I grabbed a twelve-pack of beer at the local grocery store

then got in line at one of the registers.


Ahead of me was a woman with a cart of stuff, and

in her cart was a toddler. I assumed it was hers.


The toddler looked at me and blinked its eyes.

Reminded me of an owl.


I took a closer look at the toddler

to see if it was worthy of the comparison.


It didn't seem to have any interest in me at all, 

so I figured the child was probably at least as wise

as an owl.



~Social Security~


We are all armed, now.

Everyone sixteen years and older

totes a gun.


The boy holsters are blue.


The girl holsters are pink.


Dad holsters have the ace of spades or

bowling balls on them.


Mom's have flowers.


The flames

of freedom

burn in the









Sara likes to write.

She writes about the sun

everything under it and everything beyond it and stuff

that doesn't exist. 


One time she wrote about a jellyfish

that won the Kentucky Derby. 


It was a longshot.





I put my ear to your mouth;
hear the voice of driftwood,
feel your breath, soft as breeze 
stirred by wings of dragonflies
pushed seaward by Santa Anas 
where heat of the afternoon
ricochets off the sand, 
sooths the flesh
upon my tired bones;
bones older
than all the humpbacked whales.


~ Summer Sausage ~

As we sit and watch butterflies
flutter towards the August sun,
it's easy to imagine their wings,

burned to toast; their bodies,

fried to small sausages.

This arouses our appetites,
so we take off our clothes,
have each other for breakfast,

which we all know

is the most important meal of the day.


 ~A Plane Crashes Into Mother~

Her rawhide whip whirls in the kitchen air

as a self-righteous cow looks with disapproval

at the leather-clad milkman and madness

just inside the door.


Mom's smiley face dims the sunrise

on days like this. With my report card in hand

she ransacks mementos sent by dad

for a pen to initial grades of failure.


Joe, the plumber pulls into the driveway,

readies his snake and plunger,

which shall remain unsoiled.

Our neighbor'll never finish mowing his lawn.


A cat shrieks. Sparrows splatter against potted plants.

Mom's sewing machine bursts,

sends needles flying through the house

as the Cessna's fuel explodes, turns my sisters


into single-parent children. I get shipped

to Michigan to live in a house areek with

Ancient Age and a piano in decomposition

beneath a tobacco-stained print

of deer fleeing trees aflame.


~A Gray Area~


If you look at clouds closely

you can see what liars they are.

Always changing their story.




~ Yellow Doomsday Dresses ~


Crows don't rile the pigeons,
it's raptors who raise their ire
along rain-splattered avenues
littered with busted lives
hung-up on the poppy-dope
that has them wan and cornered.


Church bells don't rattle heathens  
where Jehova Watchtowers fade on bus stop benches.
Yard-sale signs tacked to power poles point the way
to second-hand exercise machines and National Geographic
magazines. Wanda's corner is cold and sexless
now that the law has bumped her down to Tacoma.
We're both victims of yesterday's token sweep.


A folly of sirens suddenly strikes
the emerald state
as concrete hips and steel bones
crack under blistered clouds. Blasted panes
shred pedestrians while those at home
vaporize behind irrelevant doors.

The nuclear twisters have missed


these yellow dresses, my gentle neighbors.
Let's put them on and muse among
the stubborn dandelions,
behold the common sparrows of the weed
as creatures marvelous and rare.


Yes, we're done for, folks.
It's our last chance to really laugh,
to sing and dance
in these yolk-yellow dresses,
as we suffer feathered downpours

of dead and dying birds.





I left my foam Buddha

in the rain, 

and when the sun 

came out 

he was





~A Refusal to Further Critique the Wren~


I strain both ears
to pinpoint the wren. Its poems
inspired by death throes
of insect prey
wend through leaf and needle walls

to be heard by crows,
their heads cocked as they filch crumbs
strewn along the walk

where their caws chastise verse
praised by the sparrow
while throngs of starlings
plagiarize the killdeer and hawk.



~ Of a Summer Evening ~

A bug flew into my ear and hated it.
Got out quick with a buzz of distaste
and went away fast. 


Was it dirty wax? The noise, 
high-pitched and constant?
Something about my ear bothered that bug.


