the final etching…

each day
he entered
his studio
like
a man
pushing his way
onto
a subway car
back arched
with
determined steps
and
each day
he followed
the same routines
he arranged
papers
and
pencils
for
his
personal project
then
proceeded
to do
the commercial
etchings
that paid the bills
taking small breaks
to make
sketches
for his
real
artistic project
but
turning quickly
from
such daydreams
to
the real work at hand
by day’s end
he had erased
the sketches
never good enough
the years
soon
took their toll
on his hands
and
he retired
was
a winter’s morning
when he entered
his studio
inspired
by a night’s vision
he began to sketch
what
had escaped him
all these years
he was found
slumped over
an
unfinished drawing

portrait of a man sitting outside in his underwear in yuma…

his eyes
follow her
unkept promises
to
another
mere
coins
tossed into
a wishing well
wishes
that cannot
nor
should be
granted
for they
are
faded memories
of
youth
so
faded
that they are
unrecognizable
without
the worn pages
of
a yearbook
pages
providing a list
for
deciphering
the names
neatly
printed
with
a small
font
in
the obituary column
a column
he
now reviews
daily
a routine
to give meaning
to days
squandered
calculating the odds
of
his
own demise

star chart…

aunt bea
said
i have
a small jar
of
gold stars
on
my office shelf
each
one
represents
someone
i’ve loved
or
grew up with
when
a friend
passes on
i
place their star
on
a picture
of
the night sky
in
my bedroom
and
though
the jar
grows
empty
and
my loneliness
grows
i see
the heavens
full
of stars
when
i rest my head
at night
and
that
gives
me
hope

cliché…

watching
patterns
on
the ceiling
candlelight dancers
flickering
like
memories
and
sweet words
heard
so
long ago
friends
forever
lovers
for
the moment
tantalizing
touches
passion
has a way
of
arbitrating
with
reason
youth
has little
to do with it
but
provides
a time-tested
excuse
readily accepted
in
most circles
of
society
except for
a few
hardline
religious zealots
who
rarely
approve
of
anything
but they
end up
like
the melted wax
upon
my floor
cold
solidified
paraffin postures
of
humanity
never
really enjoying
the
flames