Category Archives: Free Verse

Precious Progress

Plans, ambitions, and dreams:
Forces of power and action
Hampered by invisible foes
Like an agency by bureaucracy,
A runner by sand or storm,
An engine by lack of fuel,
And a printer with a broken port.

Cut off from communications,
Slowed by hidden hurdles,
Or immobilized and drained.
Plans fail to be made
Or if made, fade like mirages,
Occasionally visible -
Impossible to touch.
Actions and goals are hard-won
Not only in their success
But in even partial attempt.
Requiring strength of will
Beyond the shallow norm
To push beyond barriers
And fight for each fraction
Of precious progress.

Magnified Regard

A word under a scope
In magnified regard
Becomes wrong, false -
Doubt colors it
And thus taints it
In form and order
Even in meaning.
Yet the word itself
Remains unchanged
With the only falseness
In the viewer.


Standing, strident, and visible
Somehow unseen, unheard.
Unnoticed and unknown.
Or simply unremarked.

One plus one equals two
Can addition be made
From digits unseen?
From actions unknown?

Without fingers to buttons,
No results are calculated.
Without fingers to keys
Or vibrations to chords,
No stories are told.

Two and two are four,
But one unseen equals three.
Sets of two is two, and
Sets of four is one.
Answers change
As angles shift.


Old Expectations

A once-orderly canal:
Directing and controlling,
Employing the power
And might of the waters.
Now abandoned, unkempt
But still visible, remembered,
Becomes more hazardous
Than an always-wild river.
Old expecations defied
With sudden currents
And hidden hazards.


Carefully arrange notes:
Creating and relieving tension,
Conveying and building feelings,
Constructing a story, and
Empowering words.

Providing comfort, joy, release -
Whatever can be conceived:
An art of sound.


A strong foundation
To all appearances:
Any fissures or flaws
Well-hidden behind concrete
Reinforced by steel.

Until the hammers.

From the largest sledges
To the little ball peens
To the smallest colossus
That fires the shot.

Blow after blow
In unending succession.
Most too small,
Too weak to damage
In a single strike,
Yet flaw-enhancing,
When applied in barrage.

And scattered throughout,
With no warning or reason,
The bone-shattering.
The world-shaking.
The mortar fire that
Slices through
And carves out
The inner steel
In erratic paths.

Leaving fragments

Flip the Switch

An overwhelming storm,
Harsh and buffeting.

An unsettling quiet,
Deep and suffocating.

An unforgiving wind,
Cold and lacerating.

A temperamental land,
Hard and unpredictable.

A relentless vaccuum,
Strong and inescapable.

An endless rollercoaster,
Riders trapped by bars and belts.
Lifted, dropped, and flung about
Without rhyme, reason, or warning
And no one to hear the screams,
Take the picture, or flip the switch.

Infinite Always

Today, tomorrow, yesterday –
A blur of thens and whens
A hundred nows,
A hundred thousand,
Lost but somehow present
In an infinite always
Of forgotten beginnings
And unknown end.

Mental Illness

In the United States,
One in five have one –
Plus more undiagnosed.
There are over twice as many
Suicides as homicides.

The person who has it
Doesn’t want it,
Has tried to stop it,
Tries to hide it, and
Fears to never be free.

No matter what kind:
It can’t be willed away.
Smiling doesn’t help.
“Bringing you down”
Confirms worthlessness.
Deriding “weirdness”
Increases helpessness.
Both build hopelessness.

Listen without judgment.
Fight impatience.
Offer kindness.

Unseen Barrier

An unseen barrier lurks
Between thought and action.
As unbreakable as untouchable,
It cages the frantic mind
As the body lazes weightless.

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