Guest post

The Poet with His Face in His Hands
You want to cry aloud for your

mistakes. But to tell the truth the world

doesn’t need anymore of that sound.
So if you’re going to do it and can’t

stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t

hold it in, at least go by yourself across
the forty fields and the forty dark inclines

of rocks and water to the place where

the falls are flinging out their white sheets
like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that

jubilation and water fun and you can

stand there, under it, and roar all you
want and nothing will be disturbed; you can

drip with despair all afternoon and still,

on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched
by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,

puffing out its spotted breast, will sing

of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.
by Mary Oliver

from The New Yorker

At 55

In my 56th rotation around the Sun, like a chicken on a rotisserie, or a pig in a pit, I am.

I live only in this moment where tinnitus and arthritis are my constant companions.

No guarantees, no warranties, no wallabies, no garish brasseries…

Never having lost at love, I’ve only learned.

At 55, wisdom should flow from me like a waterfall;

Instead, I issue wise observations one drop, one pebble in the pond at a time of my choosing.

I like happiness, I like kindness, I like a lot of conditions we call emotional responses

Of sets of states of energy cooperating rather than competing.

At 55, I’ve seen it all or projected it into the future…

Variations on a theme.

I want to believe I’m other than I am,

A lazy, selfish oaf, tired most of the time,

Stretching the perimeters of my comfort zone

To be, or attempt to see, other than I am.

Theory is nice and all —

Word combinations can simulate that which might be —

But practical limits on my capabilities bring reality into focus,

Erasing infinite futures, replacing them with a line.

I know how to project the temporary image of a loving person,

Well-practiced responses to growing up in fear of passive-aggressive parental attacks,

And, unfortunately, that’s all I have to offer, a false front.

I’m guided by fear, not love,

Raised under the promise of a technological utopian future,

Conflicted and inflicted with vertigo-induced side effects of staring at the electronic glass mantra of this screen.

Att 55, this is me,

Belonging nowhere,

Cared for by one in one scenario,

Caring for another in another scenario,

Trapped in a comfort zone of unhappiness,

Wishing for the uncomfortable zone of happiness,

No matter how contradictory it sounds/reads.

At 55, I am tired,

Unable to count my blessings,

But fully aware of the privileges my current living conditions provide,

Fully aware of the generation gap my workmates and their peers exemplify,

Bridging the gap through dance.

At 55, dance is the one language I like to speak when I can’t speak and be understood at my age.

At 55, I don’t have the strength to attempt to live on my own, I never have,

Requiring faith in a future self I’ve never come close to.

At 55, I remain a dreamer.

Dreams are the only reality I’ve ever known,

Hiding from a benign universe,

Believing the universe is aligned for my existence alone.

At 55…


Or 5.

Funky Silly Friday Song

2nd June, the month has arrived, begun…

Two days in, a lifetime in the sun…
Six minutes or sixty years…
BFF means no more fears…
Daily texts, contextual content…
In our thoughts the future ferments…
Whether here or there on Mars…
Madison County or County Marshall…
Dancing, singing, laughing in bars…
Full vocals or only partial…
Artsy Asheville…

or Gnarly Nashville…

Rhymes, not reasons…
Years not seasons…
Unless it’s spring, then we’re sneazin’
Through life’s journey now we’re breezin’!

Morning Sunrise

Car parked in carpark overlooking morning traffic, 

Hiking mates yet to arrive,

Brief meditation on the meaning of social connections

Atop our tiny planet

In this vast universe;

How can we find our way

Midst chaos and confusion

When social media redefines the hive mind,

When minds do not exist?

The dead cedar tree does not say,

Neither the crushed rocks

Nor the pigeon gliding across the road,

But they exist.

Traffic sings a song

When we take time to listen.


I woke up this morning,
The smell of your hair shampoo lingering in my nostrils,
That scent which mixes with our sweaty bodies
After dancing for an hour and I kiss your forehead.

I see your glistening face looking up at mine
When you’ve fallen because I’m not always the best dancer,
Losing my grip in order to complete a spin or turn.

This taste of cigarettes on your lips lingers in my moustache,
Our kisses drunkenly misplaced between dances.

We moved the world last night.

Yes, you and I.



Our skills include dancing,
But we also know sawing, drilling, sewing, hammering, cutting,
Words, of course, with double meaning,
Words which become memes instantly,
Words we understand in the loving look only you and I share,
In the funny looks we shared when we were alone together on my birthday.

Never say you’re empty inside
Because I’m always there,
Laughing with you,
Sharing jokes, but,
When you fall,
There to pick you up again and keep dancing.

I’ll catch you this time, next time, you want to run into arms.
Everytime you do, I don’t want to let go.

Malaprop Jalapeño Lollipop Laptop

The space between us

Never extends further than the length of string

On which you carry my heart —

In a romance novel, a heart of pure gold;

In a horror novel, my real heart.

They both tell tales.

Our story changes chapters,

Switches characters,

Moves to less extraterrestrial locales —

How domestic shall we appear, 

Protecting our independence in the process?

How far do we stretch out the string?


A lone tree frog calls out tonight,

As I, ever wondering,

Wish well of/for those who wish well of me.

Quietude helps me sleep,

Rests my brain,

Puts thoughts away for another rainy day.

The next few weeks my introversion rises from weeks-long slumber,

Feeding upon the home laboratory think tank contents,

Creating new crests and troughs,

New wave patterns pattering their little pseudopods paddling offshore.

Dream well, deeply, richly.

Imagine what you will.

I say goodnightmare to you.

G’day, mate, in other words.