Finding Loyalty to Yourself Regardless of the Actions of Others

Solid hard hours of sleep
Leaves an optimistic possibility

Dragged down with
A broken heart and
The tyranny of my own thoughts
Hydrogen sulfide stink
Infiltrates my bedroom
An unwholesome beady eyed troll
Digging deep with twisted claws
Always mining my soul.
So now what?

I reach
Finding only dry brittle leaves
Crumbling between my fingers
Sifting through the ash
Of what was
What could have been
And what will likely be.

I open my eyes
To days dimmed to
The sun’s warmth
Parched from feeling
The pliability of
Robust physical health
I was so lucky
To celebrate yesterday
Running the best race imaginable

A magnificent accomplishment
Achieved through months
Of consistent determined
Training and preparation
A loyalty to myself
Not everyone possesses.

Instead, overwhelmed,
I have allowed
Panic, rage and sadness
To curtail joy
To pillage my appetite
Dull my tastebuds
For tasting and savoring life
Leaving me weakened
Crawling towards the finish line.

This bleeding out
Needs to end
A tourniquet I construct
And wrap myself
Must cease this sapping.
I want to be a better,
More mentally healthy,
And maybe loving person, even.

I need to look forward
Consider what I want now
Develop goals I want to have
And shine where I excel–
Moving inch by inch
Working on making my plans
Come true the best I can.

An upturned tortoise
Wobbling on the shell’s curve
Legs flailing, mid air
Soft underbelly
Vulnerability exposed
I’m definitely off balance
Who knows exactly for how long

But I’ll get there.







Falling out of Love With the Wrong Person

Believe me
Sometimes you know
You’ve fallen out of love
And it’s “over.”
There’s no turning back.
Light switch permanently off.

Some door that once opened
Into lighted magic phenom
Aurora Borealis
Now has a cold knob.
Ashes behind tears
Gale force black ink squirted

Octopus arms suction
Formaldehyde cadavers

Be done with this eternity.
Be strong
Stay safe
Be sane.


Elastic Heartache

Being kind
A warm fire heart
Crackling with welcome
A steady hand
To guide gazes towards light
Palms turned up and open
To receive life’s gifts
Relationships, opportunities.

Knowing depths of positive
Sometimes fleeting–
Nothing lasts forever–
But also pausing to see beauty
In the scratchy,
People quirks
Barren polish
Dented sheen


Less can be more.

I wonder how to make “good”
On all the promises
I’ve made to everyone.

Stilt walking
Uneven sidewalk frayed and pocked
While holding high ball glasses
Molecular thin transparency
Filled to the brim

I wonder exactly how
To step correctly
To avoid tripping and falling

Or getting a long peg leg
Stuck down into
A ridiculous divot
Everyone else except me
Spotted and steered left
To safely avoid
While my blind self
Lost footing
Then toppled.

I wonder how, in this process,
To keep everyone happy
I don’t always know
If my heart and hands
Are big enough
Have sufficient taffy
Elasticity to stretch
Absorb and
Envelop everyone
With the time, energy
And love they so crave
And deserve.

I don’t know if
There’s enough of me
To fulfill you–
To meet your needs.

I am aware that
There just may not be.
I breathe to quell
Rising panic
In attempts to expunge
Creeping grief

For I am nothing without you.


Can a Person be TOO Popular?

At times I shelf
My feelings in a box
Locked, tied, hamstrung,

I don’t always know
The shape therein,
The textured manifestations
Of starred joy
Dotting life’s landscape
Emitting a soft brightness
Flexible in cheeky brilliance

But also sadness and pain–
A mismatch–being on
The wrong page,
A footfall lag behind
Other, more popular
Resourceful people.
Me, Always a squared peg.

Is it possible for another person
To be TOO well liked?

Missing the last step
On a winding stairway.
A stumble downwards
Into an infinite moment
Of nothing.

Despair–unreasonable spans.
Webs of acid clutter
Overreaching across
Oblong distances,
Tubular in its hollow fullness.

I rack my brains trying
To figure how to make
My life work out
In a way that makes sense,
Will nourish my heart,
Keeps me safe, healthy
And growing too, ideally.

