But Not for Me

the wind is moving sweetly
from a tree here then over
there dropping a whisper

here then over there but
not for me like the song
of the same name

even so a gentle breeze
touched me to remind me
that hope is never lost

only momentarily forgotten
but always within reach of
a believing heart and mind

there was a time when I
thought that hope was for
everyone else but not for me

To Be or Not To Be

as soon as I sat down in my chair on the
patio it started to rain again

I had to wear a light vest and as I lit a late
afternoon cigar I listened to

what seemed to be a host of kettle drums
sitting on the metal roof that would fade

in and out

then it slowed down to the sound of big
drops running off the roof to the worn

grass below that looked like a giant sheet
on a player piano rolling down

now that reminded me of the Steinway
that sat in our living room and

my piano teacher who quit

sometimes kids can’t be forced to be who
their parents wanted to be or want them to be

this can set the stage for a life of failure upon
failure upon failure

to this day I can sing some say as sweetly as
Nancy Wilson but I can’t play a thing

or read music yet there has been a choir or
two here and there

and that nervous but fine solo on Danny Boy

but my folks spent a lifetime discouraging me
from doing anything that I wanted to do

so acting and singing among other things
simply faded away like most of my dreams

much like the rain falling off the roof to
the ground

One Thing

Darkness descended midmorning
with a major storm hanging in
the air.

Distant thunder is no longer
distant squeezing us from
all sides.

Well call me Noah!

It is a torrential downpour
with no end in sight. I must
turn on a light in here.

I got a severe thunderstorm
watch then a flash flood warning
and a special weather statement.

My phone is ringing off the hook!
Well, dinging like crazy. I know.
Phones don’t do that anymore.

I always wanted to say that;
because my phone didn’t ring
then and rarely rings now.

You try not to worry but these
are the things you worry about
with loved ones on the road.

My wife drove her sister for a
scheduled surgery before this
storm hit.

Her drive back will be a tough
one. It goes without saying but
it is out of my hands.

Storms like this are subtle red
flags to remind us that we are
not in control. God is.

It just happens that way and
there is nothing one can
do about it.

Well there is one thing. Prayer.
Pray to God for their safety.
And pray some more.

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.