Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (Precious Lord)


(In Memoriam)

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
When my way grows drear, precious Lord linger near
When my light is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)
Songwriters: Thomas A. Dorsey

Grief (National Poetry Month)



unsplash-logoAllef Vinicius


So, April is National Poetry month and so every day I am going to prompt people for topics. My friend Liam chose:


I swallowed my tongue
somewhere between goodbyes
I drifted for weeks
transitioning from winter to spring
arguing with your ghost
inside my head

Every little detail of our last conversation
the laugh lines around your eyes
the tone of your voice
I’ve memorized with Catholic-like clarity

I haven’t cried, no
grown men bottle it up
and it makes us restless and fevered
swallowing back the urge
to beg and plead and borrow
time from some ancient god

Shades of Shale
is my mood
dark gray moments
in my room
pretending that everything is going
so well
I wander through the empty hallways
of the life we once knew

Now, if I see you again
it would thrill me and dash me
against the rocks of reality
that I was the one you didn’t want to see
and I was the one that spent these few weeks
in mourning, in grief,
somewhere in the memory of the friend
you’d once been


Real Love (National Poetry Month)




unsplash-logoKevin Grieve

Real Love

Water left on the bathroom floor
toothpaste in the sink
morning breath kisses
and aching backs
grey hair at the temples
and date nights on the couch

Bill folds
walk the dog
separate the clothes
and walk them to the laundromat
fevers, nightmares,
three a.m. dash to the bathroom
Are you alright?
Yeah, I’m fine
wait half awake for him to return

Throw this ratty old shirt out
or make it into a dusting rag
pay the bills, chase the cat
Christmas Trees
and flowers in vases
can you pass the gravy?

I’m getting older
you’re getting older
where the rubber meets the road
dishes in the sink
off to work you go
it’s another day in the life
of real love


Happy Easter



unsplash-logoChristoph Schmid

A man and woman slog their way through the snow, their car behind them having run out of gas. In the dark through the blowing snow, they see the lit sign of a hotel and the word VACANCY, they go through the door and walk up to the counter, as they open their coats it becomes apparent that the woman is very pregnant. The man asks for a room for the night, The manager asks “for you and your wife?” The man says “oh she’s not my wife were just engaged.” The manager immediately bristles and says “well I’m sorry but I’m a Christian and I don’t have to serve you, you’ll have to move along.” The man and woman, dejected, miles from the next town slog back through the snow to their cold car. The next morning they are found by the highway patrol, the man his arms wrapped around his girlfriend her arms wrapped around her belly, frozen to death… So ended the second coming of Jesus, on a lonely stretch of highway, somewhere in rural Indiana.





Now Hiring: Professional Hugger




unsplash-logoJack Sharp

It’s been five months since I was diagnosed with a panic disorder.

It’s been that long on Zoloft and Ativan.

I endured a very hard childhood and thought I had escaped the worst of it when lo and behold, one day back in October I had my very first panic attack.

I thought I was dying.

Ran off to the E.R. and the doctors told me that I was not having a heart attack nor was I have a stroke.

They performed an EKG, took blood, and a CT scan of my noggin and everything came back fine.

From there, I was sent home with a script of meds.

Getting used to those was like getting used to having the flu for 3 weeks. I was nauseous. I was hot and then cold and then clammy and the panic attacks weren’t done. As soon as I felt anxiety coming on, knew what to ‘look for’, the symptoms would change and suddenly I’d be flush with a burning sensation from my waist all the way up to the top of my head.

In the interim, I started eating healthier, cutting out soda, coffee, anything with caffeine. I started drinking more water and working out to rid myself of extra energy.

I’ve slimmed down in places and bulked up in others.

Yet – there is one thing that I wish I had on tap. Something I could just press a button for.

A hug.

That has been the oddest feeling that I’ve had since this all began. The desire for a bone-crushing, all-encompassing, shit’s gonna be alright, I love you, man,  hug.

I swear to God if there were a six foot seven, Mexican, biker gang member named Jerry who was willing to administer so said hug.

I’d let him.


I would just go with it.

It’s the weirdest feeling. It’s like hunger pangs.

I am thinking about having a t-shirt made for when I go out in public.

Panic Sufferer: Hugs help.

When Love’s The Killing Kind (Poem)

I lost my dignity the other day
It’s not something I do often
When I am caught up in the moment
I wish I could think.
Instead of just feel.
My rational mind leaves a lot to be desired
I search through life hands outstretched, blindly
from one feeling to the next
intimately getting to know the texture of the world
Please, let me forget that moment
there on my knees
when I begged – I don’t do that
I don’t break down
No, not me
Someone plucked a chord on my heartstrings
the tune reverberated through to my bones
I miss you so much my teeth ache
Your presence now a ghost in the room
There is a desire inside of me
a loneliness that I cannot seem to fill
as barren as the streets of late November
save for scattered leaves tossed by the bitter wind
I had created for myself a castle
guards posted watch on every single wall
the mage in the tower and the beast in the dungeon
and upon the throne was I, Lord of it all.
Battle-hardened, World Wary,
I was no match for the warmth of the sun
And now I am in mourning, my friend
these walls as gray as my mood
I wish I would not feel so blindly
but I can’t help it, otherwise, I’d truly blind
but I see with the heart’s eyes only
and that kind of love, is the killing kind.
I lost my dignity the other day
Haven’t bothered searching for it, true
I wish I were somewhat different sometimes
I wish I were someone like you