I wonder if
I’ve been a fool
Lacking proper adult judgement,
A pauper urchin in my instincts,
To correctly understand people–

Demon shadows rise within
Fingering obscene hand gestures
Sporting ugly faces
Deepening my fear
As I wonder whether
I’ve been wrong to marvel in
Fine leaflings of trust
The beginnings of sprout
A daring to hope,
To actually arc my mind and body
To reach for futured “yeses”.

The crush of that possibility
Of having erred in this manner
Butchers me open
Leaving grizzled intestines
Dangling in forever length rust.

A wholesome unwellness
Just for me
Right here, right now.


Loneliness–Planetary Musings

My world brims over with work
–Busier than ever–
Food to cook, bread to bake,
Floors and countertops to clean,
A robust body to exercise
Good and hard–
I have enough
That needs doing and
So perhaps ought to be
Working on accomplishing more…

Socializing under
Cheerful blown glass lighting
Larger than life
Better, bigger stronger.
Bejeweled fingers
Balancing a wine glass
Filled halfway with
Luscious red wine
Tastes like success.

There are personalities
To whom other people
Are adrawn to–
I don’t appear to possess
One of those.
Still, I have plucky kids,
Family and some friends.
Fortunate, I’m safe, healthy
And live a life of
Relative ease.
Perhaps I need to focus
More on fostering
Contentment and Gratitude.

Yet, tonight, alone,
After the wine concoction
Has been sipped,
Denggeang jiggae dinner made,
Laundry piling, but bills paid,
A shroud of loneliness settles
Gripping my restless heart
A choking.
A hair clot
Stopping up the bathroom sink’s
Easy water flow
Causing gnarly browned muck
No one wants to see or hear about
To spill over
Porcelain containment
To flood out onto apathy’s floor
Tiled, patterned, cold.

I wonder
What other lucky people
Across the planet
Are doing.

Are they sitting down
Around a table to
Enjoy dinner together?
At night do they lay their heads
Down and chat the night
At least partially away?

Do other people look
Into their partner’s eyes
And even during hardship think,
“As long as we have each other,
We got this!”?

Nothing is perfect–
I know this.
Hands grasping at constricted,
Impoverished airways,
I still yearn for
Deeper oxygenated breaths
While walking a salted beach,
Arms linked.

Ears cocked to the door
Waiting to hear
The sound of footsteps
Slowing and stopping
To turn the lock.
I keep listening hard
So you will materialize,
One day,
As I idly wonder
Where you are…


Food, Glorious Food–A Running Appetite

Training days–
Running combined with
Swimming and gym work
Ramp up hunger

Communicate with
Pronounced articulation,
Pounding away inside me
Manifested gesticulation.

I cannot talk to you
Or think about that matter
Right now–I’m eating.
Four times daily–
My sweet spot.

An urgency exists now–
I rise from bed
With darkness still abundant
Early enough to nosh
A little something
Before lacing up
To hit pavement and dirt paths.

Hands grab at
Chocolate covered coffee beans
While toast crisps,
Gloriously hot and
Milk warms for my coffee elixir.
Chewing while checking email
And texts, always texts–

Are you awake yet??

While waiting for
My ibuprofen and allergy pill
To kick in before I leave.

Upon returning from
What is now 12 miles–
Pan heats up, oiled for eggs,
Sunny side up, slightly runny
Atop more buttered toast
And another double espresso
To boot to
Make me feel whole again,
A hobbit’s “second breakfast.”
Ah, so good,
Thanks, I needed that!

Afternoon feedings
While out somewhere
In the middle of doing something
Can be light–a granola bar,
Yogurt, nuts–
Can prove insufficient.

People not in training,
Not also swimming and lifting
Often want to “split”
Something with me,
Thereby cutting portion size
In half–
Making me smile outwardly
To be polite as
I agree to this folly
While inwardly cringing
For the partial hole
I know this halving
Will leave in my stomach.

Or, they are just “not hungry yet–
It’s still so early” they say.


The need to cap my day off
With an early, large dinner
Cries out–
Hands reaching
Leave me searching for
Odd and end victuals
Laying about to fashion
A substantial meal
As quickly as possible–
Baby bird upturned head
With beak wide open
Calling for something tasty
To drop down, good and fast.

