A tall drink walks into the bar and demands a whiskey.  The bartender looks at the glass, demands to see identification.  Everyone falls silent.  I few touch their guns.  So much tension.  Fear.  I'm not asking for much.  Just a little respect.  A woman, who had been standing at the back, provides comfort.  It's OK, she says.  Everything will work out.



Questions are all I have
They don't exist
Satisfy other riddles
Push them to match
What paint color covers best?
Time to get a new watch
Should I use premium gas?
It's all in mind.
How do we rid ourselves of stress?
Black will do the trick until next time
What time is it?
Scam by oil companies
Mix and match, you're just as well off
But how can we get what we want?



Which star shall we go to tonight?
She asks
Pointing to the brightest one
I tell her it's a planet
You can tell because the light doesn't flicker
It's steady
A beacon
Calling us to its rings
A planet, she says
Like Pluto?
I haven't the heart to tell her the truth
Yes, like Pluto
Only bigger, closer
More important
We rest like that
On our backs
Holding hands
Readying for the trip



Let's give awards to the best award givers, bestowed upon the best who bestow upon the best, raising high as examples, insider love, foolish folly, slap each other on the back and get people to care who mostly don't give a shit what rich people do.


White Comes in the Night

White comes in the night
Silent, secret, gifted
Drifting, gently laden
Settling on leaves and posts and surfaces
Blowing from above
Secondary snow
Waiting to be taken by blue skies


Dog Graveyard

Dog graveyard
Rests beneath a wide welcoming pine
Shaded by a nearby manzanita
Patch of snow melting into bones
Friendly friends, ghosts, loves, comforters
Coyotes visit
Push heavy stones with noses
Turned away by spirit warnings
Wind pushes the markers
Their shadows bend away from the evening
Well earned rest



Is a state of mind
The state of a mind
A mind at rest
In need of sleep but unable to do so
Tired is a sore arm
A stack of paper to transpose
An empty gas tank
Looking for a way out
A way out of sight, mind, town



Get on the bus
With the rest of us
Drink a beer
To company cheer


Name Tag

Name tags betray your secrets
Anonymity vacant
Who you are
Your purpose for living
The inside of inside you
Broadcast on the card around your neck
Ah, so it's you
Your name
Thrown out for all to see
To mock
To judge



The officer, steeped in worry, superstition and a prejudice of you-never-knows, brushes his hand across the car he approaches, flattening his palm and fingers against the taillight, leaving his image on the vehicle so it can be retrieved, a beacon, his calling card, evidence of who he is and where he was, in case anyone needs to know, proof of a moment in time, security against abduction, murder, cornfield abandonment, bullet through vest, punishment for a badge.

© Poem Fix 2013 



White walls and white noise
Take a seat
Keep things neat
Walls and chairs
A window affords mountain views
Palm trees saying, "I'm out here"
As if to say, I'm not
Photographs displayed but unseen
Indians stand guard, 24 points
Brown and white and beige
Colors to depress
To foster
To open a window into another world that can't be heard


The Last Door

We hold hands
Head through life
Open the door and, simply
Hello little one
Hello challenging moment
Let me introduce you to my
Next best friend
Pleased to meet you
Let's take the next door
And the one after that
Until the last door greets us with
Sacrifice and wonder



And in the end, when everyone is blown away, when blood becomes wallpaper, when good and evil lay dead, when every insult has been thrown, when only an onion remains unpeeled, we walk away as our own Uncle Tom and wonder what darkness thinks.



