End the Fray

This breach –
this ever-widening gap
fear induced
pits us
against them
as if humanity
can be divided
a selective process.

We need a balm
to soothe societal
wounds, a tonic
to calm the angst
until clarity
quells the uproar
and kindness
replaces this sin.

(For Ragtag Community’s prompt: balm, and Fandango’s: gap.)



The Need is Real

This lazy rhetoric, setting off
touchy egos, is akin to high school
nonsense – immobilizing progress.

Intimacy with the issues requires
scheduled and thorough investigation,
or we cycle back over the hotspots.

Stress as mistress, shadows
what is appropriate, belies
the underlying pain and need.

We need modern-day heroes,
bent on re-righting history,
to bring focus and intelligence

Find lasting answers, lift society
out of its deluge and create a communal
bonding that embraces rather than shuns.

(Image from personal collection.)

Mining Civilization

Digging for gold
in an overcrowded mine,
the dust of narcissism
blinding our passage.

Rural roots worship
celebrity – well-travelled
hype overshadowing
common decency –

Powerless, we are
throngs of insignificance –
fraudulence and anti-social
rhetoric failing to elicit pause.

Our screams, ignored, do not
alleviate the suffocation –
How do we blast through
the rage, re-enact a vision,

draw lines that reset respect,
encourage care, listen to needs,
recognize the treasure we seek
is in humanity’s survival?

(Submitted for Ragtag Community’s daily prompt: blast, and Fandango’s: draw.  Image from personal collection.)


Yesterday’s vibrancy
now faded markings
on boarded up facades

I stand on the edge
of loss, of ghostly
memories and ponder

what lies below –
perched as I am
on a precarious throne

have ignored the call
of the river, the beckoning
horizon, preferred comfort

over adventure, and now
in bitterness, blame those
distant shadows, certain

that the enemy lies
in foreign places,
never on home soil.

(Photo from personal collection was taken along the Rio Grande. Mexico sits across the way.  The town we stopped in had many abandoned buildings, reflective of the economy, my guess.)


The first comes before dusk
as children settle in for sleep
and dishwashers cycles engage

Clink, clink, clink –
bottles rattling –
it’s garbage night.

Black bandana covering hair,
he sports a neatly trimmed beard
and red fleece jacket – appearance

not out-of-place in the upscale
neighbourhood, only his wheels –
blue cart, brimming with bags

one dog perched on the basket,
another settled below – he collects
returnables from blue bins – recycling.

Chatters as he goes, offers a “do you mind?”
to homeowners puttering on front lawns,
nods to passersby, dogs silently watching.

Then later, as windows darken behind
drawn curtains, and the noise of traffic
fades to a minimum, comes another

Clink, clink, clink –
bottle rattling –
it’s garbage night.


Is the writing on the wall so cryptic –
graphic images depicting rage,
flames of dissonance,
young men bleeding at their own hands
compassion incapacitated.

A sad awakening for a society fixated
on rights and privileges, dominating
culture to the exclusion of nurturing
humanity, preserving lives.

How can we continue to closet
our children’s pain – their vitality
oozing – hopelessly abandoned
by morality’s shelter?

It is the wall, not the spatters
of blood upon it,
which needs amending –
adolescent minds too tender
to wade through the cryptic messages
of priorities so divided.

Maturity Called For

We are children, all
in our rawest moments,
our needs, like snot
running unattended,
our cries, like tantrums

We are related, all
the distance between us
defined only by miles,
our DNA infinitely linked –
does this mean we’ve
abandoned one another?

Sold out our familial roots,
in favour of separation,
easier to promote self
than feel obligated
to distant masses –
unfamiliar, unwanted.

How do we proceed
from here, our awakening
late in coming, our duties
overdue, and the shortfalls
of addictions rendering
our priorities askew?

We are children, all
our needs universal,
a caring governance
craved, overlooked
by those who play
at being adults.