freedom falls like night in the sky 

How long do they get to win? The bad guys. How goddamn long?

When will the first warrior throw down the gauntlet and lead his people against the lawless? Where is our good shepherd?

How long will babies be torn from their mother’s womb until a queen stands and gathers her own? When will we women find our womanhood, again, in a land of evil men?

How long will the dope of cartels flow like mighty rivers in our streets? The bastards gorge, like demons, on the souls of man, while our watchmen keep time in the luxury of our enemies, save for the honest few, whose blood spills for our safe keeping. 

Fuck this shit. This world. This piss poor planet. There is nothing beautiful left to save. All good things are an illusion. Our simple minds, so ripe for the deception.

Sometimes, you reach that twinkle in the eye of time…a nanosecond during which you feel your heart finally break. You realize that nothing you ever held dear was even within your reach. Not love, or hope, or joy. None of it ever truly meant a fucking thing. Yet, you tried. Like a goddamn village idiot…you fucking tried. 

It hits you, on a dark and quiet night, that your presence is not required at this party and that you are free to leave. So, quickly, you prepare your exit. There are notes to write, documents to gather. In the fuss of it all, you begin to relax. Finally. Falling into your favorite chair…hand reaching towards the gun on the table, close by. As your hand feels its weight…the familiar grip…you cannot help but smile. Barrel to head, you laugh out loud as the irony hits that this is the happiest you’ve ever been. Finger on trigger, your last breath escapes through a smile as you, finally, do the only thing you’ve ever really done for yourself, nobody else considered; as you make your peace and take your leave. 

mid evening sing-song


Life has taught me many things

Most, I have forgotten

So many things, I can’t recall

It’s as though my brain is rotten

But, there are a few things, born along with me

Things you may not like

For both our sakes, I keep them hidden

Deep inside my inner Night

From my father, came a violence

Too powerful to ignore

From my mother came the bitterness

Of a child left, alone, to war

Then that war brought on a bloodlust

That haunts me in my dreams

No one willingly parts with the red

It’s just so difficult, it seems

Then there is my penchant

For laughing at your pain

Delighted, only more, when you break down and  you obey

It tickles me, until I laugh

When I watch you cry

Is my foot too heavy on your throat?

Would you rather that you die?

If you would, I’ll gladly arrange

A nice resting place for you

One that’s elegant, yet profane

A place suited perfectly for you

But where’s the fun in all of that

When I’d rather keep you alive

Strap you down and take the red

Watch that fear a’growin in your eyes

There are many truths about me

That no one will ever know

For, I’m kind and I smile, and I talk real sweet

And none of it’s for show

I am all those things, good and bad

Just like anybody else

Perhaps, a bit more intense

And a bit more dead inside

Still, the lovelies you see upon my shelf

Were never meant to hide

It’s true I’d take a bullet for an honest friend

And I’d move the Heavens and Earth

For the love of an honest man

Just don’t push me to that place

Where my devils roam

And I won’t push you from your place

In your earthly home

Rest Well Pepper Girl

The sun is beginning to set, here in Mayberry. My eyes take in the beauty of the silhouette of the tree line against the evening sky. Though I admire the simple beauty, I am keenly aware that this particular sunset concludes Pepper’s last day on this earth. I’ll miss her more than I thought. She’s been gone two hours, now. It feels like forever. 
I’m sure she’s just beyond reach…beyond sight, riding the back roads with her daddy now. I don’t normally entertain sentimental imaginations about what happens to animals that die. I’m making an exception, today, for Pepper Girl. She was a wonderful friend for a dozen years. 


Another Mayberry night awaits

You’re on my mind

Shadows begin taking their posts

Here and there, until I sleep

I remember your face, the first I saw it

Your body, the first I knew it

When you said that you loved me; the first I heard it 

For a while, I am lost to thought 

As the light of day meets night

One is found, the other..lost

Till dawn tallies up the cost

Then it demands that the darkness go its way 

And, so it does

So it does…

Half Dollar Buddies

My dad went off to war as soon as he turned 18. He was 6’2″, and weighed about 130lbs. It was 1942, and times were still pretty tough in the years that followed the Great Depression. Three of his five brothers had already enlisted, and his sister was in the WAVES, leaving Dad to support his mother and youngest brother, waiting until he could proudly follow in their footsteps and serve his country as United States Marine.

After Dad enlisted in the Marine Corps, he was sent off to Camp Lejeune for basic training. He said he never ate so good in his life, so the occasional boot in the ass didn’t bother him much. He went in as a tall, skinny, kid and came out a big strong Marine. Until the last year, or so, Dad still said they made a man of him. 

Just before bootcamp came to a close, Dad and a friend tore a dollar bill in half, each keeping a piece of it. They made a pact to meet up after the war was over, put that dollar together, and go have a beer or two.

Dad was sent to the Pacific theater. He was a sniper scout, (I believe that’s the right term). Over the next few years, he made his way through Guadalcanal, fought in the battle of Fonte Hill, on Guam, in the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Division. He was shot in the ankle which was, thankfully, his only injury. He felt very lucky to be alive, saying that was the most difficult battle he fought during his time in the war.

When it was all said and done, Dad was honorably discharged from the Corps. He went home to a young bride and settled into a good job. It wasn’t long before he began to look for his friend from bootcamp, looking forward to swapping stories over a couple of beers. But, in short time, he discovered that his friend had been killed in action. 

