Monday, January 31, 2011

inside sun

2/1/2011- Garron, you're turning nine. So glad to have somebody as enthusiastic about Star Wars & Blue Devil comics as I am to talk to. I wrote this for your Celebration of Life at WMS a few years ago. When you were a baby we called you our inside sun- you would rouse us to wake the moment there was light outside. It still pertains to you, for you are fiery & prone to flares of exhalation at any moment about any number of subjects. Happy birthday to a wonderfully challenging son! Daddy wouldn't trade a second of you!

* * *

He tells me so much more than expected-

utterances so unfettered they soar-

super-powered, mud-splattered action-rocket-stegosaurs!

Bam- Pyoo- Crash! Than stop.Daddy guess what?

Today- today we learned the sun is burning hot with gasses

and it has spots!

Miss Rogers says someday- actually- it will be a super-nova!

Miss Rogers says it- it is so amazing!

Suddenly, his story ends,

his arms embrace me,

tension strays from its orbit

ordained to dissolve, a runaway planet

reflective of the sun's keen rays- snuggled- snoozing- super-nova son

Miss Rogers is right. He is so amazing.

Friday, January 28, 2011


By word of Our testimony

up will We rise surge through canopies boundless,

wild chasing the dawn-born sun

We can't be stopped

We can't be slowed, captured or shunned

With trumpeting calls Our flock breaks forth through sickly-hued sky-

putrid puffs of brown vapor

Our victory cannot deny

Through singed tears of angels feathers hurtle and slice,

Our vision of power is the visage of sacrifice via the sword of our mouths.

We, a v-shaped cone of triumph

Rush, coursing through air becoming energy itself-

Our chorus of voices serenades the daybreak sounds of principle-wealth-

reason, compassion, truth winged horses of Our very own and following is life;

freedom; evidenced in every tone

Resounding from all directions, bold word of Our testimony.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Imbolc 2011

Eyes open to snow-slathered earth

the time is come, the nourishment sent,

swollen in form for the raw preparations;

present's perspirations soaking my brow and the blooms

of the blackthorn blessing my womb,

filled future engagements with truths they endow

the season's soon end, a return of the hero-

past's promise now bellows to worthiness' tide.

Retreat of the twilight glimpsed in isolation,

the gloaming, she gallops, for light's prophesied.

Now time for the tilling, so turn the soil truly

now hurry your last load of firewood gained-

so fickle the seasons, so prone late or early

new life's affirmation from old vows sustained.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

dance with decay

Bonus post of the day! From a CUUPS rite I wrote, "Walking with Eris & Coyote" & published in 2003- that's why the fool is king & not the basketball player... This is meant to be a chant- has a cool rhythm if you hear it performed:

"American archetype Mark Twain said “Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense.“ When facing certain destruction, one may find it necessary to skip into the fray with a stupid grin pasted upon one’s lips, tooting a melody on the kazoo.

We live together in a world that scarcely makes the sense Twain desired, that is poised on the edge of oblivion from so many different angles . A world of smokestacks, starvation and soldiers being killed; a world of AIDS and cancer and SARS; a world where the ultra-rich increase their wealth and the poor are left to fend for themselves.

We live in a world where the fool has been crowned king; where chaos has taken the battle and reigns supreme. Like the kitten on the bedroom poster, its claws clamping desperately around the branch of a tree, we must remember to “hang in there, baby!”

To quote that great American sage once again, “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries of life disappear and life stands explained.” From all chaos comes order and back and forth and again. The cycle will continue and something new shall rise from that which has fallen."

* * *

For every ending, there must be a beginning

For every beginning there must come an end

A completion of the cycle Than dance ‘round again!

We’ve got to dance with decay

Cut the tow ropes away

From desecration comes creation

Every dawn disarray.

Dance with decay

Says the crone, says the sage

Fallen walls can be foundation

Blow the wind! Fall the rain!

To see the light of the stars

The earth must bathe in midnight

Must have a shrouded earth

To see starlight in the sky,

Strike a balance in between

Of a cheer and a sigh.

We’ve got to dance with decay

We come to celebrate

An induction from destruction

Every birth comes with pain.

Dance with decay

From the womb till we’re gray

From commencement to completion

Our selves to ascertain.

For all feeling sorrow we’ll make mirth and laughter

In every burst of laughter we’ll mourn for a friend.

