The Rocker Tossed A Rock

The Rocker Tossed A Rock

The rocker tossed a rock about

A re-election.  No metaphor here,

Or if it was, the audience didn’t

Get it.  Is he smart enough to speak

Metaphorically? A representative, female

Former runner for president, tossed it all

Aside saying they were waving

A tar baby in the air.  A tar baby? Really?

One side is crying foul.  The other

Quacking like a duck.

They Sit and Stare From a Distance

They Sit and Stare From a Distance

They sit and stare from a distance. Is it because they are

simply being respectful or does the culture dictate that

they keep their distance or are they just being unfriendly,

for whatever reason?


She entered into their territory.  She stood talking to some-

one from somewhere else, someone who actually walked

up to her and said hi.  She saw them speaking to each other

and then looking at her.  Am I just being


paranoid? she thought to herself.  She was an invited

guest and they weren’t being very courteous.  So, during a

lull in the chit-chat, she excused herself, made her way over

to the group and introduced


herself.  One said, “Oh, yes, I know who you are.” Another

asked where her husband was and a third just sat there staring.

Again she thought to herself, I’d get a warmer welcome from

a delegation from North Korea,


Syria or Iran. The problem is this was church.  After she

left, they sat there grousing about the significant down-

turn in worship attendance and how far they were behind in the


He Feels His Head Weighing Heavy

He Feels His Head Weighing Heavy

He feels his head weighing heavy

On his throat, pitching forward.

His cheeks are flushed, hot, pulsating

And his eyes burn.


Twenty-two hundred miles on the road

In personal, record-setting time

Thanks to threatening snows blowing over

The mountains into Boulder,


And a gazillion tornadoes coming up from

Texas and pushing him down the

Road (They just got out of Lincoln, NB

Before the twisters hit.)


And if anything good, in his mind, came

From the tail-wind, it was the

Average of 37 miles per gallon in a ten-year-

Old Camry and one


Segment of the trip averaging 40.4.  As he

Looks back through the rear-view

Mirror, he sees debris (Is that what that is?)

Flying everywhere and


At least five bodies and a lot more body

Parts flying up to the window

On the driver’s side and then falling back and

Down hitting the ground just short


Of his rear bumper. He thinks about what

He saw fleetingly out of his

Left eye — body parts, bodies, families, heads

Weighing heavy on their throats


Pitching forward unable to speak just sporadic-

Ally shriek, otherwise uttering

Guttural sounds of something almost unimaginable.

Cheeks flushed, hands on heads, horror.


So many eyes burning from salt water gushing

Or no tears at all, just desert dust

And dryness. He looks forward to the road

Ahead and wonders


Why he cared about gas mileage, why he

Concerned himself with his

Heavy head and burning eyes, why he gave

A rip about any of that at all,


And why he actually e-mailed family about it.

Summer is So Hot

This is a haiku written by our six-year-old grand-daughter, Avery Dahl. Avery lives in Boulder, CO with her mother and father, eight-year-old brother Braden and one-year-old sister Natalie. In addition to being a poet, Avery is an actress, a visual artist and she enjoys sports.

Summer is so hot.

Birds chirping up in the trees

Flowers are blooming.

I’m Really Emotional These Days

I’m really emotional these days.

I’m hoping it’s just a phase.

I don’t know if things are right.

I think that’s part of my plight.


I’m insecure I’ve been told.

I’ve tried to act strong and bold.

I’ve acted positively.

I dream dreams negatively.


I do the things I hate.

I hope it’s not just fate.

I’m feeling old as sin.

I’m thinking about all I’ve been.


I’m thinking about what I’ve done.

I’m thinking about what I’ve not done.

I’m thinking of sins of commission.

I’m thinking of sins of omission.


I’m told I’m my own enemy.

I think I’ve committed blasphemy.

I don’t mean just swearing.

I mean something much more daring.


I mean the use of words.

I’ve used in ways absurd.

I have hurt the ones I love.

I have shot down God’s dear dove.


I know I’m narcissistic.

I don’t mean to be simplistic.

I’m forgetting God’s family.

I need to think in we

and not just me.


