A Little Butterfly

In front of me
A tiny butterfly
So precious
So little!

Behind me
A rising moon
A star we call the sun
A universe
With hundreds
Of billions
Of galaxies

Such a beautiful
Little butterfly

Butterfly pic is a single exposure, Lensbaby photograph.

At a distance of just 160 000 light-years, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is one of the Milky Way’s closest companions. (Courtesy of NASA’s Hubble)


From a distance
We were just specks
“No account”

From where they stood.

Is a strange partner
It’s message moving one
Into dissonance

Our rhythm
The organized explosion
From untold centuries
A single tip of the wing
Moving the entirety

Blustered wind
Roared past our feathered ear
Created by the masses

It’s all a choreographed dance
And we are perfect
At its execution
Sheer numbers call to predators
And all other inhabitants
“We are here, we are many
And tonight,
This is where we will sleep”

In 2011 I started making multiple exposure impressions that included the dreaded European Starling. They are hated because they are not indigenous and displace other songbirds. But to watch a murmuration is to witness nature at its finest. There is just nothing else like it.

My Shirt is Red

My shirt is red
And it doesn’t cover my tattoos
A forever reminder
Of another time
Another me
1976, The Pike, Long Beach
Sailors, prostitutes, joy rides
And tattoo parlors

My shirt is red
It covers my skin
Thick in some places
Still thin in others
Shaded differences
The European
Conquering the Inca
Always at odds
With myself

My shirt is red
Like blood
Thick with sticky memory
Occasional regret
Knowing new things
Bewildered by what it sees

My shirt is red
Like the sadness
That befalls every falling sun
The disconnect
That is inevitable
In an animated, lucid

My shirt is red
But it is not warm
Until I put it on
Meaningless in the drawer
Depending on what happens
While worn
Could be something terrible
A small catalyst for hope
In a broken world

My shirt is red

Long Was The Day

A faint rumble
Tugged at the heart
Of our young bodies
Looking to challenge death
Riding its crest
For a moment’s climax

It’s a calling
That kicks off the shoes
Sending the reveler
Dancing to the cooler landing

By day’s end though
There is parity
With the heated earth

Stripped of binding clothes
We jumped into the cold
The cool
The ok
The perfect

We screamed and laughed
Imagining this
As real life
A forever dream
That would refuse to be
Awoken from

As we rested, we baked
Half dead
Half alive
The distant sounds of pain by one
Stung by the ray
Were overcome

By the tempo
Of time marching forward
With each wave

We understood
The sea was reclaiming
Pieces of our joy
Calling us again
To test ourselves,
Taunting the forces
Of our mother earth

Work Space

Teleconference the specifics
Meet with the folks that make the checks
Review the schedule
If we do this,
We can erase the next eight months of our lives
Are you ready for that?

Of course.
Just let me re-crunch
The numbers…
Dollars with wings.

I woke up this morning
Thinking about the thing.
You know
The thing
That will keep us up at night?

We’re on the same page.
I hope you can run fast.
This moving train isn’t going to wait for you.
It’ll either wear you out
Or cut you in half
But you can’t go ’til I say go.

Such is the life in construction. “Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.” When my work day is over…I’ll just mosey on down to the rusty buckwheat fields. Watch the bees and really learn something.

The Return

Should have seen the signs
Red sky and hovering lake
Ravenous blackbirds flocked
Like the shark
That smells blood

Busy the mind
Chained hands to the task
My only friend
Long was the journey

Absence is a liar
It’s testing
More resilient
Than any heart
Strength of character
Thrown away
Into empty wind

Even are more empty

Only time and effort
Will erase the disaster
Of neglect

Not sure why this ekphrastic brought me here.
When I was younger, being a journeyman meant exactly that. I had to journey away from my family for extended periods to work my trade. It took a toll on on them and it seemed at times I had completely failed them. Some of my other jobs took me away on the weekends playing music. So even though I was at home every night, I was not available. It was during this time that I realized that words and promises are meaningless.
Only the doing can make things right.
Some memories cannot be erased. They become part of the fabric of your family history. “What kind of memory am I building?”