(written sometime between ’06 and ’07 after a hike to Raine Falls)

With yellow leaf of Aspen
carpeting my path,
I pull my body up
and up the cliff side trail to
hear my heartbeat singing in my ears with

Here abruptly I am
instructed by the rising sun and
setting moon to
join as best I can their promenade.

For this surprise audition, I will tune
into the restless rhythm
Nature’s Cadence

With the River Rogue below
my orchestra,
I set my feet to flight!

The ballet turns I give in front
of this full house of ferns and
nettles thrill me!

And the wind’s applause belongs
inside my ears with
my own heartbeat’s songs.


Belle of the Brain

Be less flesh and
more spirit, they say
Seek salvation intentionally,
but we all sin deadly on
at least one count
and mine is vanity.

It’s not that I stare
transfixed by reflection
I like mirrors the way
I like Cajun
with a full-bellied smile for
a delicacy,
but we all sin deadly on
at least one count
and mine is vanity.

It’s for my brain I’m
most vain
so impressed by its notions
my wit, my writing, my…

  • SAT scores
  • my MENSA membership
  • my English Degree,
  • though never a spelling bee

Hey, we all sin deadly on
at least one count
and mine is vanity.

So don’t tell me to check
my ego
My ego’s a big burly guy named Lee
He’ll deck you before I can check him
most especially if I’m waxing

Those who know me a bit may
furrow their brow
for this is not a side of me
they see
Let me tell you of an epic struggle between
the brain snob and the Southern Belle in me

It’s a story that only makes sense
in places like Georgia
Kentucky and Tennessee
Pride, neatly bridled by sweetness
born and bred, then
beaten in, if need be
the fight of the century every
day of the week
Really, Pacquiao/Mayweather got nothin’
on me,
because we all sin deadly on
at least one count
and b’lieve it or not, Suga!
Mine is VANITY!

Sweet Envy

(Wrote this misbehaving little ditty in March of 2005.  Wow, that seems like a lifetime ago!)

I don’t know who to envy more
my new friend caramel
my old friend cream
two dreamy sweets
sweeter made
in mixture seemingly richer
each alone, select
but when combined,

And I’m wrecked
because I dream
beyond tasting
I dream of
hopping their dish and
laying wasting
joining their measure
for a fix
of scrumptious crime
I’d almost do the time
for the pleasure

But what a shame
to taint them
I have no place in their taste
and blame is bitter ruin

Not to mention jealousy
from my own
partner flavor

We too are savory

And I would never risk
our classy confection
for a brief caramel cream stint

For my own peppery part
I’ll stick with mint


My city waits for me – her straying wisp –
who fell in love with her from rooftop views
who held her hand the way she would insist
before she’d let me cross her avenues.

She nursed me with the knowledge of her streets
and nourished with that knowledge I would roam
through red mud, bluegrass, blacktop, til my feet
turned toward the blue glass tower leading home.

Though born of her, I lived inside her still
enwombed in urban flesh that never broke
I cleaved to her as offspring often will
adoring how she thought, the way she spoke.

Her downtown scrapers growing toward the skies
were mother features to my daughter eyes.

sticky heat
such heat
to make me high
on High Street where I found
Common Grounds
always changing hands
(changing styles between its
wooden floors and ceiling fans)
but always open
Coffee anytime
sweetened with packets of
pink people
blue art
or clear conversation

a gift from my
I fell infatuation
and lay with her enraptured
eyes to eyes
she guided my palms
over her brick belly
concrete breasts and sidewalk thighs.
We thrilled each other till
we body wept.

Kept women we were
neither shameless
nor bearing shame
in our immaculate embrace.
Each morning, I covered her face
in footstep kisses.
Each evening I praised her shape
from my rooftop vista.

Dressing to please my tastes,
she pulled the Kentucky Theater
from its waste in the back of her closet
re-stitched its plush red curtained proscenium
dusted and shined its stained glass ceiling
and put it on again

powdered her downtown cheeks
with painted horses for weeks as I rode
one to the next in delight.
Bottle-capped, stone-fenced
whirly-gigged, dream-coated
they nickered and gloated
necks arched in
equine pride.

Now thoroughly decked
she brought me on her arm
to the Beaux Arts Ball
a masquerade in her honor.
The cold damp stone
of the Radisson basement
transformed by her
the architecture students from
her largest university.
Their painted faces praised her
as rhythm raised us both
to ecstatic pitch
and we tangled our limbs in music
not caring whose was which.

Wholly each other’s
till the day my eyes strayed
to a man of my own flesh
and I woke one morning
(body next to his)
to her silence.

Such silence without anger or reproach
not mother’s punishment nor lover’s spurn
releasing me, resolving but to watch
through leaps and falls the lessons I would learn.

And when through panes of glass she saw me cry
she summoned Loudon House to deck its walls
Its courtyard rock and roll a lullaby
reverberating through the gallery halls.

And with such gifts she eased my zigzag mind
my friend whose love was great enough to slack
her stride from by my side to just behind
so she might help, though never hold me back.

I left her with a loving thank you kiss
and now she waits for me – her straying wisp.