Sunday, December 31, 2017


The Scald’s leader drew up a plan
Based on what they’d learned from the man
Whom they had thus killed,
Whose life they had spilled
Whose blood still from the body ran.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Some words that he said, he thought true,
For of recent deaths he naught knew,
But aside from those,
Into frantic prose
He spoke no more than breezes blew.

Friday, December 29, 2017


Yet not all the untruths then said
Were spoken by who kept a head;
The scavenger lied
To them ere he died,
Speaking false in the face of his dread.

Thursday, December 28, 2017


It should not be a surprise
To learn that the hopes were all lies.
They could not afford
To be found, and a sword
Split the scavenger, navel to eyes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017


The scavenger soon revealed all
That of the town he could recall
And said things beside
To preserve his hide,
Knowing his hope was quite small.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Then forth the Scald’s leader did stand,
And all did obey the command
That torture begin
To help the Scald win--
And soon came things worse than the brand.

Monday, December 25, 2017


Him, they took back to their camp
And quickly did him with flame stamp,
Seared skin on his face
To assert his new place
And secured him in a tight clamp.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


The scouts of the Scald were not kind
When they interlopers would find
As they showed on that day
When they took away
The scavenger to search his mind.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


The scouts the Scald sent out took note
Of the sounds that came from the man’s throat
As he ran amid trees;
They brought him to his knees
And sharply him on the head smote.

Friday, December 22, 2017


That he was of fine sort, none aver.
In fact, he was worse than a cur.
He ran away, rather
Than stopping to gather
The body to take home and inter.

Thursday, December 21, 2017


He was not alone in the wood,
Although that may not have been good.
A scavenger found
Him dead upon the ground.
That one did not do what he should.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


For whether from old wounds or age,
He suffered from pain soon assuaged,
For he took a fall,
And death did him call
In quiet happenstance, not in rage.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


He thought to return on the track
He had followed to foil the wrack
That swiftly came on,
And he was soon gone,
But he never did make it back.

Monday, December 18, 2017


For Oðoæster it was
Who scouted the scouts out. Because
Of his chosen home
He had quite fond grown;
He’d fight well again in its cause.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Their numbers and disport he spied
And better than their scouts did hide.
He saw that the town
Would soon be brought down
Did he not in his student confide.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


Coming back around, then...

Further, he pursued the trail,
Finding his way without fail,
Viewed then the horde
That too swiftly came toward
The town o’er which they’d fain prevail.

Friday, December 15, 2017


I have seen him playing dirty
In his youth; I've seen him flirty
With no few. But now he's thirty,
And who knew that he would do so well?

Those who still remember
The generation-gone December
Knew then, and fanned his ember;
We knew he'd do damned well.

Happy birthday, little brother!

Thursday, December 14, 2017


One scout to camp never came,
And the old man was to blame;
A thrust of a knife
Had ended his life.
Others before fared the same.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


The scouts that for the Scald spied
Bothered not back-trails to hide,
And so the old man
To trail them began--
And darkly he smiled inside.


Yet one old man in town them espied,
Noticed that they sought to hide,
And took him concern.
He made then to learn
Of them that had the town descried.

Monday, December 11, 2017


When the scouts ranged out ahead,
They saw naught that would cause them dread.
The small, quiet place
Showed no froward face--
Yet to its doom it the Scald led.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


The tactic is said to be wise,
As scouting can find a surprise
That might lie in wait,
A trap laid with bait,
Such that whoso touches it dies.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


But that leader did not appear
When the Scald would first draw near.
The Scald would, instead,
Send scouts out ahead
And find what the folk found most dear.

Friday, December 8, 2017


The rumors made a great deal, too,
Of the fact that no one knew
Who ruled o'er the Scald,
What that one was called,
Or what could be said that was true.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Rumors did range far and wide
About the truth they seemed to hide.
Most would make mention--
A point of attention--
Of the unnamed Scald leader’s great pride.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


The Scald had come from far away;
The travel of many a day
Bore them from their home.
Why they would roam,
However, not many could say.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


They thought they would do much the same
When to that one village they came
Where Erdewyn dwelt,
And Oðoæster felt
He could retire without blame.

Monday, December 4, 2017


Long had they raged ‘cross the land,
And when someone would make a stand,
That one, they’d burn,
And others would turn
All they had to the Scald’s hand.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Then would she rise once again,
And against all comers, she’d stand,
And if they were less
Who’d Erdewyn test,
Still great was the strength of her hand.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Yet still was she called on to fight
From time to time, as needed right.
Every so often,
It would be forgotten
How she would put all foes to flight.

Friday, December 1, 2017


She sufficed to all of her tasks.
Of any, what more can be asked?
There are few among
Us of whom it’s sung
We meet that mark or it surpass.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Erdewyn knew that full well,
Had no need her own strength to tell--
She felt not the need
To tout her own deeds--
But that meant not she was less fell.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


It boots enough us to defend
When threats would seek us to end--
To go and attack
Will breed but more wrack
And ruin--let’s not else pretend.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017


For what need have we for great force
Who guide our lives along the course
That works to harm none
Who stride under sun
And avoid many conflicts’ source?

Monday, November 27, 2017


Too often, we only will praise
Those who will spend all their days
In making folk die;
We cast not our eyes
Approving on healthier ways.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Even her teacher had said
Fortune kept him from the dead
When out on campaign.
That she would refrain
From going out showed a good head.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Yet it would be falsehood to say
That because she never spent a day
Marching at command
The weight of her hand
Was less than a soldier's would weigh.

Friday, November 24, 2017


She sought not to go off to war,
But fought battles at her front door
Or out on the street
When some would her meet
With words and deeds fitting a boor.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


At length, all the threats were undone.
The many were felled by the one.
Erdewyn sighed
And she went back inside
As overhead shone the sun.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


One after another they fell,
Their shouts and screams sounding the knell
For their raw aggression
In rapid progression--
The details are gruesome to tell.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Toward one, she moved in great haste
That yet not a motion did waste;
She struck and she turned
In the way she had learned--
And none knew what they in her faced.

Monday, November 20, 2017


She came from her house in a rage
Not seen for many a full age--
Darkness descended,
It seemed, as she ended
The threat posed by hoped-for outrage.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Below it, the leg badly bent,
And many could tell it was rent
While still left in place--
It was but a taste
Of where Erdewyn the rest sent.

Saturday, November 18, 2017


One was unable to flee
But was thrown out for all to see.
He landed and screamed--
More shrieking, it seemed--
And clutched with both hands at his knee.

Friday, November 17, 2017


And so in a rush they approached
The door that was shut; they it broached.
In went the men,
But they came out again,
Fleeing as if in race coached.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


The knight thusly thwarted in rut,
And in his face door sharply shut,
Those in his employ
Thought force to deploy
And Erdewyn they thought to cut.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


With sickening sounds, tendons tore,
And the knight knew he'd no more
Take up a sword
In service of lord.
Erdewyn shut then her door.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Then, swiftly, she twisted again
And the knight's grabbing did end--
The bones of his hand
Seemed ground into sand,
And sinews did over-extend.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Her hand found the knight's in a rush.
She twisted and kicked, swift to crush
The armor he wore,
And her motion bore
Him forward, his hand from her brushed.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Erdewyn sighed, shook her head,
And, knowing where matters had led,
Did what ought to be done,
As assault had begun,
And proceeded as she had said.

Saturday, November 11, 2017



The knight gripped yet harder as she
Said her words; he did not see
The peril he faced
When he had placed
His hand and did not soon flee.

Friday, November 10, 2017


A bit of an interruption--for a good reason

Today marks the anniversary of my father's birth.

I am fond of the man, so I mark the occasion.

Happy birthday, Pop!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


A wiser man would his hand drop.
A truly wise man would not cop
To do such a thing--
But the knight did then fling
His sense away; he did not stop.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


She looked at him with eyes gone cold--
And he felt himself grow less bold--
And in similar voice
Gave him a choice:
Release now or ne'er again hold.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


He reached out, and on her, his hand
With more force than reason did land.
Just once did the knight
Grip Erdewyn tight--
And she would not let that thing stand.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Erdewyn said "No" again,
And louder, thus hoping to end
The talk of the two,
But the other who
Was there to hear not did pretend.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Erdewyn said to him "No"
And turned to back to her home go,
But he interposed
And obscenely proposed
To do something no records show.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


The knight found his way to her then,
And to prevail upon her he began,
Swearing to her silks
And things of that ilk
If she with him would that day end.

Friday, November 3, 2017


Some townsfolk then hurriedly dressed,
Thinking the knight to impress,
But Edrewyn sighed
And the display denied--
Although she too soon would be pressed.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


One day, such a man came to town--
And Oðoæster was not 'round--
And wanted to see
What would come out, for he
Thought himself to have some fair renown.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


And, lest it be said or be thought
That she only yokels had fought
And a bully been,
Words can quite well begin
To speak of the knight that her sought.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


As each from the dirt sought to rise,
Erdewyn caught that one's eyes,
And hers showed quite cold
Amid her manner bold--
Something that was no surprise.

Monday, October 30, 2017


She opened the door and them faced
Who thought to put her in her place,
But she, in a trice,
With grip like a vise,
Grabbed each, and each one threw far-spaced.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


So some gathered into a group
And sought to sons' honor recoup.
In anger, they raged
And thought the girl caged
When they arrayed them on her stoop.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


But some of the parents thought she
Had overreacted in glee,
As boys would be boys
And play with their toys.
To rebuke her, then, they would go see.

