Tuesday, September 28, 2021

He Wore Blue Velvet

They wrapped
the baby
in blue velvet
because he was
a boy.

he wear pinks
and pastels
and argyle
and gun metal gray
because he is
a man.

[Based on Prompt "What's Your Birthday" - the song is "Blue Velvet" by Bobby Vinton, #1 on September 27, 1963, the day I was born. Thanks to for the idea.] 

What Falls Away

 These days
I find myself
falling apart
My arms are tired
of trying to hold
myself together.
My body keeps telling me
in aches and groans,
“what are you
holding onto that
My exhausted brain
unfolds his director’s chair,
squats his weight
upon it and exhales:
“Let it fall away.
This body wasn’t meant
to last forever,
so what makes you think
your will is any stronger?”
I don’t want
to let everything
fall away,
just the
old, flaky, dead
makes up more of
who I am
every day.
So I’m letting it all
fall away;
if it cannot stay affixed
of its own strength,
then that’s Life saying
I don’t need it.
But still,
way deep down inside
the pilot flame is still lit,
the rhythm still beats,
the juices still flow,
and I realize
the Great Interconnection
as I breathe in
the same air as
Socrates, Jesus and Groucho
and bathe in the same rain
as a delicate hummingbird,
a breathtaking mountain,
the pebbles in the stream.
Help me
to easily let go
of what
I no longer need
remain steadfast
and strong
and true
to that which
never falls away.

Friday, September 24, 2021

"What Race are You?"

The conquerors
came to my mother’s door,
kicked it in
and invited us
to accept Jesus
at the tip
of a sword.

What could she do?
They were on a quest,
a holy mission
guided by The Great Commission
and imperialist avarice.

and repeat.

With each new soul,
each hungry, crying mouth,
with every generation,
the original sin
was watered down,
until eventually
there were enough
that they qualified
for their own
ethnic checkbox,
their own profile-able

Fast forward
centuries and continents
what is your race?

Father was
a Spanish rapist
a Christian murderer.

Mother was
a humble Indio,
a surviving stoic.

I am not half-White.
I am not half-Indigenous.

I am mixed
and troubled
by my father’s cruelty,
by my mother’s strength.

My blood is
and so is
my race.

Thursday, September 23, 2021


We had 
a simple popsicle
between us.

I asked her
“do you want 
to split it?”

“No, but 
I’ll share it.”

She knew 
I’d eventually

This is the difference
mine and ours,

and I pray 
it informs 
my every interaction,

and this was how
she used 
a simple popsicle
to teach me
a profound lesson 
in loving. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Waiting in the Fog

My daughter says
“you need to write again 
and tell everybody where you’ve been.”

I’ve been nowhere in over a year,
cherishing anything safe and dear,
but these thoughts of mine aren’t even clear, 
so often I dwell in a cloud of fear.

I went out into the world again
revisiting places I hadn’t been, and 
while many things looked how they used to look,
even the bookstores had fewer books.

Everyone zipping at their pre-COVID pace,
like the pandemic was elsewhere in outer space,
except half the people had covered their face.

The other half stupidly danced along
defiantly ignorant, like nothing was wrong.

I never thought we’d live this way,
year after year, day after day.
My heart ached from all the memory,
and I wanted to go back in history,
be free from this pain
like it used to be,
but my wish went unanswered,
it just haunted me.

So where’ve I been?
in a fog for a year,
waiting for my spark
to come back around here.