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Twenty One Stories - A Collection of Literary Thoughts & Poems

Updated on November 4, 2014


as ragged threads pass on a street corner

a violent voice whispers

maybe taunts

the smell of rotted eggs

rises into a red clothed sky

welcoming the voice

encouraging its whispers

with breath that tastes like salt

but it will pass

unraveling the threads

as it goes

leaving her to shiver.

Letting go . . .

Snow melts from cones of pine.

Petals lift from floral stems.

Sand dust is carried away by the wind.

Leaves fall in harvest dusk.

An ember’s last breath dwindles from a heart’s fire.

Everything in its own season must let go.

Throwing Stones At A Glass House



Like a child untouched by life’s sweet bitterness.

Twenty one years old and still

Locked inside your glass bubble . . .

“but it’s safe here.”

Maybe So

But a world outside awaits

Requiring exploration

And the navigator could be you . . .

“but I am afraid.”

Yes. Afraid.

Afraid to shatter your precious glass bubble,

But your feet will never step into the ocean

If they can’t get past the sand.

“but . . . maybe . . . maybe tomorrow . . .”



The sea isn’t what you are reaching for


Maybe you can only reach the steel bars which enclose you.

But I ask you one thing:

Are you content in this life?

They tell me

I should not throw stones

At people in glass houses . . .

But if it will make you

Emerge from your mother’s womb

I would throw a thousand stones




Just one massive boulder.

But even that could not penetrate

A solid heart that is playing hard to get.

Twenty One Stories Up

Twenty Stories Up

Twenty-one stories up

(twenty more to reach the roof)

Muddied from wear,

An old sneaker rest on the closet floor

Sticking up the room with its exhausted fumes.

Outside the open window

Rain falls on the city below,

Dampening the air

And filling it with must.

Acid rain

Carbon monoxide

Chemical pollutants filling the sky

Muffling the ozone

Killing us all.

The rotted sneaker still sits in the room

Twenty-one stories up

(twenty more to reach the roof).

The rain is still falling

Chemical pollutants still fill the air

And, we are still living.


The sneaker has been tossed out

(maybe thrown from twenty-one stories up).

The rain has stopped

Chemical pollutants still fill the air

Will we go on living?

Subtle Rape

Sex plays on the radio.

Its music begins with a soft mellow beat

Soothing to the skin

Bathing the body in its rapture,

Gradually building into a crescendo.

The tempo rises

Each beat picking up rhythm



The music becomes



Its intensity grows

Exciting the body

Rousing hormones

Emerging into a




The music fades,

The tempo slows

Expiring the rhythm

And finally



Leaving the skin empty, the body numb,

Waiting for a new song to play.

Welcome to the Edge

Welcome To The Edge

A Letter from an Immigrant

(in slightly imperfect iambic pentameter)

I walk the edge of America

And all I see is a concrete beach

Upon which to scrape my tiresome head.

I see all the lost and lonely people

Who do not have a place to call their own

Not even the comfort of a warm bed.

Inside the old abandoned subway halls

Remains the pungent smell of fear and shame

A violent breath that is carried

By a wind that has no name.

Vigilantes keep watch on dawn patrol

Men with guns who have nothing left to hide.

Even I was just a distant number

Posted along a broken mental fence

That clearly marks that ragged Great Divide.

I see the towers of your citadel

But it seems someone overlooked the cost.

I know of all your forgotten soldiers

Who come from this place you call paradise.

But now, that paradise seems to be lost.

- - “Welcome to the Edge of America” - -

That will be what I shall tell my friends . . .

- - “If you have become tired of searching

This is the place where all but dreams do end.” - -

- - “You have nothing left to lose here . . .

Nothing more you can protest.

Learn to love your anger now . . .

Anger here is all you possess. “ - -

I have seen the edge of America

And its streets of cheaply plated gold –

A hidden refuge full of lost nations

Both the strong and timid, the young and the old.

Recognition is not always realized here

And salvation is lost among the crowds.

Tell me, as I sit by your sterile sea . . .

Where is your nation now?

The Wall

Since his passing

Resentment has settled in

Like a heavy Alaskan fog.

Bitter is his image

And all he ever stood for . . .

the medals, the code, the dress blues

And the unspoken truths

Things they don’t want you to know about . . .

The nigh tremors, the secrets, the lies

And the catch phrases too!

“No one shall fall tonight, not on my watch.”

Words that still haunt my sleep.

He did fall.

Not in active duty,

In the war at home . . .

as a husband

a lover

a father

things not issued in his sea bag.

Yet, standing here today

In this park

Before this wall

Finally, I am peace.

These Prison Walls

These prison walls are cold and hard.

The fence is tall across the yard.

Locked away, and what’s so strange

Is that I feel as if nothing has changed.

The floor is cold, the blankets itch.

Three meals a day, to some that’s rich.

Some still dream of an open door.

Me, I know I was never free before.

Never free to fly away

Never free to disagree

There is still someone so far away.

I will always be here

Late at night to think things through.

I try to think of ways to get over you.

But I never can, and what’s so strange

Is that I feel as if nothing has changed.

Ten more months and they say I am free.

But that makes no difference to me.

You locked me out so long ago.

These prison walls are all I know.

These prison walls you have bound me in are all I know.

Your Place

Your Place

Neatly piled in a corner

The pastel-spackled loveseat

Once cradled bits and pieces of your life

Like a puzzle to be completed on raining afternoons:

an old beat-up gym bag carrying a life of its own inside

over-over due library books

last month’s Playboy

morning newspapers still unread, still wrapped in their orange plastic

a pair of lady’s driving gloves

and endless scraps of paper with notes to do this or that

that never got done

And now, like you

It’s all a memory

Turned just a lighter shade of grey.

Unspoken Loyalty

A dedication to all four-legged, furry friends who always remain loyal to our hearts.
A dedication to all four-legged, furry friends who always remain loyal to our hearts.

You are here when he isn't

You listen when he doesn't

You understand when he won’t.

You love when he can’t . . .


Miles To Go

Miles have brought us together

Miles have come between us and kept us apart

Yet, here we are now

Standing hand in hand, heart in hear

A lifetime together we will share

And miles to go . . .

Mother's Sewing Box

Tucked away in a wooden black box

Remain the stories of her life untold . . .

Patterns of thought, spools of emotion, threads of dreams,

Pieces of an unfinished quilt she will never sew.

All fastened with a key . . .

Like a locket never opened






from her heart.


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