Magic, All the Time

As the power inside of you


you know it

and as the power


you know it

When the power gets really low,

you start reaching out to things

good things

and bad things

and it’s not that the things you reach out to

are good or bad,

it’s that,

you reach out to them,

and there is an empty feeling

that grows deeper still

until finally,



I’m searching for kindling

Night falls, to midnight

and there is no light

Artists have it, until fame snuffs it out.

It can be put-out

by anything

We’ve all felt it—

that warm feeling

We create with it

It’s total absorption with a task

the world might be burning

while you fiddle-away the days

The hours go

and they don’t come back

What should we do with our time?

It’s not enough

to build a career, a house, or a family

I want that warm feeling

It’s the story-teller who never runs out of stories

and entertains the town

He goes home

and the stories never stop.

It’s not just his imagination

It’s magic

all the time.


A Mother’s Love

A mother’s love is more meaningful


the love of a nation


the horrific honor we gain

by killing


mother’s son.

Love doesn’t say, “Come back with your shield—or on it.”

Those boys on the beach screamed for their mothers

as their soft bodies were pieced

and doused with impersonal flames.

When I was a boy,

I would sit with my mother

in the sunshine,

and the grass was green

and the wind was warm

and when she smiled at me,

her golden light

defined the day.

People build their lives on hard things

and not flowers,

but it’s the weak things, in this life

that have comforted me.

This life will pass away

Love is the only way

Any wisdom

won’t work

unless there’s love behind it,

and all the hard lessons

we might learn

are useless


we love.

A Strange Story about the Hounds from Hell that don’t like Teachers

As I walk in and out of places (common places) like the drug store, or the city library, I think

how could anything extraordinary happen here?

I mean, the people who work at these places file books for excitement or take drugs.

There was a girl in the library who was sorting DVDs,

and she had an intellectual conversation with the librarian, that went something like this…

“Flowers of Paris is a foreign film, but also a documentary. Perhaps, we should have a section devoted to foreign documentaries so that I know where to file it.”

She had a thick face, with a layer of condensed sweat on her round cheeks, that made her glow, but not in a good way.

The librarian was a man, 55 years of age, bald, skinny, always wore sweaters because he thought it made him look more intellectual, and he drove a Porsche—the cheapest one on the line. He was a patient man, who frequently listened to insane lonely ladies who were writing novels and professing their love to him by saying that he was a central character in their books.

The point is, people like this live in neat houses, and never allow their lives to get too messy. They explore the world in their living rooms, and they gossip to fill their lonely evenings with drama.

One of the most boring places, is the local city golf course, and this story, is one that I heard while playing golf with a 50-year-old drunk. He was a self-professed failure, but happy. No wife. No kids. No job. He told me, he read novels because he hated TV, but he doesn’t figure into this story too much.

Bill was a regular (The drunk guy isn’t Bill).

A lawyer at an education conference told him that golf was a good way to lose weight and reduce his stress. He was a principal at a local middle school who hated kids, but stuck with it because he was too close to retirement.

Dogs know the nature of a man, and when Bill walked up the fairways, they barked at him, and he would bark back.

On a cold afternoon, a couple of them got loose, and followed him around the golf course, stealing his golf balls. Occasionally, he screamed at them, like he was possessed by demons, but this only turned them into the hounds from hell. They kept barking, and two more pit-bulls joined them.

Bill carried a .22 pistol on his person at all times. He did this, in case he had to kill a kid at work. The public schools are turning into the wild wild west. Anyway, he fumbled for it in his pocket and dropped it like a football. When he reached for it, one of the dogs bit into his hand, and wouldn’t let go.

Bill got down onto his knees, to collect his gun, and another dog ripped into his throat.

Blood was squirting like a sprinkler. He tried to scream, but it only shot two yards farther, like a fire hose.

This is where the drunk comes into our story.

He told me that he had done some private investigating work in his younger years, and that’s why he still carried a .357 magnum.

“Ordinary people are dangerous,” he told me.

He pulled it, and fired four times, killing all the dogs.

When he walked onto the scene, Bill’s arms and legs were separated from his body, like he had been doing jumping jacks, or trying to make a snow angel in the grass. There was a big red mud puddle on the green, like a Christmas homicide in February.

It struck me as a strange story—

an unholy anomaly, in a peaceful neighborhood,

and whenever I played golf there, and a fog rolled in, and the dogs barked at me, I thought of the Hounds of the Baskervilles.

I work in education too.

The End

A New Dawn of Friendship

It’s the midnight hour

the moon is alone.

I get a call from my friend

3,000 miles away.

I never thought

we would keep talking to each other.

I was waiting for the tides

to drift us apart.

the bond of friendship,

is like lunar gravity (I don’t know what that is)

We listen to each other

share the past.

There are so many people I don’t want to know.

this open phone line is so different

than the dozens of people I talk to

every day.

Sharing a moment

with someone

is special.

