Two Ticks Of A Clock

Between two ticks of a clock

A baby inhales its first breath

Between two ticks of a clock

An old man exhales his last threats

Between two ticks of a clock

Lives may be changed, forever swallowed up

Between two ticks of a clock

Names and days may forever be forgotten 

Between two ticks a clock

Someone falls in love for the first time

Between two ticks of a clock

Someone falls out of love for the last time

Between two ticks of a clock

Entire lives pass by

Between two ticks of a clock

Entire lives slip and lose their grip

Between to ticks of a clock

Everything can change

Between two ticks of a clock

Everything dangles in an abyss 

Between two ticks of a clock

Anything and everything is possible

Between two ticks of a clock

Everything conspires into nothing

Scream-Breathe

There’s no reward for a life well lived

There’s only the conquering of midnight thoughts and defeating those loathed barbed days 

Inhale——-exhale——inhale——exhale——sigh

Time has sun baked our souls and left craters and wrinkles deep in our faces, that mirror like a river refuses to be damned or tamed——-inhale-exhale-sigh

Once young and untested she gave her body to me 

I took it and imagined it would always be this way

But I was wrong, now-a-days the destination is seldom worth the journey—exhale-exhale-sigh

Were we ever that young, that hopeful, so foolish and immortal inhale-exhale-sigh 

Love has a life of it’s own

It lives, it dies

No one knows its life span—exhale-exhale-sigh

It morphs into memories of sun kissed spring days

Time lays in-wait, slipping by, steadily unwinding

Self-doubt is contagious, and it will kill you

Just when you think you have it all figured out

It changes direction—inhale-exhale-sigh

No more listening to boring dweebs yammer on about their views, their values, their beliefs, their god—their rights 

Nobody gives a shit about your petty proclamations, I said nobody, nobody cares asshole!—exhale-inhale—sigh

STOP!  Stop blathering on about your politics, your Jesus, your conspiracy theories and the price of gas and how it was so much better back in the “good ole days”-inhale-exhale-scream!!!!!

Vows

One of life's greatest mistakes 

Expecting to be loved
Expect is a word best not attached to love

There’s many versions of love
Few are lasting, and even fewer are memorable 

Some covet it as if it were property
Others wear it on their arm like a flashy bauble
Or, proudly tattoo it permanently upon their skin 
Oftentimes vanishing before the ink dries
At times it’s confused with sex
You can have sex without love
And you can have love without sex

After all the gyrations and moaning
Even if she lets you put it where you want?
You’ll still need to find things to talk about at the end of a worn-out night
Humor is the best aphrodisiac 
Honesty is the slipperiest of lubricants

It's naively offered up with open arms 
Like a soon to be broken Vow
Vows are for love-struck suckers
It’s a fabled belief in security and sincerity 

Sometimes, it's a broken record that skips and pops
All noise and no melody
Like a sympathy composed for the deaf

Most want love to be soft and tender
Like sappy verses from a smarmy poem
But it's none of those things 
It's a prize fight, a spectacle of blood, rage and courage
It can suddenly switch from an endearing hug to an enraged choke hold 

It begins with a polite first kiss, ending up in a dark room that reeks of raw savage sex--that is--if you get lucky

Yet, there are those rare flashes of something
Some may call it love, but that's an over-used euphemism
It stirs an ancient ache that resides deep inside us all
Where does it come from? Why does it go?
Who knows? It's a vexing enigma 

It comes with no warranties, no guarantees
It’s fragile, so handle it with care

If ya break it, you'll have to pay for it 
Once shattered, you’ll never be able to put it back together
No glue or counseling can dull its painful shards 

Once the shelf-life has been reached
You’ll need to decide——should it be thrown out?
Or painfully watch it continue to curdle and sour 
Salmonella is a bad way to go 

The trouble with love—-is
It’s what happens between life’s otherwise mundane moments

It has no soul or conscience 
No sense of right or wrong
It makes fools out of it’s gullible victims

At The Speed Of Foreverness

In spite of our long days and the swiftness of these passing years 

We’ve reluctantly grown old
Old as in running out of time
The potholed street of aging leads to a cul de sac of convalescence 

Age robs us of youths vanities
It rubs our hair off, dulls our eyesight and deafens our hearing
We slowly cave in on ourselves

We can no longer get by on our sexiness or youthful bravado 
We’re left with a fading wit and the shreds of a once charmed personality

This leaves some bitter, while others are liberated 
There’s nothing more attractive than someone who no longer gives a shit about what others think of them

Shriveled skin, brittle bones, hemorrhoids and varicose veins ain’t so bad

It’s the fading of memories and the onset of feeble mindedness that leaves us befuddled

There’s that moment of confusion when we enter a room and forget what we needed there, or what we were looking for, or even why we came there in the first place???