Friday, October 27, 2017


When the youths went to their homes,
Aching in muscles and bones,
Some families chided
Them and they sided
With the girl whose fists fell like thrown stones.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


But Erdewyn, with foot and fist,
Sung swiftly, and she did not miss,
And where each blow landed,
The staves were unhanded.
On her, none e'er forced e'en a kiss.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


They thought their way with her to have;
They thought to force her with their staves.
They came on as one
And thought to have fun
With her when she at them had laughed.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


She had in the town had no need
For violence, for all did still heed
The lesson she taught
When, in youth, she had fought
Some who'd her to folly lead.

Monday, October 23, 2017


But Erdewyn kept well her calm,
Her hand showed oft an open palm
Instead of the fist
That, swung, seldom missed,
And sent where it struck for sweet balm.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Each of her motions would show
That she the man's lessons did know,
And none would approach
Either with reproach,
Lest they would from health swiftly go.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


To speak of her form is not meet,
But, rather, how she placed her feet
Or moved with each hand
Whenever she'd stand
Or crouched, or ran, or took a seat.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Erdewyn grew in his care,
And the folk 'round grew aware
Of how she had changed
Since she had first ranged
Into their town with her blank stare.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Where Oðoæster himself learned
To read, where he that high skill earned
Was, to all, unclear--
But many a year
Had passed before he had returned.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


A double against yesterday

Erdewyn, he clothed and he fed,
Gave her a roof and a bed,
Taught her in ways
To assure her days
Were long and would see her well sped.

To read and to write she was taught
By him who was known to have fought
In pitched battles many,
And, once again, the
Reasons he did so pass thought.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Of why he would do such a thing,
The scribes write not, nor singers sing,
And many would guess
In ways not rehearsed best--
Save that she to him would joy bring.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


But when the girl came, people say,
Oðoæster was away,
And when he returned,
He never her spurned,
But took her in on that same day.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


The village-folk to her were kind
When any would pay any mind,
But they had their own,
And most were not grown,
So the girl'd but little find.

Friday, October 13, 2017


The young one, Erdewyn, had come
To teacher and village far from
Where she had been born;
She arrived forlorn,
Walking alone, sucking thumb.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


But of the deeds he has avowed,
That of which he swore himself proud
To greatest degree
Was his service to she
Whom he to him study allowed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


So began the great renown
He had ere he came to the town.
Many a singer regales
Many hearers with tales
Of Oðoæster's travels 'round.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Oðoæster the troops all dispersed
Who lived and who fared not the worst;
He helped dig the graves
Of those he'd not saved,
Though in that task, he was not first.

Monday, October 9, 2017


In accord with the day

I know that I am given this day
Not to work, but instead to play
Or spend as I will, so I say
That the name of it should go away.

The stated name, I'll not repeat;
To heap praise on one is not meet
Who through rapine gave defeat
To those who did not him with war greet.

To rest and respite give is good,
But those who have such leisure should
Seek to mend what wrongs they could
If they of gifts be worthy would.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


He threats to his people addressed
By stabbing the one through the breast
Who had said them dead
Unless he was led;
Now none would such things suggest.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


As what was promised was done,
Oðoæster went as he'd begun,
Returned to the tent
Of those who had sent
Him into the field with the sun.

Friday, October 6, 2017


To him, Oðoæster said,
If he valued his life and his head,
He would swiftly tender
His total surrender.
The leader did as the man said.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


One of the foes thought to yield,
To concede the whole battlefield,
That one who stood last
Thought to put things past,
That matter sending men home on shields.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


For each of the ones who took flight,
Oðoæster sent two into night
To join those who fell
In that dreadful knell
Of ringing of blades shining bright.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


The mighty who one nation led
Thought they might themselves be the fled,
But most of them fell--
Their names none now tell
For the shame that stands on each one's head.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Now, with none to stand in his way,
The warrior began a melee,
Laying all about
And putting to rout
The lucky who escaped the fray.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


That certain guard rushed straight ahead,
Though he knew that he would fall dead.
Oðoæster disarmed him--
Defeated, not harmed him--
And passed on, a figure of dread.

Saturday, September 30, 2017


One alone held to the call
And stood strong but knew he would fall.
To the task, he was sworn,
Although he was forlorn;
In the coming fight, he'd give all.

Friday, September 29, 2017


The guards of Oðoæster heard
As of him through armies the word
Spread as the sand
Dropped into wind from hand,
And to hinder him not, they concurred.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


The leaders against him knew fear,
The more so as he drew him near,
And summon their guard
To hold the line hard,
For they held their own lives quite dear.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


He purposed the leaders to fight
Whose stubbornness had sent to night
Unending the folk
Who had borne their yoke
And dimmed from the world so much light.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


He started again 'cross the field,
Himself to his task he soon steeled:
To finish the war
And ensure no more
Need perish because they'd not yield.

Monday, September 25, 2017


He knew that he had been misled
As had many who now were dead
And thought that he should
Do all that he could
To honor the ones who had bled.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Oðoæster stopped and he stared
In that in whose making he shared,
In blood and in gore,
The results of war,
That for which he thought him prepared.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Each side sought its dead to reclaim
To ensure they were not defamed
By foes still nearby,
But none did then try
To leave the felled fighters in shame.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Around them, the armies broke down
Against such an act of renown.
The ranks all fell back;
There came no attack.
A reason to cease had been found.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


He knew that he had a near fight.
The distance between them was slight.
The width of a blade
Was all that had had laid
The one out--a blade he held tight.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


As Eranrood fell to the ground, dead,
Oðoæster rose up and said
He honored his foe
Who taught him to know
The value of keeping his head.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


As victor, one warrior stood,
And many around thought it good,
But others did mourn,
Felt themselves forlorn,
And still others fled as they could.

Monday, September 18, 2017


Sometimes, a writer takes a break.
There's only so much one can take
At any one time
Of making things rhyme.
A pause can help sanity's sake.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Yet soon, the one fight found an end.
Eranrood himself to defend
Proved at last unable,
And beneath his sable
He took the road to which all trend.

Friday, September 15, 2017


While the two fought, there was pause,
And none wanted to be the cause
That fighting resumed,
For they would be inhumed
When it did--such is in combat's laws.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


And at the red streamers' display
Both armies started feeling dismay,
Some for the two,
And many others who
Saw the end of their deaths' stay.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Scores on their blades soon emerged,
And shallow cuts from which they purged
Each other of life
Amid their shared strife,
And from them both streams of blood surged.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


In clanging of steel, they progressed,
Contesting which of them was best,
Who, amid the din,
Would come to win
And who would become the grave's guest.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Light verse seems less than fitting today
As I recall times now long gone away,
A morning of fear that has altered the way
That all of us do what we do every day,
Reminding us all we are part of the world
And not immune from foul plans that unfurled
In billowing smoke and flames that then swirled
From mighty pillars that seemed to prop the world.
Sixteen years on, what more can be said
Of the strange new world into which we were led
By those of us left to unbury the dead
Or to watch, jaws agape, that long work?

Sunday, September 10, 2017


In such, they eloquent were,
Their weapons moving in a blur
That all on each side
Could not their wonder hide;
That great the work was, all concur.

Saturday, September 9, 2017


The only boast either would need
Was in their flashing spears' speed
And the strength of the shield
That either would wield;
Only sword-strokes would they heed.

Friday, September 8, 2017


From each to the other, no word
Was given that anyone heard.
As they came close,
They uttered no boast;
Neither their prowess averred.

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Each bore a spear and a shield
And carried a sword to the field.
Of other arms, many
Were gathered in plenty,
But one may but so many wield.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


The two met on the battlefield,
And all knew that neither would yield,
For the one sought a fee
And the other to free
His people from threat himself steeled.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


The next day, Eranrood was cheered
As he towards Oðoæster steered.
The armies gave way
To watch on the day
The two mighty fighters they feared.

Monday, September 4, 2017


Eranrood had, in times before,
Slain foes all arrayed by the score,
Commanding a price
He got in a trice--
And always he was thought worth more.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


To those there arranged, he declared
That he'd 'gainst the mighty be paired
And fight so that they
Might carry the day
Instead of how they now despaired.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


But as they cried out, there one stood
And cast back and away the dark hood
To reveal a face
That shone out of place,
Showing one, by name, Eranrood.

Friday, September 1, 2017


Soon enough, it became known
They broke on him, waves on the stone
That rose 'bove the tide,
And his foes all cried
That they such could not fight alone.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


Against Oðoæster, they fell
In a list too long to names tell,
For such was his skill
That they all fared ill
Who faced him; his fight, their death-knell.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


First, they sent against him swords
That had fought their way up from the hordes,
Proving their skill
And driving the will
Of conscripts into one accord.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


At length, the foe's spear command
Learned that against him few could stand
Of those gathered in
but to save their kin,
And so the foes against him planned.

Monday, August 28, 2017


Gladly, he'd enter the fray
That faced him by night and by day;
The strength of his arm
Brought many to harm
As he all around him would lay.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Against conscripts armed but with spear
And driven to die from the rear
Oðoæster went,
For he was there sent,
And through spear and wielder he'd shear.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


So Oðoæster went to fight
And battled by day and by night
Slaying each foe
So all ‘round would know
The sprawling extent of his might.

Friday, August 25, 2017


Facing the choice, the man said
That he would consent to be led
And try himself out
To erase all doubt
Of his valor and his lack of dread.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


If Oðoæster would, instead
Consent by the clerk to be led
To fight a new foe,
Then he might well know
Glory heaped upon his head.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


He warned him that if he again
Raised his hand to him, he would end
Not only his life
But he would put to strife
The village he thought to defend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


The clerk stepped aside from the blow,
Deftly avoiding the show
Of force there presented
And that he resented,
But seeing in it much to grow.

