From west to east you reach me,
for years you chose to teach me
a lesson shared; of poetics, and life,
love and respect. You always reject
any notion that our devotion was
a chance happenstance, we were 
meant to “meet” in whatever form
that would take, and make no mistake,
I know you as well as is possible
without ever exchanging glances.
And on the odd chance that we ever could
share the same space, I will remember
your face by the trace it will leave on my soul.
Your voice, your grace, your style all live
forever in the shadow of your smile.




Serene, cerebral,
all thoughts escape
in a sea of despair.
No North Star leads,
nor compass points
towards journey’s end.
I send signal flares,
but there’s no one
at sea to see them.
Sails lowered and oars
tossed aside, I hide
in the shadows of this
weary soul. I have no control
over navigation; into
the dark and murky night
I travel. Before I unravel
I float this prayer.
If you can hear me, Lord…



As sun hangs low in summer’s sky,
She ponders life, and wonders why
Her neighbors seem a bit detached.
Her heart’s perplexed; her socks, mismatched.

She ponders life, and wonders why
She can’t think up a sound reply.
Her neighbors seem a bit detached.
Her key’s misplaced; her door is latched.

Her days and nights are poorly patched.
Her key’s misplaced; her door is latched.
She begs survival’s last goodbye,
As sun hangs low in summer’s sky.

Marie Elena


Photo credit:  Keith R. Good


Little one, your journey
has taken a turn and you
yearn for your course to
remain unchanged. But
by some deranged act of nature,
your stature has been diminished.
You’re finished with holding on
and your tragic song is a cry.
You’re losing your grip and any
slip of the tongue sends you
reeling and feeling less than
zero. And it appears I am no
longer your hero. I have few
answers that make sense to you.
Your sink hole is drawing you down
in a profound shift in your footing.
Usually the hard and strong one,
you’ve done little to show your flair.
You sit and stare blankly; angry
at your world and your mother and me.
All you see is a destructive path,
a road less traveled well. Tell me
what you need! Mr. Fix-it can’t
do his job if you don’t tell me
where it hurts. Stop your brashness
and please don’t trash the life you love.
Don’t panic and flail in the shifting sand.



My voice changed.
That fact defined the year which brought me
to the precipice of adulthood.
Unsure of foot and teetering
on the weak knees of youthful thought.

All of thirteen, a bit green
and ignorant to a changing world.
I found myself transforming into
someone I barely knew, realizing
I would find myself soon enough

as long as I tuned in, turned on
and dropped out of the norms of a
distilled upbringing, wringing my hands
at authority and standing up to the “man”,
still yielding to my mother to take out the trash.

Short on cash and stature, and the nature
of the beast was the least of my concerns.
The females in my realm of thought
made funny things happen to me.
My hands shook, my stomach churned,

and I learned that they were the cause
of my voice fracturing every time they came near.
I had a fear of the war lasting forever,
and having to learn to speak Vietnamese
or Canadian, knowing I’d look bad in fatigues.

Why is it we could put men on the moon,
but couldn’t keep guys like John
and Martin and Bobby safe from hatred.
Isn’t anything sacred anymore? Did we even know the score?
But one thing always delivered the goods. Music.

Music did it for me. I know that now.
We were lighting fires for Morrison,
while Hendrix did fine all by himself.
Mick was gathering no moss, and the price
of freedom was very high, but worth every cent.

And if anyone would tell me that in a year the Beatles
would argue and break up over an avant-garde Ono,
I would tell them the were crazy. I stopped being lazy
in ’69, ever since I found this thing called “muse”,
and how expressing it, gave me and those around me

joy, power, peace; a good release in a lyrical sense
under the false pretense of ever really being
in love yet above all else, music and words lived in me
(but I was just too ignorant to get that clue).
Besides, my voice changed.


Presented at WE WRITE POEMS – Prompt #166 – What’s it like to be your age?


Stretched out on a tranquil raft
feeling the ebb and flow pulling,
turning and yearning to cast off
where peace is a place you can feel.

The brightness fills your eyes
and the skies are a glowing reflection
not needing protection, or harbor.
Coming to a point, a destination

near the nurses station, waiting
for the procedure to begin. A din of
activity; voices and choreography
around your anchored bed and above

your head you hear said,
“we’re just going to give you
this injection…” and your detection
fails. Waves of consciousness pull

tugging your sensibilities and
your abilities are left in the hands
of the man navigating into you with
a surgeon’s skill. It will bring you

back; from Doc to dock tethering you
to resume the journey life has mapped.
No longer trapped in a sedated state
you wait for your mind to clear.

So from here, you go drifting
in and out of sleep, keeping
your head above the tide steeling
your pride, and hiding your scar.


Drifting in and out of consciousness from a surgical procedure this morning, feeling much like the rise and fall of the tides.