But, I’ll fight like hell to forever remember your face 

							

Fatally

Soundtrack by Mazzy Star.

I’m homesick for a time that no longer exists

Unfulfilled dreams from youths lost innocence 

What happens to a love that no longer calls my name

She just stands there not even knowing how sexy she is to me

I want something back I’ve never had

She looks like a memory, lost

Dim the lights of truth

You’re that song that makes me miss you

I want you to find yourself inside me

I want me to ache inside of you——- too

Only the broken know how love is never eternal

Lonely inside, without you

Wanting you is unbearable, far beyond unbearable

Falling through ghosts of you, where angels and buzzards circle

Fatally falling asleep after hours of telling our biggest dreams and secrets to each other.

Such beautiful sadness in your eyes

I’m your night inside you

I shivered inside when our souls touched

Belief, Beer and Tide Pools

The sky remains cold and damp as I fiddle with my windshield wipers intermittent timer. Too fast, then too slow and constantly falling out of time with the songs on the radio. Even though it’s late afternoon the gray skies and drifting fog gives this dreary day a sleepy morning feeling.  I pull into the parking lot of an ancient looking motel and double check my GPS to confirm if this indeed is the Ocean Spray motel. I begin to have second thoughts about saving fifty bucks by making reservations at a place that only has three out of five stars. Never trust the glowing comments made about an establishment on the internet. No one, or nothing is what it appears to be on the internet. Anyone who’s tried their luck on one of those internet dating sights can attest to this. I figured that after I downed three beers my motel arrangements wouldn’t appear so shabby. Beer makes life’s intolerable events bearable. 

The old gal behind the registration counter stares out at me through thick eyeglasses that gave her the look of a bulging eyed goldfish. From the back room, which I surmised is her living quarters, I can hear the familiar voice of Pat Sayjak blathering on about someone buying a vowel.  She tilted her head back and looked down her nose at me. “Is it just you mister, or do you have a lady friend along for the ride?”  There was a bit of sarcasm in her enunciation of the words, “lady friend”. I stared into her exaggerated bulging fisheyes and responded, “No, just me ma’am, just me.”  She offered up a suspicious nod, “Okay, no partying or hell raising allowed, quiet time starts at 10:00 pm and check out no later than 10:00 am.  Here’s your key, room number 12.” She turned and shuffled back into the blue hue of her TV room. 

I open the door to room 12 and I’m greeted by the odor of mildew and the lingering hint of Fraabreeze. It’s a poor attempt at giving this joint an air of respectability. I’m more than sure that these four walls have seen and heard their share of dirty things——(maybe I’ll sleep in my clothes). I crack the window, pop a beer and lean back against the squeaky headboard. In the distance I hear the comforting sound of waves breaking against the rocky shore. The occasional lonely sound of a foghorn gently lulls me into slumber. It calls out a warning to those lost sailers who may be drifting too close to the rocks. These waters with their tricky currents and hidden reefs have pushed many a vessel into the teeth of its rocky shoreline.   

I’ve made my share of memories traveling up and down the northern coast of California, but my favorite memories go back to when I was a kid seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time.  My lifelong buddy’s name is Patrick and his mother’s name is Jeanne. Jeanne had a big influence on my young life. She’d pile Pat, his sister Erin and me into her 1970 Bonneville and we’d drive westward out of the flat Sacramento Valley. We’d travel through the green lush coastal range making our way to a place on a map where the land gives way to an emerald sea with its endless gray horizon. My god, I remember how those enormous vistas made me feel small. Highway 1 meanders its way along the rugged cliffs and through the stands of mighty old growth sequoias. We’d eventually reach that sea weathered town known as Fort Bragg. Even though fifty years has passed since I first pulled into this town, it appears to have changed very little. It’s a landscape of moss covered picket fences, overgrown berry-bushes and a misty coastline that time seems to have forgotten. Home isn’t where you’re necessarily from, it’s more about being at a place where you feel that you’ve always belonged. I finish off my beers and fall asleep to the sound of breakers crashing on the shore and that sweet song of a foghorn calling out into the darkness.

The next morning I wake early and take my shower in a yellow tile stained stall. I stop at a cafe and grab a hot coffee to go. I’m headed to MacKerricher State park where my tide table guide indicates low tide is at its peak at 5:50 am.  I look at my watch and see that I’m on schedule to get to the tide pools on time.  Out on the horizon I spy a fishing trawler chugging its way north. If I weren’t prone to seasickness, I’d love to be at the helm of that boat. I imagine myself being addressed as captain Sabino by the bartender as I enter the local tavern. After being out to sea for weeks, I envision myself saddling up to the bar and buying a round of drinks for the entire bar. Lost in my fantasy causes me to absentmindedly drive slower than the speed limit, the car behind me impatiently honks, rousing me from my daydream. I think to myself, “Fucking jerk”. 

