundry ways
That I can not while others play--
But, then, I am a bore.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Last year, Halloween was not a big deal.
We dressed her in costume. She soon appealed
To be released from it in tears and a peal
Of higher-pitched thunder and shrieking.
It was easy, then, to set it aside,
To withdraw and remain in the home, yes, to hide
Away from the world, not going outside,
But this year, we cannot be shrinking.
Although it is certain she will scream again,
And not in a costume to which screaming's friend,
She has to go out, e'en if, in the end,
Matters will go as I'm thinking.
I doubt she'll recall in years yet to come
What she did on a day. As a rule of thumb,
People forget what they did when so young,
Especially if it was shrieking.

Friday, October 28, 2016


It occasionally happens I forget my alarm.
It happened today, but I suffered no harm.
Running behind is not a nice thing,
So I complain not when alarm clocks sing.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Leaves still green remain
The sun rises not so far
When will the leaves fall?

Friday football games
Wednesdays and Thursdays as well
Some other things, too

Warm, not hot, the days
No scent flies of cold to come
Hill Country autumn

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


The crickets are chirping; the cattle are lowing;
The oaks, the mesquites, and the cedars are growing;
And over the hills, the winds are still blowing,
Breathing the limestone and granite.

The sun, not yet shining, will soon fill the sky
With light, will enable the still-working eye
Nested in creases to see what goes by
Across hills of limestone and granite.

On the long roads, I am soon to drive,
Tracing the asphalt until I arrive
Somewhere else in this place where I've come to thrive
Amid hills of limestone and granite.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Only two months remain
Until Christmas Day,
And the demand is plain--
There is only one way
To mark the occasion,
The "sacred" to laud.
It's not a vacation;
It is not a nod
To holy reflection
Or observance quiet,
But, instead, perfection
In sale-driven riot,
For displays are rising
For trimmings for trees,
For gift-wrap and tidings
Set in cards with ease,
All marked down early
To stimulate sales
Of gaudy lights, pearly
Lights, paper in bales.
Mind not the months waiting
Between now and then;
"Christmas" is coming,
So all else can end.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Things to do today:
Wake up
See them off

It is an A-Z day
Not an E-Z day
And I have to wonder
If Æ, Ð, Þ, Ƿ, and Ȝ will factor in, as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


It is a quiet day
Made more quiet by the task
Of grading
I am making enough comments
On student work
I have no others to spare.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


I made a payment on a debt
On which I still owe much;
The balance is still quite high yet,
It's principal untouched.
I was allowed by doing so
A dream to keep in mind;
Recalling dreams for me is, though,
Quite an uncommon find.
I saw my wife dressing in white;
I worried for a suit.
I could not get the colors right;
I think I'd lost a boot.
We were set to renew our vows
At some point yet to come;
I do not know the day or how
Our marriage thence had run,
But I know well I love her yet,
The woman who's my wife;
I never thought that I would get
Such a one in my life.

Friday, October 21, 2016


I just made a wake-up call
I don't often do so
I usually walk down the hall,
Quickly passing through so
I can ensure that she wakes
To get to work on time
And drive our daughter, whom she takes
To daycare; I don't mind.
Usually, I'm early up,
Reading, writing, too,
Swiftly drinking another cup
Of blessed black brew,
So I th' alarm clock tend to be
For my wife and child,
Though when them asleep I see,
I find myself beguiled.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


I have largely kept myself apart
From the 2016 election
I know whom I am voting against
And I know it is voting against
In many cases
Or most
But I mean to make a mark
At every level on the ballot
Although there are not so many where I will vote
Uncontested "elections" are a thing here
And no write-ins are allows

All the talk of
"Vote your conscience"
Matters little where
The clearest means of doing so
Is forbidden

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


The sun is shining in the sky.
The grass is growing tall.
I stand with my scythe in hand,
Ready to reap all,
To take what can be taken from
What itself presents
Within the land assigned to me,
Within a barb-wire fence
That lets me see how others' fields
Are neatly trimmed and mown,
Or else how many others' fields
Are greatly overgrown.
What fertilizers they have used
Are not well known to me,
But I have to think they're piles of shit
That have made what I see.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Last night, I heard a concert, and,
Though small, it was quite nice.
After it came to an end,
I found that, in a trice,
I was asked to read my work
At another event.
Since I desire not to irk,
What ought I present?

Monday, October 17, 2016


There is enough for me to do
Without my seeking more,
Yet I somehow manage to accrue
Other tasks before
I can clear out those I have
Already undertaken.
Unlike the rising tides that lave
At sands on shores forsaken,
The list of work I get to do
Does not look to recede.
I have more writing, and still through
Many pages to read
I am yet to go. But this
Is what I chose to do,
And this the wonder always is:
I am never through.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


I made another payment on my
Sleep debt just today,
But I think that I'll never catch up
No matter what I pay;
Too much interest has accrued
Because of the delay
I have had in paying on it.
Waking through each day
Because I have had to work
Rather than to play
Or rest as I probably ought,
Despite what others say,
I attend to other things
Than hours of sleep each day.
Even now, the work is calling;
I do what I may.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


There is something to be said
For paying on a sleep debt
On which interest is accruing,
Rate unannounced yet.
I do not know if principal
Or finance charges I
Have paid by sleeping in today;
Still, I will get by.