Oh, well. I'm not going to dwell on it much.
I should just be glad I don't have to dig
the damn thing out
because it was happy in there.



~Super Moon~


The moon got huge
and erased all the stars
so you decided
we should leave the pool, 
go indoors,
and make love in the dark. 


And as we did,
light and water
played together like children
in our little back yard.




~God Ain't No Jockey~


Earth has finished 3rd again

in another race around the sun,

beaten for the five-and-a-half-billionth time

by Mercury and Venus.


God may be great,

and good at a lot of things,

but if He doesn't figure out

how to take His planet

to the inside rail down the final stretch

His mount will never do better than show.




~Avian Flu~

The crows

have fallen ill today,
as crap blows around
the nightclub's dumpster
to mar the biker's view.

The choppers,
parked along the sunline,
lean slightly
like the crows
who have fallen ill today.


"We're sorry."
Moan the city ma's and pa's.


"We should have known
the crows were due
to take sick one day.

It's been reported
in all the papers."


And now the bikers

are nabbed selling hotdogs
without a permit,

while too, the Seattle rain has begun,
but down, must come the tarp,
the bun's only protection,
and no one to eat them,
for the crows
have fallen ill today.




~Back to the Flies~


I have departed for the coastside
where you copped that zany lipstick.
You were unaware at the time of the tragic citation
stuck to the windshield of your Jack of used cars.
Oh, how he had blown you away as he tongued his harp
back at the Shut-Up-and-Sing Bar and Grill.

It seems as far as you're concerned

it's always Friday night and drunk outside.


But, back to the flies I mentioned over on the coast:


I found one had drowned in your half-empty wineglass.
Its soaked wings lost their buzz,
its eyes, drunk-blind and red. I left it
for the busboy to lay to rest in the sink.


The ceiling fan hummed, and the air it moved
played with Pablo's hair as he looked
back at me over his shoulder. He saw
the sun go down directly behind my head
as I watched his favorite waitress
bend to pour her one-millionth cup of coffee,
leaving room for sugar and cream.




~Chinese in Idaho: A Historical Look at Math~


Long after the Idaho dinosaurs died

a bunch of Chinamen moved in
to look for gold.


They found fossils and petrified turds
among the rocks and nuggets,
and showed some of them to Sister Renee.


Sister Renee didn't have much interest
in the fossils and turds because
she thought they were boring,
but the blur of Chinese fingers
doing math on an abacus was
pretty damned amazing, in her view,
so she wrote a book about that
and completely ignored
the dinosaur fossils and turds.





~Breakfast Ruined~


When I awoke, yesterday morning,

got out of bed, and had coffee,

it tasted how it always tastes,

and the toast I had,

tasted the same

as it always tastes.


I didn't know

you were going to leave 

with someone else, later that day.


Now, this morning,

everything tastes like a cloud.



~One Windy, May, Day~


One windy, May, day,

God made a kite too wide

for Him to fly, and,


as He tried and tried

to get His kite skyward,

people in a nearby village

watched and laughed at His efforts,

and, even though they were aware that

laughing at God might get them in trouble,

they just couldn't hold it in any longer. 




~Christina's Beast~


Christina shuns the freaks,

all the rides, dime-pitch bids
towards a carnival glass prize.
She never gives the barkered games
of rings and darts a gamble.  


Though she pines for the grower
of award-winning squash,
and would love to try
his yellow crookneck,
she's yet to stroll
his Autumn prop
set beside the strawflowers.


Christina returns to straddle
her up-side-down tub 
beside the sow she prays
the judge deems worthy
of first-place blue.
Her thirty-year collection
of runner-up, cherryred ribbons
has faded to the pink tint
of her 4-H beast,
the flower entombed between the leaves
of a diary of squeals and wounds.




~Circus Clouds~


There was a clown,

and the sun was his belly.


He wore a wide smile,

but his stride was so long

his belly couldn't keep up,

so it was left behind.


His head whisped and stretched

east east east

as his feet stepped west,


and now that he's gone

and spread himself too thin,

the sky is an empty big-top

being dragged away

by puffy, gray, elephants.




