Saturday, December 31, 2016


The day before Hangover Day
Sees the people out to play
So they can gather 'round and say
The year is ending happy.
They rush around to gather things--
Many drinks, some chicken wings,
And other finger foods; they sing
The year is ending happy.
Not all, of course, will go along
And midnight voices raise in song.
They know they do not belong
Where the year is ending happy.
Others see just one more day
And work while many others play
On the eve of Hangover Day.
Is the year ending happy?

Friday, December 30, 2016


I took my daughter to the park, and she
Delighted in the chance to run 'round, free
To play on slides and swings, and under tree
And above grass. In our apartment life,
We only have such spaces free of strife
Due to the common good. The times are rife
With condemnation of collected work,
Calling the one who trumpets it a jerk
Or worse--while still expecting every perk
The common good provides. My daughter knows
Only that the park is fun. She grows
In a time contentious, in a world that shows
That what we do together matters not.
It is no lesson I would have her taught.

Thursday, December 29, 2016


The calendar is drawing to an end,
And against depredations we defend
Ourselves in vain; we see friend after friend
Taken in the last days of the year,
Despite that they're still greatly needed here
Who now are gone. And, even now, a tear
Wells up when I do think lives now lost,
Sacrifices made to pay the cost
Incurred for something needless, often glossed,
And so unknown to those who find reward
On shelves of stores and who to themselves hoard
The wealth of nations by grace of the board.
Deaths of those beloved, rightly mourned,
Are not more tragic than of those suborned.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


The quiet ranching nights will days become
That make more noise among the cities' throng,
But silence such as they permit in sum
Can be made inner and so taken along.
I seek to keep the quiet in my heart
As I rise and move across the hills
Where oak and cedar grow and every part
Or place that sees the wildflowers thrills.
I know I am too upset in my core,
Too prone to being prodded into haste,
And so I find I'm ever seeking more
Of the quiet than is t'others' taste.
So it is I'm at the ranch again,
Hoping perhaps a quiet heart to win.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


My daughter is awake and smiling.
It is a sight I like to see.
Her mother, whom I love, makes ready;
To work she will flee.
While the one smiles and t'other leaves,
I will do as I have done,
Working to draw words to the world--
As I here have begun.

Monday, December 26, 2016


It's good to take a couple days away,
To rest, relax, and mark a holiday,
But I cannot too long at my rest stay;
I've things to write and other things to do,
And to attend to them, I must push through
Lassitude. I'm not a person who
Can long remain away from my tasks set.
I have to work on them, although I yet
May long for ease--but I have yet to get
Myself to where I can simply enjoy
That which comes before me; it is coy,
The ease and happiness--in a word, joy.
This does not mean that I no pleasure feel;
I delight in keeping shoulder at the wheel.

Friday, December 23, 2016


I have my little girl at home with me,
And I find that I am filled up with glee.
My little girl and I are going to see
What kinds of things are out there in the town
Where we now live; we will go up and down
The major streets, and I will off the gown
That I have long assumed as the Clerk's heir.
She and I will go as we have e'er,
As daughter and her father without care,
For the winter bites not with its cold,
And my daughter's young, though I feel old
Despite not many years--I've not been bold,
But I'll not bind her to my reticence,
Knowing doing so breeds sorrows hence.

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Today, my daughter's school term finds an end,
And yet today to school I still her send.
I know that she is there somebody's friend,
Some child who on parents' days alone
Sits and sees and wonders where they've gone
Who brought them back to school each day anon,
Or another kid who comes to tears
When, facing other children, faces fears,
But brightens up when my daughter appears.
I know her teachers look for her to come
To school each day; I know that they see some
Promise in her. I'd not keep her from
Seeing friends and learning from the day,
And her schooling seems a useful way.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I worked in the private sector today.
I did not expect to, but I find I must say
I rather enjoyed what I did there all day,
And I'd happily do it again.
I put hard-won skills to useful work today,
Exerting them and putting forth what others say
They need to have said at the start of each day,
And I'd happily do it again.
I'd happily do it again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Again, the weather's warming,
And what it is forming
Makes me want to give warning
That something terrible will come.
For the clouds yet gather,
And I find I would rather
Not give my mind to the matter,
But something terrible will come.
To endure the coming storm,
I feel that I must conform,
That I must adhere to the norm,
Lest something terrible will come.
Yet I know I do not well
In such charades; others can tell
That I am acting--a death knell
When something terrible will come.
I know others have it worse
In better times; under the curse
That approaches, drawn-on hearse,
Something terrible will come.

