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Perfect Hiker

Sometimes the trail is too steep

Your boots slide

On loose rocks

At every step

Your knees shudder

Barely keeping

You upright

It might be time

To give up

Your perfect techniques

Your way of planting

Your hiking sticks just so

Just sit down and slide

Let gravity do its work

As your butt glides over the rocks

It is a dusty trail

You’ll be covered in grime

Before you are done

But it is the only way

To get down a trail

That is too steep for you

Maybe too steep for anyone

With any sense

The point is always

To make it home

In one piece

Clean doesn’t matter

In the long run.

Perfection is over-rated

Actual trail on Mount Tamalpais

Miracle Man

He was a healer they said

A miracle man

It didn’t matter

Who you were

Or what you had

He’d heal your body

And drive the demons

From your soul

Let the children come

Blessed are the poor

Feed the hungry

He had grave doubts

As to the possibility

That the rich 

Would ever

Find salvation

That doesn’t mean

They shouldn’t try

Miracles can happen

After all


Trapped somewhere between

Despair and desperation

The heart beats weakly

The lungs take uneven breaths

Shall we sink down and let

The ashes of the earth

Cover our bodies

And deaden our souls

Or shall we rise up to face

The blows raining down

Rage lending strength

In a frightening time

Burn it down

Seize what we can

It is not a choice

And may not matter

What we do

But with our last gasps

While they take our lives

With bullets and batons

With choke holds and knees

We must shout out the truth

We are human

We choose desperation

Over despair









There must be a rainbow somewhere

A silver lining in the clouds

It’s what they tell me anyway

Dangling hope amid despair

That fragile feathered creature

Spinning high above the flames

Sometimes I catch a glimpse

A flash of color

The warm breath of God.


Down here though

The days are long

The news disturbing

It’s an effort to go on

Sobs rise on winds of grief

And fear stalks my battered soul

Maybe my tears will drown the rain

And the rainbow will appear.






They say you’ll go

To Hell in a handbasket

But a basket

Is not what you’ll need

You’ll need a much bigger container

To hold all your fear and despair

And the demons that wake you

Just after midnight

When the world

Has been way too much

Hunker down, friend

That Hell is mainly in your mind.

Your nightmare imagination

Is restless

And needs to run through the streets.

The world can punish enough

Don’t give it any help.






I Wonder


I wonder what my life

Would have been

If the path was less clear

If the trail had disappeared

Under a carpet of dead leaves


Dusty my feet got

And sore

Blisters appeared

When something

Rubbed me the wrong way


Still the trail called me

All I could do was follow

Never quite knowing

Where it would end


From space it must have seemed


A wandering with no plan

Somehow though

I ended up here.


Thank God!



When I Was Young

When I was young

We hid under our desks

For fear of the atom bomb

Now I hide in my house

Afraid of disease.

When you were young

You practiced lockdowns at school

For fear of bullets flying.

Now the schools are closed

And very safe one would think.


When I was young

The only homeless people I saw

Were hobos riding the rails

And long haired hippies

Looking for crash pads and revolution

When you were young

Tent cities crowded the streets

Of every city you saw

So much misery and poverty

And no one seemed to care.

Now there is some concern

But only to contain the viral

Spread of the dread disease


When we both were young

We went to concerts and rallies

We gathered with friends

And only robbers wore masks

Except for the Lone Ranger I guess

But he was the exception.

There are no exceptions now.


What will your children say

If you have them

About when they were young?

Will there still be long days at home

Writing sidewalk messages to the world

Grandparents and teachers on video

Unable to give kisses or grades

I’d bake the kids some cookies

But I may be out of flour.


It is a blessing to be old.

I hope you are really old someday.

Your children too

If you have them.





This virus isn’t new

Not really

The sickness has been here

From when the first white colonists arrived

To this green and healthy land


They took possession of the earth

Not caring that it wasn’t theirs

They drove compassion out

Down a trail of tears.

They sent justice on the road.


They brought the poor of Europe

Here to work their fields

Then stole the souls from Africa

Leaving their own hearts behind

Frozen tight in greed.


The beat’s gone on

The infection’s spread

200 years and more

Walls are built and borders closed

While vigilantes roam


It’s time to pause it really is

Take stock in measured order

Heal the sick and feed the poor

Find some shelter for all souls.

A vaccine to prevent this evil


We’re all in this together

A lesson we must learn

Before this virus kills us all.

A pandemic isn’t easy

But we WILL find a cure















IMG_4938I scraped my heel

Walking down a hill

Or maybe it was up

I can’t remember


I was well prepared

Thick socks and boots

Hiking sticks to lean on

It didn’t matter


Hills come

And we go up or down

Defying or giving in

To gravity


The view was worth it

At least I think it was

Because with time

My heel will likely heal


Isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t that why we were born?

To climb the hills

To accept the challenges?

To live our lives

Without regret?


Preparation always helps

But scrapes come still

I climbed a hill

But it seemed a mountain.

I’ve got the scars

To prove it.







Old Leaf


The old leaf rattling down the street

Doesn’t yet know it is spring.

Dry and brittle, energy spent

It looks for a place to rest.

That gutter maybe

Or under that bush

Somewhere safe from the rain

Or a virus in the air

Whatever is lurking

On the other side of fear.


Once you were green

And spring felt eternal

You lolled in the grass

And got drunk on the sun.


You won’t feel this spring

Like you did in years past

Please find you some shelter

As you wait for this strange

Lonesome winter

To pass.