Monday, August 21, 2017


To him Oðoæster said back
That he would sustain an attack
On his person gladly,
But on his honor badly,
And made to give the clerk a whack.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


A fight done alone may be brave,
But action alone cannot save
From depredation
A desperate nation
From being sent into the grave.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


The clerk replied, grinning, and said
That wild beasts, often unfed,
May be fierce indeed,
But they did not need
A beast slain, but folk to be led.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Oðoæster spoke of the bear
That had beset his village fair
And how he had fought
The creature that sought
To cast his folk into despair.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


The clerk who the tent occupied
Looked at the one who to him hied
And asked why he said
That he had not fled
When he’d yet to battle abide.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Himself, Oðoæster proclaimed,
Calling him as he was named
And noting his town,
Where he had renown,
And saying he would not be shamed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


At length, he arrived at the tent
To which all newcomers were sent,
Their to themselves give
So that others might live,
Or so it was said to those spent.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Oðoæster was ill as he passed
By carnage that left him aghast,
But his heart he steeled
As he crossed the field
Where so many had breathed their last.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


He arrived at the front of the war
And saw that which he’d not before
Envisioned in dream,
That which makes folk scream
In horror, shakes them to the core.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Those made to fight often died
In terror and pain. People cried
To find some release,
But the war would not cease,
And Oðoæster to war hied.

Friday, August 11, 2017


The rulers around went to war,
Though none know what all they fought for,
And, as is oft the case
In a war-fighting place,
The land was soon bestrewn with gore.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Many other deeds he had done
Since he with the bear had begun.
In just the next year,
There was more cause for fear
For the people of whom he was one.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Soon, the bear upon him came,
And he did his first deed of fame.
He fought 'gainst the beast
And left it deceased,
And in doing so, earned some acclaim.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Oðoæster watched his people flee
From a threat that was easy to see,
But he looked around
And, alone, stood his ground
Awaiting the bear with great glee.

Monday, August 7, 2017


One steel-clad man thought to fight
Against that great bear in the night,
But he could not stand,
And his blood soaked the land,
And the people thought themselves in plight.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


It frothed at the mouth as it came,
And some from it fled without blame,
For it was a beast
Of some ten feet, at least
And from it much dreadful noise came.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


As a mere boy, the man had
Done deeds to make his family glad,
First slaying a bear
That had wandered where
It ought not and where it was not bade.

Friday, August 4, 2017


The man, Oðoæster by name,
Did much across years to earn fame.
Beginning in youth
And extending, in truth,
For many years, he bore no shame.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Yet still some account must be made
Of the name that he earned with his blade,
For context will matter
Despite how some natter;
The story in setting's portrayed.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Of his exploits, a great deal is said,
Much is written, and so much is read.
Of the truth, they fall short,
For no kind of report
Can convey a fitting kind of dread.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


The man once had been widely known
Before he had there made his home
As a fighter mighty,
And he was still sprightly,
Although he no longer did roam.

Monday, July 31, 2017


For in that town lived an old man
Against whom the Scald could not plan.
He had there retired,
But he had conspired
To provide a defensive plan.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Until the Scald came to a town
That before never had known renown,
But in the days after,
It was said with laughter,
The townfolk brought Scald's swelling down.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


The Scald burned its way 'cross the land,
And some thought against them to stand,
But every and all
Who tried would soon fall
And perish, or under command.

Friday, July 28, 2017


The Scald was as one might expect;
Where they went, they left the place wrecked,
Homes all in disarray,
Struck by an ill melee,
And their violence did long go unchecked.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Now, this group of foul people was called
By a name that left hearers appalled.
The word's impolite,
And so to spare the sight
Of the label, I'll call them the Scald.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


To begin: There was once a fair land
That was long ill beset by a band,
Not of players all poor
Who could not read a score,
But composed of the kind called brigand.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I know limericks oft get used
In a way that makes some feel abused.
They often show sex
In a way that some vex,
But I think my use can be excused.

Monday, July 24, 2017


I think that I should try my hand
At a project I know few will stand:
A cycle of verse
That events rehearse
Of importance throughout some strange land.

Sunday, July 23, 2017


My writerly ambition grows,
To what extent, nobody knows,
But there's a thing that I propose
To do, and before too long.

That I can do it, I'm not sure,
But I will try to doubt abjure,
My timidity to cure
With this little page-bound song.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I slept in this morning
Woke late
Got breakfast tacos
For me
And for them
And we ate them together
And it was good.

I just needed to tell somebody that.

Friday, July 21, 2017


I should find something to say
Other than to rhyme of pay
As I am wont to on this day--
But I've got nothing.
The money that I've earned will flee
As I know I'll shortly see,
So, again, I say of me,
I ain't got nothing.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I have in my head songs from two decades or so ago.
I do not know why; I didn't really listen to many of them then.
I was not swimming in the main stream then,
But rather paddling along ineptly in a back-flowing eddy.
I think I still may be doing so, although the current differs.
I have never been a strong swimmer.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Each ball flies up, hovers a bit,
Then falls back down. I make to catch it
And toss it again or set it aside
Gently on a shelf, in a box just beside
My feet. I am standing in place just for now.
I'll need to move soon--soon's I figure how
To do it and keep aloft the balls I throw
And catch again. It's all I know.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


I should work harder to be thankful.
I should not have to work at it;
I should simply be so,
For I am given much.
For some of it,
I am grateful,
But not all of it is to my liking,
Not all as I would prefer.
It never will be, of course.
It cannot.
But I should still be tankful.
It could be much worse.

Monday, July 17, 2017


In bringing things
Out of boxes
Out of wrapping
Out from where they have been hidden away
For years
The past emerges
As if from mist and cloud
And things once known
But forgotten
Return again to the waking world
Reminding us what we have been
And what we now are
And I
At least
Consider the exchange

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Where do they go, those things that we value?
We look around for them, find them nowhere,
Go out to gather them, grasp them in vain,
Brush ourselves by them, bend to take them,
Maybe a moment might we hold them
But they pass away, and we seek again.
No thing endures. Never content,
To gather up goods we go out again,
And other look on at our departure,
Asking where we go, we whom they value.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Something I have known would come has come
As I sought to
And she sought to
Another she did so
But in a different way
And neither the first she nor I did

Friday, July 14, 2017


It seems to be payday again,
That to which my work's an end.
I may from penury defend
Myself a little longer.
Some food I soon can go to buy,
And tools, perhaps, with which to ply
My skills--if I have time to try
To make them a bit stronger.
But before then, I'll work again,
For my tasks do never end,
Nor do body's needs off tend
To lessen as life's longer.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


I looked in on my daughter as she lay
Asleep in bed, the sheets in disarray,
And she, lying sideways, all exposed,
As if a doll some collector posed
To show a sudden stop amid some time
Whose focal point denies all acts of rhyme--
Except she breathed n slow, deep rhythm. I,
Too, breathed deeply in content and drew not high
For fear of stirring her to wakefulness
And disturbing her growing progress--
And since I look for her to grow up strong
And brave and wise and true, and those take long
To burgeon in a person now quite small,
I let her be and walked back down the hall.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Thoughts of what I might well do
Bubble up within me,
Rising to the surface of my mind
And popping into the open air.
What of them remains?
Only the occasional chunk of stuff,
Stirred from depths by currents unseen
Remains to be found
And played with
By the rare child who comes traipsing along
And pokes it with a stick.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


One of the cats is standing,
A breathing canopic jar filled with
And I have to wonder
Who provided the pulsing fleshy bits
Housed inside it.

Monday, July 10, 2017


Today, I'll be at work long,
Not because there's something wrong,
But I hope still to be strong
Because I'll surely need it.
I have to think I've seen a sign
That folly is this task of mine,
But, for now, I'm feeling fine--
It's not like I would heed it.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


The summer sun drives many things,
Including folks inside,
For they know what the sunlight brings,
And they would from it hide.
I know I stand among them. I
Have known the sunlight's kiss
Across my flesh, under the sky;
I do not it miss.
Unlike many, I will act
When I have sunlight fled,
An offering to seal the pact
I have with daylight made.


I want to write more, but discipline lack,
So I often find that I wander off track
When I start to write, and to find my way back
Is a challenge that too often defeats me.
I scrape out some verse in the hush before dawn,
But the scrapings are thin, and I dare not spend long
Getting together lines of verse or song,
For, each day, a list of tasks greets me.
I know it is thus for most of the world.
Living's demands keep those banners furled
With which folks would show their hearts' and minds' pearls--
And why we endure it beats me.

Friday, July 7, 2017


Payday has come again,
But so has bill-pay day.
Their long dance has no end,
And I am in their way.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


It feels like just another day,
And I know what comes my way,
For I go to earn my pay
By helping others get theirs.
The tasks arranged before me now
Are simply done, and I'll somehow
Get them done and so allow
Others rewards for theirs.
The work that's mine is good to do,
Although it never is quite through,
Which, for me, is something new.
Such work is mine and theirs.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Now that folks have had a blast,
The celebration in the past,
The fireworks' strange spells all cast,
It's time to get to work.
Work e'er endures, as e'er it must.
It is a fact in which to trust,
Save for the thin social crust.
Now I'll get back to work.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


I suppose that I am free
To be what I am told to be,
Fulfill a vision others see,
So I should not complain.
I know others fare far worse,
Living under heavy curse
While I sit and peck out verse
With often-writ refrain.
Still, I hope to better see
And, better yet, to better be,
To better be the thing called free
And freedom to explain.

