Some weird shit, man.
COVID-19 and all the ways of the world
mangled, twisted —
set on fire.

Another confirmed case,
the county adjacent to ours.
Close enough to us now
that it totally feels real.
Like, how real will it be
when friends, family,
begin to die?

I could be one of them.
Compromised, weakened immune system
and fragile, as my sister tells it…
This fiend could slay me.

It could.
It really, really could.

My 2019 goal was to publish five poems. When I met that goal midyear, I expanded my horizons and made ten the new magic number. Well, I fell just shy of that by two. Still, I’m happy and pleased that eight of my poems were selected for publication. Here’s Numero Ocho. It’s called Horror Vacui and it was published in SPLASH!, an online journal courtesy of Haunted Waters Press.

Horror Vacui

~ the fear or dislike of leaving empty spaces, particularly in an artistic composition

yesterday, I watched cumulonimbus clouds dance their anvil jig

tomorrow, I will cruise among their almighty thunderheads

today, I hunger for the tart, clean texture of a Colorado peach

today, I yearn for the lusty breezes of spring,
winter remnants skimming across novice green grass

today, I adore the pungent taste of black licorice
puppy’s exquisite kisses, until I cannot handle them even one minute more
the exhilaration of a rowdy wind in my hair, pedaling my Townie Electra fast as it will take me
street photography, subjects unaware, placed within my viewfinder, chill and aloof

today, I crave the scent of ciabatta bread fresh-baked with my own two inarticulate hands
flamboyant array of hats and scarves, crocheted with love
the impactful power and reach of the written word (occasionally, my own)

alway, I seek joyful reassurances from authentic hearts
nestled snug and warm within a canvas that lacks for nothing

nothing at all


It wasn’t often
I was invited to a friend’s house.

A grand adventure
for one always told

we can’t afford it.

My mother’s touch
of the feminine.

I’m tempted
to live in ignorance
of the partisan divide
that threatens our democracy
unity we once held dear
the ubiquitous Breaking News,
turning away
from chaotic commentary
manufactured outrage

the whole darn world gone mad…


Cal’s class ring, barely snug
despite the red yarn
wrapped around its band,
slips off her finger, clatters inside
the cast-iron basin.

She places it on the sideboard
holds on to its uneasy memory,
one she wraps around herself
in scathing moments
of doubt and lonely regret.

Details of their last conversation,
tinged with subterfuges
she did not know she was capable of,
bit down — hard — on the heels
of all that messy death and fog at Khe Sanh.

The choice had been hers alone to make.

Redemption, now, never once a possibility.

Sinister longings perish
in a hail of loneliness,
solitary specters of humanity
twisted, tainted, tormented and tattered.

Writhing in misty coils
vanquished blue-haired nobles
smoke their pipes
and drink their tea,
moral beneficence lost amid
the dithering squalor
of their own wanton needs.

Frosted-glass pillars
glow amber and vermillion,
intentions forever severed
by hazy razor-grim phantoms.