Friday, October 14, 2016


I am minded of the word "agog"
For some strange reason that I cannot name
Because I see it dimly, as through fog,
And even that stretches what I can claim.
I am often taken by the words
I encounter on the page and in
My mind or in speech overheard
Without such sneaking as would seem a sin.
Gelid, squamous, roynish, eldritch, all
Such words--so many!--beckon unto me;
Each for use more frequent loudly calls,
And I to refuse no reason do see.
But I well know that bombast lies that way,
And bombast ought not to come every day.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


I spoke with students yesterday
Of patterns found in verse
And prose, noting them a way
To tutelage rehearse
Of writers learning writing from
Other writers yet.
We exceed by far the sum
Of what we owe in debt,
But we still indebted are
To those from whom we learn,
And we repay the debts so far
As we, in such concern,
Exhibit yet the things they taught
In writing and elsewhere.
That we feel there are things we ought
To do is from their care.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Last night, I said to students that
Each writer has some days
That the writing will not come,
Try as the writer may,
But that, by writing often,
They who write can find
That such days happen rarely,
And when they do, the bind
In which the writer writer's self
Finds is better slipped.
Persistency in practice leaves
The writer well equipped
To move around the rising block,
Going off-road for a time.
Today, such a detour led
To me writing this rhyme.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


That the work continues should be clear,
For it does so without let throughout the year
Despite the cost imposed on those most dear
To have it going on, to forward press.
The work in some sense seeks e'er to address
The leavings of the Stupid God, a mess
Made by inattention to the speech
Flowing freely from the mouths of each
Of us who do and those of us who teach
By saying once again what we have heard
Without the deeper knowledge disinterred
Through labor of the mind. We have incurred
A debt therefore to those who after follow.
The work will help make promises less hollow.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Although it is a holiday,
One honoring a lie,
I am still at work today;
It's easy to see why.
I have papers to assess
And writing still to do.
I took the weekend off; a mess
Upon my desk soon grew.
Awaiting me are readings yet
In print and on the screen;
I must turn to them to get
Done all that I mean
To do to move to other things
That I might celebrate.
At least today, if a bell rings,
I know I am not late.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


The weekend has been going well
For me, though it seems straight to hell
Are many swiftly being dragged
By Stupid God who has them bagged--
If hell is lack of knowledge and
Of wisdom. Then, a mighty band
Has entered in through open mouth,
Towards nadir bound from north and south,
A sinking feeling taking all
Even as they think a ball
Surrounds them in merry delight.
Such is the Stupid God's long night.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


My little girl is singing in the shower.
Her young voice is lifted up in joy.
I smile in joy to hear her talents flower,
Though I confess the blooms sometimes annoy.
But as I look at reports of the world,
Not works of nature so much as devotees'
Of the Stupid God that are unfurled
As a banner marking ends to thinking pleas,
My smile fades. My daughter's stays in place;
She does not know what is or what may come
Save that she is loved, that on her face,
Such tears as may are swept by thumb
Aside. All I can do my daughter to preserve
From the Stupid God, she well deserves.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Yesterday, a student wrote
Poetry is for those who cannot write
Writing verse is lazy writing
It makes the reader work too hard for meaning
Or words to that effect
I did not respond

Yesterday, a student said
You can die for your faith; I will not
I want to see one sect's preachers
Kill themselves as they bid others do
Or words to that effect
I did not respond

At least not as I ought

Yesterday, I told myself
That I would keep on working to be kind
That I would not do as I've done
That I would strive to be liked where I am
Or words to that effect
I know not the response

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I seem to have been stuck on sonnets
As I write where the bluebonnets
Grow on limestone hills of oak
And cedar. I have borne the yoke
Of rhyming many five-foot lines
Of iambs, embedding in them signs
That I have some deeper meaning--
Or, at least, cane make the seeming
Of doing so for a short while.
I have added to the pile
Of such poems grown o'er the years--
Hopefully, I've not caused tears.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


There are a few things that I have to do
Today if I am going to be paid;
I need the money that I will earn through
My efforts: making lesson, marking grade.
I'll have to read; I'll have to write. And then
I'll read some more. The work is never done;
One stack of papers just gets marked 'bout when
Another comes, and from the grading one
Or two points into lessons go to aid
The students as they move ahead and learn--
Those who want more than a simple grade
That they see helps their potential to earn.
Of such students, there are all too few;
It is for them, though, I do what I do.

Monday, October 3, 2016


Today, I woke up feeling like a fool,
Recalling all the errors I have made,
And there are many. I have been a tool
Of Stupid God; I've been adroitly played
By the foul divine embodiment
Of that against which I have long arrayed
My skills and all my efforts. I have meant
To do better than I have, to no avail.
At memories of having so much spent
As I have of effort, things, I quail.
I focus, shout down failures in my mind,
Yet they flood in despite how much I bail.
In pressing forward, I may solace find,
Or so I hope, and that this day be kind.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


What time of day it is, it matters not,
For, so long as I have not words sought
To put in place as I well know I ought,
I am called the fault to rectify.
Now it is to do so that I try,
To put fair words in measure before eye,
And perhaps on my own skills improve
By stretching, changing how each line can move
And grouping words outside accustomed grooves.
When what is known well is but slightly changed,
The result may be seen as sad deranged,
But perhaps that opinion is exchanged
For a different view upon more thought--
In second looks are many lessons taught.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Summer seems now gone away from here.
The weather cools; the air grows fresh again,
Unbound by humid heat that through the year
Draws many outside efforts to an end.
Hill Country heat of summertime I love;
That I stand strong on oak and cedar hills
Allows me to me my own strength to prove--
Although the need to prove promotes some ills.
But autumn coming now does fill the air
Less with pumpkin spice than with a word
Unspoken yet attended to with care
And valued greatly by those who it heard.
Listen; the voice of fall is speaking yet,
Bidding coming to broad table set.