Wednesday, November 30, 2016


The month will end, as if in dream,
But not a good one, it would seem.
From many could proceed a ream
And never fully tell it.
If the next month better yet
Looks than this, or will beset
Each of us with some new threat,
I cannot fully tell it.
But I look forward with small hope,
Succumbing to a trending mope
But stopping short of seeking rope--
Or so I mean to tell it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Yesterday, I woke up early,
And I think that it went well,
But when I tried again today,
Things were not quite so swell.
I am displeased with the event;
I found I liked the time I had
When, in the morning quietude
I acted as I myself bad.
But this morning did less well
With bringing me fully awake,
And I have to wonder what
Else from me this day will take.

Monday, November 28, 2016


Today, the work continues, as it must,
And if I am to maintain the trust
That has been placed in me, then, boom or bust,
I must to that work bend my efforts all.
Doing so leaves me hunched beside the tall,
My back bent from desk-work done at call
That comes from sundry clients across the hills.
I answer them that I might pay the bills
And redress many early, pointless thrills
That I undertook in days gone by.
I prized them then, but now, I know not why
I did such things, know not why I would try
To seek outside myself in search of fun.
I did, and now I from that folly run.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


After hundreds of miles and days away,
I'm home again, and could I stay
Here and while the days away,
I would with no hesitation.
Alas, I will no respite find,
For many tasks have come to mind
For me to do, and, although kind,
The demand my attention.
So now I sit me down to write
Such lines as these, and others might
Flow from my fingers to screens' light
And foster rumination.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


In the US, it's Turkey Day,
And I and many others play
At family niceness for the day
Because it is expected.
On this day, we're supposed to eat,
And the meal is quite a treat,
Although it will be far from neat.
A mess is, yes, expected.
Many folks will watch the game
Or a parade that seems quite tame
Against the hungry and the lame,
But that's to be expected.
Some, however, fare less well,
But I'll not of their torment tell;
I'm already told to go to hell,
And, yes, I did expect it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Small cuts sting but do no harm.

When we left The City,
Heading to the hinterlands,
She carried water with her,
Bore bottles across the country.
The were soon drank,
And we were sad to realize
A little more of what we had had
Was gone.

When we left that place
Where the wind sweeps down the plain,
Some things went with us;
We found them there,
And they were useful,
So we kept them.
We have used them since.
Today, I used one up,
And I was reminded that I
Had carried it long.

One thing remains, at least,
And the best of them.
My wife carried her first,
Bearing her from The City
To the hinterlands;
She came with us
To the Hill Country,
And if we leave,
We will carry her again.

She would be no small cut.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The Good Doctor writes
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
It is usually taken as an indictment of force,
A notion that ad baculum proceeds from those who cannot make their cases
Through sweet reason
But it assumes that all will listen to it.
It is an optimistic viewpoint.
But there is another reading.
If the incompetent wait until the last to enact violence,
Perhaps the competent begin it sooner.
Such a thought is perilous,
Of course,
But many thoughts are.
Some will therefore avoid thought.
Look where that leads.
Incompetence, indeed.

Monday, November 21, 2016


A holiday approaches fast,
But I do not know if I'll last
Until the holiday is past
Because the work continues.
I've things to write and things to read,
And students still present their need
Although my teachings they mayn't heed,
But still, my work continues.
So I will drink another cup
Of coffee, and I'll gather up
Such courage as I have, stand up,
And see the work continued.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


I had the thought that I might write a joke
Of such a sort as might well irk some folk
Because it would demand of them they yoke
Their minds to tasks when they prefer to laugh
At what comes easier than from carafe
Into the cup outstretched. I often gaffe
When I attempt to write to foster mirth,
Or speak in such a way as has some worth
In terms of bringing smiles to the earth;
I try too hard. It is a common flaw.
The same is true when I attempt to draw
As when I will at high speed flap my jaw.
But still, I thought I might leave a blank verse
With neither ink on page nor lines rehearsed.

Saturday, November 19, 2016


The holidays are coming all too soon.
They are called "the," although the year's as strewn
With celebrations as with changing moon,
And that calling they have us neglect
Some other ends to which we might direct
Our energies, perhaps to more effect
Than in hanging colored lights from trees
Or putting leaves on tables, knocking knees
With people one day in every year sees
And whom we quite dislike. It matters not,
However, although I have often thought
That I should stand aside, indeed, I ought
To quietly get out of people's way
And let them have their happy holiday.

