the traveler


trains on a platform to useless destinations
pocketed tickets no good for hours to come
coins with no paper make use of imagination
like cheese with no bread, but don’t spare the wine
hazy well-traveled mind needing repair
the pistons need stay in motion, tout jour en guard
a moment’s carelessness, a closing eye
belongings meager, hosting base comforts
a sleeping bag, a camera, cell phone, some clothes
solitaire wins beating the boredom’s dominance
failing patience with beggars and gypsies
from Trier to Koblenz and onward to the East
hearty young liver a curse in lonely times
strange faces look familiar despite diverted glances
living out of a bag, a wanderer, a vagabond
those at home dream of your adventures
through postcards and letter written on rubbage
while passers-by see nothing more than a vagrant
not the child of chance, exploring the old country
a few more hours to a safely locked sleeping car
and the commonality of discomfort with fellow passengers
until then, stay sharp and pass the time wisely


In a nest on high on a remote island
there rested a raptor unknown to man
its talons green with feathers blue
a curved beak, red like the berries of its perch

one day a foreign creature landed on shore
crawling out of the rough seas’ chop
the osprey took to flight and circled
spying on this strange beast with drooping fur

it laid on its belly, still, for hours
the bird of prey watched on, vigilant
despite the creature’s enormous size
this invader seemed of little threat

all day the being slept on the shore
and woke only as night began to fall
here the beast began to transform
shedding its fur exposing more
and moving around on its hind paws

the raptor being a daytime bird flew home
but soon had to return to renew surveillance
for the creature was causing a commotion
snapping the peace of night by attacking trees
breaking limbs and piling these bones

finally silence broke into the chaos
like in the eye of a disastrous storm
here the residents of the island wailed
in fear of the unknown of what was to come
as they had never experienced a similar storm

the monster laid still in apparent rest
moving only slightly and making no noise
then suddenly a magical spell cast
what had landed on the island must be a god

flames now rose from a small point
yells from the god-thing boasted to the sky
a dance it began in circles around its magic
nocturnal creatures now sleepless and loud
fear had taken hold of the native fauna

god or demon, no creature asked knew
all agreed this was not a good thing
the alien danced into the night to greet dawn
when finally it laid down to rest once again

as it happens between night and into day
the wind changed direction now blowing in
the demon slept while its fire burned near
winds now fanning the flames to greater heights

all of a sudden the demon’s magic jumped
and the ring of burning entered into homes
first bushes and burrows were burned and smoked out
then climbed up trunks to nests and sitting branches

wingless beasts below could not escape
a few small birds around took the the air
circling around, afraid at the sight
what was to happen to their paradise homes?

the crackle of the inferno woke the demonic fiend
it backed toward the waterline to observe its creation
destruction of a land never visited before
this was its mark on the first day at first sight

now the beautiful raptor once in air
could not set down anywhere for nothing was left
other small birds circled as well
once they were its prey, now neighbors in disaster

seeing nowhere to land and no reason to stay
the raptor let the wind take him wherever it goes
the little birds tried to follow but began to drop off
as their wings were not made for cruising big berths

the demon sat there admiring its work
death and destruction all in one swoop
like a plague came this messenger out of the sea
to take victims to hell and to savor the moment

the raptor of colors never seen to man
stayed on the winds as long as it could
but even the magnificently strong bird of prey
could not swim nor sustain its flight any longer

it fell to the ocean’s floor, the last of its kind
never to be documented or coveted
all because one being was careless or cruel
destroying everything with little thought or work

ode to stupid


how can this world be rid of you?
murder is no sensible option
so we must find an alternative
where no longer need endure
your stupidity affects no living being
perhaps employ you somehow
in an automated lighthouse
call an engineer if there is trouble
light is good, dark bad
seems easy enough, even for you
perhaps you should gather coconuts
on the shores of windswept cays
there must be some way to minimize you
your legacy on mankind is a burden
would you please do us all a favor



who will be the first to act?
there’s a man in trouble
hurt and incapable of asking for help
there is a woman in need
pregnant and on carrying a load
will you be the one to offer a hand?
in a crowd, a man falls down
while at the park, I child is grabbed
it does not affect your life
let those who care struggle it out
a deaf ear, a blind eye, a lame hand
evil’s minions, his aiding accomplices
out of fear or lethargy, allowing is abetting
and let that be our shame
bystander’s syndrome is a social disease
allowing for societal weeds to grow
growing roots which break safe byways
tripping the rest of the populous into hurt
who will be the first to act?
look not to your neighbor on either side
expect nothing of common sense
especially if your logic has none
when tomorrow today is on the news
let me not be one of those to blame

