Poetry

Below are several poems which have been published in literary reviews and appear in anthologies.

This poem, ‘Dear Jean’ won the Byron Herbert Reece Award from the Georgia Poetry Society and was published in anthology, ‘The Reach of Song.’ You can find ‘The Reach of Song’ in Georgia libraries.

Dear Jean

Dear Jean,
I wish I could tell you the din of traffic
outside my window sounds like the ocean.
That its timbre is easy to sway and fall to.
And the blanket of white noise breeds sleep.

I wish I could write that the roar of diesel weighted
18 wheelers sounds like angry waves
pounding on a shimmering shore.

That in the summer, I sat on my deck and imagined
salt spray from its shaking cargo bathing my
ankles in a crystal coated crust.

That in winter,
the bobbing headlights looked
like strands of phosphorescent seaweed
and the bleating of horns
was like the trawl of shrimp boats
easing into harbor.

Dear Jean, I wish I could tell you that living
by the highway sounds like the ocean.

This poem, ‘She went to California’ was published in ‘The Blood and Fire Review’

She Went to California

She went to California
with gold-plated eyes, chasing the lost whispers of redwood trees,
the calypso call of the wild pacific,
and the endless churn of empty chants of equality,

I stayed behind.
Paying dues in the trenches, sweltering the southern heat,
diggin ditches of self-suffocation
pounding the root of the nations frustration

She went to escape the bag-eyed beleaguered mouths of desperation
I found truth in the root of the nations frustration

She went to chase, to find the red in the rose, the blue in the sky
Down here, we find the red in the blood.

Her years were spent sitting by the sea, chasing idle ideas of no consequence
wistfully calling to the blank sky

My Years.
They were deep, black sojourns,
from the dusty trailer parks destitute in their desperation
to the squalor and holler of smart city streets
tainted as much with glamour as with grime
Wasting money. Wasting time.

Maybe her dreams took shape, maybe her lost causes found fruit…

But,
She went to California
and

I stayed behind.

Daylight Savings Crime

The barrage of advertisements blares from the carcass of my clock radio,
its red nocturnal eyes sending out deals, steals and meals.

Mister, can you give me a break,
its been a short night and my lids are dying for more sleep.
daylight hasn’t even broken
and the coldness of the floor provides no sanctuary to my tired and blistered feet.

I worked through the coal black recess of the night,
coffee excess to fuel my fight.
bending iron into shape
beating anger into muscle.

Far past midnight I flew,
praying the next bell would toll for the chosen few
pickax plundering and pillbox eschew
walking home with the waning moon,
the grass-cloaked dew.

So, now Mister, I ask you,
beg you
please,
make the mindless commercials mute,
turn the clock back just one hour,
and give us one more moment
of that drifting, boundless sleep.

Larry

He says Morgan Freeman picked cotton for his daddy.
Our easy faced cab driver Larry
reeling off recounts
of Charleston, Mississippi.
“Charley Pride’s from there,”
he pronounces, then pauses,
spitting tobacco fodder into a clear plastic cup,
“There’s a boy there, that can make Jimi Hendrix sound like he’s plinkin.”
slow turn of worn neck,
mustache tightly trimmed
beneath a tall blue baseball cap.

In his beat up blue Celica
he totes us through these
silvery shadowy streets.
Passing off nonchalance opinions and grandeur nostalgia,
only with an earnest look in his eye.

“The only good battle, my Daddy said,
was when more Confederate
soldiers came home than Yankees.”
No grizzly guffaw,
just that earnest North Mississippi look.

Past jitney jungles and worn streets
with names like
Jefferson and Jackson
we ride.

Puttering along pillaged passageways,
he neglects the blinker,
tames the thunder.
“Morgan Freeman picked cotton for my Daddy.”

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