Dreamland (a poem)

just before slumber

there’s a moment between

dream & wakefulness

a hazy realm

eyes closed

your smelly dog

at the foot of the bed, growling

the moment happens

in milliseconds

you fall into dreamland

shifting sands

awake to sunlight

peering through heavy curtains

a new day – but

are you still in dream?

this whole thing may not

be what it seems

(Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash)

When Day Becomes Night (a poem)

when day becomes night

people tuck into beds

drop their heads

on puffy pillows & blankets

back from coal mines & factories

of fear, soaked in mud

smeared with oil of

dire times –

they were once in their primes

these working men & women

but now bones hurt

spines shatter

blood splatters

when day becomes night

(Photo by Uvi D on Unsplash)

Serenity (a poem)

we talk about serenity

but I’m not sure what we mean

there have been times

I was serene

but it’s few and far between

I want it to be a permanent state

of being

an emotion that stretches into

the future, forever

but that’s impossible

like asking to control the weather

so, as days go by

& I grow older

I hope I grow wiser, too

settle for serene moments

instead of reaching for something

that’s beyond my feeble grip

(Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash)

Parallel Parking Olympics (a poem)

If there was ever a Parallel Parking Olympics

it’d be in South Philly

cars jam into microscopic spots

enough to cause anxiety

but you, with your back-up camera

squeeze in like it’s no big deal

this shit is real!

parking spots are like gold

circle the block like a vulture

starving, on the prowl

maybe you’ll get lucky

find a spot front-and-center

(Photo by Cali Riffee on Unsplash)

Euphoria (a poem)

The river meanders

dividing line of Philly & Jersey

fog drifts off blue-black water

on the way to the concert

you can hear music reverberate

feel chilly breeze on your skin

men & women pulsing with

sexual energy

some of them tipsy

touch my hand

tell me you understand

let me know I’m alive –

the warmth of your body

the coldness of steel handlebars

ready for a night of euphoria

(Photo by Matt Power on Unsplash)

Family Tree (a poem)

There are ghosts in my family –

I realize this as my mother tells tales

of a biological grandfather I never knew

who blew smoke in my face

when I was two

of years my father spent in jail

of anxiety that permeates

the family tree, which is

diseased & hollowed

about to crumple & topple

into grayish dirt

(Photo by Dikaseva on Unsplash)

Portia’s Extraction (a poem)

Portia is inside my mind

probing my memories

extracting, sorting them

into data –

looking for knowledge

of the virus

the only thing that can

save us from servitude

(Photo by Umberto on Unsplash)

The Internet (a poem)

The internet is a dangerous place

you can’t see my face

just a still photo

from long ago –

we fall down rabbit holes

into spacious cyberness

it must affect us

but we’re not sure how

we always want more

time in front of these screens –

we screamed when the internet

was unleashed into this world

did we really know

it would be like this?

(Photo by Dhaval Parmar on Unsplash)

Seductive Voices (a poem)

I heard those seductive voices in darkness

not the ones you think

they weren’t from lipsticked-maidens

call girls nestled in hotel sheets

the voices were calls of

violence, conspiracy

they called not from red-light districts

but corners of the online world

they promised secrets of

the way the world worked –

I said no thank you, sir

your secrets are safe with me

but I won’t agree

to be part & parcel

to your devious proposals.

(Photo by NASA on Unsplash)

Perfectionism (a poem)

The saints wanted perfection

so do some of us

but chasing this goal is like

walking over burning coals

what about progress?

self-acceptance?

what about turning away from Never Enough?

resting in the realization that

this life is absurd

that all this effort can

crash & burn

in the blink of an eye

(Photo by Aron Van de Pol on Unsplash)