Faces On Demons

Oh the (dark) places we go,

if only Dr. Seuss could remedy all,

perhaps the quiet abyss might no longer,

contain the strength,

the grasp sometimes

inherent in my every step,

the outlook of my day.


I sometimes wonder the strength of my addictions,

are the reason I move slowly,

perhaps in reason the justification

of lost principle,

allows me to wallow in my

sad and lonely way.


I’ve made mistakes,

they are plain to see,

unless you wouldn’t know me,

then maybe,

I could walk around in circles,


a bit more mistake free.


It is an inherent trait in our society,

to judge the person on your left and right,

in order some would argue,

to set your own demons free,

or am I only speaking of me.


I sometimes reflect on a world

of alcohol and drugs,

oh the sweet nectar

of setting myself apart

from every

symbol I felt of hope and faith.


The gambling arm,

set in tone the rest of me,

and for the little time I’d known,

I would seek refuge there,

only to come to terms,

with another bottle of scotch,

with an endless pour.


There is something remarkably beautiful

about peace,

peace of mind,

a peace to build our hopes upon.

finding peace,

inside the miracle of time.


I look to find all the faces,

that disturb my sleep,

in the middle of the night,

left staring at a wall,

rather safe than closing my eyes,

to once again,


in the middle of a dream,

would there be an onslaught …

faces on demons.


We might suppose,

they’ll always be there,

quiet reminders,

like skeletons with favorite postures,

we liken them all,

to our own sheltered storm,

inside an expression at the county fair,

won’t allow a soul,

to imagine any other pain,



Occasionally when walking alone,

I do,

I choose with earnest,

to put my own,

face on demons,

I suppose it may appear absurd,

but rather than in a crowd,

I can own my own expression,

no longer under a shroud.

So Long Ago

I can still stand there,

feel the pain,

realize just how close I can become


Take a drink, the slow heat flow,

there’s a certain sense of clarity

that first drink blossoms a facade,

dropping money on a strangers table,

a release of tension,

letting go,

taking one day at a time.

There’s such a reversal in the hypocrisy

of denial.

I remember hope,

imagine having piece of mind,

in a couple of ounces of smooth.

All this euphoria,

the notion of escape,

a reality I chose to put away,

all of the fantasy with departure,

is standing right here,

ready to open the door to hell.

Second Chances

We’ve all had them,

known them,

witnessed an account,

wondered about our own.

We delight in opportunity,

look for an opening

a way to move our ego

beyond that of nature’s

sacrificial lamb.

When witness to change

our actions become an exchange

for the former self

hoping an eventual transformation

might give our hearts pause,

beyond the scrutiny,

a lesser adamant cause,

to find peace,

imagine a world beyond

the ugliness of …

needing a chance.

I Remember Slowly

When I was a boy,

a baseball game outside,

trying to get along,

I was just being a boy,

found an edge,

a warm sort of fuzzy

disposition took me outside,

to be that boy

the baseball diamond.

I couldn’t hit the ball without

the edge,

I just needed a little push,

while everyone else grew up in unison,

I was already wrapped up in some a

artificial security,

the kind my dad modeled only with weaker results.


The bottle was my comfort zone,

a hit as I dashed out the breezeway,

the immediate warmth, the kick,

smooth as I let out a sigh

now I began to fly.


I remember seeing my dad

at the local fair,

everything and everyone

gathered there,

in their churchy sort of way

they’re all watching me today,

and my dad,

well his face was sad.


I do recall the bicycle ride

feeling removed from everyone

around me,

I gained speed without any notion

dying in the middle of the street

my dad, well if he knew,

he’d be kind of



I grew up realizing how everyone

around me,

preoccupied themselves

with anything but me,

so when it came to treating myself

there was no one to explain.


When I did drugs, I never had fun,

except that first time,

walking into the casino,

pulling the arm,

and knowing by the sound

if I was winning my new losses.


Sitting in a bar,

just a fresh young adult,

sipping my

manhattan transfer

while the music edged me out

of knowing how to respond.

Instead I would drink

again, the warm flow that would blanket

my exposed self.


I was a middle-aged man when

I came to terms with me back then.

I think of today, and recognize each way

I could return to pain and confusion.

I wanted to stay away,

but she was so attractive,

I would never imagine knowing her in any sort of way.

She was incense, she was fragrant, stubbor, and blessed

with an energy to find me  looking for myself.

I realized then I was too tired anymore.

8 Years


Eight years ago, I stood by your side,

listening to your story,

wondering how life could become

such a travesty of pain and confusion.

I felt fortunate to not struggle your loss,

that loss of confidence,

that departure of reasoning,

the ability to throw your life away

without a second’s thought,

all for the mantra of a seething monster.


Eight years ago, I stood by your side,

telling my story,

how life had dealt me difficult times,

how my chances were failing,

how suddenly I no longer knew what gambling meant.

I only knew despair, fear, and grandiose notions,

of survival, of playing the game, of beating the odds.

When before I judged the world around me,

today’s court included me,

ownership and honesty knocked on my door.


Today, I do stand by your side,

and I am grateful,

but there is no credit in my arena,

that belongs to the power of giving,

all of you my recovering souls,

all of you that wake with every glorious day,

to proclaim to the listening voices,

‘today, I didn’t gamble, today I am clean!’

Today, I rise with each waking sun,

knowing I have been gifted with harmony.


Eight years ago, the urge to gamble, an insidious addiction,

suggested my life would be better if I stood next to all of you.