You loved my fire….


unsplash-logoMohamed Nohassi

You said you were attracted to my fire, passion
you saw me burning from ten thousand miles away
We were born on the same date
two children of the God Mars
and I was enchanted by your kindness toward me

It was an easy thing
Fire and fire burns brighter, higher,
illuminating the night
You pointed out the familiar
and I could taste the same poison
on your skin, I was familiar with

With ease, our sex, the weight around our neck
bound to who we are by social chains
I found a friend that I needed
a doppelganger, an echo, perhaps vanity
seductively talking to my own ego

You’d crossed the bridge and created love
without the complications of the flesh
a pure thing, this little inferno
which promised the potential of a future
a friendship to span the ages

Yet something went wrong
a cold east wind blew in through the night
and before I had known you crossed back
across the gulf leaving me holding
the little inferno in my hands
making excuses for yourself the entire way

But one thing you weren’t expecting
was the actions I would take
as I cast the friendship down and watched the bridge burn
I realized fifteen years prior when I didn’t burn so sure
I would have acquiesced to the idea of time and place and purpose

Yet, that isn’t my truth now
I rage equally in love and in hate
in fear and in pain
I burn in the night the same for all who needs me
but I do have one question,
now that your choices have been made
and the bridge between us has been destroyed

“How do you like my fire now?”


Enough Gold To Hoard



How did that happen?
Where was the tipping point?
I must have missed the exit sign
on the freeway of my feelings
and kept driving

Did I have the radio on too loud
was I caught up in the music?
Did I allow my mind to wander?
I have awareness but did I use it?

Or did I want to keep going?
Did I choose to pass the off ramp
and see what another stretch of freeway looked like?
It’s still blacktop, white stripes, my hands are on the wheel
but now I don’t know what to do.

Caught in the once familiar
I stood and looked at myself in the mirror
and heard the words spoken in my ear
I smiled and felt sexy
with new clothes and my prowess
now I am dressed to the nines
waiting for the phone to ring

I’m annoyed
that’s always a dangerous feeling
needle pricks inside my brain
that has me wondering and feeling foolish
I can taste copper inside my mouth
as I bite down on angry words
now the dragon’s been bothered

I hate when people do this
speak the truth and call the shadow what it is
make clear roads in, identify the moment
and the vanish as a sort of punishment
with whiplash-like ferocity
leaving me asking, “What the fuck did *I* do?”

Nothing. I didn’t do anything.
You made you feel those things.
Fantasize those things.
Dream those things.
Just like I did.
My guilt is mine.
Keep yours.
I have enough gold to hoard.

Star Wars – The Last Jedi (Review)


(All Rights of images related to Star Wars are retained by Disney. In this instance, the image is used for a review of the film.)

So, I really liked the new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.
Before purchasing the film on Amazon, I read through the Star Wars Facebook page as they were announcing the countdown til release and was surprised at how much hate the new film received.
Which got me to thinking about both Star Wars and Star Trek’s new franchise (also known as JJ Trek).
The new Star Wars film was a bit darker even more so than the Force Awakens.
The films are grittier, the bad guys nastier, the stormtroopers have taken some weapons courses and actually hit their targets this time, and the distinction between light and dark isn’t so very clear.
The world is more complex and the characters reflect that – Kylo Ren who in the first film seems like the ultimate betraying ‘bad son’ is the perfect example of this and is somewhat better understood once the actions of a not so good Luke Skywalker are revealed.
The same thing happened in Star Trek. The world wasn’t as morally pristine as the earlier franchise films (or television series). Things were clunkier in some aspects, more concrete and believable while, like Star Wars, it managed to keep the fantasy aspect alive.
Yet, I have a hang-up.
One small thing that is probably a little prejudiced.
Okay, maybe really prejudiced.
All the characters that I grew up with are either really old or dead.
Star Trek for me will always be Bill Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForrest Kelly, Nichelle Nicholes, and the NCC-1701 A.
Star Wars for me will always be young Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and of course, Carrie Fisher.
After the closing sequence of Star Wars, when the credits rolled, they showed an in memoriam credit:

In loving memory of our Princess, Carrie Fisher.

I choked up.
I got a frog in my throat and misty-eyed.
Sure, not only because she’s gone but because it dawned on me that Star Wars, like Star Trek, aren’t the same nor will they ever be again.
The franchise has been passed on. The torch has been given over to younger people. Its fate is solely in their hands now.
I, like those characters, and much like the show’s detractors, have simply gotten old and the way things were aren’t the way they are now. We’ve become too rigid. Too set in our ways and if it were up to us, the franchises would both fail.

In short. The films simply do not belong to me anymore. In fact, the shows don’t belong to Roddenberry or Lucas anymore. They’ve grown beyond that. Both men built not only a popular show but a series of films that while entertain, bring a lot of hope to people who view them and, as my parents did, will show them to their children.

Will they always get it on the money? Probably not. Hell, Lucas’ Prequels sucked and there were three Star Trek Films (The Search for Spock, The Final Frontier, and Star Trek Nemesis) which were downright awful.

Yet, all in all, The Last Jedi was the best film in the series. Easily.
Adventures are for the youth. I just hope that they boldly go wherever the Force may take them.