Monday, July 3, 2017


I'm trying to get back to normal,
Finding myself strangely formal,
Not polite, but bound to do
Some certain things, to carry through
A pattern nearly every day.
Now, I am back on my way
To doing so, and so I go
Back to what I used to know.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Again, we will be on our way
Back to where we'd like to stay,
And we're like to find delay
Because some roads are poor.
The drive will go on long, I know,
For many miles, we must go,
And some of them will go too slow,
And yet, we'll travel more.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Today, my wife has lived another year.
Today, we gather for one who has not.
I know not to weep, or else to cheer,
Or perhaps both, given what we've got.

Friday, June 30, 2017


The road away does beckon,
Both that across the land
And that into the undiscovered country.
The latter is known as a one-way street.
I have to wonder how many of the former sort are, too.
The saying is that one can never go home again.
Seems it means the road goes one way only--
And the rear-view mirror is cracked.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


I find I'm walking in a daze,
Peering through a mental haze
That my waking mind delays
As I make myself ready.
I know it will pass in time,
That I shortly will be fine,
But I wonder at a sign
That I may be unsteady.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Sometimes, I find myself behind.
Sometimes, I cannot seem to mind.
Most times, I look around and find
That I need to get more done.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I work not just to make ends meet,
To keep my family off the street,
With clothes to wear and food to eat,
But also to ensure my wife
And my dear daughter have a life
A bit apart from certain strife.
I know that I can never keep
It all away, that some will creep
Into our lives, a straining seep
Of foulness. But I still try
To hold it back and buy
For them some respite.

Monday, June 26, 2017


He liked to sing of mountain railways
Driven by brave engineers,
And now he has disembarked from that ride
On which he had been for some years.
Those of us who still ride yet
Are saddened to see him go,
And what he is seeing at his station stop
Is something we cannot yet know.
The track that we travel twists, and it turns,
And it dips, and it rises through hills,
And it's said that its passengers might meet again
As its brave engineer wills.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Christmas is but six months away,
And we need to figure where to stay
So we can drink while children play
And revel in the gifting.
But first, we need to buy our stuff
And realize that it's not enough,
However much; it's all just fluff,
And we are with it drifting.
The realization made, we then
Work to drown it once again
So we don't remember when
It's time to do the gifting.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Today could also be called 25. Just so you know...

I gave myself a little time,
But I cannot seem to mind,
For when I look, I again find
My loving wife's back with me.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Today's another working day,
But at least I have my pay,
So I can look around and say
It might well have been worth it.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


I tried once again to early rise.
That I failed again is no surprise.
I can't seem to open up my eyes
Even when I found my bed before
The normal time I walk through waking's door
And opt against my usual o'er-word pore.
I worry that I have as much to do
As I know I have. I'll not get through
The many tasks, both extant and brand new,
To which I must attend with each new day.
It is from such a cause I seek a way
To early wake; I sometime hope to say
"The deed is done." Then I may be at ease
And turn to tasks determined as I please.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


I sometimes err, of course, as do we all,
Thinking that events are sure to fall
A certain way, but I do well recall
That they unfold full oft to my despite,
And come about in ways I think not right,
While others take in them no small delight.
Why it is so is all unclear to me,
And I question why I seem to be
Always on the losing side, to see
What I think is wrong often to rise.
I wonder why it me will still surprise.
The scene is often placed before my eyes.
I guess I am all unable to learn
That way in which the world is sure to turn.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I tried to get up early,
But it didn't really work.
I lazed about for too long,
And now, I feel a jerk.
I have too much to do right now,
And many tasks me irk,
But I ought to attend to them.
It's time, again, to work.

Monday, June 19, 2017


My sleep was several times interrupted.
It is not a normal thing.
I usually sleep the whole night through,
And I do not know why I did not.
But I did not.
I wonder what it will do to my day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I wake each day,
Soon to sit naked and brooding
Over what the day will bring for me to do.
Today, at least, I know.
Soon enough,
I will be about it.
But I will take a little longer
To dangle in the air a little bit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I sit upon the throne again
And think how she and I began
To do the things that we once planned
And how we can proceed.
Our starting is well underway,
And we make progress each day,
But I wonder what they say
Whose voices I would heed?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I have to wonder
If I have been clinging
To a past that likely never was
Because I missed something
Through my own choices,
And now I feel
I have to fill in the gaps.

Monday, June 12, 2017


The morning quiet is something I prize,
And because I do, I early rise,
Waking ere the sun surmounts the skies.
This time, I rose in the silver glow
The moon can cast on the earth below,
One I've known the hills often to know.
I smiled at looking on the light-washed trees--
Mesquite and oak, the cedars, cypress knees--
And on the chalk white hills bare to the breeze.
But though I smiled, I had to turn away,
For I must make me ready for the day.
Such, of course, is the expected way:
The work has ever to be done again,
Coming only slowly to an end.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


To watch the sun rise o'er the limestone hills
Clad in oak and cedar and mesquite
Is an act at which my heart yet thrills;
As I do it, I can keep no seat.
Yes, I have lived amid the cypress swamps
Where water stands and flows and bounty yields
And a people exiled twice now romps,
And I have lived where towers rise from fields,
The gridded buildings lined up to the sun,
Where legend in each street and brick inhere.
I have lived on wind-swept plains, where one
Convulsion of the earth did once cause fear
And now is commonplace. Withal,
I still would answer the Hill Country's call.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Once again, I sit me down to write
As I arise from sleeping through the night
And ponder what all I may bring to light
In measured words arranged so as to rhyme
As they progress in regimented time.
It is no easy task that I've made mine.
The words I use long often to be free,
To run at length as they would have, not me,
And fall as many drops into the sea.
The ocean swells and ebbs with moon-drawn might,
But it is the river that runs right
Which makes a city its people's delight,
And so I trim the stream that I send forth,
Hoping that its levees prove its worth.

Friday, June 9, 2017


When I woke today,
I did so from a dream,
And it was a good dream.
The memory fades,
As the few I have of dreams always quickly do,
But the impression that it was good,
That remains.
I suppose it will have to be enough.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I seem to be awake this time.
I got up when I ought.
I rose and left my sleep behind,
And now I have got
To make me ready for a day
During which I will plot
To do somewhat to earn my pay--
Though it be not a lot.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Thirty-six years
They've shared fears,
Shed their tears,
Held them near,
Held them dear,
Or so I hear.
And so here's
To many more!
Happy anniversary!

Saturday, June 3, 2017


I am having trouble remembering the day.
I know what day of the week it is,
Which castrated infantophagic god of old it honors,
But the number eludes me.
I am not much pleased by that.
I think it understandable.

Friday, June 2, 2017


The rolling limestone hills
Clad in oak and cedar
Drink in the warmth
Of the kind Hill Country sun
That gives so much
So much
Of itself to all.
What they take in
They give back again
And again
And the mesquite shrouds
Are no insulation

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Another month has now begun,
And I am still at a run
To try to get the long race won,
Or one leg of it, at least.
I'll go again to work for pay,
As I do most every day,
Hoping thereby to out lay
Occasionally a feast.
But I face a daily grind,
Though I know I should not mind,
As it helps me be less behind,
But, damn, it is a beast.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


My daughter
Has been sleeping
In odd places.

She has a bed--
Two, in fact--
But she is even now in neither.

She sleeps
On the couch
Or on the floor
Of the living room
Under blankets
Held aloft by tables
Pushed together.

Why she does is unclear.
It does make me wonder
Why I pay for her to have sheets.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I lift and I carry,
I lift and I carry,
I lift and I carry,
And I do it some more.
My life has grown hairy,
But I remain merry
As I go to carry
More stuff through the door.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


O, how I love my blackened brew,
The way in which it sees me through
Each day, how it helps me to do
All the things I must!
I quaff my cup, and once again,
I can to others be a friend
And be one on whom they depend,
One whom they can trust.
Another cup, and I can see
How many things have come to be;
My mind's gears begin to come free
Of their encasing rust.
Then, yet one more, and I will know
How it is that things can go,
And my perceptions start to grow
'Til I can see the just

And how too many turn away.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


I am sometimes frustrated
By the fact that I have to answer the demands
Of my body
I think that frustration
Spurs punishment
Because I do not treat myself
As I ought
I do not maintain
The fleshy bits in which I am enmeshed
And it shows

I really should do better.

Friday, May 26, 2017


The apartment is full of smells.
I know I leave one behind me,
But I do not often smell it
Unless I have had a fair bit of fiber the night before.
My wife smells of herself
And of perfume
And of the plastic plastic-wrapped her work has her handle.
My daughter smells of sweat
And the growing warmth and heat of the late spring Hill Country
And playground sand
And others' children.
The cats,
Of course,
Leave an acrid, biting stink behind,
Especially one
That refuses to cover over what he has done.
And people wonder why I buy air freshener.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


I think I'm doing social media wrong.
I do not pass much news right along,
Nor post I videos of cats amid song,
But rather leave lines that perhaps run too long.
Even online, I seem not to belong,
To have little place among the teeming throng,
And I am aware of the difference?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I seem to ever run behind.
It's not as if I do not mind;
I do, but I can never find
The time to get caught up.
Many are the tasks I do,
And I work to see each through,
Doing 'lone what needs a crew.
Of course I can't keep up.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I stayed awake too long again last night.
I was reading.
I've not done so for a while,
Not like that,
Not turning page after page after page,
Consuming the words on each
While they remain in place,
A cornucopia.
It is not drained,
But I think I may well be,
And I know I will be again.

