Real Tears

We have moments

We are tested

attitude, notions, hurts,

material gains and losses

We cry for ourselves

while around us life continues

and we cry

and the world changes.

We discover one waking autumn

we haven’t the strength

the mortal fortitude

that ability to call the shots.

Then we cry some more.

We haven’t ever been able,

ever had the wise words,

ever known the balance

when life takes us down


road of internal disruption.

Yet, we do have life:

beauty in spirit

brilliance in delight

brevity in balance.

How many positive lives

set the tone

for how we gain knowledge

how our lives can merit

good fortune.

I know a man

who is goodness in my world

his spirit has touched me

everyday of my life

and that internal chaos

that designed animal

of helpless abandon

cannot limit his strength

I have felt real tears

for a reason beyond me,

a moment of humanity

that asks, appeals, awaits

good forgiveness,

good passion,

yes, a delicious passion

to move forward

to smile toward a sunlit morning

to hold our children close

to recognize our fallibility

has little to do

with our genuine elegance.

I do feel real tears

and they fall in abundance

let them be carrying

droplets of joy.



Ode to a Beautiful Man

I knew a man,

when I first met him,

he scowled at me

because I hadn’t earned his time

his persona behind the bar

demanded a respect I wanted to gain.

I brought him records

I’d just picked up at the Inner Sleeve.

Tradition at the pub,

was to spin a new vinyl if the bartender

that would be, the man,

felt like taking the time.

I usually came in and got a beer,

and held onto my vinyl

never pushing it on him,

just waiting for him to notice.

He passed on a Nash solo, said no to ELO,

and then I brought in ‘After the Gold Rush’ …


I knew a man with a sardonic smile

he served me many a beer

at our favorite local mecca

The Scott Street Steak & Pub

he held court with a lot of faces

played a lot of discs on the table.

I felt connected the day he put

Neil on the wheel – smiled, and said

‘that’s ok’


I think as time went by,

I would visit Inner Sleeve,

just to bring a disc to Todd,

the man behind the bar,

the man I grew to know,

wise with a friendly smile,

one that would draw me to a fond

comfortable place in Wausau.


There’s a town I left behind,

I’ll miss the man I knew,

the man that played Mark Knopfler

one sunny afternoon,

and then looked at the kid at the bar,

and sneered with a beautiful smile,

‘that’s ok’




Be thankful to be alive

that walking down the street

didn’t kill anyone

remember when bats and pipes

seemed to define hatred

more blatant

more in your face

more homophobic reaction

to misunderstanding.

That was long before the numbers grew

well ahead of the closets and hidden coves

the saunas and back alley shows.

Remember when we were hoping for a display

some distinguishing attitude

made us stop and realize we were ok.

Seems today we really are


seems wherever we look

we see more signs of being just that,


Seems we are all ok, today.

So, celebrate with us

with you, with them, each other, every one

has a moment to recall

when a day like today

couldn’t exist no matter the patience

fortitude, resilience, honor, confidence …


That today can be like any other

and we can walk the streets

with smiles that are real

rather than tucked behind well-coiffed banners.


is that measure of delight

in recognizing who we are …

who we have become …

human beings that hold compassion

before fear and confusion.

We are one standing before you

much like our world truly is


We Do

Look outside ourselves often

using information to help defend

the easy route.

Though there are those

certainly content

satisfied without needing

to validate themselves

when they stand next to another

there seems a disconnect

one stands with confidence

the other envies certainly


When our society begins

to respond to one another

in a genuine arena

in a sincere venue

without judgment

we can then

realize our lives

are all drawn together

all interwoven

having little to do

with cultural mores

and far more response

to the human condition.

For isn’t that always what we wonder

how can we be found in the same design

as that man with confidence

that woman with panache

how might we decide

our lives


together in agreement.

Control, Control!

I can hear the mid-shipman

making the demand

we need to communicate

where is control?

Could you imagine

the guy on the other end

just sitting back with a smile

listening to the squawk

Have we all had a moment

where rather than concede

we held on til the final

scream merited our appearance.

I want to say I love you

with all my heart and soul

but opportunity to value

our courtship seems flawed.

I sit in complete darkness

looking feverish for some

indicator, some symbol

of truth that lights my way.

Today, while I struggled

you kept going forward

I envied your resilience

wished my envy were denied.

Somehow is it more I want

that need for control. Control

what ye may, for some time,

ye might find they’ve all gone away.

Difficult Questions

That human reality


steps in to make suggestions

without using words

body language

an errant eye contact

a shift before talks occur

and then it is gone.

That opportunity

the moment

a chance to address

the crossroads

to ask the difficult questions


How many relationships

rely upon ‘having a talk’

how many

really do ask the questions

that help maintain

an open resource of trust

and love, and intimacy.

Are they yours,

or did I just read about that

in the books

when I cared,

and now any number of reasons

interfere with communication.


Our lives have become complex

career moves, children, society

we struggle to respond to the economic

burdens around us and that becomes

the primary objective or …

How can we get to the core

without hurting one another.

As I sit in the room nearby

my mind is racing

a battle between sheer anger

and lasting love

a caring outcome so desired.


Yet, we will walk alone together

realizing one holds the other’s soul.

Conscious Choice

Human interaction demands a time

to recognize our soul is driven by

a passion we sometime do find sublime.

Our ability to withstand a cry

will certainly indicate our penchant

toward running the show, calling the shots.

Much like quiet the observant merchant

who sees and values what customer spots,

the human condition holds needs velvet.

A touch, a tease, a trace of fingertips

will suggest a love beyond mind’s kismet.

Our need to hold and feel so often flips;

dials choice’s mystique in good conscience

when then a conscious choice be left to chance.