Line by Line and Measure for Measure

“Read me, Daddy. Read me,” so my son said

From the other side of our table.

The big book between us. “Shakespeare?”, I said,

“It’s boring and old.” He was four unfazed.

“Read me, Daddy.” I read the lines aloud.

Cheeks rested on balled up fists. Enraptured

With the rhythms of the words. He stopped me.

“Why’s the Duke in disguise, Daddy?” he asked.

“It’s his secret identity,” I said.

“Is he like Batman?” he asked. “I think so,”

I said. “And Angelo is the Joker

Although Pompey is funnier than him.”

And enraptured in the story of it,

My son just said, “Read me, Daddy. Read me.”

I wrote this sonnet in April 2021. I was curious to see how far my writing had progressed in one year’s time. I had remembered how clumsy I thought this poem was at the time, but after a year of not looking at it, I am pleasantly surprised. This poem is good. It has smooth flowing lines, and it clearly tells the story. Even though it is written as a blank verse sonnet, it does not feel like I cut corners due to the brevity of the form. I don’t know why I thought it was a clumsy poem. I guess I couldn’t get off my overly critical editing hat at the time because I now think this poem is good.

We’re Not Talking About You–Sonnet

The sun shows bright on a painted tin roof

And an anti-Biden flag flapping its proof

That the sun shines the brightest on southern

Hillbilly politics. At least, in terms

Of the few living way out in the sticks

The ones who don’t know how to post their picks

To Facebook and, you know, those silly memes

That make the rednecks go and cream their jeans.

The kind your uncle sends at Christmas time.

You know, the post you liked and shared that time.

You think you can hide what you believe in

And you do believe it strongly. But then,

You wouldn’t dare put a flag on your house.

Animals Can Teach Us–Ransom Note Poetry

Animals can teach us prose, poetry, and more

Large free-moving excitement. And doctor’s

Padded iron hands provide stability

Shaping the future of society.


We can recognize influence writing

Before mesh wings provide upright handles,

visit highest corporate community,

And attract substitute communities.


To be directly involved across the

Bee-eater sea, looking mobile-friendly,

where obligation overload takes on

Non-skid wheels and organized lesson time.


And the economics in animal

rituals become cyclical changes.

Dream, You Rose Red Smear of Blowing Music–Magnetic Poetry

Dream, you rose red smear of blowing music.

Meet him, girl. Recall not the need of rain.

Heave not bitterly as your deaths are one

Blue forest skin with smooth breast and less bed

Never trudging to ache were his pink light

But a mad dream grown petal armed lazy.


Feel him preach song to breathe true life between

You sunning comfort every kiss he dare.

Give happy to this simple bluebird wine

Beneath barefoot love alive bringing rain.


Fall then deep and secret with this moist dusk

Of lake moss climbing from verdant love rock.


I created this poem using the magnetic poetry tool found at:

You Number Us in Cyclones and Honey–Ransom Note Poetry

You number us in cyclones and honey,

The unspectacular lilac-breasted

Pattern on the water like wings of milk.

We search for this place when the seas scattered

To the folding dhows will not be pinned.


Our purpose is traced with photographic

Plates of cobweb, corkboard, and spittle.

We will find our purpose from veins polished

From kingfisher feathers. Spinning the trees,

Our purpose scours us to nail and scrap.


Perhaps flying the mighty mockingbird,

At last, down to journey among the known

Suggested king or queen pilgrimages

Of a clean opalescent southern gulf.

Limber it up Some, Son

When it comes to rhyme like many a thought

If it were a crime, we’d all get caught.

The problem with it like we often see

Our thoughts like to quit where rhymes would be.

It is the conceit that sticks in your head

And your rhyme receipt is only bread

Instead of the crunch of lettuce right here

A prisoner’s lunch, bread and water.

Now you could have beer if this were a brunch

And then cause a stir also a punch.

But you had to stick with a silly word

Now your rhyme’s a slick meaningless turd.

But I mean, goddamn, look how bad this sounds.

You’d think that you could loosen up, right?

It was all in the Past

Wait till you hear what just happened to me.

Something I never expected to do.

I went to the future only to be

Dismissed by the past. He said, “Were closed. Shoo!”

Happy? Not me. He could tell by my face.

I countered him and said, “We don’t include

Your kind here. You’re nothing but a disgrace.”

But he fancied himself a scrappy dude

And threatened me that he might call in the cops.

I said, “You’re old. They won’t listen to you.”

I raised my hand and he begged me to stop.

I said, “I won’t do what you tell me to.”

It pissed me off. I mean… What could I say?

Then, I slapped the shit out of yesterday.

Our Old Climbing Tree

The ladder of planks had time to begin

To grow their way loose. And when the boy yanked,

The board pulled away. The question, of course,

Not if he would fall, but why wouldn’t they.

The boy stood perplexed smirk, smile, and all

Dropped plank to the ground and reached for the next.

Grabbing the board, can you guess what he found?

This board just stayed stuck with only one hand.

He grabbed it with two and yanked and then luck.

A board in his hands. A centipede, too.

Wedged against the tree where the water ran

A rotted hole for the creature to be.

He screamed and ran looking ever so bold.

My brave little boy at just eight years old.

Window Blank Eyes

I hear her through the window when she walks

Away from me. I follow her to ask

The question. Does she love me anymore?

The window blank eyes and vacant face.

She wants me gone. I can clearly see that

Conversation’s for everyone but me.

I hear her through the window when she walks

Away from me. Propped against the front deck

Railing lighting up a smoke. She rushes outside phone

To her ear. I’d heard her talking loudly

Until she had noticed me standing there.

To whom was she talking with so much love?

I hear her lie when she says she loves me.

I hear me lie and say I love her too.

Under the Waring Skies

The sky opens with a volley of rain

That comes down like stones shot into the air

On an old battlefield looping through sky

And back down on the grass pelting it down

Like a bloody soldier into the ground.

And the wind blows like a legion of men

Who hold spears in hand with helmeted head

Race through the field to the lone standing place

Crash into the house like an opposing force

Who’s windows shake like an old shivered shield.

The lightning strikes like a flash in the head

From a strike on the helm glancing away

And thunder starts like a unison shout

From still fighting men with blood on their brows.