Monday, May 22, 2017


The cat kept me up last night
And into this morning.
It needed care,
So I provided it.
I do what I can,
But I wish I could have slept.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


I know I run a bit behind,
But I do not seem to mind.
I am aware that I will find
Something different in delay.
I also know I've got some time
In which to think, myself to prime
For work today, ongoing grind.
I suppose I should get to it.

Friday, May 19, 2017


I'm starting in another place
On today's leg of my race,
Lengthening my given chase
A bit.
How it'll work, I need to know,
For it won't be long till I go
Along the route today will show
To me.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


I am losing track of what day it is.
I just had to look at a calendar to find out that
Today is Thursday
The 18th--
I did recall the month and year.
That much is good, at least.
The rest does not bode well.
I have to think I'll miss a deadline,
And I really hate that notion.
But I doubt I can be on time
When I do not know the time--
And, despite what the one band sings,
I care about what time it is,
As do those who rely on me.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Again, it seems it is the time
For me to sit and put in rhyme
My thoughts ere I go earn my dime
While my boss makes a dollar.
The problem, though, is plain to see:
When I write, I write with glee
And put down words that amuse me
But that make others holler.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I am glad to be back home
From where I did lately roam,
But I do not get to rest.
Work remains my Everest,
Rising high amid its kind,
But I do not really mind
Since its from the work I eat.
I will earn my tasty treat.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I am once again at the International Congress on Medieval Studies on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is my seventh time attending the conference in eight years; I've been coming since 2010, missing only 2012 in that time. And in the day that I've been in transit to the Congress and on site so far, I've run into a number of old friends and begun to make new ones, both of which are always welcome.

I have a fair bit of work to do at the Congress this year, as I have most years that I've attended. This time around, I'm giving a talk on a roundtable and presiding over two sessions of papers. I'm also set to chair a business meeting for the Tales after Tolkien Society, about which more information is here. I also have plans to attend no few sessions and some few other events, and I still have to do some work for the teaching that I yet do, so I am and will be busy.

That I am and will be so, though, does not mean I am not paying attention to what is going on around me. Some will have been following the Blanket Affair, but others will not know, so: between the opening of Congress registration in February and, well, the Congress, some authority at Western Michigan University decided to retire the blankets that had traditionally been issued to those who register for dormitory accommodations. (I am one such person; the dorms are convenient because on-site and inexpensive.) No replacements for the issued blankets were forthcoming, although many have been made available for sale at the "low" price of $17. I am not alone in reading the gesture as something of a money-grab--although I am also not alone in forbearing to vent my anger at Congress staff, who have no say, or even Congress administration, who might not have had any input into the decision. I am, to note online testimonies, not alone in having brought a blanket with me--although I did not sleep with it last night. And I am far from alone in noting the action of medievalists to support our own by working to make blankets available to our colleagues who acted in good faith with an understanding that has since been changed. I support it as I may (which, admittedly, is not much, but, hey, this).

And, on a less serious note--because cool to cold weather is expected here, blankets matter--the dining hall that has long been in place at the Congress has moved. Instead of the old cafeteria system that had been in place for decades, Congress meals are now served in a new-built dining facility--and the complaints are many. The aesthetics of the facility are at odds with the dormitories it serves, and the clash is unpleasant. Too, the position is not as convenient as the old location--which matters little for me, but there are many Congress attendees who are limited in their mobility, and the extra walking does not do them much good. To my mind, the food is not any better than it was--which is not to say that I do not eat more of it than I likely ought (because I do eat more of it than I ought), but I would have thought that the shift to the new facility (and staffing) would have improved the product on offer.

I will certainly have more to say about things as the Congress moves forward. Hopefully, more of it will be to the good. In the meantime, though, I have some work I must address...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Oh, Mother Dear, I must away,
Although I know it's your birthday
And I mixed cards amid the fray,
Sent the wrong one to you.
I know I'm sometimes a poor son,
Leave off things that I've begun
And leave the tasks only half-done,
Foisting some upon you.
I'm trying, though. I really am,
Though saying it, I sound a ham.
Still, I'm doing what I can;
I hope it matters to you.
And I am glad today years gone
You opted to join along
And add your voice to this world's song,
So, happy birthday to you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Tomorrow, I will head away--
Off to the zoo to go and play
With those like me who will say
We study early yesterdays.
And I will miss you.

Monday, May 8, 2017


I'm going to be giving exams yet again,
Repeating a process that seems not to end,
One that goes on, though it fewer defend,
And I'm not sure why I still do it.
Still, I have said it, so it I will do,
For what I say, I strive to see through,
Which concept, I'm told, is far from brand new,
Although fewer people will do it.
Such is the line, though I the line doubt.
Liars and cheats have been ever about,
And complaints about them can be found throughout
The groupings of those who will do it.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


It's been a while since I made a post in prose to this blog--I believe the last one was this one from last year, when I considered consolidating this personal blog into my other webspace, Elliott RWI. (I've not made the consolidation, as I think obvious.) Then, I returned to prose--and I hope it was lucid--to mull over the future of the blog. Today, I return to it for another purpose--although I continue to hope my prose is lucid. Today, I return to prose to note that this is the 1,500th post to it; today, I have made 1,500 posts to my personal blog.

It is something of a milestone, to be sure, although I am perhaps a bit disappointed to have missed doing so on another milestone: the recent anniversary of my blog. On that day, I offered a brief snippet of verse, one that noted having been away--but not having spent seven years in writing here, starting with a bare few keystrokes announcing my return to blogging as such. I had other things on my mind, admittedly, so I am not angry--but it would have been nice to tie things together neatly.

That it has taken me just over seven years to make 1,500 posts to this webspace means that I have averaged just over 214 posts per year, one post in just over 1.7 days (I figure it's been 2,557 days I've been blogging--seven 365-day years plus the two Leap Days, of which one received comment). Other concerns of the day mean I will not have time to put together word count and reading level statistics (not that what I normally write scores well on reading level tests), and I'll not venture a guess as to my average output--except to say that it's probably lower than it ought to be. But whether that's part of having been an academic for as long as I have or what, I'm unsure.

At this point, I'm not sure what, if anything, I can do to drive up my averages--or if it matters that I do. What I am sure about, however, is that I'm going to be doing more of this writing, more posting to this blog, and I can hope that I'll have another 1,500 posts to make--at least. So, until then...

Saturday, May 6, 2017


I slept in a little bit,
And I feel like quite the twit,
Much diminished in my wit
By being such a sluggard.
Though I know I needed sleep,
I know I've a schedule to keep,
So my rest does not come cheap,
And I've not a large budget.
I suppose it could be worse.
I could travel in a hearse,
Or I could suffer a curse
Other than what prevails.

Friday, May 5, 2017


I'm told that today
Is the fifth day of May,
And there's something to celebrate.
It's Revenge of the Fifth,
And for it, nerds with
More time than I have can't hardly wait.
Cinco de Mayo, too,
Is marked today, it's true,
And many folks will be out late.
I still have to work,
A curmudgeonly jerk,
For my needs do not abate.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


For a few days, I've been away,
And it won't be long I'll stay,
Though I'll be here at least today,
An I'll be here tomorrow.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Yesterday was a gorgeous day.
The sun shone bright from a clear, cool sky,
And a breeze kept things fresh.
But one sour note snuck into things,
One foul odor penetrated,
A waft of flatus that grew,
Pungent, putrid stink
As if an unwashed gamer baby ate of bad sushi tacos
And filtered them through rancid cooking oil.
We are still retching from it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


The storms have come.
The storms have gone.
We're still here; we carry on,
Though we're none of us wayward sons.
In blue skies, we see the sun,
And we know that we have won
Another day that much was done,
Perhaps one that saw some fun,
But now, we are on the run,
Plunging headlong forward.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Work needs always to be done,
And that thought is not much fun,
But I know I have begun
To be a bit free from it.
As I shift my focus, I
Realize I will not die
From starving, that I will not lie
In streets from a lack of it.
I need not labor so much, now;
I can rest and value things somehow
That I've not often done--and how,
Now I'm not buried in it.

Friday, April 28, 2017


I seem to have been paid today,
But the money has all slipped away.
I should have known it would not stay,
But I was glad to see it.
I've seen the money come and go,
And of the latter more, I know,
And I know it's often so.
I easily see it.
The thing is that I need the cash,
Lest my life become quite a hash,
And some others'. Thus, I stash
Some where folks can't see it.
Someday, it might be enough
To get past times both smooth and rough.
I think I might well be so tough
As to get to see it.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Work presses on me again.
I am having trouble making time to write.
I know it is only temporary.
I know everything I do is.
I do not look forward to some endings.
I do look forward to beginning again
On my writing
More sustained things
Than short bursts of verse.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


I still fight to charge ahead,
Knowing where my path has led,
But I move forward with less dread--
Not none, for I'm trained to it.
But as I've run, I've fouled a shoe,
Stepped in something prompting "Ew."
I know what I need to do;
I simply need to do it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


The bastards are trying to take my money.
There's little enough for them to find,
But that doesn't mean I'm happy to lose it.
It doesn't mean that I don't mind.
So I'll get it handled, and I'll do it soon--
The banks are still closed right now--
And I'll hope my efforts have not been in vain.
I'll get things handled somehow.

