In rather obvious irony I repost a poem on struggling to write one – in honor of National Poetry Day (UK).

Rob's Lit-Bits

Sometimes he gets stuck in the dictionary so

long that his brain becomes alphabet soup.

He wears his skin tattooed with another’s thoughts.

And he waits.

No, he frets – and sour apprehensions

swim atop a slowly scumming pond

of wilted words, reeking of lost sleep.

And, if reflections in the coffee shop window

are meant to serve as metaphor,

they only spur on the edict

of secondary pictures mirrored from

another’s doubting face.

Come then, if you must,

shadows from a cold mist to

rattle and rustle the bones.

Come, take up residence beside

one with a plasticine pencil,

pliable to cautious hands –

worthless in sweaty palms,

squeezing desperately against

the inevitable.

In this reverie to a ghost –

vestibule in an empty house,

birthing only the vestige of coffee-stained

intentions, a writer paces –

penning wordlessness.

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then becomes now

when the vein constricts just to hear

the blood

and your eyes see only in

the cave of night

when fixtures of time break from the rhythms of ground

only then


when the slow draft of deepest thirst is denied

and uneven steps abandon the road       

you clutch your own chest and your fingerprints

don’t recognize you

only then


when birds birthing songs are halted by wind

their silent haloes of pain embed in dark corners

and hope is cued but misses curtain call 

only then


when all this crescendoing chaos crows too loud

and reveals itself tripping over its own demise

then delight and devastation trade places

the Wind reminds the rain of its purpose

a Face turns toward you and




At the corner of validation and forgot

In commemoration of the last time Rae and I were at this delightful spot, a writers conference in Edmunds, Washington. This was the poem I spent all day writing on a park bench by the ocean.

Rob's Lit-Bits


At this drunken shoreline, patterns return, in

quilted quiet. I can revel again in spiced hours,

deaf to the biker-ghosts, bad-mouthing

this demure, paper posture.

Thoughts are a little rumpled, like the sea,

what with these ferocious memories; un-manacled,

like cottonwood dreams, blown out into the world.

This world I am watching.

* * * * *

She walks down the street, locking

every wandering glance; stolen stares from

other hungers. Sad limbs, built for laughing strolls,

carry instead their weight in

desperation, the roll call gestures of

fragmentary magnetism. To look down is to invalidate,

the one thing that renders such creatures immobilized.

She never looks straight on. Being seen but

unknown has honed a peripheral awareness

to a hawk-like precision. It’s the hollow

look of the lonely.

* * * * *

That’s a tiny dog for such an imposing guy.

It must have something to do with an ill-

fitting black…

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Last of the summer, leaves

An autumnal poem from yesteryear…

Rob's Lit-Bits

Down the road of change

I watch while the last of the summer leaves

the last of the summer leaves,

cornered by color, bullied by wind,

pushed from their tenuous

one-finger perches. Dangling

from hope, they yet cling to what was.

To what can never be again.


Buttressed now by stealth and stain,

the trees hold their breath and, in bloated hues,

leave behind what could never have been kept.

The molten days of August, now

Eastward creeping, cannot match

the closer dawn of winter’s darker agenda.

Change waits for no one.


Our frightened but fawning fraternity,

grips the once-dangling inside jokes. 

But our song-sick companionship, bends

to sight and chance and change.

Beyond the clutch and ken of

drowning dreams, old stories, made young

again in the telling, sleep in

the quiet choirs of shared experience.


Love, always trumpeting her own exploits,

is writ larger against the dim and shrinking page.

Huddling for warmth against the inevitability


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A Poem

When muscle, bone, and sinew can’t find heart

and listening and looking. Then, severed in time

from the wishing well of wonder, we wander

through rushes and slivers of time, bent

over mirrored water, haunted.

There is a wrinkle in the fabric of

our time when tender grows the minstrel’s

song. It rings across golden fields of

shimmering wheat – milled hopes of our time.

Bardic but breathless it sounds, reveling in tremors

of songs still sung to handmade candles.

They shine to our hopes, ablaze with just

a hint of what could be.

There is a certain moment, beholden to itself,

in which ghosts and gazes meet to discuss

their future. Still, birthed

from the ashes of forgottenness

an ember yet lurks, small but waiting, patient –

alert to any movement or sounds of humming.

Catch it if it sings.

Beautiful illusion

Beautiful illusion, this lantern-press-magician-pulling-roses-out-of-hat-poster.jpg

trying to juggle fire –

trading one ache for another.

Sun and moon withhold their light

and spend their time drinking instead.

Shoulders, steady and strong,

but cold, are small consolation

against the high-cliff dive

into welcome water.

When do heart and shadow 

walk together? Does one see

the other? Would they dance

if they met?


Centrifugal encounter, the quest

for the peace of another 

that renders only pieces

of another. No eye for eye,

tooth for tooth.

No. I and eye,

and tooth with tooth – grins

hiding smiles

hiding pain.


Beautiful encounter – when

our illusions become too illusory

even for themselves.

And shells crack.

And blood meets light.


Picture found here

No difference

What one sees is not always what one seeks.

And what one seeks is not always what one says.

And what one says is not always what one starts.

It’s okay, there’s no difference between what

I didn’t see yesterday and what landed itself full upright

in today’s path, muse-appointed.


There are the moments when, at a

full stride, forehead high and strong,

come words and stories, notes and beams,

high-stepping toes, pointed at heaven;

brushstrokes for love or anger, life or less –

those are the boldest strokes, the highest notes,

the brightest steps…


The sound of music is good wherever notes 

find you. Let it be your symphony.