Crow Friday Poem: Quiet of the Park

Previously posted in the Virtual Library.

I drift off in the quiet of the park where the rustling leaves keep me company.

I smell the meat on the burning wood of a fire pit.

I used to be hungry, now I just curl up in sleep.

Sounds of car tires spin on asphalt, peddling boys on bicycles churn their spindly legs,

traffic lights change from green to yellow to red for all eternity, long after I’m gone.

There’s a coo from a pigeon, a squawk from an agitated crow.

In the distance, I see a turkey vulture tearing up a defenseless squirrel.

I feel the loss of all the people I know.

The cycle continues with or without them, I guess.

The mushrooming gray clouds in the dusk hover over me like a warm quilted blanket

and at this moment, I feel safe.

This patch of grass is where I sleep.


Teenagers of the Damned

Another version of this poem at Mark Tulin on Letterpile.


Buttered popcorn, milk chocolate Goobers

and launching fresh spitballs,

 wads of wet toilet paper 

sliding down the silver screen

as confused and dazed ushers 

chase children misbehaving.

We clap, hoot and holler

for the possessed little blond-haired boys,  

flashing their strobe-light eyes, 

ice-cold water in their veins, 

infiltrating a celluloid English town.

 They rise from the grave of affluent families,

 putting their mommies to sleep,

melting their poor daddies

into pools of Silly Putty.

I wished that I had their power 

to reduce adults to pint size humans,

to make teachers, neighbors, and bullies 

feel the wrath of a teenage boy.

Casting the last Pixie Stick onto my tongue,

I suck feverishly on a caramel Sugar Daddy

with a handful of red licorice in my hands,

I finally feel content in my sugar high.

It was just another Saturday matinee

flipping our friends and enemies the bird,

teasing the girls in the front row.

Next week another horror film:

the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Crow Friday Poem: Speaking or Not


I listen first.

I speak out
when I’m ready.

I won’t be forced
to talk
against my will
or take advice
from a person 
who really doesn’t know.

I will talk
in my own voice,
in due time,
by my actions
or inactions,
just with my eyes
or with my hands,

whether with words
or a furrowed brow,
a nod of the head,
chest bumps or fist pumps,
smiles with a thumbs-up sign.

I know
that speaking or not speaking
is my choice.

Crow Friday: Waxy Buildup

Also posted in Poetry Passion.

Don’t flush, don’t drain

my ears, Doc

then I’ll be able to hear.

I’ll hear all the chatter

in the coffee house

and won’t enjoy

my Americano in quiet.

I’ll hear the sound

of my neighbor’s stereo

or the rooster crowing

before I’m ready to wake up.

It’s better that I don’t know

what Trump is doing next

or what Bill Maher has to say

about all this political bullshit.

Don’t drain my ears, Doc.

I don’t need a hearing aid, either.

Let the wax in my ear canal build up.

I’m perfectly fine

living my life in the dark.


Crow Friday Poem: Kosher Pickle

Image attribution:ChildofMidnight

It felt good to be in a Jewish deli.

I haven’t been to one since

I left my tribe

and headed to L.A.

A man behind the glass case

wearing a Dodger’s cap

took my number.

I selected prune hamantash

and babka,

a container of coleslaw,

several matzo balls

that I planned to drop

into my chicken soup.

Make it a pound of pastrami,


Let me have a large rye


and another container

of chopped liver.

I imagined building

the tallest, thickest sandwich

oozing with dark mustard

and a Kosher pickle

on the side.

When I said Kosher,

I realized I had become Jewish


My identity had returned

at Canter’s Deli

inside a pastrami sandwich.


Crow Friday: Planting Happiness


I planted healthy words
deep into the ground
with the other
words that I found 
in my heart’s pocket. 

I made sure I planted
love and healing
near the pond
where I used to watch the koi
and goldfish swim.

I made sure that all my words
were carefully planted and pruned,
given plenty of fresh water
and the right amount
of gratitude.

I made sure that my dog
didn’t dig up happiness
or that my kids didn’t
trample on the flower bed
of peace and respect.