I march to the gallows
my head held high
an up-turned nose
a rebuke to the tyrrants
that escort me to fate
people badger me with scowls
pummel my spirit with debris
but the spit in my eye sustains me
so as I strut my last steps
in defiance of fear
begging not for my life
nor mercy or sorrow
the opposite in fact
my pride sapping their strength
this via dolorosa to glory
today a man dies
but his story will live on
a legend like blood from a stone
disparaging their hatred
and exacting nothing but awe
I put my own head through the noose
winking at the crowd
blowing a kiss at the executioner
I’ve killed over thirty men
and never been shot down
so here’s to the law to preserving that
gallows man hurry to do your deed
Bill Longley’s got dinner plans with Satan
and I must not be late

Carpe Diem


memento mori
and yet another day passes
failure to live, wasted time
levied from what fund
and where will we repay
memento mori
given gifts with no direction
lemons and botrytis ridden grapes
producing not juice nor vintage
good talents go to waste
for neither sweet or sour gains
memento mori
pull oars on a windless sailboat
or wait for the quiet to pass
bring another unmerited blessing
or perhaps a tumultuous tempest
to take us to our lenders gate

lonely traveler


lonesome he parted northbound
in foreign territory into a wooded land
the train had the musk of previous travelers
it hummed as it droned its way to Stockholm
pine forests stood like soldiers with spears
the locomotive passing each garrison unawares
viking raiders spread shoulder to shoulder
since Copenhagen, the landscape a natural work of art
yet having left his friends even for a day, he’s lonely
usually gregarious and outgoing
now stifled by  language he began to sing
head against the window he sang to the trees
like on a USO tour, entertaining the line of warriors
the melancholy hymns soothed him
with his own familiar tunes bringing him home
to where he knows each street name
and neighbors never change
now far away, but always with him like the moon
the train slowing, reaching another stop
to a town whose name he will never remember
a mother and child stood in the seat in front
the woman gave the stranger a warm smile
leading her child away by the hand
was stopped, if only for a brief moment
the tugging little hand led its mother near
to say in an angelic voice “thank you”
then just as quickly, the cherub scampered off
that was enough to warm a cold heart
having felt the love of strangers
a newfound hope in adventures reinstalled
leaving filed thoughts of home back
in that warm shelf over his hearts hearth
now looking for new kindling
to start a new source of warmth

simply, love


pure and innocent
like white sheets hung to dry
such is my love for you
simple and with purpose
it’s clipped  waving in summer breezes
a reminder to all, that some things live on
blessed from times first tick
laden in aromas of country fresh
a flag of an old commonality
first found in mother’s milk
a best friend found, new games
a victory, championed soul
you elate my core to sing
macerating in life’s juices
my vintage will be ours to share
in small sips and double magnums
I will be forever intoxicated
by your sleepy face and morning murmurs
needing little else
to taste the goodness of life



You are my lioness
huntress in a high savannah grass
I want you to ravage me
spill my blood hot on arid soil
sink your teeth in
rip your claws down my back
when you hear my cries, enjoy them
bring the lustful carnage to a climax
then we can rest

the hyenas have stopped their circling
over the last few days my strength abated
they stayed in the shadows at camp’s perimeter
offering a yelp and an occasional nip
making sure that their prey still would fight
the vultures too have flown away hungry
I have regained my health and continued
my hike through the wilds of life yet unfinished
the dangers are different, but present
at least I will not be felled without a bought
if I should go down by lion’s bite, I will bite back
or if a gator should roll me into the deep, I’ll take his eye
over crevasses and pitfalls, quicksand and desert
my steps are mine to plant once again
giving me time to think on my walkabout
fearing no longer being slain by illness
now looking forward to my final battle
against tooth and claw, life or death in the balance
victory in honorable death will be mine