In the presence of family, be only with family.

In the presence of family,

be only with family.

Put aside the work and worry.

It’ll be there when you part.

And enjoy one another

as if each member of your family

were a dish at the dinner table.

Fill yourself with their essence.

Allow them like nutrients

to replenish your mind, body, and soul

so that when you leave one another

you’ll do so knowing

their presence is with you

for better or worse, forever and onward—

second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Family Gathering, 2012

Artistic illusions

Make my bed

Spread the sheets

They are white

They are clean

There’s a nestle of bird

Who sing softly and sweet

There are bills

To be paid

Overdrafts

To be made

But I’m conscious today

Knowing that rot can wait

I have given enough love, I’ve wrestled with the thought

Spared quarters like rain to a cynical saint

I’ve got no time to spare

All this death in the air

Has me feeling quite good, transcendentally great

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

I’ve no cross to bear climbing trees and it’s clear

That I

start to see past

The sun and moon

The sky opens up

There’s nothing left to do

This closure’s my mantra to you.

Wash my face

Clean my teeth

Knock on wood

Once a week

There’s a pub inn Philly

Where I dug my own grave

Comb the depths

Of your hair

Try and act

Like you care

I’ve been watching your play

Mixing tonic with pain

You have given enough love, so much work to be done

Put your suitcases down, for a while and remain

Like a park bench in autumn

Or leaves that have fallen

I’ve got proof there’s a cure, you just gotta find yours

Forgive me but truth is

Artistic illusions

It’s a tale to be told, when you’re young and your bold

And now I’ve

Got to go back

To the way I was before

And now you’ve

Got to go back

To the way you were before

This closure’s my mantra to you.

brick and mortar baby

how do I put this lightly,

perhaps an anvil will do

oh, but I’m always the coyote

you speedy devil, you

can crush me in an instant

you can split me into two

as I run on air to catch up

you know just what to do,

so tear away the painting

post no bills up on the wall

I’m your brick and mortar baby

we know either way I’ll fall

I think I’m literally starting to get it.

I could say

I’m hunched

though

I’m seated kind of

lazily – leg on couch

neck bent, ankle

sprain elevated

on green and white pillowcase –

typing

methodically

with a headache

from late payments

unpaid bills

and paranoia,

that could all sound

so sweet, so elegant

like the sound of a typing machine,

if only I was still a romantic

perhaps

I’d use big words to describe my feelings

but

for today

the clouds literally fill the sky,

there’s no check in the mail,

and I’ve got more work to do

at the finish

of this

poem.