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

close-fitting legal briefs…

at the instant
of
death
are you provided
with
a quick review
of
your life
a visual
pretrial conference
before
entering
the angelic courtroom
so as
to
provide you
with
the appropriate
preparation
for
defending
actions
taken
or
not taken
during
what
you now
consider
an abbreviated
existence
and
as you
stand
before
heaven’s magistrate
will you be
wondering
if
you’re granted
the right
of appeal
if
some lesser angel
decides
not
in your favor
can you
appeal
to the supreme being
or
must you
request
purgatory
while
you prepare
your final defense
hell
maybe
it would have been
easier
to have done
it right
the
first tine

acquired alzheimer’s …

tears welled
in
eyes
voice strong
but
dry
as if
reciting a prayer
saying
you’ve grown old
you cannot recall
childhood memories
silly games
gentle touches
bedtime prayers
or
laughter
into the night
it’s all
been clouded
by
guilt-full lies
but
as i die
my child
i swear
you’ve
not
heard
the truth

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