Monday, December 19, 2016


Although the teaching term is done,
I'm not about to go have fun
Because, of course, I'm such a one
As has to keep on working.
The classes are all ended now,
But I must keep earning somehow,
And though I've got no fields to plow,
I have to keep on working.
To do the work, I need to write,
And in some of it I delight,
But some of it is quite a fright,
But still, I keep on working.
I labor on and hope to win
Some reward for where I've been
And what I've done, for hearth and kin,
And so I keep on working.

Sunday, December 18, 2016


It seems today, the white-haired man
Has worked his hand upon his shaft,
Because the winter's come again,
Although nothing's come from the haft
That he would wield, or else the spray
Of liquid white that covers things
And tends to slippery glazed make
Would coat the hills of which some sing.

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Our daughter is eating some berries right now.
She's humming contentedly as she makes to chow
Down on the bush-fruit we've put on her plate.
It's hardly the strangest thing our daughter ate.
In truth, she favors vegetables, fruit,
Legumes, and similar things; they her palate suit,
And I know that other kids do not so well,
If what other parents say the truth will tell.

Friday, December 16, 2016


I hate it when I oversleep
And let the day upon me creep.
I have my family for to keep,
And sleeping in disturbs that.
I know that I've been a bit off,
With runny nose and coming cough,
But I had not thought me so soft.
Sleeping in disturbs that.
As it is, I am awake,
And I know that I can make
The day work well for family's sake,
But sleeping in disturbs me.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Today, my brother's twenty-nine,
And I'm sure he's feeling fine,
Though of this, I've got no sign,
For he is yet asleep.
That he is makes sense to me,
For he works nights under a sea
Of lights, as it must of course be,
And he is still asleep.
He will wake in time and find
Whatever I will leave behind
To show him I keep him in mind,
But just now, he's asleep.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


So it is that my semester's done,
Although it seems that it had just begun,
And I with students had been having fun.
Exams are graded. Grades are posted, too,
So for the term, there's nothing left to do,
And I must wonder, now the term is through,
What tasks await for me to turn my hand.
What new thing that must I understand
Is waiting as I, free to walk the land,
Proceed upon my way away from class.
I am, it happens, glad to see them pass
Who sat under my tutelage and sass,
At least in the main. I wish them well,
Though I know not the stories they will tell.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Today's another testing day.
I'll get it done, but I'll not play
Afterwards; I must away
Because the work continues.
I'm not done when the grading's done.
While my students go have fun,
I must my enjoyment shun
Because the work continues.
Often, I look for a path
That leads me out from school-time wrath,
But at such thoughts the world laughs
Because the work continues.

Monday, December 12, 2016


As the term draws to its end,
And I must myself defend
From the comments students send
About the grading,
I know they will sit for tests,
And I know that mine are best.
Indeed, it almost gives me zest
About the grading.
A bit more paperwork still calls
Upon me to walk the halls
So that I do not further stall
About the grading,
And I will turn to the task,
And I will do as I'm asked,
Though I will get no small sass
About the grading.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


The herald of the Stupid God has come,
Riding powers bestowed by the dumb
To make good thinking to go on the run,
And that herald finds open the arms
Of all too many of those folks it harms,
That power that supplies the herald's charms.
The herald should not be attacked, it's true;
When any god commands, what can one do
Except obey? Yet others must look through
The herald's presentation and discern
The guiding hand of Stupid God. We learn
In hope from those who know. We to them turn,
But in the world the Stupid God advances,
Doing so does not leave us good chances.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


It has been a while since I have posted any prose, lucid or otherwise, to this webspace. I do so now to solicit comment on an idea I've in mind for a bit; I think I know what to do with it, but I am also not so myopic as to think that my ideas are the best without getting some kind of outside input. So comments will be welcome.

I have not made a secret of maintaining another web presence, one whose hub is at There, I have been compiling my scholarly and other professional work and using it as a resource for the continued search for full-time employment and the ongoing search for enough work to keep the lights on in the meantime. (Chimerical, I know.) The idea I have is to consolidate this webspace into that one, to start hosting my ravings and the occasional dash of lucid prose there instead of here.

There are problems in doing so, of course. For one, what I have put into this webspace has not always been the most politic writing. For another, the added work there is like to crowd out some of the other work that needs to be foregrounded--particularly my teaching work. And there are some few concerns of formatting that work better on this platform than that on which I host my more professional endeavors.

