Soft Soul

Grampy’s soft soul is slippery
with voided balconies,
overdosed drugs, and
the self-induced pneumonia
of neglect. He wants to
be by her side
in the great beyond
after more than 60 years
together in the here and now.
There is no way to explain
why not
after all
what consolation is
an empty apartment of memories
that flow stronger than time?
The descendants and helpers
who bring conscious present
do little to stave off
omnipresent death.

Candid Shot of My Grandfather Sleeping

Grammy Still Now

Not pretend
but real death —
she’s gone.
Grammy, rest tranquil
in the stillborn dawn
never to wake
by Grampy’s side again.
The pain is over,
the waiting done,
the death drugs flushed
safely down the toilet
where they now belong.
Mingle with the universal
so Grampy can feel
your love spread lovingly
through his suicidal soul.
The time will come
soon enough for you
both to rest side by side
cremains in a cubby
built for two
for all time.

Rainy Beach

Nothin’ much sadder than a
Beach town in the rain.
The place ain’t built for it
and the sky water leaks down
through cracks we never guessed
at onto the sunburnt necks
of frowning tourists who flee sunward
stranding only those who
have no better destination in mind,
afloat under thundrous skies.


Chest sculpted by the sand and the waves
tufts of hair between muscled breasts
the young surfer flexes his bicep
carrying his board to the sea.
Wading then paddling in the waves
to sit floating, awaiting the perfect swell,
the chance to skim the surface
of the roiling water as it breaks
crashing in calumnous cascades
on the shallow ocean floor.

[written on Jeribucaçu Beach near Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil]