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

seekers of the golden fleece or dreamers of america…

a half-hearted
attempt
at
existence
is
perhaps
the best descriptor
of
dreamers’ lives
always constrained
by
the expectations
of
others in society
those
producers
who provide
the script
for
the everyday roles
dreamers play
on
center stage
most
daydream scenes
include
a house
with
adoring family provided
or
a crowded city apartment
in
an upscale
section of town
while
understudy dreamers
are
off-stage
imprisoned in the wings
and
spend much
of
their time
rehearsing their lines
and
plotting or praying for
bad luck
to befall
the principal characters
so that
a clever understudy
might become
the replacement
and
stand proudly
in
the limelight
an event
that rarely occurs
but
the slight chance
keeps
them rehearsing
their improbable lines
and
appropriately dressed
for
the opportunity
as well as
compliant
to
the producers’ instructions
who
remind them
during their bouts
with
depression
that
their potential improbable role
is far better
than
being one
of
life’s janitorial staff
or
a homeless starving actor
with no role
at all

drought…

when
the rains
do not come
why
should we
plow the fields
do we
out of habit
cultivate
the dying earth
as if
making promises
to
a lover
we will
not
meet again
why is it
that
we hold
this dry earth
in our hands
so long
earth
that shall
soon
hold
us
for
eternity