Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Poem : The Politician’s Spill

What would Fred G. Johnson draw these days?
What would he see before him?
For the new circus is in full swing but boring as ever
For the meters keep spinning In the house no one owns
The house that’s switched hands so many times the banks can’t find its title
It’s now floating in a bottle in a massive sea of debt
And for what?
All to make more money for the lender
The builder
The banker
The realtor
The modern-day pharaohs of fortune
But the people who were on the short end of the stick
Who were once considered unlucky
Are now living rent free
They’ve stopped paying and can’t be evicted
Lady-Luck sometimes plays with House-money
And sometimes she’s nowhere to be found
And the politicians still promise paradise from their pulpit
While the towns they visit fall down all around us
Things will surely turn around if they’re only elected
Just be sure to vote for the prince of promises
Or the political princess pandering with words of reassurance
All will be right in the world of your living
Their words sound so convincing
They must know what we are going through
When what they do pay in taxes is more than a family makes in a lifetime
They say they’re here to help you
That they’re in touch with your feelings
Here for the people
That they’re just like us who are doing the voting
That they’ve walked a mile in my shoes
And I thought those holes in my shoe sole were from looking for jobs
Or picking up cans for pennies on the dollar
And the old now sit in their homes wondering what went wrong
The unemployed have stopped altogether looking
The homeless are finding that cardboard is now in a shortage
For far too many are joining their ranks

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poem : Sandcastles Of Living

Like an infant that sees itself for the first time
The refection of the real me
My poems smothered in sorrow
In fear
In happiness
In joy
Drowning in whatever tidal wave is rolling in that day
That moment
That minute
That second
Nothing in merely small waves lapping at the shore
No gentle first touches from the tide
On the sandcastles I'm living in
No warning that all I know is eroding away
The sandy bulwarks of building fall with the slightest touch
Grain by grain
When you want to live your life to the fullest
When you want to be awake to your true self
And asleep to the world around you
Lumbering through lazily
You’ll know what I mean
Seeing true beauty like daffodils blowing in the distance
Smeared yellow brilliance going into the horizon
Yet colorless when the bulbs have not opened
Opened up for the showing
For the audience to see
It is time for the iris to bloom
For new sandcastles to be built
And life to be lived once again

Poem : The Race Of Rats

Struggling with all that is me
Or all that is trapped within me
How do I let this out?
Express pain in the kindest of ways
For it sticks to my very existence
Pushing me to the edge
Of where I think, my boundaries might be
Hanging me there by words
By promises of a better tomorrow
Promises my mind now whispers to me
Ever so softly the questions come too
What will become of me now?
But I know there’s not much more road left on my travel
For the race of rats always has a finish
Then it’s time
Time to start all over again
Like night moths desperately searching for light
Fluttering their gray drab wings frantically
Leaving dust from their bodies like blood from a wound
Wanting so badly what they believe will sustain them
Then finding it
Only to be hypnotized by its warmth and beauty
Its incandescent addiction
Wearing itself ragged
Turned away
Paralyzed with the thought of abandonment
For the light can’t burn forever
Nor can the race go on with out ending

Monday, February 27, 2012

Poem : Bonnie Elizabeth Parker

The Redheaded Texas poet who was beautifully shrouded in danger
Four foot eleven and ninety pounds of raw emotion
Her misunderstood love affair with walking the edge of life
Only fueled the love affair America was having with Bonnie
Their infatuation with her choice to make her own rules
To live free when most were barley alive at all
To take from the ones who had been doing the taking
Your life will always be a mystery Miss Bonnie
Complex would be a better way to say it
From your red locks down to your high heels a standing
Understanding you was not easy to do
But something was there beneath that hard outer shell
Something that shined through to the masses
Made them almost obsessed with what would come next
For the same hands that fired machineguns wrote poems of heartfelt beauty
The same woman that smelled smoke of gunfire a blazing
Would stop to smell wild flowers on the roadside
Maybe it was the excitement that fed your existence
Maybe it was love
The love of madness living life with no rules
Or just rules of your own
A path few were willing to walk
A path you walked without hesitation
Without even a flinch
Until, at last you were cut down by the bullets from a lawman
Cut down in your prime
Fading into legend

Published at Books On Blog Sep 17, 2011 From the Book of poems called: Don’t Get It Twisted

Poem : Voyage Of Love

Sick from love is the kindest sickness of all
To share a piece of your heart is the greatest gift of getting
For love is truly a flutter of the heart
Like a butterfly unbalanced from nectar
Intoxicated from the sweetest of flowers
It’s wings rhythmically moving in a soft symphony of sound
So quite it’s only heard by the hearing
Only seen by the seeing
So large in the eyes of just two
Trying to make sense of it all
All of my senses are trying
To understand why they’re swirling around
Like a perfect time peace my heart just keeps beating
Beating the breath right out of me
Making me feel lightheaded with joy and happiness filling my life
Making me not able to sleep for your words ring in my mind
Your face clear in the darkness
Clear as a photo developed before me
I wonder how your lips must taste
Your skin must feel
Your hair must smell
Heat radiating from your half dressed body
Heat slowly burning and tingling inside
Like steamed windows dripping wet with sweat from the soft touch of your hand
Now a thousand whirlwinds are spinning inside me
As the ship of hearts, keeps bearing its course

Published at Daily Love 8 / 24 / 2011

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Poem : Those Dirt-Hearted Blues

The strings of my guitar bend and moan
Stretch with sound
Slide with the glass bottle that covers my finger
Melt away into the backwoods of Mississippi
The back woods of The South
Melt and flow into the sweet water of the delta
Mix with the fog that creeps in on the dance floor
Slides around long legs a dancing
High heels a stepping
Men and women movin’ with all that they got
To the sound I’m playin’ tonight
My fret board covered in sweat
Dripping from the hot air around me
And the lights casting the stage
My guitar sings out
Speaks so clearly to the people in the crowd
As my fingers move with all of my feelings
None of it matters tonight
For tonight is takin’ what we're given
The worries of that day smear into the night
Into the notes I’m a playin’
Notes carried on the exhale of a cigarette
Up to the tin roof that shakes from the bass drum behind me
Notes carried from the first sip of the last drink of the night
When the dew settles on the bud of a blue morning-glory
Waiting patently for the new day to arrive

Published at Dead Snakes 10-7-2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Poem : Black Magnolias

When a child is raised in nothing but darkness
Adulthood is cast in a constant eclipse
Darkness in the form of ridicule
This is one of the greatest sins on earth
Far greater than the seven that were laid out so long ago
For after this sin is committed
Everything that stands before them lies in ash covered memories
Living the rest of their life on the edge of existence
Diet pills take the place of what once was mother’s milk
A mother who set impossible standards of weight for what a young lady should be
That was incapable of hearing the words that she spoke so easily
For the bulimic ballerina bows beautify before the crowd
Accepting their cheers of approval
For not only her graceful flow of melodic dance movement
But her rail thin appearance
An angel is what she believes the crowd sees in her mind
Then backstage she shudders in shame as she undresses in front of the mirror
She knows what the refection will say
Its whispers of death scream in her mind, “One more laxative and all will be fine.”
Self-induced retching seems to bring to the surface all that needs to come out
Physical and mental
Both come deep from within
For everything’s a crutch, but the crutch can sometimes give way
Give way to a free fall of doubt
A free fall of the world that surrounds the ballerina
A world scarred by demons of the past
But now it’s show time
No time for worry
Exhaustedly thin the ballerina twirls into her performance
Her pail skin stretched over her bones
Sparkle with glitter under the burning stage lights
Dizzy but still dancing for the show must go on even at the cost of her life

Published at Dead Snakes 11-7-2011

Poem : Anais Nin

Oh Anais
I still hear the sound of your voice calling through the backstreets of Paris
Your words of desire spelled out the complexity of being lost
Lost somewhere between Henry and June
Smeared lovingly there
Like perfume between two wrists of hands bent backwards
Intoxicating are your aroma of words
For your thoughts did wander
Along with your touch
The softest touch your hands did give
Like a violinist, a violinist of love
Dragging her bow over the heartstrings of need with the utmost perfection
Making the instrument moan in the wee hours of morning
Playing each note with the press of a finger
The sound of feelings flowed in the night
Through the dark shadowed streets of Paris
You embraced the inside of your soul as much as the outside of your body
For looks fade and tarnish while the soul grows wiser
Diaries of your soul awash with your craving to live life as you saw it
The wanting of Henry but the needing of June
Was your thirst, your appetite
Stripped down and bent backwards
Two legs wound into one another as much as two minds
Connected so strongly Anais and Henry, two writers pushing their pens late in the night
Like a river of words drenched in desire
Sensuality you embodied
A lost land few ever truly see in a lifetime of living
Beauty made up your very being
No concept of time, of money, greed, of belonging to the boring
Ms. Nin your work will transcend the standards of writing for centuries to come

Published at The Camel Saloon 10-9-11

Poem : Ants

Ants running about always on the go
Their little bodies of red
Their red bodies so little
Defending their hill from footsteps of foe
Stepping not looking
Crushing their homes with shoe bottoms of force
So, make sure you don’t step on their mound
Because your foot will pay with a stinging encounter
But even after the encounter the ants will keep moving
Keep moving and wandering about
Always concerned with their neighbor’s concerns
Always in the business of their business
So the next time you’re out
Listen close to the ground
You can hear them crawling and searching
Moving through the green blades of grass
Tugging and pulling food home for their Queen
For she will always rule the mound
Energizing their works with sweet songs of singing
Making her little workers some of the strongest on earth
Lifting objects three times their size
And The Queen, The Queen, can even predict the weather
At least this is the tale the telling have told
But, I don’t know if this wise tale is true
For the Sayers say on the farm’s of The South
If it’s going to rain and the mound has been broken
The ants will not be rebuilding their home
At least not until the very next day
This is what the old farmers would say in their folktales of telling
Ants, mysteries of small always moving about

Published at The Camel Saloon August 11 2011

Poem : The Fire Of Water

Pushed in holes decorated fenders of grandpa’s old rusted out car
Pushed by bullets of hot lead ripping the air
Bullets from the lawmen’s gun in the chase of a lifetime
The holes had a strange feel to the hands of little ones
Small fingers of wide-eyed children gently felt grandpa’s outrun of the Law
Wondering daydreams of what could be so wrong with running shine to survive
The children had seen all the work it took to make
Stones hauled from plowed fields then mortared with Georgian Red Clay
Stacked around the shiny copper pot then fired with timber from the dark woods
Gently grandpa brushed the bottom of the still with a soft flame
Carefully, without bringing the soaked sugar, malt, and corn water to a boil
Oh so carefully so the alcohol would evaporate and float through the cap in a vapor
Then make its way to the thump keg
Then back out to the copper worm submerged in spring water
Where it cooled turning back to liquid
Filling jars with a flow as big as a pencil, too fast a flow meant the liquor was ruined
With a smile, grandpa shook the Jars full of his fiery new brew
He was checking the bead
Checking the proof for the ones not in the know
The smaller the bubble the stronger the drink
After hours of working a still, there was no after hours
For the whiskey was clean and drank whenever they wanted
This was a time when self-made men thrived in the mountains of North Georgia
Before pharmaceuticals flooded the hills of the South
Resulting in families flooding emergency rooms
Praying their fathers, sons, or daughters would live through the night
Yes Grandpa and the good old days
When if you drank too much you woke up hung-over, instead of, not waking up at all
Grandpa was the last of his kind, But now he’s lying beside the Flint River
His days of running shine under the cast of moonlight have disappeared in the pages of time

Published at The Camel Saloon May 29-2011

Poem : Lachrymatory

The glass Lachrymatory hung just above the breast of a newly widowed wife
Filled with crystal like teardrops from her bloodshot eyes
Tears from weeping over the loss of her husband
Tears from the war taking his life
The small glass vile soaked with sadness
One agonizing drop at a time
Sealed with a cork from her shaking weak fingers
The widow leans in for one last goodbye
Sliding the Lachrymatory into his hands she says in a slight whisper
These tears are from my sadness and grief
Take them with you my love
Hold them and know I’m never out of your reach
For today, I’m not only burying my husband I’m burying my heart
It’s now trapped in this small bottle that has captured my pain
Submerged in my teardrops of sorrow
For crying is all I have left
I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and days blend together
Darkness is over me now
My love, why were you taken from me
Why, Why, she screamed to the heavens
Then slowly looked down to the nightmare she was living
Whispering again through her black veil of mourning, she said
So as they lower you into the ground hold on to my Lachrymatory
Each tear will comfort you on your long wayward journey
My love, my husband, I’ll see you again

Published at The Fringe Magazine June 23-2011

Poem : Rolling In Magic

Shivering and shaking, I cough up yesterday's fresh air
Fresh air I now see floating in the distance
The upside is, I always get to sit alone in the waiting room
No one's going to ask me for a stick of gum
Upon my arrival it suddenly becomes standing room only
Sanding as far away from me they try
But the real entertainment is the woman with the magic rolling bag
At least whatever’s inside has to be magic
For she parts the crowded waiting room like Moses parted the sea
Skipping right to the front of the line seems to be business as usual
I wonder, what could be in that bag
Candy perhaps
For this woman doesn’t look sick at all
Not a cough
Not a sniffle
She's not even depressed
To top it off she's wearing three hundred dollar stilettos
Flawless skin, fitted dress
Nothing off the rack for her
Now I’m convinced this bag must be magic
And the greeting is always the same
The clerk falls all over themselves, Hello, well you’re lookin’ good
Thanks… Is the doctor in
Why yes, just go on back
I’m sure they’ll be happy to see you
Now, I think to myself, I’ve got to get one of those bags
Then I could go to the front of the line without an appointment
Now that’s care I could use

Published at The Camel Saloon May 19 / 2011

Friday, February 24, 2012

Poem : St. Dymphna

The cold wind now blows in the night
An image of St. Dymphna etched in silver hangs from my neck
It’s all that protects me now
For there’s not much comfort in the world when you can’t escape your mind
The once calm world I knew as a child has receded with the tides of life
Black clouds hang over the moon
Blocking out the last bit of light in this darkened sky
Draped with thickness, it refuses to shine
For things change place as time drifts by
The straitjacket has taken the place of my security blanket
Its warm comforting hugs get me through the night
The padded room is as soft as my childhood bassinet
And I pray
St. Dymphna, draw your sword, wrap your wings around me
For the dark storm blows in with a chill
It freezes me down to my bones
For the warning label under the RX number
Now seems as melodic to read as a nursery rime
The helmet is now a necessity
For you get no where beating your head against the wall
The wall of humanity or at least what they say humanity is
And the bottle with once life giving drink is now in the business of life taking gulps
Gulps of drunkenness sustain me
At times, the only way to make it through the loneliness in life
But with each drop, the bottle seems to steal away any hope I have left
Drinks of despair are turning the bottle up and realizing it’s empty
Then passing out to the warm buzz of the streetlight above me
And I pray
St. Dymphna, draw your sword, wrap your wings around me
For the cold wind still blows in the night

Published at Dead Snakes 11-18-2011

Poem : Gravestones

The Nightingales sing their lullabies
Through moon cast shadows of darkness
Their black eyes fall on the graves of the sleeping
Comb over the eternal resting
The headstones of the dead stand together
Like jagged teeth in an unsmiling mouth
Markings of memories
Chiseled in stone by the Masons
Letter by letter, number by number
Stories of lives that were lived in this world
Some long and full
Some cut short by fate with all of its calling
Age, sickness, and betrayal
All play a part in this card game of life
For Ace’s and Eights are drawn by the living
But always collected by the dead
For in this land of gravestones
The raven patiently waits
Perched atop with his crooked hooked talons
He stands gazing to the gateway for the next to arrive
Throwing his dark calls of sorrow
Breaking the silence of first morning light
And the Iris drips blue colored sadness
As the sun climbs in the cloudless sky
Thistles spot a meadow in the distance with purple
These colors now melt in the afternoon heat waves
As the widow weeps and cries to the heavens
For the angels of marble surrounding these gravestones are unable to cry

Published at Catapult To Mars 12-9-2011

Poem : The Man Of No Chances

Breathing down the devil’s neck
For death’s been in the front seat with me for years
I see clearly the ones that don’t see at all
That are comfortably alive but not living
Meandering about they do
Ready for the fall
Roguish is the world that once was bursting with goodwill
An affliction that now festers on the landscape
Prone to repeat again and again
And again
Glimpsing to the past to only realize this is true
Unfortunately it’s already covered you
For your thoughts have already wrapped around this
You’ve accepted this
Taken this
Embraced this with hugs of affection
Eaten it like a 4 course meal
Then asked for dessert
Like Hell falling from a rain swept sky
It scars with permanent markings
Scars all that it touches with dents and dings
Breaking glass
As easily as you’ve broken promises
The man of no chances
The man of no risk
The man who’s not living at all

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poem : John Lennon

On December 8th 1980 the children of the arts wept
For the genius of words dripping with truth no longer would sing
Would no longer play his melodies of peace
Would no longer hold his wife
His son
His guitar
My nine year old heart suddenly felt empty, cold, and dark
When the blank look of the news caster told the last moments of Lennon
The poet from Liverpool now lay blood-soaked and lifeless for no reason at all
Tears filled my eyes as I tried to understand what this all meant
Make since of why this had happened
And I wondered, who was The Catcher In The Rye?
At that point in my young life I had never seen a man cry
My world was filled with adults, who for survival shutoff tears of emotion long ago
Ashamed from my teardrops of sadness
I walked, then ran far into the meadow behind my home to cry
And I wondered, who was The Catcher In The Rye?
I kept crying and thinking, maybe they’ve made a mistake
Maybe it was somebody else
It just couldn’t be
Then the tears fell even faster
Chilling the side of my face in the cold winter breeze
For this lie I was telling myself was almost as bitter as the truth
The truth that was broadcast all over the world
The man that dared to imagine would imagine no more
Who had the heart of a dreamer
The man who filled my young ears with the first sounds of music
From needles blown off then carefully placed on slow spinning records
As my tears kept flowing I whispered goodbye to the heavens
And I wondered, who was The Catcher In The Rye?

Published at The Rainbow Rose 12-18-2011

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Poem : Venice Dreams

It was a wonderful place to go
A time when dreams were dreams and it was okay to imagine
Okay to love
Okay to embrace all that was good
Slipping farther away from reality is the greatest vacation one can give oneself
Dropping off the side of the earth
Falling deeper into a spinning cyclone of forgetting it all
For the whirlwind sometimes whips you without warning
Then settles to a calm
I emerge to see you waiting on the other side in this strange new land
Sunbeams of crimson reflect off your hair
As the sunset lies softly on the blue water’s bay
Sparkling like crystals atop the tiniest of waves
They lap gently on your hand as it drags through the water
Hypnotizing me with your hypnotic beauty
As you sit so close
Closely we sit
Your long legs crossed with the eloquence of a Queen
Flowing into one another with perfection of length and beauty
Your hands soft to the touch
Touching with long fingers of softness

Lacing with mine
With woven energy I feel
Drifting slowly our Gondola takes us deeper into the city
Deeper into my dream
Through the canal streets of Venice
Underneath arched bridge-ways of cobblestone
Roadways of water wash over our worries
As the Gondolier pushes us up onto the shoreline
An ocean of time crest in the background
We turn hand in hand to get lost in the sand
To feel time stand still and the wind in our hair
Dreaming of Venice if only for a minute

Published at The Fringe 9-18-2011

Poem : The Black Whale Of Doubt

Like the giant whale beast of the sea
Problems slowly move along side me
Parallel to paralyzed
Growing in size
This black whale of doubt does grow
Slowly sucking in
Swallowing me whole
Chewing me up with its thick blunted teeth
Like ivory tree stumps
Crooked and jagged
Made for the chewing of the weak and the breaking of the strong
Then it dives with me
Diving down to the deep depths of insecurity
Fear and anxiety of what hasn’t even happened
The what ifs seem to be worse
Always worse
And the whale, this beast that has now consumed me
Settles at the bottom for a comfortable slumber
Far away from all that has helped me
I’m trapped inside him with no can of pepper to shake
No cigarette to light
Nothing to make this beast release me with an array of uncontrolled sneezing
Oh if fairy tales really existed
So now, I lay helpless in his guts
Breathing the hot stench of misery
The feeling of helplessness seems to be with me
In the darkness there’s nowhere to go
Till you make your mind up to cut your way free
So I dig at the rib-walls that imprison me
Ripping with my knife of determination
Tearing my way out of a lifestyle that once was so manageable
Swimming my way back to the surface
For air and a new chance at life

Poem : Workplace Machine

The morning sun bends and twists in the reflection of the city’s sky-glass
Windows of sparkle
Held by buildings scraping the sky
So high for the looking
For the lifeless sheep to gaze upon in the distance
As they crawl their way into work
Their faces are long and lost of expression
For they’re waiting for the timecard to be punched
For the coffee to drip from the dripper
The mouse to be rolled for the clicking
For the tick tock of the wall clock
And the quick glance to see it is only moving slower
And the Boss
The Shepherd
Is constantly frowning
His smile was lost with the collapses of the market
The fall of his 401k something-another
His morning drives at the range
Are now nothing but a memory
A thought
Fledgling at that
So the sheep have good cause to worry
To sweat
To cry secretly in the restroom
Then wash up like all is okay
But before all of this worry in the workplace
Bumper to bumper is the way that must be traveled
And the grind, keeps on grinding
For the sheep are fed into the machine
Diving in, one soul at a time

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Poem : The Long Drive

It seems getting to you is a journey all in itself
A journey on a blazing hot road
A road that leads out off the sands of a desert
Surrounded by dunes that can easy trap a man for eternity
With its slippery grains of time
But this road always leads me out
Leads me to freedom
Of the mind
Of the soul
As long as I keep driving
I will make my destination
Shooting for the stars
Never veering away
Never going off course
Just a moment of rolling into an endless sunset
Relaxed by the hum of the motor as it opens up
Calming me down from the chaos my life has become
From the storm that surrounds me
With its black and blue sky
Yet memories hold me together
As the still frames play over and over in my mind
The road seems to be growing longer and longer
Escalation and shifting through gears
Brings me closer, and closer to the end
And the end is always tomorrows beginnings

Published at Books On Blog Sep 17, 2011 From the Book of poems called : Don’t Get It Twisted

Poem : The River She’s A Callin’

The river’s twist and turns are always creating
Creating wonders of joy around each bend
Calling to me with a voice that knows no distance
For the river knows my body and sole yearns to return to its flow
A self sculpted beauty that I love with all of my heart
A place I find myself lost in while I’m riding it’s currents
While I’m gazing down stream to see movements of wonder
Perfectly smooth in all its perfection
Spilling over at times in the most beautiful way
To full for containment
For something so strong should never be contained or trapped by banks
By levees
By boundaries
By dams
Now finally I’m relived to be back on her water
I feel the wetness on my face and see the turbulence coming in waves
As I ride on this river I feel its true power
True strength
Looking just over the bow, I see rocks ahead
I must carefully make my way around the edge of them
To much of a touch and the boat could take on water
Two hands on the boat is the only way to steer
To stay in control
When the boat is rockin’ wildly you better hold on for life
Hands that navigate skillfully trough the tossing and turning
To move the small boat in just the right position
Making sure it finds its way home
For coming home is always the goal

Published at The Fringe August 26, 2011

Monday, February 20, 2012

Poem : A Life America Once Lived

The midday train calls in the distance
Echoing through this once bustling town
The perfect manicured laws of the suburbs have now fallen
Fallen back to the hands of the wild
Weeds now grow high around household furniture
Furniture left behind when there’s nowhere left to go
Hawks sit patently on the edge of a rain filled swimming pool
For the green water is coming to life
Life that calls out in the darkness
When the night comes and stars speckle the sky
Calls thrown from awakened green frogs singing their songs from the warm green water
In the pool that once entertained formal dinner parties
Behind the house that needed no down payment
The house that needed no credit
With a mortgage that made a salesman a bonus
A mortgage that was anything but right
And now the train calls out in the distance
Falling away, almost unable to hear
Like the cries from dreams lost in the city
Dreams barley held on by the desperately holding
Dreams very few would continue to see
But the banks keep on building
One seems to be on every corner and street
T-shirts and coffee mugs are out for the handing
Handed out to ones that open an account
But the ones that fly the flags of out tuned pockets
Should not even apply
For the days of getting the Unaffordable American Dream
Are gone like the people that once filled these homes

Published at The Camel Saloon  9-25-2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Poem : The Freedom Of Feeling The Flow

The waves they’re a crashing in the distance
As a surfer sits for the first morning ride
Now comes the perfect transition
It’s time to catch this mountain of furry
This watery wall wildly building behind him
He paddles with arms full of adrenalin
He knows the drop is upon him
There’s no turning back at this point
Fear is a good thing to have
When you know what’s lurking below
The undertow will strait pull you under
Unforgiving if you slip into its grasp
But fear has to be push back for now
It’s time to stand
And hold on for life
Rushing down and cutting to the side
He seems to be gliding on air
Twisting and turning to cost through the pipeline
As his hand drags ever so lightly along this crystal like tube
Now he’s in his full moment of Zen
No bills, no traffic lights, no boss, no people
Just the perfect ride
Seeing light at the end of the tunnel
He cuts sharp to rip up to the top
To a slash of tailfins and power the peak of his incredible ride
The freedom of the wave
The freedom of feeling the flow

Published at Books On Blog Sep 17, 2011 From the Book of poems called : Don’t Get It Twisted

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Poem : Poe

As the day falls into the night
The night’s shadows dance with excitement
For darkness has finally come
Poe, Mr. Edgar Allan, now sits by candlelight
Watching it flicker and reflect on his pale gray skin
While the raven sits silently waiting outside
Poe looks upon his desk of writing
Knowing his inkwell is far from dry
He knows he has to continue his work
With quill in hand he frantically scratches his paper
With words
With meaning
With thoughts of darkness that seem to be drowning his life
For he swears he still hears his Virginia’s soft whisper
But he knows she can only be speaking from the grave
So he pours another warm shot of brown whiskey
To quiet her soft screams in the night
Exhausted from working on writing for hours
Poe’s frail hand slows to a slight scribble
His heart feels like it’s pumping with the slowest of beats
His blood feels thick and barely flowing
Like black-tar-syrup bleeding from trees in the winter
But he keeps writing and pushing himself to finish
For hearing Virginia’s sweet whispers is too much to bear
“Soon you will join me my sweet Edgar Allen
For death is steadily gaining on you now
We will be together once more, here in the great ever-after”
Now frantic like one of his characters
Poe pushes to get the last sentence written
The last thought out of his mind
Pulling nightmares from the dreams of the living and the voices of the dead
While the raven sits dust covered and silently waiting
Waiting to carry Poe’s spirit into the dark depths of nothing
Where Virginia stands in the shadows and cries in the night

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Poem : The Falling Of Glass Swans

Bells chime softy overhead
I V’s drip silently across the room
Drip with drops of crystal like hope
Hope that you will live through the night
These drops move like swans
Like Plush-Feathered-Swans floating atop the glass like lake of better tomorrows
I’m sleepy now, but I can’t sleep at all
As the clock ticks off yet another hour
The mechanical lungs breath in perfect rhythm
Graceful they look pushing your chest up and down
Keeping you alive at least for the moment
They work all through the night never missing a beat
In and out, in and out
Floating you through to the next day
Then back into the night
And the swans keep falling
Dripping like diamonds
Making their way into your veins
Thirty hours have passed
And there’s still no end in sight
And the bells keep chiming
Sounding off that all is okay
For now it is early morning
Or early night
It’s hard to tell at this point
For this room is covered in darkness
As dark as a Night Rose glowing dull in the moonlight
And the swans keep falling as I close my eyes for the night
While the Angel of Death sits doing his crossword
Patiently waiting for your name to be called


Published at The Camel Saloon 12-27-2011

Poem : Elephants

At times honesty a bitch
It seems now
There’s no comfortable room in my home
For there are elephants of unspeakable pain lurking in most
Sitting waiting
Waiting to pop into my mind
Waiting to crush me with all of their power
Push me down to the floor
So I walk
Quietly I walk past them
Tiptoeing while carrying this heavy burden
Ever so quietly I walk
Through the rooms that hold teardrops of sadness and uncontrollable shaking
For I have to keep walking through this place of my living
I have no where to go
Their dark eyes fall upon me
Their smiles pull softly as they wait for the discussion to begin
Their long gray trunks point at me
Gently, they motion to me
But I keep walking
I try not to see them
I’m thinking of how not to think at all
So I can make it into the few rooms that are left
That have no elephants
With memories of mind changing images
Rooms of safety where I can retreat
To my writing
To my Art
To anything that keeps these creatures at bay
If only for a moment
If only for a night

Published at Dead Snakes 12-21-2011

Friday, February 17, 2012

Poem : The Tiny Angel That's With Me

Often I wonder how some people come to be in my life
At just the right moment they come waltzing in
At just the right time they help me pick up the pieces
The pieces of dreams that have fallen apart in my hands
Like an angel protecting the meek
The mild
The weak
Her voice seems clear and steady in the chaos my world has become
A world that now seems to be spinning in a spiral of confusion
A swirl of twisting hopes of better
I hear the true worry and concern in the softness of her words
When for years I’ve only heard silence
Her voice washes over my constant fear with kindness
With sympathy from the heart not from the typical rolodex of the mind
A rolodex of preconceived clichés of what is the right thing to say
Her sympathy comes from her innermost thoughts
A compassion that keeps the shadows from consuming my day
Walking a path with me few could bear and even fewer are invited
For most friendships are fine on the bright sunny days of normal
When everything runs smooth as a piston in an engine
But most friendships quickly fall away with the first signs of darkness
When the cold wind seems it will never stop blowing through my life
Through my thoughts
Through all that I cling to for security
When everyone else has dropped from me
The tiniest of friends now stand like giants
Stand beside me every step of the way

Published at The Fringe Magazine June 23-2011

Poem : Memories Of Dust

Crossing this land of broken promises
With its dust storms and rusted out cars
Its caretakers withered from the sun
Withered down to a shell of almost invisible
Far from the eyes of the everyday hustle
I see you my friend from so long ago
In the shadows of memories that drift in the distance
In the sounds of an echo that rings out in the badlands
I remember your story of pockets turned out
Of skin stretched thin over rib bones from hunger
When you stood before me far from your reservation home
Your words still ring in my mind, starving is no way of living
You told me how your family picked up to make a new start
They had grown tired of nothing and hoping for something
Your father loaded you up and family alike
For the blacktop back roads that led to the freeway
That led to the cities so he could join up
Join the Armed forces so you could have more
Forty years has passed since your father lay dying in that war of the jungle
Breathing his last words of, tell my son it was worth it, bringing him a new life
More than I had living on government rations and crushed dreams of dust
Today looking back, it’s hard to forget the story you told me
As I scatter your ashes out on the sands of your homeland
Without a doubt your father made sure your family had better
Paying with the blood of his life
As tears fall to the ground I look to the sky
I know now you're together with him after a lifetime of separation
The spirits of a father and son now blow in the memories of dust
Finally reunited again

Published at The Camel Saloon May 6 / 2011

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poem : Life And Breath

Breathing is something I once took for granted
Now the sweet smell of spring is dulled by a plastic mask
Dulled by the thick humid air of The South
A place of Rough Barked Oaks and Longleaf Pines
A place I’ve only known as my home
A place I once walked freely and enjoyed all that surrounded me
With no care
With no worry
But now I wonder what’s drifting in the sweet Southern breeze
What could collapses my airway like a flower wilting in the hot August sun
One speck of pollen
One speck of dust
My mask is now my protector
My mask is now my best friend
Each morning I look out on the soft rays of light
Petals from the sun, the mighty sunflowers glow in an amber haze in the distance
The air is filled with the hum of honey bees buzzing
The spring buds are ready to bloom
Bursting out from their wintry shells
Still stunning to my eyes although my mask won’t let me smell them
Butterflies flap their bright wings
Smearing the air with an orange colored haze as they gently float by
The spring skyline has started to blush with a slight shade of pink
I’m glad to still see all of the beauty, although through the cost of a mask
For all of its beauty, it carries the danger of sickness
With the sweet smell of jasmine
The sweet smell of magnolia
The sweet smell of death, if I don’t wear my mask

Published at Indigo Rising Magazine April 27 / 2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Poem : June’s Late Night Desire

June wakes in the darkness
Alone, alone for some time
She hears foot steps walking down the hallway
She knows he’s finally come
The one she’s waited for all of her life
As he opens the door her breath starts to get shorter
His hands now pull down the night cover as he leans in ever so closely
The silk that touches her skin is now drenched from the sweat of her body
The heat rolling off in waves make her heart beat faster and faster
As their lips touch for the first time
She now feels his hands searching her body
Then press gently on the small of her back
With a gasp she bites ever so softly down on his full bottom lip
Tasting all that is real of the moment
Pulling him in close to her body June knows now how badly she wants him
For she is burning like a thousand lit candles illuminating the pitch black of night
Her gasps become more frequent as their embrace locks into one another
She feels his hands now wrapping around her, squeezing her tightly
His fingers slide through the wet nap of her hair
Pulling it into a soft grab
Then suddenly he pulls her head back
His lips now caressing her neckline and under her ear
Back down to her soft waiting shoulders
June thinks, I can’t take much more
Wrapping her long legs tightly around him
She’s flooded with every emotion
June arches her back and grabs a fist full of bed sheets
Then comes the rush of endorphins
She then slips into his arms for the rest of her life

Published at The Camel Saloon July 7, 2011

Artwork By Jason E. Hodges

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Poem : My Bird’s Shadow

There’s a mockingbird that sings so loudly
At times it’s hard to get anything done
This bird has been with me for years
Like a shadow it’s always beside me
Fluttering just out of reach
But sometimes so close I can’t see it
Calling out the sounds of the past
Memories of people and places that have come and gone in my life
Some as quickly as a season
Dropping from me like a leaf from a tree
Falling after its last burst of bright color
Yet almost always this bird lives in the present
Experiencing new things in the world
With a keen eye she watches all that’s around her
Mimicking all that she sees
But some days I know that she struggles
So sensitive
So caring
The slightest emotion can effect her songs
Her chirp becomes barely a whisper
Like a flower closing its petals
Not thriving from too much or too little
Lack of nourishment or overindulgent
Good times or dark days of sorrow
The scales are sometimes hard to balance
Heavily swayed with the weight of the world
But the mocking bird keeps singing
Dropping all of life’s burdens with a few moments of song
Her voice grips my very existence with joy as she takes hold of flight

Published at Raven Images June 11, 2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges


Poem : The Last Kiss Of Life

Heat waves rolled in the distance
As a rider approached from the south
Slumped over at barely a gallop, Manuel clung to his saddle
His seat now greased with blood oozing from the hole in his side
He knew what the bullet had cost him
His family, his friends, his homeland
Now he just wanted his wife
To die in the arms of his lover, was all that filled his mind
Gripping the reins he grimaced with each step of the horse
Slowly he made his way through the backcountry
With Mesquite thorns, and diamondback snakes striking the air
The Mexican border lay just ahead
He was almost home as a storm blew in behind him
With all of its darkness it blackened the day
Lightning ripped the sky with crooked sticks of electric fire.
Manuel cried out in agony as his horse plunged in the river
The Rio Grande felt cold on his weak body
Now chilled from his blood running out
Manuel had finally crossed over
To the arms of his waiting wife
To the last kiss, on the last breath of life
Grandma still holds his tatted bandana
She looks at his faded photo while tears fall from her eyes
Now cracked and weathered with time
She thinks of the bullet Grandpa took for the one they called Villa
She sighs and looks in the sky

Published at Raven Images June 11 2011

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Poem, Dirt Worker Blues

Oh, will it ever stop raining
At least long enough for the sun to shine
For my tools to finally stop rusting
For my tools to finally start working
The dollar is slim on these long wet days
When you make a living working in dirt
Too much rain is far from refreshing
When the crops sour in the mud soaked ground
As I look out the window into the black and blue clouds
Watching flashes of light and ice fall from the sky
I remember the year, the year of the drought
When the sun scorched all in its path
Cooking in relentless waves of heat
The crops stood in the fields lifeless and brown
Roasting in the midday sun
Day after day we watched the earth dry up
It cracked and flaked then blew in the lonely wind
Blew over equipment and rented out land
Blew over barbwire fence-lines and cattle moaning for food
Hopelessness called out in the life taking breeze of sand
Then the shadows crept in and covered the ground
As clouds finally started to form
The windmill creaked as the cool wind picked up
Finally rain came and gave us relief
The worry fell from my father’s face as he looked in the sky
If only there was a balance for the dirt worker blues

Published at Indigo Rising Magazine April 4 / 2011

Poem : Helen Whispers In My Dreams

As I drift to sleep I free fall into this strange new land
A land where you’ve been for what seems like a thousand centuries
A land where the air is clean and dry and Helen still whispers in the soft sea breeze
Where the moon bleeds orange and red with love over the city of Troy
Love of a woman that brought the mighty ships so long ago
Ships filled with men ready to fight
To bring her back
Now all is caught between legends and dreams
At least dreams for me, for somehow I’m here with you
Yes, I know I have to be dreaming for Helen seems to be with us now
Walking the shoreline
As graceful as swans gliding through mirrored lake tops of reflection
A shoreline that’s gently touched by what looks to be the bluest of waves
Making our way through the cobblestone streets and cracked marble of time
Then the dream shifts like a blink in the eye of time
Like a stage scene set perfectly with x-marks waiting to place
And now it’s just you and I
Talking in a café as a yacht drifts in the distance
For the ocean is so close we can taste its thick salt in the air
Suddenly we’re on the shoreline of the great Mediterranean
With its water crystal like clear
Polished rocks line the beach as far as the eye can see
So beautiful and smooth like jewels in our hands they sit
Like pieces of time they litter our walkway as Helen once more ushers us into her world
For we now are her chunks of marble sculpted in her on special way
A way of beauty far beyond most comprehension
So bright, she easily guides our way through the darkest obsidian night
Then finally I wake to the last thoughts I remember
You and the whispers of Helen

Published at The Camel Saloon July 3, 2011

Poem : The Gatherers

The hunter gatherer is a thing of the past
Now some hunt, most will gather
They gather their paychecks
Then gather their groceries
Then comes the landlord to gather the rent
Then comes schools to gather tuition
Then comes the bank to gather the car note
Even the kids gather money for fun
Most all have gone to the gathering game
Letting their wants consume them
Like bees swarming a flower dripping with nectar so sweet
The wolves’ teeth have now become sharp
Not showing its fangs until it’s too late
A striking contrast from what was once shown
Saving has become something of a myth
The smell of foreclosure has become an incredible stench
All caught up in their gathering grind

Published at The Camel Saloon February 21 / 2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Poem : Hollow

The wolves’ teeth are still sharp
A striking contrast from what was shown
The bitter taste of relief pushes us forward
Pushes us all
Like fuel to a piston
Like food for your innermost thoughts
Like everything that propels us to the next level
Like sugar, this drink is the enemy
With its transparent promises, it brings the hollow gift
Not showing its fangs until it’s too late
Raging a war on our bodies and souls
Swarming like bees in the spring
Ever so sweet at first
The nectar will eventually sour
Empty bottles
Empty promises
Empty for all to see

Published at The Camel Saloon February 21 / 2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Friday, February 10, 2012

Poem : The Image Of A Raven

A raven’s gaze is suddenly halted by its refection in a small pool of water
Its dark eyes widen with curiosity at the image it suddenly sees
Dust covered feathers with a black shiny bill ripples in the soft waves below
A bird of the night who lives in the day, now sees itself for the first time
Cocking its head it burst into flight
Joining its family above
Circling and scanning for the next meal is always the task at hand
But the raven can’t help but wonder who was that bird down below
The one that looked like all of his friends
The one that appeared all so surprised that the raven was looking right at him
So he tilted his wings and broke from his flock of shadowy flyers
Starting his flight for the outline of buildings
Standing like statues of giants
Giants of stone braking up the horizon
Surely with all of the hustle and high-rises of madness
The Raven could find another one of those magical birds
From the magical moment of the water that morning
And with all the excitement his small heart could take
He suddenly saw his new friend
Looking at him in the pane of a window
As he walked back and forth on the ledge of a ten story scrapper
With joy the raven called out his squawk of talk
Happy to be reunited again
With a step to the air he flew to the ground to see if his new friend would follow
As he stood on the hood of a car
He looked in the windshield he saw his companion
A little longer this time and slightly leaned back
But the raven was sure this had to be him
His shadowed reflection that depends on an object of water or glass
Seems now to be the ravens best friend

Published at Raven Images  June 11 / 2011

Artwork By Jason E. Hodges

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Paper Butterflies

Stripped down to the bare bone by sadness
An emotion that seems to have haunted me for years
My only comfort is the wings of a paper butterfly
The paper butterfly that wraps itself around me
Its ridged edges, folded neatly with care, block the harshness of the world
Still, letting go is sometimes hard to do
But not letting go is the ultimate weight to carry
The ultimate weight of love is a heavy weight indeed
Like a millstone, the pressure will eventually start showing cracks
Hairline at first, then finger size
Then completely falling apart
The tipping point is almost always caused by the smallest of things
Like a river stone smooth and polished from years of being washed over by life
Washed over by what we call love
But when displaced you see its buried side is jagged and sharp
For what’s underneath is always unpolished and uneasy to handle
No doubt love is tricky
Making us live beyond our means
Means of what we know as normal
Means of sanity
Love is sometimes a speeding car in which you are the passenger
You can only watch as one finger at a time is removed from the wheel
Then you look over one day and no one is driving
You’re no longer on the freeway you’ve traveled so long
You’re no longer hugging the center line that leads you home day after day
Somehow someway you have to grab the wheel and take control
You have to make a new start on a path of uncertainty

