I wake up tired

Willy Wonka dreams




with images of

anticipation, celebration

Am I going to find the winning ticket?

I don’t think I’m alone

Open eyes see restless nights

not so much the Other

Reflections of a shared effort

we rise up to expectations

sometimes meeting the goal

Often, the list grows longer

Days remain at 24 hours

divided between dreams and the work

spinning with Wilder narration

as we speed through the tunnel

wondering if there’s a team of Oompas

ready to save us from misdirection

The film keeps rolling

popcorn runs out

Is it enough to dream in technicolor?


Thinking of ways to tenderize:







This is all good for meat

never for a heart


Do not:

marinate on thoughts too long

beat yourself up for failing

pour salt into wounds

stew in your anger

let vinegar sour your disposition


That’s a recipe for tough

not tender

unless you’re just meat

Raggedy Doe

Jane or John

look, really look

you are on the other side

was it messy?


you already went through

waded, weighted, waited

emotions passed

do you remember?

it was everything

still is everything

shares space with everything

and there’s still room

to do amazing

to crash and burn

to ramble past it

to honor with celebration

or blink and it’s gone

you are still here

putting each day behind you

while you push into the next

you are on the other side

look, really look

it is you




When bitter is no pill

just a way of thinking

Lemonade comes to mind

all the sweetness poured in

reducing nutritional value

risking decay

Youngsters with lemonade stands

dispensing hope

Should we take the medicine?

Title Blank

jotted words

on a dare

to see if i still exist

in a space

that will not empty



it is easy to forget

that each day is new

dictionary always available

to define, refine

sometimes it’s a thesaurus

leading us slowly

to something different


today it is discovery

that old pieces can be recycled

joy has a memory

a shift can drop a piece in place

comforting in familiarity

yet casting a new shadow


sometimes you are most active

when you are still


Sterling Song

I kept looking to those purple roses today

wanting perfection

all the words

that would make it plain

without bogging anyone else down

You were here

I am me because you were you

and we were in an intersection of time

both solid and without discernable boundaries

a single note of a sterling song

that remains in tune as each chord is struck

memories building the melody

until the refrain doesn’t need the lyrics

because the moments are the perfection

that create a universal ballad

when one stops to listen to a heart

that grieves a heart that stopped


justin roses

Thumb wars



let me be your stranger

it’s easier to defy expectations that don’t exist

be my other

new , exciting, unknown

steering our moment

disorienting direction

while I discover missing pieces

words before and after

written in the dictionary


I feel the blue
In waves
Crashing against the back of my knees
Just below room temp
Making me want to wrap up
In green meadow breeze
Leaning hard against yellow
Not yet eclipsed
So I can steal back my breath
Rejoining the world of muted palettes

Unlocked Gates


Peering through

unlocked gates

imagining protection

Peering through

unlived lives

imagining fulfillment

Peering through

unknown eyes

imagining danger

Peering through

through peering

enough peering