childhood ecology education Jazz Music nature poetry Short Stories sociology Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

the spider slayer

there was little indication
i was not a part of the sunlit green
moss covered bridge

summer creeping
along the gorge

perfectly still
save the rise and fall
of grateful lungs
taking deep lustful breaths
of rushing creek below

my eyes set upon the soaring
white sycamore trees
where the indigenous people
of this carved miami valley
sought refuge
after glaciers melted

musing that
200 million years
isn’t so long
in the grand scheme

when my sacred peace was disturbed
by the sounds of new things

tremors caused by seven year old feet
across creaking boards

three little boys

too varied in appearance to be brothers
accompanied by an aloof
iPhone addicted mother
walking along oblivious behind them

i turned my head slowly
to observe the play
wait for the poem to come

the tallest of the prepubescent trio
crouched down
scooping up a daddy long legs spider
off the trail
before running onto the bridge

he set to taunting the other two boys
with the harmless creature
then dangled it toward his still absent
phone call mother
on whom
the gesture barely registered
a turn of her head

darkness came into his eyes

his gapped teeth gave way to a wicked laugh

as he cast the spider to its end
over the side of the bridge

the other two boys were distraught
over his brutality toward the arachnid

the youngest of them looked around
for an adult to whom he could run
for solace
for sense in the matter

choosing me and my quiet
over his uninvolved chaperone

he ran desperately toward my calm
to ask
if what his companion
had so cruelly
done to the spider
had killed it

could the spider survive
that fall?
he pleaded to me
hurriedly pointing to the water
tears streaming down his face
as if i were
the one
who made such choices

in that moment
i felt the age of my bones
older than pious pebbles
praying silently
in the stream
beneath us

i knelt down
so that i could look directly into his eyes
and said

no, son
i’m sorry
it’s likely
the spider did not survive the fall

but this moment
has more to teach us
about the nature of humans
than the nature of the spider
doesn’t it?

his brown eyes grew amber and wide
with new understanding
as he turned to look at his friend

the spider slayer

in a low voice
…yes, m’am
…it does

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends


dead cat
buried in a forbidden garden
exhumed under protest
after one day of bloat
what lessons have you to teach us
but the world is overrun
with bad ideas
and kittens

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends


we were
front porch of the bar

escaping the after midnight noise
and creeping stench of miller high life

seeking a rock
elevated enough
to smoke a cigarette

upon sitting
he insisted i should wrap myself in his coat
to take away the chill
of late september

he kissed the spot deemed sacred
in my hairline

then asked

Baby, did you know the stars don’t really twinkle? Atmospheric conditions block the light from reaching are eyes intermittently and create the illusion of twinkling light.

i remembered that night
yesterday afternoon
as i taught my circle time enraptured students
about the universe
the milky way galaxy
and a mnemonic device for recalling
the names of all nine planets

pluto still exists in my classroom

and for a moment

so did my love for you

as joey left holding hands
asking his father

Guess what Miss Alicia taught me today? Stars don’t really twinkle! It’s an atmospheric interruption of light…


miss weesha

three year old running
with a bear eating honey grin
arms outstretched
feet racing toward the warmth
she feels
when she sees me
and says the words
miss weesha

her hug shattering
my jeweled necklace
two hundred strung beads
diamond clear cut
falling onto the mulch covered playground
at my ballet slipper feet

i smile
embracing her all the more
for teaching me
real love
everything fake
which came before it

costume jewelry

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

foreign tongues

his hands clasped
my face
as he moaned
and prayed
into my mouth
in two languages
his utterances
dismissing decades,

“I’ve never kissed lips like these…”

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

i no longer need to look at the pages

by four pm each day
she begins to unravel

the wait
of the separation from mother and father
her room and all things familiar
becomes too great
for her two year old soul to carry

she brings me the clifford’s big red easter book
and asks,
“miss weesha, pweese read to me again?”

i am incapable of saying no to her

she proceeds to ask me to reread the book
a minimum of ten more times

i no longer need to look at the pages

when she is certain the big red dog has his easter basket

and she should be crawling out of my lap

she says,

“miss weesha, pweese hold me till mommy gets here…”

i am incapable of saying no to her

so we grab another book…

and i no longer need to look at the pages