Friday, November 18, 2016


Yesterday, I looked outside my home
To see what wind and weather would bring near
Because I sat in my house all alone,
Away from those whom I hold as most dear--
Such is the way we have ordered our lives.
When I looked out my window yesterday,
I saw that, passing under cloudy skies,
Birds were flying, mostly in one way,
Cars were driving by, and walkers walked,
And I still sat at home alone and thought
About words spoken when the people talked,
Which I will never hear--not that I ought.
But, looking out upon the world from here,
I can at least pretend I do not fear.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I know that some rebuke me for the mold
In which I cast my verse. It is too old
A pattern that I use, or so I'm told.
By focusing on rhythm and on rhyme,
I write lines that bespeak not my own time;
Instead, I other writers seek to mime
And so diminish those things I would say.
Were they worth the time, a newer way
To put my point across, one for today
Instead of worn-out forms would I employ.
To move away from pattern, I, not coy,
Would press ahead far rather than deploy
A sonnet form. But such a thought believes
The past is nothing more than fallen leaves.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


It seems that every time I pour a cup
Of coffee--that great brew that perks me up--
I spill a bit. It's not as if I gallop
Through the act of pouring out the brew;
It matters not the speed at which I do
The dispensation from carafe into
The wardroom cup that I most often use.
Some of what I pour, I'm bound to lose.
It's wasteful, and I can't the waste excuse.
On many days, I need all the caffeine
That I from cups of coffee ever glean--
And then I need some more, for I have seen
What the lack will do. Yet I still pour
And drip; despite the practice, my pour is poor.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


There is nothing special for today.
My daughter, school-bound, is going to play
With the friends she's made; my wife away
To work will go as she will daily do.
I will remain at home, where I'll wade through
Pages writ by students, scholars, too,
Marking what needs marked and reading on
Until the pages are all past me, gone
To where such things ultimately belong.
Afterward, I know not what will be;
Quiet time alone's a rarity,
Something seldom coming down to me,
Although I know that others fare far worse;
I know that I am only lightly cursed.

Monday, November 14, 2016


There are few quiet minutes yet
Before the day begins in full,
And I will spend, with others yet,
Those minutes trying to me lull
Back into ease of mind and clear
Thought so I may do the work
That I have to do: uprear
My daughter a bit more and jerk
From out of mind-fields weeds full grown
That have the fertilizer taken
From the crops purposely sown,
Subsequently left forsaken.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


I am at home.
My wife and daughter are with me,
And a cartoon is on
That first aired long ago.
It is a lovely domestic scene,
And I wish it could be all that is real,
Not only for me,
But also for many,

Saturday, November 12, 2016


I am in mind of ranching mornings
That, as I look out on the world,
Tell me I should take the warnings
Of such as their threats unfurled
And say to me that I have been too lax
In making me the kind of man
Who can repel or weather the attacks
That seem soon to come. I plan
To fail because I have not done the work
To know what I will do for mine
When what I do the world from me will jerk--
And I oncoming see the time.

Friday, November 11, 2016


And since today is Veterans Day,
And since others will say it,
And since otherwise is not condoned,
And since I would allay it,
And since I know my fortunes here,
And since I know to say
The thing that should be said again:
Thanks. Happy Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Whatever else can be said on this day,
And there are many things that can,
My father is a year older today,
And I am happy he is still around.
I have not called him yet to wish him well,
Although he has his gift from me.
But after sunrise, I will to him tell
The thing that needs to be told today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Today's US Election Day,
So I've only one thing to say:
If you've not already, and
You are allowed to set your hand
To the task, go vote today.
It may well come to what you say,
And if it doesn't go your way--
The results will depend on what your way was.

Monday, November 7, 2016


As I sit on the stool, I think
Of days I've seen before,
Of food to eat and things to drink
And always wanting more,
Of older retail checkers who
Lament their stores' displays
That fail to give full credit to
Some better holidays.
I'm glad that I am not alone
In being ill at ease
With things, although it is known
That many of our pleas
Will ring and spur no changes in
The way the world will work.
Against such knowing, hope is thin
For nice guy and for jerk.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


I received repayment
Put it towards my sleep debt
But I have to wonder why I am not charging interest

Saturday, November 5, 2016


The sky is gray, the road is gray,
Yet this is not so plain a day,
Not so neutral as to say
It needs no coloration.
Even under cloudy skies,
Excitement is prone to rise.
The weather no such truth belies
Upon determination.

Friday, November 4, 2016


I am a year older today,
And I do not know what to say
Save "thank you," of course,
But that's a dead horse.
Should we still ride it, or nay?

Thursday, November 3, 2016


There are days my students surprise me
Yesterday was one
As was another day a few days earlier
Talking with them leads me to new ideas
Sometimes just in bouncing things off of them
Sometimes because they feed me ideas

I am reminded of why it is I do what I do
Or perhaps I finally get it
And it is a good thing

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


It is quiet this morning in this house once my own.
I sit here and hear it and know I have grown
From too-fearful child to good man now well known
As one on whom one can depend.
I came here to help against a present need
And to attend to a commanded deed,
The doing of which will help me plant a seed
That, on growing, will help me do more.
I'm glad to have come, to my family support,
And to have prompted a better report
Than before, as befits me, as I purport
To be one on whom others rely.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I am going to read tonight,
Get up onto the stage bright
And rattle off words under lights,
As I've not done for long.
It used to be that I'd perform,
Enact some role. It was the norm
That I to friends' works'd conform,
Thinking to belong.
But my friends long have been away,
Or I from them, so the delay
Between my work to give a play,
Read, or sing a song
Where audiences come to hear
Others offer's been many years.
Still, I find I do not fear
That much will go far wrong.