A completion of the cycle Than dance ‘round again!


A completion of the cycle

Than dance ‘round again! (We come to celebrate!)

A completion of the cycle

Than dance ‘round again! (We come to celebrate!)

A completion of the cycle

Than dance ‘round again! (We come to celebrate!)

hug her up goodbye

Hard to write, harder to edit, hardest to watch. Circa 2006. To Edna & Martha, who I watched into decline.

* * *

Self-baked lipstick- cake-dried flesh

marred and brown, polluted,

thin-skinned and bound in mystery-

a witness strong, to steel you firm-

raw hands that reach, desperate,

convinced of some nobility-

I view you lying, covers tossed-

waning moon, sin-scarred voice

in whispered rasp, a victory-

a mark of stark lucidity -

a purpose found- each exhaust

contrasts your lithe fragility-

each smile the last that I might see-

thoughts confound, stealing grace,

profound depths of docility-

sliver of light from closing door

dances past cross pebbled drive-

catch breath at night's agility-

a salty taste- flow starts slowly,

glancing back, a mother's face-

the theft of rude debility.

Monday, January 24, 2011

played the bull-roarer

The instrument swung,

the storm-spell starts

stormfront juggernaut

impending from the West

potential promise is spent

I’m staring at a stillborn miracle

trying to shift from emotional

to a perspective more empirical

while gales of sorrow

whisk away that will

the thunderstorm, a cruel turmoil

pelting bullets upon an open lake

pygmy crowns of liquid they shape

ascend and reprimand my head

the complexities of these

vertices of wind extend

with cold claws coring

out my center, the thunderhead

hollers with lightning applause

churning cloud of torment,

contains screen doors, fence lines

and a barrage of odd objects

torn from their usual climes

irrevocable eradication from

the spumous mass advancing

without fail to my location

I am in its thrall, can only stand

with head held in defiance

awaiting certain devastation

with a fractious scowl,

doomed yet dogged

for I played the bull-roarer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

inauguration day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, this poem was conceived & written on Blackberry while stuck in the Philadelphia airport, on Inauguration Day for W. Bush, which coincided with MLK, Jr. Day that year. I pondered the contrasts between the incoming President & Dr. King.

* * *

Stuck in Philadelphia airport-

flight delayed, card declined

another sickened citizen stands in line

waiting for a day equal to the

promise hidden and slid beneath

constructed, erected then bequeathed-

From those who drew freedom’s deep sustenance

to prodigal spoilers, the progeny of

those good ol' American giants and saints-

preying on us- passenger pigeons and doves

swallowed into stupor by our own excesses-

Now we bide time for all humanity,

A generation happy to harvest only for our ripe bellies,

the fruits of our fathers' ambitions-

free from expanse, loosened from the breakneck gait

of half-century tradition, believe we’re

set apart from the broke-down Camelot

decaying under desert sands-

We squander of the toll of bells

among skyscrapers and stone palaces

buttressing the birthplace of high ideals-

their ringing an echo of irony

thick in the sharp solid wind,

the snow only witness to their peals

in the still cold of a surreal January-

In the span of a week we celebrate

one man who dared to dream

and one who shares nary a trait

excepting a will of tempered steel

though bent backward in a cock-eyed cross-

This Inauguration Day-

Monumental steel scrapes raw

packed banks of white, shaves the dream bare

through streets where legends walked

churns haughtily through, the trail it leaves

outsources the coat of glittering hope

superseding pocked asphalt and lessons taught by rote-

Can any man’s mere dream compete

with the nightmare fortunes madmen seek?

The question hangs like the snowflakes

parachuting through cold Philly air

as we travelers sit festering in the terminal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

dos rosas

She let the rosebud casually drop onto the concrete below her stiletto heels. That was his last mistake- his final sashay through the contours of her soul- the cessation of his story. The splish-splash of shoes in stale puddles signaled her exit. She could not stay. She could not submit to suicide dressed-up in a coat-and-tie. She silenced her cell, hot tears singing the corners of her brown eyes.

* * *

He bought the last rose before Valentine's Day, in the city square. Grasping a concealed pocketknife, he sliced through its stem, severing the head of his hard-won flower. He graced his lapel with the bud, moisture beading from its seeping wound on the wool of his expensive suit. He failed to notice that he lost the corsage as he strolled from the lobby- it lay deceased on cold asphalt. His fingers pressed the digits of her line, she wasn't there. He left no message.