I’ve been with friends

who take it all in

for themselves,

and they are the most outwardly generous.

I try to be generous, but I can’t.

There is something getting in the way.

My friend and I,

used to walk the fairways together

on lonely evenings

when the harvest moon

was big in the sky.

We were only shadows then, with a future

but those golfing days are gone.

We were so young once,

and now,

it’s a new day.

People want to get together

but I say,

“I’m writing a novel.”

and they never ask

what it’s about.

A Principal Who Died

She was bald

her hair radiated away,

She wore a wig.

She always wanted curly hair—

the cancer gave that to her.

She had a beer belly

that would sag,

while she spoke in front of a large audience in a booming voice—

then she took questions. I asked her one, once

and she shouted me down

because she didn’t know the answer.

There was no husband

no family

only her job

as she became

more sickly

more skinny

She dropped 12 dress sizes, even though, she never wore a dress

Her pant-suits drooped.

I met her in the hallway

and she recognized my face

We’ve never talked

“I’m going to die,” she said.

“Me too.”

“No, I’m going to die at the end of the month.”

“Why are you here then?” I asked.

“Because they need me here.”

“I understand.”

Then, she walked away.

Wild Cats Can’t Be Caught

I can see your white legs, walking

in the summer sun, tall and erect

almost running, as if they had a purpose

to go somewhere. You fooled so many men

with your head above the crowd,

and your brown hair

dancing on your shoulders. I watched you

in your flower dress, tall and willowy

searching for a man, and not a master

I guess,

wild cats can’t be caught,


I’m writing this

because it’s the only way

I can capture you.

Now, the sparkle on your skin

has faded

and I have gray

in my beard.

We were once, so young

full of dreams—

you were

stepping between the stars.

I Am Centered in the Tao

Your face is hard, like a brittle tree

it has broken in several places, like angry bark.

Your nose and cheeks

are carved

in wood

by a chisel

that inflicts pain.

I know you’ve been burned,

and perhaps, you set the fire.

I can see the black marks on your soul.

You try to cry, but your well of tears

has dried up.

You walk rigid

Your roots have rotted

You tore-down your house, years ago.

When you say, “No”

and make demands,

I know

no man

will ever love you.

You said,

that you were chasing a man to Mexico.

He was leaving the country

to get away from you.

You act feminine, like a witch

that has a twitch.

Your laughter

is a lie.

There is a spirit inside of you

that wants to kill, like a predatory cat

that searches for weak mice.

Your eyes are a dead give-away

they want death. Your pupils are small.

You make fun-of boys.

“He’s a space cadet!”

I saw you at Safeway

but you didn’t see me.

You were full of hostility.

You are living in a hell of your own creation

and you bring that to everybody.

Your clothes

and vacations

and games

will end,

and what will you have?

I wanted to describe you, but I don’t know why

When I first met you, you were kind

Now, you interrupt me on the phone

and never admit that you’re wrong

You scream, like the wind.

I bend to you.

I am centered in the Tao.

the fat man, the philosopher, and the writer eat pizza in bed

the fat man asks, “What loves me—pizza or people?”

the philosopher asks, “What loves me—wisdom or people?”

the writer asks, “What loves me—words or people?”

the answers are obvious.

I can spot an actor from a mile away. They are dramatic, and full of self-love.

I can spot a teacher from 100 yards. They are in-charge, with stern features.

I can spot a nurse from a few feet. They have little pockets, and not much sympathy.

I rarely find a person who loves another person.

A man loves his wife, sometimes.

A father loves his daughter, sometimes.

People don’t love other People. They need a reason.

Most of their reasons inspire the opposite:

the hordes of humanity are angry in their cars, honking, cutting each other off in traffic, flipping the bird, anonymously.

Teachers teach kindness, rather than showing it. They are some of the meanest people who ever existed, and I’m including: Dictators, Nazis, and Mother-in-Laws.

Nurses dress in baggy scrubs, and don’t show any cleavage anymore—they offer no spiritual milk to the sick.

Actors want to be celebrities.

People are nice, so they don’t get run-over, taught a lesson, fired, or shamed.

the fat man, the philosopher, and the writer sit in bed

eating pizza

they honestly love what they do

this world will end,

and who will get the credit?

The End

the heavenly bodies make us aware of the earthly one

the day can only be known

when standing still.

the sun moves in the sky, slowly

and makes a man aware of himself.

A Beautiful Poet Who Doesn’t Know It

Nature is blissfully ignorant of her reflection,

and a cat is content to play with herself in the mirror.

The checker at the grocery store is full of kindness.

What is beautiful and spontaneous and full of truth is without ego.

Machines, adopt us

and then separate us from our mother.

We trade the whole,

for fragments.

Maybe, mountains are majestic because they don’t know it

and cats are superior because they shadow-box.

I have known women

who share their beauty with the world

in cold photographs,

and then,

they go unloved.