I pull up into the parking lot of the state park and roll my window down. Man, the smell of the ocean does something to me that makes me involuntarily smile. In the past fifty years there’s been a lot of changes, but this place remains frozen in time. The damp weather is the great equalizer making everything look permanently worn and tired, yet it’s comfortable and unexplainably familiar, like the face of an old friend. Thinking back, I remember Jeanne with her fiery red hair and her strong willed personality. She had an independent streak that fostered a fearlessness in her eyes.  If inadvertently provoked she could have a bit of a temper——you didn’t fuck with Jeanne! She was a feminist before that word had become into vogue. With just her tenacity and a love for nature, she’d haul us kids into her car and we’d head out on spontaneous adventures. We were like a bunch of carefree gypsies rolling down the highway together, playing twenty one questions, singing along with the radio and laughing with a spontaneity that only comes with that rare feeling of being young and free.   

Before the intrusion of smartphones, social networking and 24/7 news cycles, we’d spend an entire day exploring beaches and the woods. I suppose this is gonna make me sound like an old fart, but I do believe life was simpler back in the “olden days”. Kids these days would probably shake their heads and laugh at the notion of being unplugged from the internet for a twenty four hour stretch.That twelve year old boy inside of me is still amazed at the beauty and danger that comes with climbing down the slippery cliffs to the wave sprayed rocks.  It’s a funny thing how beauty and danger seem to go hand in hand. I clamor from one green mossy rock to the next. I peer into the tide pools observing their tiny worlds within. Each tide-pool is a community of sea urchin’s, sea anemones, starfish and skittering rock craps. I stick my finger in the middle of a sea anemone and watch as it closes around me. I lick my dry lips and taste that organic flavor of  sea-salt. The ocean is mother-nature’s womb, the place where life first quivered into existence, evolving from nothingness into everything-ness——what a beautiful mystery to behold.  I’m not sure why it is, but the ocean with it rolling waves and windy cliffs draws us all back to its holy vastness. I watch folks standing silently at the edge of this continent staring introspectively into the hypnotic waves. Couples hold hands as the whistling winds mess their damp hair. I suppose there’s still pieces of us all in those thundering waves. I stroll the beach and see the litter of driftwood and seaweed left behind from where high-tide left its mark. These tides are tied to the pull of the moon phases—-all things supernaturally connected. Nature is my cathedral, my church. 

I climb back in my car and head to the harbor where I’ll have lunch at one of the open air grottos’s. The fishmongers are busy cleaning and laying out the days fresh catch. I smell the fresh fish, deep fried calamari and steaming clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. The glass refrigerated case is filled with squids, abalone and a multitude of different types of fish neatly laid out atop white crushed ice. Behind the counter with its decorative fishing nets and colorful buoys is an old 19 inch TV hanging from the ceiling. It’s hard to believe, but fifty years ago at this very grotto I watched Neil Armstrong on a snowy TV screen utter the words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” My god, how many grains of sand have passed through my hour glass since that memorable day? I wish I could turn that hour glass over again and allow me another fifty years.

When I visit a place from the past that changed me, I become engulfed by a tremendous ache deep inside my chest. I’m keenly aware of the impermanence of all things. This life is chaotic and messy, people come and go, people change, memories become irretrievable and the continuum of time splinters and disappears into thin air.  There’s no way of going back from what was, to what is, time only moves in one direction——-forward. Time is like the waves that break on the shore and then recede back into eternity.

I hand my motel key to the googly eyed women at the front desk. She in-quizzically  inquires, “Did ya enjoy your stay? Ya find everything you came for?” I responded in a pensive tone,“I came here to remember something——or maybe more importantly, to once again believe in something.” She leans forward and in a hushed voice asks,“And, what do you believe in?” I pause for a moment as I consider her question, “That each and every day is truly extraordinary. And, if this enormous ocean is possible and real, and if it can be imagined like god can be imagined, then anything and all things are possible. That’s what I believe.”

Letter To An Old Friend

So here we sit my old friend, and I don’t mean “old” in the pejorative sense but rather in the pure number of years we’ve endured. I’m sure there are geriatric wrinkle removing and liver spot removing and hair growing, libido building info commercials that will try to convince you that sixty is the new forty——-but anyone of common sense and a bad back will differ on these comical claims. 

