Along the River

the first of a string of cold nights
and mild days are a welcome
change

I am not outside at my usual
time so the stillness and quiet
are very refreshing

I can hear the drone of a lawn
being cut probably at the church
and a siren far away

add a loud bird and I think it may
be stereo another lawn being
cut on the other distant side of me

my tea went from sipping hot to
cool enough to gulp if I want to
with less than half a cup left

do you know what is missing
my steno pad as I opted to bring
my laptop outside for the first

time so my Namiki fountain pen
already a relic by age alone is now
a sure sign of my past

thirty-five years ago or so on a
day like today I’d walk from my
Kaserne to a bench along the

Nahe River to sit and fill a
notebook with all the woe is
me of the day and to pray

or cry

no cell phones and no PCs really
just a few word processors at
work using large CP/M disks and

floppies I think
about one sip of cold tea to go

you know the same God who
used to hear my cries then
as I looked out over the river

hears me now

I for one am glad that some
things don’t change and God
is one of those things

my father God has never
forgotten one of my tears as
we sat along the river

The Apple on the Tree

it started with I want and
continued with I can

at first it seemed so simple
to choose to do something
I wanted to do

I have the freedom to do so

but when our spiritual vision
becomes blurred we cannot
see that every choice we

make ends in life or death

because all I could see was
what Satan wanted me to see
so beautiful so sweet that is

the apple on the tree

Tomorrow’s Train

the horn blasts of the noon train
were distorted floating in and out
on the strong and gusty winds

the sounds of this train faded to
the right of where I sat on the
back patio

a second faster train followed
horn blasting through town as it
moved away heading north

It seems that my dreams were
not in the wind or on a train

they pile up in my memory like
railroad ties stacked up in an
abandoned siding yard

birds don’t dream they fly
can you tell a bird not to fly
same-o same-o

people don’t fly they dream
can you tell people not to dream

at this point I doubt my dreams
will come true they could they
might but so far they never have

so I’ll be waiting for the wind and
tomorrow’s train

They Still Are

A swarm of birds, if there is
such a thing, flustered by the
coming storm vacated the
tallest pine one street over.

A butterfly zigzagged across
the back yard a few feet above
the lawn. In this wind it couldn’t
fly straight if it had to.

They never fly straight, do they?

I think the wind gusts up to forty
miles per hour have begun. One
big flying bug didn’t get the memo.
All bug operations have been

cancelled today due to weather.
Take a bug maintenance day instead.
Not a bug or critter in sight. I always
think of my Irish Uncle John on my

birthday on St. Patrick’s Day.

I’m guessing I was about ten which
made his daughter, Murphy, around
twenty or so. Long before I knew
girls existed, she was the fairest of

the fair. Uncle John made me feel
special when there was nothing
special. Thank you, Uncle John.
You are the only one who told me

that all today’s parades were really
for me. For my birthday. Because of
you, they still are for me.

Summer Seems Near

a tiny baby chameleon darts
in and out of the grass along
the edge of the patio

a dead worm is coiled up on
the cement floor and a giant
dark wasp bumps along the

patio ceiling doing recon for
a new home so I wish him
well somewhere else

ah he’s gone for now
go figure no bugs yesterday
tons of bugs today

a large flying bug is floating
in my cup of ice water so
much for a drink of water

spring may be very short
this year as winter flees
summer seems near