ten dollar cover
no one knows how i feel. not exactly. sometimes not at all. you can talk and smile right over your pain. you can. the way sandalwood burns filling the room with the fine scent of a well lived life. half closed eyes see it all.
at the abandoned
asylum for the insane
i let myself in
leaving a shadow is all
so attached to this body. but at the end of the day or the end of time we just leave the faintest trace of ourselves. todays best ideas were hatched a century ago by a farmer smoking a pipe in the field after a long day. like a stone in our shoe they just reappear down the road of time and we pick it up and the lesson begins again. knowing that nothing is. is a comfortable feeling for me.
on two left feet
nothing scares me. speaking to a hostile audience. that barking dog showing me their teeth. the black bear standing on hind legs and looking my way. i remember when my parents took the family to yellowstone when we were kids. there were five or six grizzlies in a parking lot along the road. my dad drove his brand new 1953 bel air chevy right up to one of the grizzlies. we did not have air conditioning and the windows in the car were open. all three of us kids were in the back seat eating oreo cookies and laughing at the bears. then one big grizzly put his paws on the open window on the passenger side where my mom was sitting. yeah she screamed. we were all terrified and then quickly without a thought my dad grabbed the whole package of oreos from us and tossed it over the bears head. the car bounces wildly when that bear suddenly went for the cookies. all the windows went up and my dad got us out of there in a hurry. i learned something about bears that day. never been scared of them again. hell we had something in common. we both love oreo cookies.
to suit our fears
the echo is still you
when in a group i talk. when by myself i listen. sounds paradoxical i know. the hardest part of living is being on good terms with yourself. that takes conversation. i try to keep it light and easy you know. but chaos theory seems to demand that we label things. we think that we will know what the whole is if we can name all the parts. not true. i leave the labels to others and am sure to ignore any given to me. a clean empty shelf holds a small vase with a single flower. if forced to give it a label i would call it a ‘full shelf’.
i shape it
into a bunny
only the sun knows how to be quietly bright
oh those very smart people in our lives. so easy to spot them. they tell you how smart they are right off.
buying vegetables and fruit from a vendor in the alley behind her home. my grandmother loved everyone equally. if she was not born roman catholic she would have been a buddha. no one was beneath her. not even the old ‘colored’ man relegated to the alley. his watermelon slices were to die for. my grandma was a ‘pheasant german’ and spoke ‘low’ german not that ‘fancy stuff’. she was a maid for dozens of years to the wealthy. when my granddad who started at general motors at fifteen. after lying about his age in flint michigan rose to be an executive in the fisher building in downtown detroit they moved to grosse point woods. she never learned to drive. but my grandfather got a new cadillac every year. she still cleaned her house herself. immaculately by the way. my grandma went to church every day. our lady of the sea church. it was a block from her home. but she had my grandpa take her to the eastern market in detroit for fresh food and they went to the old catholic church in detroit. st. pauls it was. once a month for the german mass. she hugged everyone she met. old young poor rich drunk or sober. she was my champion and everyone elses too. i was never jealous of her attention to others. it was just her way. to see the good and to be the good.
of a breathless candle
in my heart
NOTE: My grandmother was Elizabeth Hinding, and both of my grandparents were examples for me to look up to. She spoke ‘broken English’ hence the structure of this haibun.
i have had the opportunity to meet a lot of ‘famous’ poets and writers. it just happened sometimes. other times i ‘hung out’ until they pitied me or something. the great inspiration i received from being around those celebs is that i realized they were just like me. with the one exception that they had put their dreams of a walter mitty life down on paper. so i started doing what they did. ok. not anywhere near as successful. i held the straight jobs all my life to pay the bills. but i wrote every day. every day.
not making it as a poet…
the sweetness of
a fresh peach