Sages of War

That was the news

Every night

Walter Cronkite before

He’d say good night

I would watch the names

Scroll by on the television screen

And occasionally look for locals

I often feared my brother’s name

Or a cousin

Or a former basketball standout

For some they all appeared



That night

Across the country families grieved

As that name appeared

Made it real

Their boy was not coming home

At least

Not the way he left to catch the bus

Months earlier

A few years ago

Last summer when everyone

Gathered to celebrate


I listened to Simon & Garfunkel

Create metaphors with song and lyrics

A literal passage that allowed

Water under the bridge to

Resonate in our minds

Realizing the truth left us confused

“No More War, LBJ’

I read about a bombing at the

Madison campus, meant to be a protest

Now they were on the run

Criminals that seemed to want peace

But lost their way fighting


I would ask

What is battle?

I was 9 years old

So when Kennedy was shot

I finally understood

What happened to his brother?

I knew that X represented someone

That MLK Jr really did exist

Now JFK, and Bobby in the California sun

My mom listened to the radio

As I rode with her to work

Asking her – what is an iron lung?


My dad

We would drive through town

To deliver his mail

And I would watch him flinch

As a twin engine flew low

Across the valley’s hills

It reminded him of Saipan

And his camp where he grew chickens

Creating fresh eggs for his comrades

I never asked him about death

He wouldn’t want to reveal



The news is the same

Though scrolled names are passé

We’re more inclined

To isolate their loss

Throw a parade

They still die inside and outside

While we mortgage our homes

Buy ipads & iphones & consume

Our days with forgetful purpose

In order to justify

Why we don’t want to know about


Freedom to live

Freedom to cry

Freedom to love

Freedom to belong

Freedom to dream

To believe

To exist

To respond

All that ugliness the men and women

Endure for our own lives

We need be thankful

We can be grateful

We are here the merit of their sacrifice

We celebrate today!

And that’s the way it is


Life’s Riches

Yeah, we want them

I want them

You want them

How many times would you sacrifice that which you desire …

Life’s riches

Redefine themselves

When we evaluate

Why we really love

When I Cannot Move

When I Cannot Move


I might have plans

A desire arises


Time goes by

Within the gallows


Nature’s purpose

What belies our passion

Creates a driven wish


Consumed by memory

We recognize fear

It relies on our senses


Activity we depend

Upon completing always

Waits for our hand


Will haunt our minds

As we crawl slowly

Towards a new world


Heart feels heavy

Knowing time travels as


Continue moving forward

Without fanfare


Negotiate another waking day

Climb Inside My Dream

Sun peeks in morning light

Beckon early notions

Spiritual grace is here to be heard


We choose that path

Too often our dreams

Collide inside a battleground

Grasping for truths

Why do our desires wrap around

Such silly sacrifices


And the day moves on

Compelling activities

Just out of reach

As the mind overcomes

Any chance of redemption

Again we pause we compromise

We catalogue our ideas

For a sunny day



The sky is blue


I have a voice inside

Is stronger than my will

I wish it to quiet on certain days

But I cannot get it to hold still

My heart beckons for an easier way

To wish upon a star in silly terms

To hope that life might give away

The stumbling blocks with no turns

And now that conversation

Still holds strong as my words

Delay any sense of accomplished

… Dreams


Climb inside my fantasy

For a day

Wish for spiritual reckoning

In His way

Make allowance for nature’s terms

All one may


Innocent elegance is yet a dream.

And when I go …

(This poem is dedicated to my graduating class of seniors in the drama program)

I will recall you
The laughter, the pain
Black box sermons
The tears in the hallway
Cast postings
You-tube studies
The weekends of process

How did I?
What did he?
Who would think?
Why did she?
Must I?
Where will we?
How could … ?

Sleeping all weekend
Slow departure
Showing up again
Resilient to the touch
Read-through again,
With a smile
Though inside I cried
Yet, I look around
We are all still here.

I will remember you
When you shined in lights
I watched you
Sing with a certain passion
A grace on stage
Grasping your character
Believing your lines
Everyone felt your presence
We all wanted your beauty
We will remember

Our lives intertwined
In spirit
In desire
In a will to be known
A certain validation
Allows growth to become
A central force
Elegant humanity.

I will delight in you
When now we carry the torch
I begin to be
That person
Such talent
I watched you take steps
And hand your reigns to me
In one fell swoop
My day, your day, my moment, your tears
We are together again

Our characters rise and memory gains strength
As we venture forward, and make jest ‘the finale’

Divergent Passions

We all have them

Could be a sunny day

A drop of rain on glass

Watching someone stroll in silence

Any given moment drives our passion




Each aspect of triggered memory

Remains in our mind

And allows new notions



The rains fell hard in the afternoon

Sunlight peeking along the river

Water glistens

Striking in the moment of each cast

My soaking body felt oneness

Inside a dream

Imagining how God might design

A perfect day of fishing.


Stand in the center

Activity of mingling

Returns a feeling similar

Exposure in eyes

We all realize our lives connect

Only if we can breathe uninterrupted

The furtive glance

Suggests unique lives are reckoned

Step away or live

Gracious in His eyes.


A beautiful evening

A setting sun

Wisps of early rain dampen his

‘leaves of grass’

Feeling a Whitman moment

Only wishing life’s simple truths

Might make allowances

While recognizing Nature’s grasp


Return me to an earlier time in childhood

When that moment’s clarity brought few tears.