Monday, April 24, 2017


I'm pressing on with trying to write,
Although I'm unsure that I'm right
To do so as a morning rite
And start the day with rhyming.
For I often line up words,
Gather them into their herds,
While I sit and drop my turds;
I worry for the timing.
Coincidence does not make cause,
But the timing still gives pause,
And plopping is hardly applause;
It's not approval's signing.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Sometimes, I take a bit more rest
That I may better do my best
As I proceed along my quest,
Whatever it actually is.
I'm not sure that I always know
Where it is I seek to go
On earth, above, or far below,
Or what my object is.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Today, I seem to run behind,
But I think most will not mind,
Caring not or being kind,
And I can use the latter.
For many, yes, such will be true,
And of those many, some yet do
Some things that they greatly rue,
And so might use a ladder.
But lest I'm thought o!, much too cruel,
Joking of jumping from a stool
While wearing spin-offs of a spool,
By people in a lather,
I say not what should be done,
Say not that by such thing is won
Such race or game or fight begun
As people find may matter.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Pay day has come once again,
So a work-week's set to end
And I can try to pretend
I live a luxurious life.
The days I can do such are brief,
But they still offer some relief
From the constructed work-week's grief
And any workplace strife.
Of course, I will do it again.
The need for money finds no end
So long as any still pretend
To have an easy life.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


As ever, I am plowing on ahead
With work that comes and ensures I am led
To paychecks used to keep my family fed.
I begrudge not the work that I must do
To bring in money; I know it is through
Such agency that I can now accrue
That which I need to many debts redeem
And to provide what I well know may seem
A life no more than that which those who teem
As rats all racing have and then bemoan
Because the striving leaves them all alone
Despite the families they have at home.
Yet other paths have closed to me all been,
So on this one I have started again.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


I continue to struggle, to do what I can
To find a fair way to get 'cross this land
In which we all struggle, in which we all stand
To lose what we long for, to fail out of hand.
This is not the path I had thought I planned,
And how I got on it, I don't understand.
But now I must bend to another's demand
And work now, and ride as if for the brand--
At least, I well must, lest I get canned,
And in so doing too many leave damned
About whom I care. Them, I'd not strand.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


In the States, Tax Day's today,
And I had thought to write a screed
To chide in verse jackasses' bray--
But that's not what we need.

Monday, April 17, 2017


There have been much of Sturm under Drang;
They woke me in the early morning,
And I could not get all the way back to sleep.
I hope that what they brought with them was worth it.
I have to be up many hours,
My task-burden to upkeep.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Today is a holiday, it seems,
And I will be spending it with my people.
It should be good.
Tomorrow will see me back to work
As is to be expected.
Today, though,
I will spend with family.
It should be good.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


I've somehow seemed to lose my sense of time,
So I worry that my meter and my rhyme
Will be disordered, too, as seems to be the case.
The strange adjustments that have happened to the place
Have left me out of sorts. I know not why
They would. No guess will venture I
About the reason I'm discombobulate.
I'll guess instead how I'll to normal get.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Sometimes, I think to get ahead,
To get the needed reading read,
To get the needed saying said
In print and mouth to ear.
I therefore take the time to do
What I need done, to carry through
Some tasks so I can face tasks new
And make some time come clear.
I've done so now; I have some time,
Since I have pre-written this rhyme,
To with my family some joy find
Because I hold them dear.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


There are some times I sit and think
About the time that I have wasted
Sitting on my too-thin laurels
After I have success tasted
And I wonder why I did
And why it is I did not more.
If it's true that life's a game,
Why got I not a higher score?
Now I'm in a higher round,
And there's far more for me to lose
If I discern my paths a-wrong
And, seeing ill, the wrong way choose,
For I play not myself alone
But am a member of a team,
So serious is what I do,
Although it still may playing seem.
If I falter, I will fall,
But I can stand again with ease;
The problem is that my lapse
Will take the net from their trapeze,
And so abrupt an ending pleases few.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


The work goes ever on, of course,
Since it of money is the source,
And we to act with funds are forced
By practice long enduring.
And so I spend much time away
From wife and daughter every day;
I little with the latter play,
Less get the first's alluring.
As I work, I keep in mind
A thing I heard in early times,
A thing said true, if said unkind,
And it is me immuring:
Would I rather hug my girl
Or see her drifting in the world
In tatters, flag too long unfurled?
And so my work's enduring.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I am wearing too many masks.
I know I need to switch between them,
Take one off and don another,
Shifting them around so that my true face never shows.
But it seems that some of them never come off.
Whether they are tied too tightly
Or they are stuck with spirit gum,
They adhere,
And offing them tears at me.
I pull off more than the mask,
And I already lose too much to doing so.

Monday, April 10, 2017


It is all too often expected
That laughter is by sage neglected,
That mirth by scholars is rejected,
That weighty matters are inspected
By those whose lives are introspected,
And that the doing thus perfected
Of joy does not admit.
Yet it's joy that drives the looking
For the ways the world is cooking
And the universe is working
Such that searchers, near-berserking,
Find themselves the public irking
By away their notions jerking--
And learning's funny shit.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


I was glad to seek my sleep,
But now I have to earn my keep,
And I can't do so 'neath a heap
Of blankets piled high.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Another day is well begun,
And I'll be working to help fund
My wife and daughter having fun--
And I may even join them.

But, still, there's always something wrong,
And I know it won't be long
In coming, though I but sing songs
And do nothing to prevent them.

What's worse is I don't truly care.
Did I, I'd be over there
Where troubles are--but I don't dare
To place myself before them.

But I know I am not alone
In sitting, as if on a throne,
While other in harm's way are thrown--
I would, at least, preserve them.

For if I would not myself go,
If I would not my people throw
Into such places, I well know
I hesitate to throw them

Who have offered up their lives,
And bodies when they do survive,
Where I would not myself arrive.
Perhaps it matters to them.

Friday, April 7, 2017


I wonder why I track the time
When I sit to write out rhyme
And why I work to make lines scan
When I well know that I can
Write in blank verse or in free
The words I would have others see,
And still they will see them.

I think I am so schooled in verse
That follows forms I have rehearsed
That I cannot from them depart,
And I have to think that art
Is in knowing when to go
Along with forms, or to say "no"
When called to go 'long with them.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


It seems to me that every day
Sees a little slip away
Of how I had meant to portray
Myself as I would be.
I had some plans that were long made,
And I for them a steep price paid,
But that investment's been betrayed,
As now is clear to me.
So I go to do new deeds
And answer different masters' needs.
The change from what I was proceeds.
The results, we will see.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


I find that I'm still working away,
Pushing myself through day after day
And doing it since I need all the pay
That I can get my hands on.
I feel like a time that's pushed 'round the board,
While the ones who are pushing gather their hoard
And, in their doing, come to be adored
Whatever square the piece lands on.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


There's always something going on,
And I worry that it's wrong,
That, if I'm in it, I belong
Somewhere else.
I know such is paranoid,
So I seek much to avoid
Acting on it, not upbuoyed
Or somewhere else.

Monday, April 3, 2017


The work I've done continues on
As ever it seems to do,
And a new adventure will've begun
Before the day is through.
So things will go as they must go
As I happily forge ahead.
Where they'll lead, I do not know,
But I'm glad to be led.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


The heavens opened, the rain came down,
Thunder rolled as lightning flashed 'round,
Winds howled and gyred, and hail did pound
On roofs and cars, sent trees to ground.
Yet all the while, I lazed abed,
Lounged in comfort, felt no dread,
Knew no harm would find me,
For small I am, and small remain.
From great matters, I abstain,
And so great things don't mind me.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


Hit is nat wyth shoures soote
That Aprill doth gyve Merch the boote,
But rather joye and merryment
Wyth which the month is away sent.
Or so the words are often said
As some will, maugre others' head,
Do make their japes wythouten stent--
And wonder where hire frendes went.
If jest ye must, then jest ye well,
And list to what you others tell,
For making japes turns sour soon
Yf ye not shape them to the room.

Friday, March 31, 2017


A new adventure soon begins,
But still, I wonder, who all wins.
Long habits do not quickly break,
And I am accustomed to take
A dimmer view on what I see--
Even when I should feel glee.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


I like to have my quiet morning time.
It lets me put words into metered rhyme
And into measured prose.
But when I may receive some welcome news,
I cannot trumpet it to those whose views
Matter most to me.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Yes, I know that I am slowing down,
Struggling to drag myself around
As I go from town to town
Plying the trade shown by my gown.
But that I'm slow means I've not stopped,
And I can see the grass uncropped
As flowers from it now have popped
And rabbits have within it hopped.
I ever seem to need more done.
No sooner that I have begun,
My set of tasks will grow by one--
And people demand I have fun.
I trudge along. I will succeed.
I will answer all my need,
And I will some old wisdom heed.
I go; it matters not the speed.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I feel as though I did not sleep.
I know my slumber was not deep,
So now I must struggle to keep
Myself awake for the day.
I cannot simply go back to bed
And once again lay down my head;
I must turn to work instead
And earn my keep for the day.

Monday, March 27, 2017


I found myself reading
A webcomic archive,
And I finally finished the damned thing.

It was good to be reminded of
Why I read the comic,
Why I kept reading
After I started
So long ago.

I have been thinking about
Such things
About why I do what I do
And where I came from
In terms of my mind.

I need to do more reading.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Things are changing.
They seem to be looking up.
I wonder how long it will be
Before my neck begins to hurt.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Praise them with great praise whose work ended the days
Of the dark dominion of Sauron's wicked ways,
Gorthaur's cruelty quashed, Annatar's lies rephrased,
And a new age started! Praise them with great praise!