Published at The Fringe Magazine June 23-2011

Poem : The Ripples Of Life

The turbulent waves crash in the sea of debt
Tossing you with no mercy
No pity
Yet merely, almost always
This sea of towering waves starts out as a pool
Or maybe a puddle
Dictating our lives from decisions we make
Manageable at first, until the room starts to fill up
Just a few drops too much
Just a few bills too many
Then you’re struggling to stay afloat
Like an undertow the phone calls keep calling
The door knocks keep knocking
Like a moth touched too much by the world
No longer able to fly
Unable to escape its predators
Unable to escape our bills
They start to pile up and cover our desk
Then quickly spillover onto the floor
Like a mountain stream swelling with the springs melting snow
Into an unforgiving river of rushing force and destruction
Pushing over its rocky banks of control
Ripping through townships, leveling all in its path
For there’s not much difference between eviction and evacuation
Except how they're perceived

Published at Indigo Rising Magazine March 29 / 2011

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Drifter Of Rails

Hopping freights is a way of life few will ever know
Endless skies and endless rides all for the tramp to see
Lost in every emotion of the moment
Lost in a landscape canvas painted by drops from the sky
By rays from the sun
By wind from a blackened rain storm
Traveling through the back country
Traveling on twisting rail lines of steel
Alongside straw colored wheat fields
Waving slowly in the plains’ gentle breeze
Through tunnels carved out of mountain sides
By sweat, steel, and callused hands
Echoes call out softly
Echoes from workers of a time gone by
Making his way up the Pacific coast
A wide-eyed tramp looks into the darkest of nights
An eclipse of the moon drifts slowly in the starless sky
A red dusty glow surrounds its edge
Like an ember
Its dark center shadow is surrounded by a fiery red glow
Falling asleep to the gentle rock of the train
Watching the shadowed red dusty moon disappear from sight
Waking to see a sea of green blowing in the Oregon wind
A forest of ferns and towering trees
A back drop of natures design
The crisp morning air, damp and cool blows against his face
The train lets out a mighty roar
Then lumbers into the yard
Time to find a new train to ride
The Tramp, The Hobo, The Drifter Of Rails

Published at The Camel Saloon March 19 / 2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Poem : Night Time In The South

Pennies to make dollars they’ll take
It's not a mistake, I work to pay you
We’ve all heard this before, haven’t we
At least anyone in the working class South
Land of blood sweat and holes your shoes
Holes from walking from one dead-end job to another
Somehow the bills have to be paid
Land of scratched off lottery tickets from the last dollar spent blowing in the wind
And the same fingers that would finish the day by punching a time clock
Would start a night of writing by punching the keys of a typewriter
Typing words out
Bringing characters to life in the thick humidity of Florida so many years ago
Gathering thoughts like a child gathers his toys
Yet constantly distracted by the chaos of living on the edge of what I called life
Sitting, remember how fast it has all gone by
Trains running in the distance with sounds that fall in the night
Into the darkness they fade away like I soon will do
Finally lying down to rest
Falling to sleep lost in the thoughts of what once was and most likely will come
Morning dew settles as I open my eyes
And the flowers now drip with its wetness
Soaked in diamond-dot shining
Time to get moving on the next thing to write
To put down what I see and feel of the world around me
For the world's been my teacher
She’s always on time
Her people, my study, in the Southern School Of Life
Published at The Camel Saloon May 12 / 2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Poem : Janet Frame

Like a flower born of extraordinary color
A color not yet seen by the world
All eyes were suddenly upon you
Combing over you their eyes did do
For an artist is most always far from understood
Easily cast away for being self expressing
But words became your haven Miss Frame
Your sanctuary
Your canvas
For the canvas of the world around you was tattered and torn
Rugged were the asylums you called home
Suggested they were by the world of the inside
A world that preferred to keep your mind at bay
But words pried at the locked door so heavy
The door to the dark wards you found yourself in
Letting in slivers of light so fine
So bright
Slivers of hope cast by the wings of an angel
Hope from the books you read and stories you wrote
Shelter you found in the stroke of a pen
Your words melting off your paper with burning intensity
Dripping into a freefall of beauty
Into a magnificent array of colors seen only by the seeing
Dripping past the white coats in the day room they did
Dripping past the tied jackets of strangers not knowing the normal
Longingly you did for a life of not hiding your thoughts
A life of embracing yourself and your mind
Dear Janet, Dear Janet, always writing with smiles
Smiles that carry your work into the next life

Published at Indigo Rising August 20, 2011

Artwork By Jason E. Hodges


Monday, February 6, 2012

Poem : Sea Glass

The sea glass I see sitting before me
Sparkles with scratches of beauty
Scratches of time
Its frosted exterior brushed on ever so softly
From the tides constant coming and going
Tumbled and tossed by the waves of time
Etching its outside with salt and sand
As I look upon this glass jewel of the sea
I wonder what piece of someone’s life it broke from
Could it be from a ship’s window shattering as it runs ashore
Beaten by waves in a hurricane’s wind
Or is it from the glass of a lantern
Held by a frantic fisherman’s wife
Searching the lonely shoreline after a storm for her only true love
Then dropped to a crash on the rocks of the morning low tide
As she runs to his side, alive, spared from the sea
Or maybe this glass is from a bottle tossed into the ocean from halfway around the world
Making its way to a new land where its message is not understood by the reader
Thrown back, discarded to the sea with an end over end spinning long toss
In pieces, it now will become
Broken by the black rock of the bottom
For, sometimes dreams are not easily read by others
For the ones who have no dreams see a different world than the dreamer
A set in stone no different world of their making
Sea glass, the mystical gems of the ocean
Or pieces of broken dreams turned into jewels of the sea
From broken thousand mile unreadable journeys
Or is it merely a symbol of hope that the one you truly love is still alive in the darkness
Alive and able to hold once more
Saved by the undertow of life’s constant pulling
Published at The Camel Saloon 9-13-2011

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Poem : Seasons

With morning comes soft rays of light
Petals from the sun, the mighty sunflower
Open up to a course of buzzing bees bumbling about
Swarming round and round
Franticly searching for the next fix of sweetness
The spring buds are ready to bloom
Bursting out from their wintry shells
Opening up after a full moon’s gravitational pulling
Dripping with pigment of red, blue and green
Drawing us in with their incredible sight
Butterflies flap their bright wings about
Smearing the air with an orange colored haze as they gently float by
Showing us spring is finally here
Like being colored by a giant paintbrush
The spring skyline is soaked in a red dripping light
I wish this day could stay forever
But it has to fade for the long days of summer
Where crickets chirp loud in the midmorning's sun and birds sing deep in the night
Where lightning bugs flurry about with their light streaks a streaking
Then fall comes with its bright burst of colors
Leaves dropping to the ground in all shapes and sizes
Then comes winter with its cold wind a blowing
Snow drifts in from a dark starless sky
Making a white covered city for all to start digging
Then we’re back from which we started

