Dallying at the Coal Hill

When I’m not sure what to write, I like to give kudos to other writers who I’ve come across on the Internet during my research. The most recent of these was Gerry LaFemina of Coal Hill Review about poetry and pacing. Continue reading


Young Old One

You will hit 30 one day.  

Your mortality will close around you like a drying cocoon. 

The hopes you planted in your youth will decide if you’ll wake a butterfly.

You will hit 40 one day.

Time will loom slanted and dark like the inside of a coffin.  

The action you took in your youth, and in every minute after, will decide your epithet.

You will hit 50 one day.

At least I hope you do.  And 60.  And 70.  And all the years in between and some after, all like the hammers on a bell of someone ringing out a life with celebration, not regret.

Confessions of a Bad Writer


I want to make this very clear,

what you should know of me,

I am not the great, good things I write—

I am poor and hopeless me:

I am angry, bitter, shallow, dense,

incompetent, and blind.

These heroes are my wishes and my teachers, not my kind.


I’m grouchy, temperamental, rude,

my platitudes a scheme.

I did not live these hero tales—

I sat and wished and dreamed.

I waited, watched, and wondered,

feet shuffling, words mute.

These heroes are regrets in hopes the world won’t follow suit.


I’m bitter, uncommitted, vain,

self-righteous, selfish, trite.

I stay up late ’til dreams appear

to tell me what to write.

Whatever greater way to live,

You think you learn from me,

These heroes are the memories I never dared to be.



Let’s not talk about that.

That was two thousand years ago

Let’s talk about something that happening now

Like the grass.

It’s everywhere.

Look at it.

Like hair, like the hair on my head.


The problems is people don’t talk about it.

They’ve got fear everywhere.

They run and they get themselves alone all the time.

Sorta like me.

I’d like to talk.

I’ve things to say,

But my family doesn’t talk, they don’t talk.


You know there’s times I wish I had a friend,

But nobody out there’s gonna be my friend.

All my girlfriends had boyfriends when I was with ‘em,

And they beat me up,

Then the girls leave me alone

Just like that,

That’s life and sometimes I get angry at it.


You know I don’t like to get angry.

My father was angry.  I want a daughter,

A little girl to look after, a kid, but no,

I’m forty-one.

I’ve still got hair.

My father was bald.

But who’s gonna look at a man who’s forty-one?


No job, no place to stay.  Over at the mission,

They teach me I gotta get a job.

I can’t get a job.  I got so mad, I tore all my papers up.

So there you go.

Here I am.

You can give me food,

But I’m concerned about what you’ll eat today.


If you hand me that juice or that sandwich, or lunch,

I’m gonna have to split it with you.

If you won’t take it back, I’ll split it.

Look at you,

You’re so thin,

Out here on the street,

Helping people.  Here’s a dollar.  Let me be able to help you back.


I never had a friend before.

No one ever listened to what I’d say.

And I wanna hear what other people say.

Go on, talk.

People don’t talk these days,

So talk, go on tell me.

I never had a friend before and you’re a nice person anyway.



Intermission Music

And now some music!  (on digital paper anyway)

“Gone Missing” (for flute, viola, harp)

As you can see by the PDF date, I actually wrote this some time ago for a different project.  I had a weird habit at that time of using MuseScore to make my own writing soundtrack, since the program itself plays back whatever is written.

I have no training in music writing, but now and then a lonely (if not fickle) muse stops by for company.  As soon as the next day, she slips off again, leaving all other musical attempts once against stilted.

Unless this is featured in some big movie production in the future, you can re-post this free of charge, so long as you attribute me as the composer and link listeners back to this blog or profile.  I’ll dream and add, if you want to use it for commercial purposes, please contact me and set up some kind of compensation.  Thanks.