* * *

Parking-lot pebbles collected in the cracks rasped by the chill February wind. Trash and old wrapping paper, wadded cigarette butts, whispped toward the automatic doors, attempting invasion. As the squall began to subside, two rosebuds wilted beneath the thrum of countless soles, drowning in water-mixed-gasoline. Together they sat, spent.

Friday, January 14, 2011


For today, I am posting a poem I wrote when on the road for a job I used to have. I was lonely for my kids & wrote this poem in honor of my daughter, Amara. It became the most popular entry on my old site, with double the hits of any other poem each month. I read this at Amara's celebration of life at WMS.

* * *

My girl says,“I want to do it my way.”

Cyphers how its done without being taught

lessons would simply muddy her thoughts,

her trials spinning silk from everyday ether.

My girl says,“I think God is us.”

A bold declarative

her narration on life,

on her drifty soul

after a day at the waterpark

with Daddy on the trip back home-

a sudden insight on deity.

My girl says,“Oh my GOSH...”

A blurt before giggles

grandly juggled in throat

unleashed upon world

with accompanying snort

she laughs so hard-she's wild and brazen with life.

My girl says,“Amenandsomoteitbe.”

Speedily, sprightly

ending her prayers, only

pretending to be prepared

for bed- in reality ready to pounce

on ponderings pulsing thick through her always-busy head.

My girl says,“Was that a good question?”

And I pause, marveling at her confidence, her wit

to have these queries at six, her mind ablaze, and I respond,

“They're all good.”

I'm hopeful she'll never run out of questions to ask,

nor I answers to the symphonies and strands

my girl says.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

suspension bridge

I sit back

just watch it happen-

a sense of a storm-front

embittered and fattened

plump droplets of pure inertia

sprinkle-spread as they land

demand an epiphany

with their empty hands raised

over unkempt rivers

qualls nudged diligently

south on windshield

as moisture they deliver.

I sit back

just watch it happen-

Erect a suspension bridge

roadblock down its double stripes

causes traffic to stall

a wreck of twisted bones

blood and engine parts

gears, axles, fluids all

decorate the two-lane

delineate the route that is

doom for drivers mentally lame

I watch-

then mosey to the shoulder

seek a path through the morass

wipers cringe and creep

across half-dry glass

wake my mind with eeking groans

I realize signify

more than busted cars

and thunder's inescapable drone

I watch-

and with that the structure

pitches and shudders

concrete precipitate combined rain

for long moment hovers then

swoons to the rapids below

my foot hesitates

in that eon of a blink

an overdue flurry of thought

slam pedal to floor for brakes.

I close my eyes no longer to watch

eighty-five degrees in january

A little intro for today's entry... this is the #1 requested poem I do at readings. Most of the time I have to adjust the language, as there are some not-safe-for-everywhere words. This may be the only work in which I've used a mid-fix. Enjoy!

* * *

It’s eighty-five degrees in January!

Sweat drips down my forehead

hanging gently like a princess

in some fairy tale story

climbing down from a tower

yet afraid to drop-pulled out of the pocked-up

parking lot-cursing my putrid luck-

can’t make the sell-

can’t spend the cash-

can’t seem content with

the tent under which I’ve crawled

on this Canterbury-esque trip to camp

in an unconquerable crevasse so cramped-

a canyon for my crying mind.

Bought Diamond Shamrock at

a dollar-one and it failed to quench

even the slightest inch

of my car’s ravenous yearnings-

fifteen dollars down to once more be empty-

depleting my meager earnings.

Tank vacated and wasted in a vast expanse in

a state where nobody strives to advance-

like Utah maybe or Idaho-

who the hell goes there anyhow? God knows!

Vapid excuses for vacation rendezvous!

My spent vehicle’s prostrations vehement-

please pardon me again as I vent-

it’s eighty-five degrees in fucking January!

What is it with the weather in this place?

Who the hell loosed the devil so early?

That loser- that Lucifer-and clued him into my location?

Could swallow forty pills a night-

twice that at morning’s light-

and still there’s no tow in sight to airlift my listless body-

cackling like a lush as I’m taken aloft-

eyes alight for a destination-or a sacred duty.

