Fishbowl Philosophy

aquariumCedric was smart
Had a big heart
He was extraordinary
Had a big vocabulary
With all the intelligence
That could be packed
Into his little fish brain

He stared
Was sometimes scared
Especially, early mornings
When gigantic hands
Reached down
Sprinkled food
Without warning

Strange, grotesquely
Distorted creatures
With exaggerated features
And appendages
Pressed their faces
Enormous eyes
Against the glass

What was the
Meaning of life?
This little Piscean
Swam in his aquarium
Pondered epistemological
Vicissitudes, and said
“I swim, therefore I am”


SCARED OF LIVING (Afraid of Dying)

In honor of the fallen–those with heavy hearts–this Memorial Day.


Hardly remembered
Easily forgotten
What could be?
What might have been?
Live for today
Not tomorrow
Nothing given or taken
Only borrowed
Could briefly stay
Afraid to go home
Judgement clouded in anger
Conscience disappeared
Truths, too real to conceive
Secrets carried to the grave

As day transitions to night
Give up, or stand up and fight
Cemeteries overflowing
With timid and bold
Young and old
Those that died
For what they believed
Widows, orphans
Overcome with grief
Same language
Different beliefs
Scared of living
Afraid of dying

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The doorThe landing smelled
Of, the sea, sweat
Sisal rope, diesel fuel
Old wooden door
Rude storage building
Only a seafarer
Could love
Kept things in
Kept things out

Red and blue
Pigments faded
Wood grains roughened
Door moldings warped
Under pressure
But, didn’t break

Toughened sailors
Held to tradition
Passed through
This doorway
To opportunity
Or disappointment
With regularity of tides
In and out, everyday

Thinking Posts

head scratching

Henry had a headache
Head throbbed with pain
Over and over
Again and again
He stood on one leg
Scratched his head
Then, switched to the other

He knew where to go
When, there was
Thinking, to be done
His favorite place
He couldn’t tell anyone
A grouchy pelican, was
On pier post one
So, pier post two
Would have to do

So he perched
And he scratched
It sure felt good
Like head-scratching should
He thought some
Scratched again
Then, thought some more
Wasn’t that what thinking
Posts were for?


streetcarPassengers, sat quietly
Enjoyed breezes wafting
Through open windows
Scents from gardens
Majestic courtyards
Bakeries, bistros

Ancient wooden
Beasts of burden
Accepted, for what
They were, destination
Not, as important
As, enjoying the ride

Creaked and groaned
For a new generation
As in, decades before
To the waterfront
Along tree-lined
Boulevards, and
Wrought iron fences


mimosaRustic wooden bridge
Railings, lacquered
Brilliant red, arched
Peaceful waters
Echoed footsteps, of
Geishas, with parasols

Hundreds of hungry
Colorful carp
In varied hues, of
Orange, black, white
Scrambled for food
Amused grandfather
And grandson

Mimosas, with
Colorful plumage
Stretched lazily
Paid homage
To gentler ways
Hot summer days


urban decayUnder clear blue skies
White clouds of steam
Billowed from sewer grates
Pamela and Alonzo
Ignored the stench

Sat on the curb
Huddled for warmth
Winters, were the worst
Whether, in one hollowed out
Nondescript neighborhood
Or, in the next

Stepped lightly
Careful, to not bruise
Fragile egos of passing elite
Searched for food, handouts
Things, to pawn or steal

It was a battle of wills
Among street corner preachers
Panhandlers, throwaway people
With moral compasses
Pointed in different directions

Clung together for comfort
Security, to avoid getting killed
“What do you want from me?”
Alonzo asked–shook his fist at the sky
“Leave me alone!”
“I’ve got nothing to steal!”
Found comfort, in sameness
Somewhere, off the grid