Published at, Books On Blog Sep 17, 2011 From the Book of poems called : Don’t Get It Twisted

Photo By Jason E. Hodges

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Poem : The Woman

The woman I see day after day
In the city we both call home
With its twisting freeways and buildings scraping the sky
She walks with elegance
With grace
With legs of a runway model
With calves that dance upwards with each passing step of her heel
She drifts like a leaf in a gentle spring breeze
To me, she seems, almost a dream
Perfectly defined in every way
With her beautiful smile and flowing red hair
That sways gently side to side
Her green eyes, so mysterious when caught in her gaze
A gaze that peers into my soul as she passes me by
I wonder, will she ever speak
Or will I be the one to say the first word
But wait
Today could be the day that the silence between us is broken
She’s looking right at me, like never before
Butterflies danced in my stomach as she reached for my hand
Letting go of my cardboard sign I took what she was giving
A smile and a dollar
A smile that filled me with hope
If only for a brief moment
A moment I’ll cling too like the life I once had
A moment that faded with her as she stepped out of sight
Published at The Camel Saloon April 10 / 2011

Artwork By Jason E. Hodges

Friday, February 3, 2012

Riding Through Time With Bettie Page

Today I glued the Queen of Diamonds to my skateboard, who happened to be Bettie Page, from a deck of cards illustrated by Olivia De Berardinis. I thought of the journey I would take the next morning to the local skate park. It would turn out to be much more than a ride on the cement waves of entertainment. It would turn out to be a ride through time with Bettie…

Arriving at the park the next day, I found it to be empty. Which is always a welcome sight for anyone who loves to ride freely without dodging 3475634830 little kids on razor scooters… Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy seeing the kids have endless fun. I just don’t like when they’re having so much fun they coast aimlessly in front of me while I’m going full speed.

After a quick warm up of carving around the smooth surface, I made my way to the bowl. Properly named “The Opossum Pouch,” taking its name from the park itself being called Opossum Creek… The bowl, for those who haven’t skated one, is much like riding an empty swimming pool. The walls are not quite as steep, and the lip, (the rim or top) is trimmed with a steel pipe instead of traditional pool tile. This allows the skater to lock on with his or her trucks and grind without mercy…

Bettie and I rode for a while. The free floating airs and weightless vertical carving opened my mind to memories, people and places that had come before this day… Skating has always been a vice for me and others in my generation of X-Kids. But when we were coming up it was not nearly as accepted by the masses. There were no X-Games, or Jackass, and Tony Hawk was certainly not a household name.

Me and Bettie finished our ride… Taking a break, I laid on the cool transition of the Pouch and looked into the cloudless sky. I thought back to all the years that had drifted by since I first stepped on a skateboard, and how much things had changed since the late seventies early eighties… For all the bitchin’ older folks have done about the next generation or just society as a whole. It’s probably more real and down to earth than it ever has been. Yes it has its faults. But I could have never imagined all of the public skate parks that are up and thriving now. And Bettie could have never fathomed something like the Suicide Girls… Or the tattooed skin that seems to be more accepted in the work place. Or the freedom to publish your writing or art, or music without having to be enslaved by a contract, and to what the next move will be by a bunch of corporate types. Soccer Moms have been replaced by Skater Moms… More Moms than ever are joining Roller Derby leagues or riding in surfing contests while dad and the little ones cheer from the sidelines… Things have changed quite a bit in the last 30 years… For the most part changed for the better…

But before these times of safe places to skate, you had to be on a constant lookout for what was around the corner… Not just the thugs of society but it seemed like 99.9% of the people you came in contact with wanted you to skate far away from them. We would try to do just that. Going out of our way to find secluded spots to skate. But sometimes this would backfire…

One afternoon as darkness started to fall on what was left of the last light of day, a few friends and I decided to go skate a church not far from home. The grounds were full of winding sidewalks which led to a corridor with red brick ledges. It was a perfect place to do various tricks on. Pulling into the church we saw someone getting in their car then drive away. Thinking nothing of the car leaving, we parked and popped our trunks to retrieve our skate gear and boards. We started our session, making our way to the corridor to skate and get lost in the moment…

Suddenly a dozen or so men dressed in black, pointing AR-15’s at the three of us were shouting commands, to not make any sudden movements. I think all of us wanted to make a certain movement but not the running kind…

Marching us out at gunpoint, hands laced behind our heads to our cars, we soon learned that they were the local swat team that were usually called in for major drug busts… The car that was leaving when we were pulling into the church belonged to the janitor. Of course seeing three longhaired guys and two old cars pull in and pop their trunks could have only meant a major drug deal was about to take place…

One of the swat members asked if he could search our cars… I said, “You can if you want, but it’s pretty dirty in there.” He opened the door to a spillover of convenient store cups, and other signs of convenient store grazing… Old t-shirts and clothes were on the seats. Skate and surfing stickers covered the dashboard in a multicolored collage of free living… The Swat guy seemed put off by our less than normal lifestyle. But what really pulled his brow together into an expression of complete confusion was a 5 foot by 4 foot painting of 2 ducks flying over a pond that covered the back seat of my car. A few weeks earlier I had bought it at a yard sale for 25 cents. Looking back at me in frustration he asked, “Do you live in this car?” Smiling back, I answered, “Nope…”

Then the commanding officer arrived on the scene. He told his men to drop their weapons and then started to chuckle, “This is the big drug bust? This is what we came all the way out here for? Congratulations fellas. You caught, The Skateboard Bandits…” He had seen us around town for years. He told us to go home and not come back. We did just that…

Bettie and I decided we'd had a long enough break. It was time to ride the bowl again. As I took the last few runs of the day, dripping in sweat and memories of times gone by, I came to the conclusion that I was happy to be among a small group of skaters, surfers, artists, and all around do it yourselfers that helped pave the way for the next generation… And Bettie? Well, I’m glad she was along for the ride…


Photo By Jason E. Hodges. The playing card displays the artwork of Olivia De Berardinis

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Poem : The Artist’s Hand

Writing on trains is more than scribbles of names
A canvas of steel rolling with artwork for the masses to see
To ponder
To wonder
To gawk
To judge on their definition of art
It depends on who’s in the audience I suppose
Messages conveyed from the mind of the artist
It’s art in its most primitive state
A connection with the people bridging all the way back to our ancestors
Painting cave walls with cold black ash from a spent fire
With bright berries crushed into sticky red liquid
Today the artist has traded in the cave wall for the canvas of buildings
For the spray can, shaken with the marble inside
A muddy click clank is the sound it makes through the thick cool paint
Brick walls of fired red clay dressed with graffiti
Exaggerated faces painted to look out on the city
To look through the smog of everyday people
To bring calm to the madness
The artist has designed them with each spray of their can
With each stroke of their brush
With each scratch of their pen
The artist is communicating with you in the simplest form
With the simplest of tools, their hands, their expression
Show their connection with the world in which they live
It’s an art without any rules, without any boundaries
Lines you can color outside of
The artist's hand is the one in control

Published at Indigo Rising Magazine April 27 / 2011