Wavy Trees

Wavy Trees

Wave at Me

I sense their wisdom


have been alive

longer than me

I look up

at their broken limbs


in nature’s mirth


death and dying is okay

under falling leaves

and life is that much better

We break into pieces

just like trees

and fall to the ground

Nature accepts me

like family

under her mantel


I say goodbye

wavy trees.


The Master

Bartholomew rested his eyes under his white panama hat while his tanned workers glistened under the California sun. It was Monday; the beginning of a long week.

“Siesta, por favor?”

“Give it another hour, Jose. We will all drink cervezas like amigos in the shade of the palm tree.”

“Si, Senior, but I am muy cansado.”

“We’re all overworked Jose, but we must do our duty.” Bartholomew sipped his margarita and surveyed the jobs in the neighborhood. His clipboard would make him a wealthy man. Some men have executive positions in high-rise buildings; they dominate corporate meetings in business suits, but they’re all contained.

Bartholomew was different. He felt connected to the earth somehow and maybe that’s why he went into landscaping.

The door to the millionaire estate opened, and a skinny man in tennis shorts walked towards him. “You people are cutting my grass all wrong.”

Bartholomew sized him up. He was a software engineer, weak in his step and fastidious in his mannerisms. “How would you like your lawn manicured, sir?” Bartholomew asked.

“The lawn must be cut and recut in a cross-like pattern. Do it or you don’t get paid.”

“Well… I assure you that Bart’s Landscaping has the highest standards and successfully pleases every customer 100 percent of the time.”

“That’s impossible,” the man said. “Have it done when I get back.” He got into his Range Rover and drove out of the cul-de-sac.

“And good day to you sir,” Bartholomew said. He stood up from his lawn chair and his belly expanded in his Hula shirt, threatening to pop in the front.

” Vamanos, amigos.” Bartholomew’s workers dropped their shovels and ran for the company van. They pulled cutting torches and drills and metal detectors toward the mansion.

“40 minutes on the clock. If we can’t finish in time, we go home empty handed.”

If the neighbors were watching, they would have seen a southern gentleman in a white suit opening the front door like he belonged there. He detested the artwork on the walls, an insult to his taste. With the right price, anything could become art.

“It’s upstairs,” Bartholomew said.

In the Master Bedroom he pointed to the bookcase. “These software types don’t read, but they get it in their heads that money should be hidden behind books. It’ll be behind the thickest copy. Les Misérables. Redemption. Not for them, but for us.”

Jose grabbed it and the bookcase swung out, revealing a safe. “Drill it!” Metal shavings piled onto the floor like pasta. The heat was over 100 degrees. “We’re almost out of time.” Then the Range Rover pulled up.

“What do we do?” Jose asked.

“This is what you pay me for,” Bartholomew said. He snuck out of the kitchen window and ran to the corner of the house.

“My yard isn’t done yet. I’m planning to have a croquet match in one hour for my wife’s dinner party. She’ll be home any moment.”

“That is tough business, trying to please your wife. I know wives are particular about such things… Here’s what I can do. Like I said, we don’t get customer complaints often. Here’s my card. Good for three seasonal jobs.” Bartholomew grinned, showing his gold tooth. His crew snuck over the back fence with the loot.

“I guess you’re not so bad,” the engineer said. He shook Bartholomew’s hand.

“It’s always grand to do business with a fine gentleman like yourself. I’d like to finish your yard, perhaps next week. I may be out of town, but if I am in the neighborhood, I won’t hesitate to call.”

And with that, the fine Southern Gentleman strolled off the lawn to take care of more millionaire homes.


We are born to be geniuses, but…

Things don’t go the way I want them to go

It’s like I’m listening to someone

who puts me on hold


inconveniences pile up

like mail

sent to the wrong address.

I want the open road

but the negators keep saying

“stay in your office.”

Attitude is all we have


but if we keep adjusting it

to deal with reality

it pushes us

farther from our sanity

until we laugh

when we should cry

and we find meaning

in meaningless things.