Tee-shirt from my daughter

My daughter knows I write poetry and sometimes use the haiku form.  She got me a tee-shirt that gets a lot of comments and laughs when I wear it.  This is the haiku printed on the shirt:

Haikus are easy

But sometimes they don’t make sense


Juxtaposition is an essential part and the above haiku certainly has that.  Some think nature is an essential theme of the haiku form, but that isn’t true although mine have been about hiking in the desert of Arizona, the mountains of Colorado and the forests of Michigan.  Here’s one by me today:

It is a fun form

to create in one’s mind’s eye

but can cause sadness.

Travelogue II Spring Road Trip

Skin splitting dry dustiness rises off the trail.

The dog gags and coughs up phlegm from his partially paralyzed throat.

Some sputum hangs from the hairs on his chin.  Fleeing a

storm in the Rockies, they stop at a rest area after moving steadily,


determinedly, resolutely through 345.5 miles

of fog only to step onto damp grass in the dog run.  The three of

them including the dog inhale humidity.

Quotes from Pulitzer Prize winning poets are etched, chiseled,


carved all around the rest area.  There’s more than

corn in Iowa, and Iowa wants travelers to know it.  Maybe it’s

something in the water. On the way back to

the car, he stops, looks up, feels the mist on his face, closes his


eyes, breathes deeply and the scent of

flowering lilac wafts up his nostrils. He is reminded of Orange

tree blossoms in the desert just the week before.

He opens his eyes and sees tiny droplets on his glasses. He


wonders how long it will be before he

misses the blinding brightness of the Southwest sun.

The dog doesn’t gag as he jumps into

the backseat.  They drive to outrun the tornadoes moving


northeast from Texas through the heartland

and then across the waters of Lake Michigan possibly knocking

on their back door if the dune doesn’t protect them.

At least they will be home by then to hunker down together.

Five Letters East of Famous

Five Letters East of Famous

It was a case of mistaken identity —

exchanged group e-mails among mutual

friends and acquaintances over issues

near and dear. Inevitably, some didn’t

know friends of friends. This was one

such case.


I had heard of him. His reputation preceded

him. He had no idea about me, but instead

of just asking, “Hey, who the heck are you?”

perhaps imagining that to be rude or too in-

trusive or just not his style.  He was a man used

to finding out things, so he just Googled me.


Not knowing my middle name, he was five

letters off and I’ve turned out to be five

letters east of famous and lost in the big pic-

ture’s shuffle, though he was at a disadvantage

and wouldn’t have found my name anyway

because I’m barely Google-able


except if you get lucky. He is pretty well known

and after looking at the wrong initial, concluded

the same about me.  He apologized profusely for

not recognizing immediately one of my fame and

stature in the highest echelons of academia. He

said he really wanted to be my pen pal.


I couldn’t be his facebook friend because my

face isn’t anywhere to be found and I may

be a twit but I don’t twitter or tweet.  So, in the

most academically sophisticated and bon vivant

response I could imagine, I replied,

“Surely you jest,” and then laid


out the details of a well-lived but not famous life.

I sit by my computer, plug it in so the battery

won’t run down while I wait.  Hey, you got mail.

He said I was famous in his book, which I haven’t

had a chance to read, and I burst into song, “It’s a

beautiful day in the neighborhood,


a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?” put on a cardigan sweater and

Converse All-stars.  Hey, I’ve never been on T.V.,

but I used to be a Presbyterian minister.


Travelogue II On the Road Again

Travelogue II  On the Road Again

We passed through high plains, flat as a pancake

northern New Mexico into the topsy-turvy, windy

windy (with a long “i”), uppy, downy Colorado.

We had just exchanged seats. She’s driving; I’m

scribbling, trying to jot down notes for future poems.

Sign says, “Bumps Beware.”  The road is rough and

I have just discovered that, while not a Pentecostal, I

write in glossolalia.  Maybe that makes me a

Pentecostal man of letters or perhaps just a man of

illegible letters.  Life has leveled in Trinidad (We’ve

come so far so fast and so much has changed.) The

road has smoothed, the paper has stopped jumping and

my hand has steadied. I’m back to being a middle-of-the

road, mainline, middle-class, mundane minister

right here in anything but mundane rather sultry, exciting,

exotic Trinidad.  I run in my bare feet on the hot, hot

sand like Dudley Moore and dive into the blue, blue water.

In my mind, from one to ten, it’s a ten.