Standing on the front porch
I watch the sun rise over the

distant mountains and first light
run across the empty fields.

Morning wind pushes scattered stalks and coffee steam
while bird songs emerge from the tree line.

High bulbous clouds assume many colors
as the sun reaches higher.

Leroy lays at my side sleeping
as we watch night become the day.

Spring has filled in the once barren forest
and we witness the green waves rolling
toward the blue horizon.

What we have spans time,
existing without place,
breathing with each ray of light,
captured in morning waves.

Driving north this May
an early summer and the windows are closed
as the heat presses against skin
and our eyes squint.

Green farmlands with waiting tractors,
fields holding grazing cows,
red barns and white houses,
silos scattered across the horizon.

What is this life outside the window
from another time long gone
except memories anchored in places
my feet have not walked upon?

Becoming tired from the heat
yet restless from the nostalgia
I take your hand and am thankful for now
while searching for my past.

I look down from the roof
over Madison Ave and watch
people enter and emerge from yellow streetlights,
bobbing heads and umbrellas,
taxis speed near and far, the rain
softens the constant chatter and the voice
questioning and answering everything at once.

Through 10 to 20 story buildings I see the
reservoir a few blocks away and the cold dark
reflection of more city lights, the tall tree
shadows scatter with each rain drop
and I wonder the state of mind
of the nature within the city park, seemingly
caught in a vortex shielding the flora and fauna
from the towering skyscrapers and buildings,
the chaos that arises in the evening and after dark.

Where do the ravens hide?

This is not my home, these are not my roots.
Smells, sights and sounds do not illicit any memory or longing for something
else beyond here. I breath deep and slow, let the
scent simmer – nothing.

Even the touch of green leaves in my hand, with closed eyes,
does not momentarily bring me home.

What roots should I plant here? What lies within
to allow the cityscape a lighted path inside?

But I feel a bit at peace and home
as the nooks and crannies beneath the towering apartments
hidden mere blocks away from the BMWs and Bentleys
welcomes with open arms and cold beer.

The red painted steel rail is cold and wet
as I find balance looking over the ledge at the
street below.

Above me the moon struggles to overcome thick, heavy clouds,
a glimmer of light illuminates the water tower and I begin
to feel the attraction to this city always awake
always on the edge.

The corner of 92nd and Madison captured
fragments, scattered pieces, slowly
chipping away at thoughts and emotions
and without taking notice
peace sweeps over me and I look
down each street through the rain
falling harder and with more purpose
and I realize that I do not miss home,
no I do not miss where I flew from – what
I miss is blending and truly living
within something that does not judge.

Lights flicker from wind tossing
newspaper and discarded coffee cups
along Madison Ave.

Rooftop trees sway and their green leaves
dance in waves of reflected color.

I hear music. I see the city slowing down.
A chance to breath, a respite
from the hectic hours that pass and the energy
drained away into other things, other objects.

At the end of each day my body and mind
collapse in a lifeless lump
upon the rented queen bed
and thoughts of sleep pervade.

No dreams, the slate is cleared of the
previous days experiences and I awake
with a vigor and determination to live
the day as if tomorrow will not arrive.


Photos Copyright Twisted Root Photography

Rewrite of a poem from 5-years ago along with a new photo.


The Old Barn

An old abandoned barn lies on the east side of town, at the end
of Baker’s road, where the tar abruptly changes to gravel, dusty this
time of year as rain has been scarce and the crops are wilting.

Coming up the driveway, a neglected John Deere
greets you with rust and smeared green paint, revealing the steel machine
underneath, a workhorse in the fields, taking stalk after stalk

from the earth, a bounty each year for the family with hopes
of selling a few bushels at the market on main street.
That is the past now, rain has not visited, people have

not visited, a once lush yard, crunches beneath my feet
impending fire permeates the air, timber from the fence
I built last summer, blown apart by that storm, a tricycle

faded blue kids pool, half a tire, a 1938 Studebaker
– how I would still like to restore that – and a menagerie of
other things are carelessly strewn about near the for sale sign.

I remember the winters spent in front of the potbelly stove,
a wool blanket for one stretched to two –
whose turn is it to fetch a few more logs, the flame is getting low.

One last trip to the barn, the scent hangs in the air,
you may still be here, but I do not hear any voices
as the fire takes hold and ashes replace hay bales.

A quiet evening as the dust settles
and chaos is held at bay,
watching the sunset
with nature’s creatures.

Simple.

These moments defining a life
provide peace and a bit of
knowledge grounding our place
to and within the world.

New poem from the “Beyond” series.


I awake covered in red dust
after the storm passed.

In the depths of the crater
the sun shone dimly over the edge.

I see you left without me
moving beyond the fractured surface.

There is no blame.
There is now only me.

Beyond the mountains
the sun rises on a new day.

Surrounded by unnamed peaks,
unclimbed by humans, I head off into the void.

Thoughts and memories buried deep
in our minds originating from time so long ago
and across vast distances we become lost in the
numbers and mathematics, but the light and energy
is seared and imprinted like a birthmark of unknown origin.

And we may not know or discover this deep knowledge and history
until some external stimuli, perhaps a sight, a smell, or music, burrows
into the locked portals and brings to light the shadows grounding
our origins to this place and beyond.

Against an evening sunset
and blue backdrop a pair of ravens
circle, descend, and ascend a last time
before landing in pine trees beginning to green
as the last holds of winter give.

Clinging to limbs as the winds
arrive in gusts from across the lake
they call to others a few trees over
and we watch this conversation take place.