Decades later, Dad pulled a small, worn, leather pouch out of his billfold. Inside of it was his half of that dollar. He told me the story and passed the half dollar on to me to show my children and pass on the story, so that maybe they could understand the truth about war. 

I keep Dad’s solemn gift put away, but I’ve been faithful to tell the story to my sons, nieces and nephews, to my extra sons,  and, now, to you. Because, though it’s not a unique story, as so many brothers in arms, since, have had the same experience, it is an important story. It’s a story of a young man’s admiration  for the men, and woman, in his life who so proudly served. It’s about a young man who just knew he could find himself in the Marine Corps, and the Corps did not let him down. Lastly, it’s a story of the fragility of human life, represented by the torn half of a dollar bill, gently folded and treasured for 75 years. 

I’m no good with titles. 

The night descends, showing itself as a Dark angel. He drapes tired wings over all that is within his domain. The angel watches, he does. There is no thing allowed to breach that to which he has laid claim. 

Unable to resist curiosity, I peered out of my bedroom window. Eyes adjusting to the Darkness, they gorged upon the Hellish wonder before them. I simply could not believe that, at last, I could see what my heart told me had been there, all along. I was captivated by this thing that is, yet never was, before this magical night.

As I continued to stare, the angel grumbled a bit. In an instant, he turned his head and caught my stare. He did not look away, nor did he seem angry. His giant face moved close to my window. His eyes were vantablack and I could not read them as they stared into mine. Even so, heart racing, I felt a stirring in my soul, and I knew that I’d never be the same. I had finally met a being with a heart as Dark as my own…

When the angel finally turned away, I noticed things rustling about in his feathered wings. He shrugged his shoulders to settle them. It was then  I realized that beneath each feather, a secret slept. There were the secrets of the ancient, of the modern…the deepest secrets of the heart of man. Shock came over me as I realized that the angel hid my secrets, too. Still at my window, I looked away, much too afraid to see them for what they were; to see the worry on my father’s face, borne of guilt and fear that he carries to this day…Fear that the living manifestation of his darkest secret would, one day, tell his tale. 

Suddenly, there was a tap at my window. A giant hand motioned for me to open it, and I did. Then I heard a voice say, “Come rest with me.” I climbed out of my window and into his hand. Gently, the angel tucked me under a beautiful feather, that I might take my place among the secrets.

Feeling as though I was home, at last, I curled up and drifted off to sleep, happily knowing that my father’s secret would be forever kept, alongside my own.

The End 

revelation by morning’s light

Have you ever realized how tiny your world is? In the flow of billions of lives, yours is simply slipped into an open spot. The flow continues on, oblivious to your presence. Uninterrupted. 

We awaken, each morning, to a sun that informs us that it’s daytime. We sleep when it falls from the sky. Between those points, we toil. We do things which allow us to continue within the flow. Working for money to feed into a system that would run just as well without us. Yet, we allow ourselves to believe that our money gives us a certain status within the flow; that it elevates our value. What an extremely human thing it is to imagine that we are of any value, whatsoever, in the never ending flow. 

As days come and go, we age out of the flow. At last, attaining a bit of wisdom. Wisdom that allows us to step away, and consciously  observe the ceaseless push of Life. It seems as though it always comes too late, that. By the time we recognize our place, as tiny and unimportant as it is, the flow begins to pass us with the momentum of times, long past, propelling it ever forward. 

In our last days, when the sun is dim to our eyes, we understand that we could have stepped away from the flow any time we’d wanted, had we only had the courage to do so. We watch, as it continues on, right before our eyes. We see our children, and theirs, having taken their place in the mighty river of humanity, and we tell them what we’ve learned, and we pray that they find the courage that we never found. But the flow is raging on, and they are happily caught within it. Like us, they are hopeful, and overtaken by the urge to elevate themselves above the others. They value reality as they perceive it, blissfully unaware that they, too, are but a tiny speck, caught up in that which younger hearts cannot perceive and that older hearts cannot bear. 

I realize that this thought is neither new, nor original. It is what it is: The first time that my eyes, heart, and soul, have had the courage, at long last, to step away. It is my time to observe. In short days, it will be my time to move on, offering up my place to the next human to fill it.

a place up the road

She stands alone, ivory hand extended to anyone who might hold it tight

For there’s a storm all ’round her, perhaps the others can’t see, that rages by day and by night 

She stands and she waits, in fear that the storm is much stronger than it was yesterday 

But, after a while, her fear turns to dreams of letting it all slip away

Life is not worth much to her now that she’s old and alone

Friends come around, yet nobody stays, so she thinks she might pack up and go

There was once a place, across the street, that she’s visited once or twice

But she’s heard there’s a place, just up the road, that’s said to be equally nice

This place up the road is a scarlet dream, well equipped for the longest stay

When you knock at the door and extend your hand, you’ll not be turned away 

in the night 

In the night, I rage

Fighting the demons that lie in wait behind peaceful dreamscapes 

They’ve nothing more to do than stare into the me…into the you

Gorging on grief 

They stare, and they think, and they know and they wait 

In the Darkness, I rage

The stench of sacrifice, rancid and dead, permeates my being 

As machine gun thoughts riddle my tired mind

They laugh at me 

Through visions of your smile…your touch

They mock and sneer

Making ready for the Taking

As though they’ve not yet taken quite enough