Friday, March 24, 2017


I am still looking to find a way out,
But that there's a way, I anymore doubt,
Unless I am hindered, though I am devout,
By the onus of Stupid God's blessings.
It's to be avoided, whenever I pray,
That I seek with devotions offered each day,
To divert the notice, turn that face away,
And gather no Stupid God's blessings.
But, evidently, my prayers all go wrong,
And I am in-gathered, though I don't belong,
Among the great masses who sing the damned song
That revels in Stupid God's blessings.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


All the damned time
Bees, at least, work amid flowers
They fly
They feast on sweetness
I am simply
Working while I
Try to find work
So that I can work just
One job
And that's the dream
One job
One that stays
One in which
I can stay
And so be less

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Again I sit on that throne that I share
And write as if a reader e'er will care
About the word-work in which I do bare
Thoughts I have and how my mind might work.
I know that what I say will often irk,
For I am often called far worse than "jerk,"
Yet even in the irking, I will mean,
And in the meaning ensure I am seen,
And only in the seeing can I glean
A chance to better where I now do stand,
To make a better place in new-strange land
Where the Stupid God has free command.
But if I will perform my little show,
How it will end is a good thing to know.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Most days, I drive the long and winding roads,
Twisting asphalt ribbons through the hills
Of oak and cedar and mesquite that stand
Rooted atop limestone that cracks in layers.
Often, they are black and grey on brown,
The kiss of the Hill Country sun that comes
Too near too often for our hearts' content.
When, at times, the sky will mate the ground,
Brown will shift to green and green and green,
Making monochrome that still will please
In an age of color. But in the past few days,
Each day has seen a little more emerge
Of pink and yellow, red and purple,
Texan white and blue, standing at the roadside.
I look, I love, but I do not pick up hitchhikers.

Monday, March 20, 2017


The students were off last week.
I had not meant to be, as well.
I usually am not.
But I was.
Some of me wants to regret it.
Most of me does not.
I think I will listen to the majority.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Even now
My wife and my daughter
Are joys to me
I had thought of how I might speak of them in symbols
But none suggest themselves as fitting
I find I do not need them
Not for this
Not today

Saturday, March 18, 2017


Sometimes, the words do not want to come.
Sometimes, it is more an issue of ideas.
In the former case, there are thoughts that want to emerge.
They struggle against the inside of the mind,
Trying to tear the membrane that keeps them captive
So that they can scream out into the open air
And be heard.
But in the latter case,
There are no notions,
Or if there are, they have died before birth,
Remaining flaccid grey things in the mind
Taking up space until they are expelled
One way or another.

Friday, March 17, 2017


I seem to have some seventeens today,
And yet I cannot seventeen array.
What comes in seventeens, I cannot say.
What stands alone, it is easily seen,
And pairs and triplets take many a scene.
Quartets, quintets, too. A sixth is keen,
Although a seventh isn't. Eight appear,
But groups of nine are usually quite dear.
Decades feature well; elevens rear
Up less than twelves, and thirteens are accursed.
Fourteens happen seldom save in verse.
Fifteens group well if they are rehearsed.
Sixteen, as a power of two, makes pairs,
But seventeens are seldom anywhere,
And noone seems to offer it much care.
I, therefore, will take a little dare
And make my verse today the number fit,
And I will hope that folks will enjoy it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


I wonder if, the next day, all those folks
Who approached Caesar, showered him with pokes,
Regretted what they did and saw the spokes
Of Fortune's wheel begin to turn away.
I wonder if they realized that they
Would ignominy have for deeds that day,
That two would in hell be by Satan gnawed
In famous words, amid ice never thawed,
The teeth demonic each being a prod
To punish treason. I am sure they knew
That they would have cause to their actions rue,
Yet I think they thought "This we must do,
But though we may well suffer for a time,
We will come to be praised in song and rhyme."

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Today is the kind of day
That works for getting rid of Caesars,
Aging tyrant autocrats.
One might wonder
Who will be the modern Brutus
And who will gasp out
Et tu
After being harshly patted on the back.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


There are some limits on the sonnet form,
Some tasks it is not suited to perform,
Some things that do not do well to conform
To fourteen lines that rhyme and run in place.
Some things do not require so much space,
While other cannot keep an even pace,
And others yet cannot be made to rhyme.
Their senses are such as do not them prime
For taking on that paint for any time;
They yearn instead, or seem to yearn, to speed
Along and many structures not to heed.
But I have never understood the need
To race along and strictures to forsake;
I need a pattern to my making make.

Monday, March 13, 2017


I find I have a bit of break today,
A gap in tasks, a chance, perhaps, to play.
I'll likely not; I try no idle way,
But instead shift the work that I will do
Until my tasks are all full carried through
And I can turn to work again, anew.
I do not mind the work, though I'd prefer
That I advance since I don't work abjure
To settings such as provoke speech azure.
I find that I face such a setting now,
And to me extricate I know not how.
A short break may well help me not be cowed,
Or so I hope. The break is come, and I
Must fill it if I'd end on a note high.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


The problematic Daylight Savings Day
Remains a plague despite what people say,
That any cause for it has gone away
And its maintenance now does no good.
All of this is widely understood,
And yet, in town and field and neighborhood
The rule that hours shift remains in place,
And people come to it with sullen face,
Save in those places that offer the grace
Of shifting not because it was once done--
But in those places still many a one
Must deal with the effects that are not fun,
And they have problems of their own each day,
Despite not being under savings' sway.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


For a cause I do not understand,
I this morning thought about a band
I did not listen to. I did not brand
Myself as doing so would make me do.
(For each such choice so serves, as I then knew,
And that I'd not fit in with them it's true
Who did align themselves in such a way.)
It's strange that I would think of it today.
It's not as if I've heard the music play,
Nor is it that I want to hear such song.
I know that I still don't--never will belong,
That I am not part of that teeming throng.
Yet still I have that band inside my head.
The mind will work despite what might be said.

Friday, March 10, 2017


A work-week draws close to its end, and I
Cannot my happiness at that deny
Or at the longer break that stands hard by,
Even as I know the joy is made
By games that owners' forces have long played
And that a time of rest will be delayed.
For I well know that breaks from one workplace
Do not mean breaks from others. The work-pace
Will shift its rhythm for a little space,
And I will work more in another role
Than I do at present. It's the toll
I pay to climb from out a fiscal hole.
Yet steep and slick are the sides of the pit,
And I but little grip e'er seem to get.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Today, I take my daughter into town--
Her mother usually will take her 'round--
Because I will today be going down
To that small school in which she is enrolled,
And I will go because it's going to hold
A small event of which I have been told.
Her mother works, and I do not today,
So, rather than at home and alone stay,
I'll make sure our daughter gets to say
Her parents came to see her have her fun
And do the kinds of things that she has done
That we could not have taught her. Every one
Of them has been a boon, a joy to see.
I am glad to help her find her glee.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


The flooding is somewhat abated, now,
But we are still monitoring the situation,
And we will bring you updates.
In other news today, wear red
Or be in solidarity. The latter
Ought not need be said,
And it is to our shame it is.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Flooding continues, although it is somewhat abated.
Dams have burst, allowing backed-up flows to be released.
Cleanup efforts continue downstream.
More details will follow as the situation unfolds.
Next, some puppies or something. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 6, 2017


Localized flooding has blocked several paths,
And the alternate routes that have had to be taken
Have disrupted the nights of those accustomed to sleeping
In the quiet provided by the normal roads.
Repeated service interruptions do not help matters.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


Old man McLuhan might be right to say
That medium is message, that the way
A thing emerges has somewhat to say
As much as what it holds, if not some more.
But if he is, and we should seek to pore
Over what we see to gauge its score
Then what do we say when a work is seen
On a page instead of on a screen
Or in small chunks instead of one work's sheen?
How does it change when here instead of there?
Does it alter whether any care
If the verse of itself makes a spare?
If triplets and a couplet stand apart,
Can they form a single work of art?

Look for #v201703050920 on Twitter.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Today's John Philip Sousa Day,
And so today the bands should play
Jaunty marches and away
Take themselves in fine array,
In tight cadence find their way
To some end I cannot say.
For it's John Philip Sousa Day.
March forth, therefore, without delay!

Friday, March 3, 2017


The funny thing about it is
I write these while I take a whiz
Or drop the kids off at the pool,
As was said in my old school.
It could be said I crap these out.
Then I spread the crap about.
But that would make the lines a stain,
And what would readers be, again?

Thursday, March 2, 2017


The Stupid God is working in the land
With wrinkled citrus avatar at hand
To ensure that we do not understand,
For in the understanding there is hope,
As those unknowing do not know to cope
With all the wrong into which they are roped.
In greater numbers, they occlude the noose
That swings about them, widely since still loose,
But soon to tighten so 'twill be no use
To fight. What matter any struggles be
When done suspended from the standing tree,
The soiled oak that spreads for all to see
The horrors it has worked? It is no dream
Select most, though to some it will so seem.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Since still the wrinkled citrus avatar
That Stupid God has sent here from afar
The work of hands and minds will seek to mar,
And still a throng will cheer for every move
The avatar will make and thereby prove
That Hobbes was right and it would behoove
To know Machiavelli better yet
So that some cynic vision still may get
Ahead and perhaps itself firmly set
Against the foul, unthinking, rushing tide
Of ignorance. All I can do is hide
And wait for its recession. I but bide
My time, although I know I'm like to drown,
And the avatar to show its crown.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


The shortened second month comes to its end,
And I am unsure that I can defend
What I have done as I sought to wend
My way through each of the month's too-few days
That, although few, have stood tall as a maze
And hindered passage. I've been in a daze
As I have walked about and done too little well,
Doing nothing to avoid the hell
To which I seem bound upon death's knell--
For I have not fought Stupid God's desire
Or th' wrinkled citrus avatar on hire,
Not fought against the building fun'ral pyre
That even now is kindling. Soon, the blaze
Will leap up and devour all our days.