Sweet potato fries
Trying to finish the beer
Stranger in a foreign land
Snow, whiter than light
Half eaten onion ring
Belch from the depths of hell
Loosening my belt a notch
It's a good day on Colorado



Tell it like it is
Bold and naked
Purposely obtrusive
Wet and uncomfortable
Arranged on the table
A mess
Then deal with it
One way
Or another
Nurture trust
Or blow it up



Welcome, sir
Won't you come in?
We're waiting for you
Can we see your card?
Is this still your current address?
Please fill this out
Take a seat
Right this way
Oh, really?
Isn't that amusing!
You have such a good sense of humor
Now if you'll just sit like this
And now do this
Let us know when you're ready
This won't hurt a bit


New Snow

Snow arrives
Pushes at the door
Claiming outside as its domain
White out here
The car is mine
The branch, laden with me, bends
Traffic lights topped
Schools beg for reprieve
My blanket, pure, spread across town
Waiting for feet and tires and animal tracks
I will stay as long as you'll have me
Sound, quiet, pristine
Waiting for yellow

© Poem Fix 2013



What does it say when Ringo Starr--certainly the drummer in the best band ever--only had one drum solo in his entire time with The Beatles? It wasn't until The End, the last song the Fab Four ever recorded, when Starr finally shone on his own. Only it's a lie, because he didn't like being in front. The others pushed him into it by simply fading the other instruments during mixing, leaving the drum as the sole track, Ringo's solo, with protest.



They dubbed me Edna because it was in the family for generations, grandparents afraid it would die--with them--and then it would vanish from the bloodline.  So they gave me that curse, saying it was a name of honor and how lucky I was to have been blessed with it, burdened with it, heaped upon me, playground fodder, stacked upon the Cindys and Marys and all the beautiful names.  Edna brought me an Edna face, and so I am Edna, a name from the old country, ancient, cobwebbed, afflicted.

© Poem Fix 2013


As Far As You Can Go

As far as you can go
Beyond the stars
And then farther
Past deserts, craters, mountains
Black monoliths
Through belts of asteroids
Fiery nebulae
Dying worlds
And even more remote
To a desolate landscape, cold
Powered soil
A friendly welcoming face
Warm embrace

© Poem Fix 2013
Photo: NASA


Faith is a Grimy Needlepoint

The small calculator walks like a big calculator
Hustling enormous, noisy computers
Shrink roughly like a dry plant
Where is the yogurt shop?
By the misty lake?
Faith is a grimy needlepoint
Work is a dusty phone
All mice desire rain and expansive carpets
Anger, exhaustion, faith
Desolation, noise, life

© Poem Fix 2013


Fog Lifts

Fog lifts
Rolls up toward heaven
Eyes burn
Seeing beyond the bend is somehow possible
Nothing's that bad
Or convince yourself it isn't


Dick Surrendered

Richard III falls from grace
Into a grave
A church at Leicester
Slain at the Battle of Bosworth Field
Criminal king
Curled up
Curled spine
Hands bound
Quiet beneath a parking lot
Still suffering from war wounds
Asking to be left alone
To trade his kingdom for a horse
Feet have been sliced away
Now a building foundation
Now an exhibit
Now tired being hated
Supposed tyrant
Surrendered to Tudor
Surrendered to time

© Poem Fix 2013
Photo by AP/University of Leicester


Good Morning

Morning opens
Dripping with opportunity
Set forth
Table clean, open, ready
No crumbs
Ready to be defiled
Presented to and addressed
Good morning, morning
Welcome to the day
And all you haven't anticipated
May the sun break over the mountains
Push rays west
Lay waste to dreams



Spirals only go down
Pushing into caliche
Drilling through rock and calcium
Effort, time, persistence
Open veins into steamy depths
Flowing lava
Vile creatures
Swooping spirits
Ghosts of hidden levels
Guardians of secrets
Fiery orbs
Tired beings ready to acquiesce


Old Men

The band takes the stage
Water holds the screen
Singer bares his aging chest
Windmills come with staccato regularity
Microphone thrown like lasso
Icon's son makes noise
Other sons give, take, understand the moment's importance
High notes mostly get hit
Love gets thrown around
Smoke curls around the stadium
Dead people play
We walk away exhausted, satisfied
Rained upon



The beginning of time existed before the beginning of time, because something had to cause that spark, so it was there earlier, waiting, dormant as a winter seed. Earlier, eons before there was a before, there was an era of infinity, unlimited existence, always present if there is such a thing, for there must be a start, always a point of creation. But departure, inhibited and fortunate, embarks nevertheless. A grouse hunting for elusive conifer needles.