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

cadet bone spurs’ dynasty…

an army
of
terracotta senators
and
representatives
line
the tomb
of
america’s freedom
a catacomb
hermetically sealed
from
the needs
of
the nation
and
its people
these protectors
of
just us
stand guard
over
washington’s necropolis
of
marble halls
parks
statues
and
wood panelled offices
their lacquered words
covering
red
white
and
blue
patriotic paint
can curl
in
fifteen seconds
once
exposed to
corporate donations
and
can flake off
in
just minutes
after
an election
their
covetous emperor
lies
in
his own
pit
with
a rickety
entry way door
carved
with
a crescent moon

last moments before…

dried blood on old stones
foreign pathway now re-paved
history concealed
but still leading a nation
to gas chambers for freedom

neo-babylonian walls …

these walls are not firm
they’re built with honor’s promises
freedom’s building stones
mortared just by history
and history’s forgotten

a shabby black box for social program budgets…

friends of the white house
run around collecting stones
their pockets now bulge
they gather in the senate
await lottery’s winner