Monday, February 27, 2017


I did not watch the Oscars.
I find I do not care
What movie wins awards
Or loses over there.
I rarely see a movie.
I rarely have the time.
More rarely have I money.
Can you spare a dime?
But when the hours are free
That I may movies watch,
I stay instead at home.
I do, perhaps, too much.
Ever have I done so;
I've always been this way,
Staying back at home
While others watch and play.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Birds are chirping, cattle low, and I
Can hear the dogs a-barking at the sky
As people here begin to stir. And why
This would be so, I cannot fully tell.
I know not why, when looking on the dell,
Thing proceed and appear to be well
When I know in my heart that much is wrong,
That notes are missed in every chirping song,
The droning lowing sounds a bit too long,
The barking strangely changes in its pitch
That comes in cadence from the ornery bitch
And from her son. It is as if a switch
Has been turned off, somehow, or else turned on,
And in the flipping, something became gone.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


It's ten scant months to Christmas Day,
And I know that some will say
It is too early to display
Trees and tinsel, toys for play,
Wrapping papers bright and gay
(The last in the old carol's way),
Santa Claus riding the sleigh,
And calls for all to come and pray
In the one approvéd way--
Finding things for which to pay
And filling for part of a day
The empty hole that they betray
By retail worship. Anyway,
It's ten scant months to Christmas Day,
But I'd swear I've seen a display
Of stockings and the like.

Friday, February 24, 2017


I often think about the passing days
And how I spend them, all the many ways
In which I waste my time by seeking praise
Instead of doing what deserves the laud.
In doing so, I serve the Stupid God,
And that one's power needs no further prod,
Nor yet the wrinkled citrus avatar
Thereof that casts Stupid God's influ'nce far
And hot and churning gassy as a star
Example offers of praise-seeking's fault.
But still, I find I'm unable to halt
The search for commendation. By default,
Innate or trained I would not care to guess,
I need more said of me in praise, not less.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


I wait to hear back on the work to do,
And, while I wait, I try to carry though
One idea or another to
Make some decent use of all the time
I must spend in waiting. Making rhyme
Is one such use, and it is no crime.
At least, it is not yet, but that may change
Given that the current day is strange
And the work of power to derange
Those who hold it. Those who seek it are
Likely of a sort who have not far
To go to become raving. What odd star
Shines upon their birth and on each day
They live to shape them to our long dismay?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I seem to have been sleeping in,
And so it seems that I begin
Each day a bit behind again,
And I never catch up.
I always have a lot to do,
And I see most of it through,
But I wonder if I screw
It all not getting up.
Such thoughts, of course, for truth depend
Upon the thought that, in the end,
What I do matters, a mind-friend
That may well not bear up,
Because, of course, I merely teach.
Doing, for me, is out of reach,
Else why would it seem that each
Job says to not show up?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


I labor yet within the ivory tower
Because I am long come under the power
Spread about by learning's open flower,
Because I have been touched by the delight
Of bringing forth new knowledge, spreading light
Amid the darkness of prevailing night,
But many turn away from what I bear,
Or seek to turn me back, or do not care,
And so I have to wonder if I err
In following the long life of the mind
Within a world that is far off from kind
To such, begrudges e'en the rind
That the work of the mind will scrape away
From luscious fruit for feasting on each day.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Something in old jingles works.
I know, because I hear them even now
As I sit on the commode with a fan on
And nobody has YouTube up that I can hear.
How Gatorade quenches a "deep-down body thirst"--
Or is it "deep, down-body," and does it matter?--
Rings between my ears
And strangely.
I don't like the stuff
And I am no athlete, to be sure,
So I am not the target audience.
Still, I have it in my head,
I cannot get it out,
And I have to wonder what it has displaced
That actually would be of use.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


My dear Ms. 8 is three today,
And we are likely going to play
Somewhere normally called "away"
Because today is her birthday.
Even now, she wears a smile
And sits, talking all the while
In lilting voice and toddler's style.
Today is her third birthday.
I recall well when, years ago,
This day seemed altogether slow,
Although why, I do not know;
It was, that day, her birthday.
I hope Ms. 8 has many more,
And happier than heretofore,
Ranging into several score
Of those things we call birthdays.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


I am glad there's fog outside,
For it gives a excuse to hide
Away from things, remain inside,
And turn my attention to grading.
The students' work has come to me,
And so I must go and see
What they have offered as a plea
For my kind and gentle grading.
I have not gotten very far
In the task; it feels like tar
Into which I've sunk my car,
But I'll continue the grading.

Friday, February 17, 2017


They said that if we did the thing then we
Would get another in return and see
Stretch out before us opportunity,
But what they said was wrong, and so were we
Who trusted others to our own paths see.
Now we pay the price for our great folly,
As many see and chide us when we say
That we were unaware this is the way
That thing work out, that we were led astray
By trusting those who to us oft would say
That we needed to go in a certain way
If we ever meant to see a better day.
But a lesson has been learned and well,
Even if the teachings' cost is fell.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I sit and think and lines of verse recall,
And as I think, I soon reject them all
In part for how they'd make my cadence fall,
Or else my rhyme scheme force to make a turn
I would not care to follow. Still, I yearn
For a time I might use what I've learned
Through years of doing that for which I trained,
The training which has left me since in pain,
At least as strikes my pocketbook again.
But I know now what I should have then,
Though how to turn that knowing to my end
Is far less clear to me. It is no friend,
Such knowing as I have. And what to do
Eludes me as its ghost laughs, dancing, too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Sometimes, my daughter does not want to sleep;
She instead wakefulness decides to keep,
Even as nighttime hours on her creep
As they upon us all advance each night
And put her parents' waking minds to flight
And leave them dreaming, perhaps in delight.
But she resists the coming somnolence
Until it, with soft force, will drive from hence
Her conscious mind, or it, at last, relents,
And her cherubic face goes slack with sleep.
The image made is one I gladly keep
In mind; it's succour when I weep
And prone to making smiling time each day.
Not much affects me in such happy way.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


I'm not the man I want to be.
I still hold to the fantasy
That I can be such as we see
On silver screens or on TV
From whom evildoers flee
And who has abundant money
From doing work that we don't see.
But such a man, he is not me,
And I know that I can but flee
From what is now pursuing me,
From which I never will be free.

Monday, February 13, 2017


A truth is that the night will always fall,
Each person feels Thanatos's quiet call,
And everything will pass under a pall.
What then remains, when they have gone away
And we without them must face each new day?
Of what effect is anything we say?
Words offered kindly often do no good,
Although it seems it is words that should
Be offered against the polished wood
That is planted in the ground, an inverse seed
That answers the all-taking dire need
And shows that we the one last call all heed.
So it is I such words as these write
And offer to them finding final night.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


I find I feel a little drained.
The reasons need to be explained.
So I will make the point in plain:
I gave blood yesterday.
I'd never given blood before,
Not because I shy from gore,
But from how needles make me sore,
But I gave blood yesterday.
Doing so was not too hard.
The process has not left me scarred,
And I want no congratulation card,
But I gave blood yesterday.
I confess, though, that I do itch
Where I was stuck, and I could wish
I did not. Perhaps I twitched
When I gave blood yesterday.
Even so, I'm glad I did.
It might help save somebody's kid
Or help a new researcher's bid
That I gave blood yesterday.
So, in time, I will again
Be a blood-drain's leading end
And parts of me to others send
By giving blood that day.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Work continues, as ever it must,
That it does is a fact all too easy to trust,
But at least the working will prevent any rust,
And my joints need no more stiffening.
Still, I confess that I could use some oil,
A something to ease the effects of my toil
But that will not the results of those efforts foil
While it keeps my joints from stiffening.

Friday, February 10, 2017


I know I sometimes miss my mark,
But I'm not walking in a park,
Or, if I am, it's in the dark,
And I miss all the scenery.
But I'd not note it, anyway.
I try to go about each day
And get through in most any way,
So I miss all the greenery.
But the plants get their revenge.
My ignoring they avenge
From tree and bush, from grass and hedge;
I find the green ones meaner.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


One vote to rule them all, one vote to find them,
One vote to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,
For it is not just a lidless eye that ways to evil sees,
But also white-haired complaisance that evil's ways ease
And pave the way for ignorance to spread across the land
So that more of the people fall into Stupid God's hand.
Who serve the citrus avatar long wrinkled and bitter made
Are getting the promotions for which they have paid,
And nothing seems to stop them, as of us is outlaid,
And no Mount Doom fires can be found. How will they be unmade?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


I know that I'm running well behind
Of where I want to be, and I do mind,
But I cannot rush blithely; I am blind
To what will come, as most now living are.
None of us sees ahead all that far,
Not even if we still sail by a star--
And looking at the stars is looking back,
Which is still good, for all too many lack
The knowing of their long ancestral track
And could use a lesson in the past.
But many who look thus proceed half-assed
And should not wonder but that they are sassed
By those who know. But those who know are few,
And there is but little few can do.

Monday, February 6, 2017


Yes, I watched the tricorn hats succeed
Against a Southern team. I might a lesson heed
Of history in it and give a screed,
But did I do so, I do would overreach
In practicing the skills that I would teach.
I have no choir to which I might preach,
Not for this. I think I'd be ignored
Did I go on. I'd leave most people bored
To aim at such an end my deep word-hoard
And say I saw again the seaward march
In last night's game, played under heaven's arch.
Of victory, the Southern team is parched,
And I have to wonder if 'twill rain
And such a team have chance to rise again.