Teens watch us


And I don’t blame them

because we are born to be geniuses

but we waste our time.

Under the Wide-Open Blue Sky



a fall fire

burning brown leaves into smoke

or a lake in winter

frozen cold

Get away

to be taught

by something else


that cannot be impressed

Valleys cut by power

or hills hiding mysteries

Melt depression

with sun

beautiful flower

Speak to the rain


stand tall

in empty fields

under the wide-open blue sky.

The Great Migration

The barber shop was the heartbeat of the town, but the town was changing and Harry was too old to play catch-up.

“They got some condos going up on the east side and apartment buildings to the west,” Cornel said. This place will be a regular city before too long. The bank owns half the property here, including yours, am I right?”

“You’re right,” Harry said.

“Well, this place is changing. You can’t fight change.”

Harry cut Cornel’s hair extra fast. 30 years in the trade gave his fingers brains of their own. They usually did the work while he talked to customers, but today, Harry didn’t want to talk to anybody.

His clientele was changing. Now construction workers and land developers and bankers needed haircuts. New people brought new shops and a new economy.

“The old must make way for the new,” Harry said in a trance.

“You’re right about that. Ouch!”

Harry nipped Cornel with his scissors.

“Sorry about that; the haircut is on the house.”

“You really need to retire,” Cornel said and he left.

Harry stared out his window at the sun, wishing it would set in the East and reverse time. He swept up Cornel’s hair into a bag and took it home. It was a small house with a large acreage, perfect for apartment dwellings. The deer were always trying to eat his lawn, but he had a solution for that. He scattered human hair around the perimeter and it scared them off. There was an eviction notice tacked to his door.

Be Out in 48 Hours or Be Forcibly Removed

The road would have to be his address until he reached his final destination. A camper was attached to the bed of his old pickup truck. It’s funny how people are always trying to stay in one place, when the in-between places offer so much more freedom, Harry thought.

The next day, he got his cup of coffee and looked out onto the field. Deer were everywhere, eating the grass and poisoning the soil with their droppings. Wind had blown the hair into the trees. It looked like tinsel.

Then he noticed something that made his heart stop; a tree was not where it was supposed to be. He listened to the woods and they sounded like so many conversations he had heard in the barber shop. They were migrating towards the town. Moving slow enough not to be noticed, like shadows shifting at different times of day. They did not want to be developed or changed.


The Soup Special

Josh looked at the restaurant. The neon name danced back and forth and a crowd gathered outside. It was the hottest pasta bar in town.

“I can take your coat if you’re warm enough,” Josh said. His date didn’t seem to mind. She gave him an imperceptible smile. They walked to the back of the line and waited.

“These places always put on a show, but can you trust the food?” A fat man asked.

“Honey, you claim to get food poisoning everywhere we go.”

“Well, it’s because these fancy places think uncooked cuisine is fashionable.”

The line began to move.

“You see honey, we don’t have to wait very long after all.”

“That’s because people are getting poisoned.”

Josh was seated at a small table, near the window, looking out onto the lake.

“Just a table for one, sir?” The waiter asked.

“Oh no, my date is freshening up. She’ll be back soon.”

Josh waited and watched the couples, trying to assess if their dates were going well.

“Oh, you look just lovely this evening.” He got up and pulled out his chair for his date. “You know, these restaurants always have a secret behind them.”

“Really? I thought this place was new,” she said.

“The chef and the name are new, but the building is very old. I worked here 15 years ago. See the waiter over there, he’s been here all this time.”

“Well, he’s Italian, I guess he fits right in.”

“No, it’s not that.”

“What then?”

“A murder happened here.”


“Yeah, the police couldn’t find her body, but blood was splattered all over the kitchen. They tried to pin it on the waiter over there, but he had a rock-solid alibi.”

“How do you know this?”

“I worked in the kitchen.”

“Who do you think did it then?”