I’m searching for something

around which to bend my soul-

sequential to a vehicle contrived

to eschew this void’s control-liberated from probation

in this polyester tent any longer than I have to be pent

and it’s eighty-fucking-five degrees in January!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

arrangements for the gathering

Your doorbell rings

I wring hands I’ve

been sitting on

God knows how long

more feet tread the carpet

more eyes study my face

looking for a trace of you

or maybe an inkling of

some long-lost solace

deep-set in brown-black eyes

we improvise conversation

all the while gazing down

the darkened hallway my

thoughts lost on spent medicines

and floral bouquets

and making arrangements

for the gathering and

how to make it one you’d praise.

I stand around people shaped

the same as you and I

they reminisce, shifting sorrows

into long, writhing sighs

while I cannot do a thing but smile

think about throwing balls

and fishing songs

and swimming pools long ago

your hand guiding my shoulder

steering me surely down the sidewalk

the jubilation in your voice

when I’d call- your “Hey, Bo!”-

that may be the thing I’ll miss most

I’ll take your spot, though

in the recliner chair, remember

I’m only there to keep it warm,

for you.

* * *

This poem was written for Pa- Dudley Lee Tankersley. My grandfather, my role model of fatherhood. We got to be with him during the last few years of his life, and they were great years. I'm so thankful for that time. PUBLISHED in the August 2013 Edition of The Rag, Albuquerque, NM.

main street, looking west

This was main street in Moshiem-town

many moons ago splashing in the swimming hole,

shivering to ask neighbor-girl to barn dance

Saturday night tucking in shirt and up pants

and holding our breath.

This was main street in Moshiem-town

and we ignored the shades looming like reapers

from the cotton fields where all us kids worked

hands grimy with blackest earth

eyes gazing into bluest skies for the hope of a rain cloud-

afternoon surprise.

This was main street in Moshiem-town

where the gin was shut down, moved to Valley Mills

and the filling stations died alongside their old men

who played chickenfoot under the wooden eaves

'til the shadows came for them.

This was main street in Moshiem-town

today our shadows are the only ones 'round

and the ol' school sits overgrown,

ruthless Texas summer sun bleaching walls and desks

Time, a reaper taking all us kids,

tucking us down and stealing our breath.

This is main street in Moshiem-town-

we're the only witnesses to mourn its death.

untitled- work in progress

I want to feel the hot
Flow of blood
As it flies from
wounds newly formed
By shards of what was a portal
To an outside world or
Was it inside-
The calamity of slicing
My skin shredding like memories
Taken too early from the vine
Bitter; better to toss over the fence
The hot and thick fluid
The numbness that you feel
Only after you bleed
And the throb, throb, throb
Then coagulation,
Hardening into a scar
Or a memory- better-
A scar is a memory.
I want that scar.

5 seconds to detonation

Time stands,

still, staccato

a diseased heart beating its last

all volume evacuates all sound dies-

we stare numbly into the blast

no plans no options left (real or stock)

last commute we’ll see

the radio’s gone dead

last curse and finger at the jerk who cut us off

last cell phone call to a lover who shouldn’t be

last blown kiss to the woman driving the Benz

what’s coming is the shockwave, the inevitable cleanse

of urban decay and human wastes

so time stands,

still, staccato

etched forever in that one moment-

in those long shadows-

gods never pondered, stories never told

the twilight of the human soul,

its terrible entwining with destiny unleashed.

same as it ever was

Why does the world need another blog? Answer- it doesn’t. OK, I can do better than that. I used to be the owner of my own domain, the first Fly-By-Night Lighthouse. On it I would post poetry I had written, mostly for myself so I could have the text available if I happened across an open-mic & decided to inflict the poor audience with my rambling verse. Then a lot of things happened in my life, including the loss of two jobs in one year, economic issues for my family & a major move. I lost my domain, which sucked but it seems that domains are rather passe these days anyway.

I plan to utilize this blog the same way, posting poetry every once in a blue moon, perhaps taking a reader through my writing process by posting drafts & asking for feedback. I may even write a real blog entry (like this one) about any variety of subjects. Who knows, the sky’s the limit.

* * *

By the way, I started a group called Poetry Array on Facebook ( This was in honor of the old & very missed Poetry Array site where a group of us used to post, review & workshop. It is a open group, so feel free to join if you would like to participate.