Then today, finally,
After so much waiting–
Chipotle turkey pot pie
Who knows if the dish is really
Peppery enough–who cares–
Blessed with a flaky crust
Bubbling over
Tender chicken slices
Doused in cream sauce heaven
Cut through by
Friendly red blend wine,
A favorable fortune, surely.

My day ends roly poly
Pressed up against my belt
With a few more
Generous handfuls of
Confectioner coffee beans
Crunchy, tried and true.

Some days are like that
Yes, they are and
They make life worth living.


Summer’s End–A Mighty Force. Day 30 of Getting Dressed

Thirst overtakes my horizon
Not sexual
Or a yearning for
A different reality
Actual drying of cuticles
Skin fraying
Tongue flaying
Sand paper rays
Scraping concrete steps
Out here on the porch
Smoothing down resistance.

Last days of summer heat
Drums beat with “BOOM!”s.
Everyone feels the girating
Grip with firm determination
To remain relevant.
Fire tendrils
Creep up my person
Roasting after swim skin
A flesh baking,
Brain numbing.

What were the things
I still had to do today?
Many thoughts crumble
Under the sun’s
Might and will.
I’m an ant
Straggling along under
Molten weight.

Fall–damp and cool–
Sticky leaves on pavement
Crisp apples, steam heat,
Earlier nightfall
Races to run
Daughter to come home
From the East Coast–
All right around the corner
Has not
Swept up its skirts
Quite yet.

Obesity–Impossible to Overcome for Someone Else. Day 29 of Getting Dressed

Another steaming coffee
And burrowing under the covers
With a book?

I’ve had enough caffeine.
Although fabulous,IMG_4258
I have already read
This book once before.
A tug of melancholy
Pulls me down
An Immobilizing torpor.


Go outside,
Pull weeds
water the lawn.
Grass shouldn’t gasp
From dehydration because
My own mood is low.

The acidity of my thoughts
Makes me stagger.
Instead of thoroughly enjoying
The moment of being
Out to dinner with my family,

I watch with dismay,
First, as he finishes
The shared appetizer–
Underwhelming ravioli,
Which turns out to be fried,
Sitting on a bed of mushroom–
While sipping sangria.

He then turns attention to
A favorite food group of his–
He single handedly demolishes
A 12 inch sausage and onion pie
Piece after piece–

“Please, don’t eat the whole thing!”
I think
An unstoppable train wreck.
He leaves an empty,
Oily white plate
In what appears for him,
A bloated, guilt-free aftermath.

My heart sinks.
Feelings sour to disgust
As I see this person beside me–
Once so tall, handsome
And full of life’s potential
And still mostly super kind–

Comtinue eating by
Working on the tiramisu–
An impressive log
Of pillowed decadence
We got for all 3 of us share
But which he finishes off
By himself.

Life does not always
Pan out the way
Our youthful bright-eyed selves
Once imagined.
People need enjoyment
To be able to go on
Day after day
With what they see as
Drudgery in their lives.

“So don’t spoil things
By saying something
He will interpret as mean and
Just let a person enjoy!”

I didn’t express a word
Of my thoughts
But still.
A diluted,
Though definite negativity

I wish to be
A different kind of person,
A better, less jusgemental one
Then that.
Who do I think I am, after all?
I felt sad for myself
That at that moment,
I fell so short.

Problem is,
We cannot ever appear
To discuss this topic
Dicey turned ridiculously toxic
And unreasonably explosive
Considering the imminent,
Upcoming health issues.

As the years pass,
Stomach billows out and hangs
Dangerously over waistline.
Aesthetics aside,
Progressive weight gain
Well beyond “overweight”,
Deep into “obese”
Has given rise to back problems,
Resulting surgery,
Pre-diabetic blood sugar levels–
That’s all I can think to list now
But I’m certain
More consequences will manifest,
Sooner than later.

What about quality of life issues
And about being a partner
To someone else when
You don’t appear to care
About taking steps
To improve your health?