On the other hand, consolidating my web presence reduces the amount of work I have to do, which is good. It also seems apt to promote more readership on the other site, which will help it. There are some formatting concerns that are easier to address on the other site, as well, and the other site seems it will be easier to monetize. (I did note still looking for full-time work, did I not?) So I have some reason to think the transfer is a good idea, although I have reservations about doing so.

Because I have such reservations, I am not certain how or if I ought to proceed. As such, I turn to those who do read what I write; they are clearly insightful people of discerning judgment, and their opinions are therefore to be valued. I would be pleased to read them, if they were offered.

Friday, December 9, 2016


The Stupid God has struck again.
It seems we've no way to defend
Against the coming of the end
Stupid God would bring.
Too many still will bow and pray,
Kneel obeisant through each day
And give themselves o'er to the way
Stupid God would bring.
Even those who seek to fight
Against the coming thinking's night
Find themselves often amid the blight
Stupid God would bring.
Because it is each of us falls,
In hovels and in hallowed halls,
When each of us hears of those calls
Stupid God would sing,
The Stupid God will rise again.
We've no real way to defend
Against the coming of the end
Stupid God would bring.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


We've had a touch of cold come in;
Of those here, many are confused.
Even in December's waning,
It is not to what they're used.
I put on long sleeves today,
Something I've not had to do
Much back in the Hill Country.
The sensation's again new.
But though I'm a child of the heat,
The Central Texas summers' sun,
The chilly air sits well with me,
And I will get much work done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


I have to wonder
If the oil still seeps from the ruined, mighty hulls,
Painting iridescent rainbows on the placid, tranquil waters
Where one still-standing sister watches over fallen others.

I have to wonder
What the lessons are we've failed to learn
In the years and decades and generations since,
For we have been poor students
To have needed such a teacher
As gave the lecture that day.

I have to wonder
How many will remember
And for how long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


On some days, when I wake up, a headache is in place,
And I feel the throbbing aching somewhere deep behind my face,
As if to fill my head with something not my head they're in a race
Who slightly serve the Algea. I need no such practice trace.
I know I will endure, of course; I'm no terminal case,
At least not for a headache--but we are all in this place
Doomed to find an end at last, a sheet over the face.
But if I wake with a headache, I've not yet left life's race.

Monday, December 5, 2016


Now, as my teaching time draws to a close,
At least for now, I wonder what each knows
Who sat in classes taught of verse and prose
That were assigned to me across the days
That soon are ending. I wonder if the plays
I talked about with them, or the forays
Into the writings of the world, or pages
That have proceeded from their pens for ages
As it seems now, as on the grading rages,
Have been of good effect for those I've taught.
I wonder if I have done as I've ought,
Or if, instead, my efforts are for naught.
The kind of work I do may not yield fruit,
And its harvest comes often late, to boot.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


The Stupid God extends its hold.
Its acolytes are growing bold
As they find leaders in their mold
And see them grow in power.
No such unifying force
Exists to oppose them, of course,
Because the terms of such discourse
Bespeak much-hated power.
Indeed, the Stupid God has snuck
Into opponents' halls and struck
Them such that they have become stuck
In stultifying power.
Those who evade Stupid God's grasp
Struggle to themselves to clasp
Pandora's Box's lid and hasp
And preserve some small power.
Against crowbars wielded hard
It is no easy task to guard
What was the ivory tower's yard;
Such is the truth of power.
But some will still keep on the fight
In light of day or dark of night,
Knowing that they have the right
Despite Stupid God's power.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Because we have much to do,
We too seldom see things through
To the ending we once knew;
So much lies undone.
Because there is much to see,
We often run around in glee;
We imagine ourselves free,
And still much lies undone.
Because there is much unknown,
The Stupid God comes to the throne,
The Stupid God has been condoned.
Of course much lies undone.

Friday, December 2, 2016


O! Praise once again to the bitter black brew!
Without it, I've no idea what I'd do
In morning or evening, or the whole day through!
So praise once again to the bitter black brew!

O! Praise be upon what we coffee call
That uplifts, supports, and enriches us all
Who drink deeply of it, the great and the small!
Praise be upon that which we coffee call!

O! Praise be upon the drip-coffee pot,
And praise should be heaped on cold-brew and hot,
And we should sing praises for what coffee taught!
O! Praise be upon the coffee-making lot!

Thursday, December 1, 2016


A new month has begun today,
The last that this year will display,
And what will come, we cannot say,
But I worry it will be worse.
I know it can always be,
That declines slow or fast we see
Come at us unexpectedly,
So I worry it will be worse.
There have been problems through the year;
Some are past and some draw near,
And stormy rumblings are coming clear.
I worry that it will be worse.