Can you see inside?
Where sensations manifest as words:
light and dark
                loud and soft
                cold and warm
soft and hard
bright and dim
and thus become the other
Can you see outside?
When words transform:
Love to hate
Happy to sad
Joyous to desolate
Love to sadness
Can you feel?

I think he came here
to die, I don’t know, 
he won’t talk to me directly

he has been coming around for four or five weeks
not schizophrenic like the others, not wild
he has remnants of decent behavior
but his dress, once elegant and of fine pattern and cut
hangs loose and frayed soiled beyond daily cleanings
tells a story of hard life
scares his eyes, surely bright at one time
hazy and red rimmed with scar tissue
slow to move, to focus
he does eat when its time
and clearly once regal
stares the younger ones away until he is finished
but he eats little
before his morning nap
or afternoon stroll around the pond
he likes to be acknowledged
with a friendly pat on the shoulder
or smoothing of his long hair

he had a home once, his habits display,
but perhaps steady and calm wasn’t for him, to confining 
and he preferred the chase of the wild
he has taken to sleeping outside my window
perhaps he feels the need for human companionship, through the glass
or does not want to be alone, in this chapter 

Did the turtles know they had numbers
painted on their backs, with various shades of fingernail polish,
when they were placed in the polished plywood track
that circled the bar, with lanes marked with green paint,
that the turtles ignored?
Every Thursday night, when the taps hardly moved,
in an effort to sell more beer, thus providing a nutritional diversions,
to those desperately studying, those who hadn’t flunked out yet,
hanging on by a thread, in the spring,
to their deferments
It was the that same spring when Lyndon went to war
and after a stirring speech, evoking  the Perdenales
at least three times, revoked the students deferments
from those erstwhile students, who ceased studying on Thursday nights
to become turtle racing aficionados
almost three years later, in the winter, a guy came to have a beer
and watch the turtle races, just killing a few hours,
after a very long day trying to register for the spring quarter
yes he had flunked out, he told the registrar, but three years had passed
and he would be a good student now, the registrar reluctantly accepted his paper work
the bartender asked for his ID, he pulled out a worn military ID card,
all that he had, he had hadn’t been back long enough to get a driver’s license
he looked like the picture on his ID—regulation GI haircut—gaunt tired looking
the bartender looked him over pretty good and finally with grin said
the turtle racing was shut down by the state, and we don’t serve your kind here

I wonder
where is the outrage

for the dead  boy in San Antonio?
as I see Berkeley burning
and Ferguson rebuilding, honoring one
I pause to think
about university presidents
laying on the floor of their homes Chanting  “I can’t breath”
about classes being suspended
so students can march across the bridge, to honor one
I wonder
where are the demonstrators? The fire starters, the bottle throwers?
as a  few friends gather
to hold a prayer service
and carry signs about justice for one dead boy
I am amazed
that these three were all killed by police
but two demand national attention
two demand national violence, national headlines, national outrage, and the president
and one’s name is forgotten in a moment
I am sadden
By the unraveling of the fabric of consensus
 threads loosen and become separate,
with no connections to  other strands
until the ground is littered with indifference

(his name was Cameron Redus)

Published  January 2015 Voices de la Luna, San Antonio, Texas   http://www.voicesdelaluna.com/

More and more frequently I explore dreams of
damp woolen clothes  and wind tossed rain
at the  cold, mist-shrouded foothills,
of the Oregon Coast Mountains, covered with Douglas Fir , huge ferns, and moss
running north and south with craggy volcanic fingers
pointing west into the sea
damp cold clothes trying to keep the heat in from
walking along barren promenades,
rain swept-clean, taking errant sand back to the beach
no one walks in this weather
no flotsam to collect, green glass balls from foreign fishing nets long gone
all is clouds and windswept rain, obscuring the horizon
the tide is slack
but there are no clam diggers this morning
wading in the shallows , or surf fishermen,
in chest-waders struggling against the tides, or old men in lawn chairs
sitting at the high tide mark lines thrown far and stretched taught by the undertow
all not here today
empty streets and shuttered shops
a lie told in the winter
to hide the summer’s tide of gawkers and walkers,
and salt-water taffy eating mommas
struggling with children, trying to run free
a leash? Really? Do you think that restrains the inner struggle?
today the gulls sit irregularly on the beach
hunkered down faces into the wind
whites and grays with yellow beaks
the wind is too strong for them to whirl on the updrafts’
to strong to  fish for small meals in the shallows
obscured by wind-blown waves and sea foam
cold wind in my face, turning around walking backwards
Thinking about my thinking
I know this vision is too idyllic, fanciful.
But, the view of foggy craggy mountains and rain swept beaches
stands in stark contrast
to the view out my window
My doctors tell me
to watch what I eat
I do, I watch each morsel on my fork or in my spoon
From bowl to mouth first passing the nose
I never take my eyes off my food
Like a lover entranced
I take my meals in certain restaurants
Where my senses are overwhelmed
And my heart races in anticipation of gustatory bliss
Dribbles of savory fat
A multitude of sweet or salty crumbs
tablespoons of fragrant tangy sauce  
a soupcon of basil
a whiff of mint
a dollop of cookie dough
and always fragrances
of baking
of roasting
of garlic with pan seared meat and vegetables
in a pot of broth
waiting for onions…
my revelry ends and I think,
sadly,
the doctors meant something else
So I began to cook for myself
and soon l would make these wonderful experiences
for myself, and I did
I bought a new kitchen
And pots, pans, and cookbooks
knives and fancy dishes
I measured and counted pieces, calories, and memorized glycemics
I faithfully chanted “death to the whites”
whilst genuflecting in front of my new gas range
I am obedient to those who “practice” medicine
(how much practice do they need?)
But where did all these damn dishes come from

1. Eggs
while cracking two eggs
in the sink
then dropping the shells
in the pan
I wondered about memory
in the moment


2.Breakfast of one’s (They said)
one egg
one piece of rye krisp
one cup of tea
one dozen Milky Way


3. Do I need these keys ?
on a lanyard around my neck
i get a ride to the store
and leave my lanyard in his car

later; ring ring the phone
“you left your keys in my car”
“I can’t drive today, so I don’t need them”

“I’ll drive over tomorrow and get them”
“is late afternoon okay?”
“okay”

4. Planning
for your liver eat only carbs
for your diabetes early only protein 
for your mental health eat candy


The trees are sleeping now
the warming sun  gone   
the days and nights turn cold
causing leaves to flee
dancing and twirling
in the gust and bursts and dust devils
finally resting against the fence
never to attach again
branches have  memories of leaves
that embraced them in the spring
and danced with them all summer
time changes everything
from bud green to rust brown  
fleeting  attachments for the leaves
merely frivolous flirtations
thoughts of forever for the branch
The end is always the same
Time changes everything
nothing is permanent
the branch wont be bare long