“Who knows. The real question is how the murderer got rid of her body. She was a waitress. The police suspected she was having an affair and her lover wanted to cover up the evidence. I do remember the soup special of the evening was to die for. The restaurant sold out and would have put tonight to shame.

“Why do you think he continued to work here after all these years?”

“Maybe he thought leaving made him look guilty.”

The waiter walked over. “I never thought I would catch you alive in this place?”

“Same here. What’s the statute of limitations on murder?”

“Life. Why ask me that question?”

“Why are you still hanging around here?”

The waiter clenched his fists.

“This is just getting a bit too tense for me. I’m going to freshen up.” Josh’s date left for the back room.

“Did you tell her the whole story about the soup special?”


“Well, she probably thinks you’re a potential murderer. That will only increase her excitement this evening.”

“Who do you think murdered that woman all those years ago?”

“Maybe the sous-chef. He was always a bit strange. He could’ve chopped her up into little pieces and fed her to the guests.”

“That’s a bit over the top, don’t you think?”

“Reality is stranger than fiction. I’ve got to go wait on that table over there. Enjoy your evening.”

“Same to you,” Josh winked. His date came back.

“Is that man gone? I think he was the murderer, for sure.”


“I can’t wait for our second date. Do you have any more stories?

“You’ll have to wait and find out.”

Josh escorted her to his car. “It looks like I have a flat. I’ll need to get my tire iron out.”

He made quick work of it and thought about the soup special. Maybe he could remember the recipe for when he got home. It was to die for.


The “Something” Inside

There is something inside of a man

it is his essence

a sense of himself.

It can be taken away

and it frequently is,

but he keeps searching for it

because he longs to get it back.

It is the substance that looks on misery and sees happiness.

It sings to him in pain.

It offers power in dark moments

when the things of the world dissert him.

It is usually found then.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Sometimes you find it in others

they have a sense of style,

frequently overlooked

It’s overlooked because it takes style to recognize it.

This thing can’t be bought and it doesn’t obey pleas of permission.

When found,

 it walks inside,


There is No Finish Line

We lose people

as we march through life

Some break abruptly

or fade away

We marvel at our growth

and how we’ve changed

It was only right

to leave some people behind

or they left us behind

chasing something

that made them better

or bigger

I wonder how we’ll feel

at the end of our life

when we survey those

we memorialized

into statues

They remain stationary

in our minds

unchanging symbols

of our past life

who we used to be

and didn’t like

Some left us behind

in this race

for a better life

They got so far ahead

near the finish line

until no one was behind

People stopped chasing them

and it’s too late for the winner

to go back

and be friends

Alone in their victory

and pride

There is no finish line.

Moon Walk

Laying in the sun

in an empty room

on a winter’s day

with a writer speaking wisdom

is better than traveling

to a thousand destinations


even then

in your rest

the journey must happen.

You will follow a pilgrimage

to somewhere

not found on a map.

A man makes his life

even if he doesn’t know he is making it

and the world doesn’t wait for him.

So, he might chase the sun

over the next horizon

to beat time

or he might visit an empty golf course

where only the crickets chirp.

In these moments

when the world clicks forward

he knows where he stands

and he doesn’t race to catch up.

He leaves his footprints on the moon


there is beauty in aimless roads

or pathless highways

and delayed rebellion

suddenly manifests

in the moment.

Billionaire Wednesday

I was born rich

maybe reincarnated

So, what did I do in a past life

to get busted back

to 9 to 5?

I broke too many rules

fraternized with too many women

I was cavalier with my freedom.

“You still think we live in a meritocracy,” my friend screams.

“Well, I believe in the billionaire spirit.”

“We should get rid of people at the top.”

“But I want to be up there. Mountains are beautiful.”

“What? We need to spread the wealth around.”

Maybe he’s right. Money means different things to different people.

Just having it,

is not enough.

On the tipping point

of Wednesday

I am a creative volcano

removed from reality.

I see supermen

who stand up there

and I love it

Monuments to something

beyond the week.

Beyond anyone

who needs more or wants more

Having it all

is not holding it

and knowing it’s there.