Difficulty with
Light physical activities
At mid 40’s make longer walking,
Standing and stair climbing
Required on a college campus
A heavy breathing,
Sweaty and arduous undertaking.

What about any hiking, biking,
horse riding, city or art
Walking tours
Or short evening walks
In the park together or even
Carrying his own luggage
At the airport?

Nope, none of that is possible.
Nothing that calls for
Body use is.

I wonder how much weight gain
Without much effort to combat
Crusted over by
Little conversation about curtailing
Is too much?
For him
But also for me?

I believe I know the answer,
For me anyway,
At some point in time.

The resulting waves
Of which salt my heart
And make me weep.


Latch-Key Kid–An Education of Resourcefulness

I was a weird doctors’ kid
Home alone with older sister
Afternoons spanning into evenings
Living a latch-key existence.

Demanding career climbs
Combined with scheduled passions
For golf, tennis, travel–
First generation immigrants
Determined to “live the Dream”–

Left us kids with
Fistfuls of hours to grow up
And entertain ourselves
In a larger suburban home
Filled with rulers, pens
And sticky pads from
Pharmaceutical companies,
Pages of radiology minutes
Printed on one side
(Leaving me
White drawing wonderlands
On the other side),
Razor sharp scalpels
Nestled within the pencil jar
And of course, the stethoscope.

So I educated myself
About the human body
Devising my own methods
Of investigation
As only a bored, smarter
Eccentric kid could,
Using the tools I had.

What to do?
Run up and down the stairs,
Do jumping jacks and
Even hold my breath
For as long as possible
To get my heart to beat faster
So I could absorb the
Altered sound effects
With a real stethoscope.

Or how about drinking water
Quickly and purposely
To make my stomach
Make zany noises to hear
Magnified by the stethoscope?
The initial gastronomic processes
Were curiously entertaining to
Marvel over and behold!

What about placing
The stethoscope on sister’s back
And then asking her
To first sing,
Then tense up and yell
To better understand how
A fetus inside the womb
Might feel and be affected
By changes in
The mother’s environment?

All this, with my sister,
My semi-mom,
I remember and miss
Yet would never go back
To those slow, cul-de-saced days.


Breathing Well–Priceless Perspective For a Happier Life

Lucky souls at peace
With themselves,
Like themselves
And believe in themselves
That things will work out.
Priceless fortune.

If they appear
To have paths filled with
Material, career, social, romantic
Successes and travel highlights,
They have experienced other
Challenges along the way
I’ve been free of–
Health and mental faltering,
Early family member death,
Drug addiction,
Childhoods way less privileged
And more broken than mine–

No one has a perfect life
I get that.

Still, sometimes I envy
Their relatively unwebbed insides.

So much quality of life
Comes from within–
Being able to
Take roadblocks in stride,
With balance,
Combined with the ability
To feel gratitude
That there is something
To learn
From the unideal.

Deep emotional breathes in,
Long exhales
With perspective out
For the long haul of
Being true to
What’s important in life.

I’m amazed at how breathing well
Gets pushed out of priority
In tense situations
When that’s exactly
What needs to occur,
First and foremost,
And always, really!

Running the hamster wheel
Caught up with looking down,
The small picture,
I worry.

How much do I pursue
Opportunities for more work?
What kind of work?
How much emotional energy
Is worth worrying about work?

What about family, work
And me-time balance?

In the end,
Having constructive,
Good energy for family, friends
And for myself
Is most important,
Not chasing the almighty dollar
And pleasing others
To gain their approval.
That desire, a weakness of mine.

I know these answers well
For other people.
I know what I’d say for them
And I’d mean my words.

Sitting alone, panicked
With nail biting rehashing
I get tied up in
Unreasonablely tight
And intricate knots for myself–
A misery
I’m certain is
Not worth creating
But in which
I’m an expert builder.

I want my emotional weather
To be different, more often
And happiness is
At least partly a choice.
I just need to grasp
Ladder rungs of breath,
Brow releasing
Muscle relaxing
To climb out of
A well of despair
To get to a higher ledge
Where I can see
A larger, beautiful view.
I’m not there yet
But I will be.

That’s the way of things
This Sunday morning.