Quarrel started
over his choice
of reading material

She couldn’t compete
with centrefold perfection
but held her tongue

Afraid she wouldn’t win;
defended her innocence
when magazines disappeared

Sleepwalking doesn’t count

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Image my own)


Please Hang Up

I called you
that one time
poured my heart out
such despair

I called you.
You weren’t there.
Left a message –
garbled words
rushed to beat
inevitable beep.

Regret immediate
then panic
the outpouring
of a lonely heart

I called you.
You didn’t answer.
You never called back.

Thank you for that.

(I found this poem on my other blog, and have given it a new title. Image my own.)

Distorted Lenses

My memory of you –
distorted by childish exuberance-
distant and disinterested

Translated vacant eyes
through the lens of my needs
child that I was.

Failed to notice
the aura of defeat,
the battered heart

the robotic responses
masking unbelievable sorrow
missed it all

Till death knocked
and I saw you anew –
adult lenses now fully secured.

Wonder at the fortitude
that kept you upright
the love that served us both.

No fault here –
on either side –
just a bittersweet understanding.

(Distorted Lenses first appeared here August, 2019. Image my own)


I try to draw the curtain
on your ominous darkness,
as if emotions can be delegated
to black and white; as if love
can be anything other than
this shadowy meandering –
roots of your uncertainty
roots of my deception –
a tangled path indeed.

(Tuesdays I borrow from Twiiter @Vjknutson. Image my own)


My son used to burn himself
press the lit end of a cigarette
against his bare flesh

an attempt to penetrate
the numbness –
this I know

because I did it too
walking barefoot in the snow
cutting till blood oozed

there is a pain
familiar to adolescents
that bears no explanation

a hellish limbo –
suspended between innocence
and adult expectations

unable to articulate
the wrongs endured
or separate shame

from responsibility,
an inexplicable grief
and longing…

…longing to understand
at least for a moment
the pain one dare not feel.

(Image my own)

Forest Walking

Wish I could converse –
one harmonic voice blended
in a symphony of birdsong –
but my tongue stumbles
reveals me as interloper

As much as I tread softly
over forest floor, my missteps
crackle, alert the denizens
danger is about – no imploring
can reverse the impression

Nature’s sensitivity is finely tuned
and I am urban-scented, barely
tolerated, seldom trusted –
must bear my reverence for this
sacred space more deliberately.

(Image my own)