I suppose “endure” is too harsh of a word to describe our dance with time. We haven’t “endured”, no, we’ve “thrived” over the past six decades. As in so many things in life, it’s not so much what is said, but rather, how it’s said. But I can’t help but look back at the passage of time and wonder “Did I do and achieve the things I set out to do? Was I a success? Did I compromise my character in exchange for transient rewards? Did I try hard enough? Maybe all that stuff really doesn’t matter. For me, it boils down too, “Was I a good friend, father, lover”?  Did I “get it”?

I’m not perfect, but I have tried my best to mitigate any regrets by thanking god or a higher power for looking out for me. Because, in spite of me, and all my frailties, I’ve done my best to learn and evolve. Such is the mortgage we pay for being given a body to house our ethereal souls.  Maybe I’m not less of a wretch, but at least better at knowing when I am behaving as such? Thankfully, my “asshole alarm” goes off sooner and louder warning me to shut up and be kinder.

Now that I’m older, I find myself considering the idea of “time”. Maybe time isn’t a drain, but rather a vessel that we fill with love and good memories.  I suppose you can fill it with whatever you choose. 

Trump Off!!!

No one can scarcely remember much about Benedict Arnold other than it’s a name you wouldn’t want to be called.  It became an adjective for being a “traitor”, a “hypocrite”, a “two face” and a “loser”. History has a way of putting people like Mr Arnold and others of questionable character into proper perspective. For example, how about the term “Soup Nazi”? Or, the unflattering comparisons related to being a Judas, or a Jim Crow or an Uncle Tom. Then there’s the infamous cliche of drinking Jim Jone’s “Cool-aide”. And who could ever forget Ivan the Terrible or Typhoid Mary. It’s true, our actions ultimatly dictate our epitaph.

In a hundred years from now the name Trump will be remembered synonymously with someone who’s a liar, a cheat, a bully, a racist, a narcissist and an over all unsavory character.  In the future it will be common to substitute “Trump” for expletives or curse words such as, “He’s got his head up his Trump.” “Go Trump yourself”. “You really got Trumped on”.  “That’s a bunch of Trump.” “You can kiss my Trump.” “I gotta take a Trump”. Children will have their mouth’s washed out with soap for calling someone a low down “mother Trumper”. Graffiti artist will tag subways, buildings and walls with “Trump-isms” such as “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” 

Someday there will be Heavy Metal Bands bearing his moniker, for instance “Trump and the Dead Dictators”. Insolent teenagers will wear black tee shirts bearing the face of  a sneering Trump. These bands will make Ozzie and Slip Knot look like Lawrence Welk.. 

He will become one of the most famous anti-heroes and will be known as“Terrible Trump the Orange Menace.” His superpower will afford him the ability to turn lies into the truth. He can turn peace into chaos and tranquility into drama. He’ll have the power to throw lightening bolts of hate and create divisiveness with his loud mouth thunder. He’ll make the Hulk and Godzilla look like Pee wee Herman and Mary Poppins. His kryptonite is truth, humility and compassion. 

As the saying goes, “Careful what you ask for”. Donald got what he wanted——— eternal fame—-but I’m sure not in the manner he had expected. But, if the shoe fits the mouth, then insert it.

 Well, it’s time for me to stop “Trumping” around and get the “Trump” out of here.

Tree Songs

Endure, we’re all seeking to endure——-like a stationary pine tree trying to out run a forest-fire.  It’s not fair that out of control forest fires are called wildfires and are measured by the acres of forest they feed on; but tree’s are measured by the rings that spiral our from their center. Tree’s don’t have a heart that beats, but they have sap for tears, slow motion tears dripping down their bark like skin. 

I never really considered a tree being a tree, nothing more—- nothing less——-no different I suppose than you and I——nothing more, nothing less.  I sat and stared at a tree today.  It was windy out, and I watched as it swayed and danced in the breeze. I listened to the wind through its branches, and it sang a sweet song. I never consider the songs of a tree—-it made me smile.  Native Americans believed that all things——-tree’s, boulders, bears, all have souls——-and maybe they’re right. One religion holds no moral high ground over any other religion. Praying, meditation, fasting, wind through a pine tree——-they’re all, more or less, the same. 

I talk to tree’s, I listen to the secret language of rushing rivers, I thank the sun for her warmth, I let the stars guide me. Most call this crazy talk, but this comes from the ones handcuffed to their cell phones, imprisoned by made up virtual worlds——we’re all, more or less, crazy.  

If Jesus could walk on water, then why is it strange to believe that trees can sing? 

“Looking at life from a different perspective makes you realize that it’s not the deer that is crossing the road, rather it’s the road that is crossing the forest.” – Muhammad Ali