~Currency of Rosa~


I met Rosa,

the other day.


She is so beautiful,

that if I was treasurer of the United States,

I would have a likeness of her lips

placed on the $1 bill.


Her eyes

on the $2 bill.


Her hands

on the $5 bill.


I would want her naval

on the $10 bill.


Her breasts

on the $20 bill.


Her perfect ass

would adorn the $50 bill.


Upon the $100 bill

would be her glorious vagina, with

"In God We Trust"

permanently deleted, because

He never buys anything, anyway.


~Death Sounds~


The Three Stooges died from stroke,
heart attack, pneumonia,


as did


Tolstoy, Salinger, Faulkner.







~Early For a Beheading~


She arrived early for the beheading;

found a clean table at a cafe 

with a view.


She ordered coffee, then took a poem

written by the condemned

from her pocket.


"Ah, she mused: Plato banned poets

from his Republic, and rightly so. Andre 

is a fool."


A large crowd gathered in the square.

The time had come.  The heavy blade

of the guillotine dropped,

and the poet's head

fell into a basket.


"Voila." She sighed, 

then stood, and went shopping.




~Epiphany Lunch~

He opened the refrigerator door, 
and saw that the light had burned out.

All the stuff in there looked old, gray,
and unappetizing in darkness, 
and he realized, at that moment,
why he's so alone.


~Floral Misdemeanor~


Drunk in the hills,

we topple down upon
golden poppies,

which is no surprise.


Someone told us
golden poppies

are protected by law,

but look at these we've crushed,

tumbling as one.

Law broken easily

as mayfly wings.



~Flowers of the Sun~


A gripe of dandelions

in the neighbor's yard
grabs rays while the grabbing
is good and creeps to his open door
as a witness to the emotional beating
he gives his wife.


Today he's too starved

for air to swing his fist
towards her face while

Venus and Saturn scream
"fire!" and rue the day
they wed the ogre sun.






I watch a fly
tap its fat, green ass
against the lamp's bulb.


"Goofy bastard."

I mumble out loud,


then return to my keyboard,
and tap,
tap, away.



~Fun With Colors~


Sometimes she wonders
if the day she dies
will be quiet,
white & gray, 
yellow & green, or
red & blue.




~How to Look at a Pumpkin~


Usually in October,
as rain falls, and frost chills,
there's the pumpkin.


We assume the pumpkin's
nubby stem is on its top side,
but that's because they're viewed
as ornaments on porches,
ddoor steps, holiday displays and
the like, but Let's really look

at the pumpkin in its field:


See how it's attached to its vine,
and how what we assume
to be its top points east, west,
north or south, but rarely skyward?


A pumpkin really has just two sides:
A smooth out side
and a warm, moist in side,
like a woman.




~New Moon~


The forty-fourth president

of the United States

sits on the white house lawn

with his dog.


It is around midnight.

He can see the moon, clearly,

and how it's covered with 

swimming pools

that dried-up many years ago.


Earlier that evening

he read about the drought

in California, and, as he looks at the

dried-up swimming pools of the moon,

he prays Los Angeles

doesn't suffer the same fate.


He knows

if the swimming pools

of Los Angeles


the life guards and pool boys there,

while in line to apply for unemployment

benefits, will turn their ire 

towards the nation's capitol, and mutter:


"It's all your fault, Mr. President,

that Los Angeles is now the new moon."




~The Jump~


A man took a parachute
to Earth
from beyond the clouds,

and on his way

he gently swayed

as he composed a poem.


When he reached the ground
he read his poem
to the people gathered,

and it was so rich

with emptiness and air,
the people heard

and marvled at its beauty. 






The ocean

loves the land so much

she takes

all she can,

puts it

inside her,

and keeps it there, forever.




~All Coyotes Are Atheist~


My campfire reeks of history,

and in the distance a coyote,

its nose pressed against the Milky Way,

lets loose a falsetto "yap yap"

and waits for a reply.


I toss more wood on the fire,

and hope the dog understands

silence can be a very good thing.




~Poem For Everyone I Do Not Like~


On second thought--

the hell with them.

They don't get a poem.







View owlcrkbrg's Full Portfolio