“How about you, Mr. Gray, can you tell the group what ‘summer’ means to you?”

Gray glared at the young therapist hoping she’d take the hint and get on her tricycle and head the hell back to kindergarten. She knew damn well he couldn’t tell the group what summer meant to him. He couldn’t tell anybody anything: the strokes had fried a big chunk of his brain – end of story. He kept staring at her until she made the decision to move on and bug the person to his right, Mrs. Nelson, who was only too happy to talk at length about the magic of summer dandelions.

Gray decided that the only way to keep his sanity through this torture was to tune the whole session out. He fixed his gaze outside the window to where old Sol was busy warming a nearby farm, and escaped the prison that time and circumstance had built for him.


There she was: pert chest, wasp-waist, and tight, curvy saddle, taking in the July sun. Polished enough to show she was proud; dirty enough to show she knew how to live. His testosterone rose and a smile appeared on one side of his face. He leaned back and took a slow, deep breath as he recalled her sensuality and the pleasure they gave each other. There she was . . . Miss Raven . . .  the only one who could possibly take him from here – all he had to do was to ask her right.

Hopping on top and pushing a button never got this girl off – not this one – Raven made him work for it. She had her needs and there’d be no journey before they were met. She demanded a performance from him and wouldn’t move until he clutched her just so, found her sweet spot, jumped up as high as he could and came down on her hard. And when physical persuasion wasn’t enough to get her revved, he knew what she wanted to hear in the way of begging and pleading, or being talked dirty to.

When she finally allowed him to settle in for the ride, he knew he’d better hang on tight and forget about offending any who might witness their rapture. Raven would twitch, kick, buck, and scream-to-hell-and-back as each took the other where they wanted to go . . . he often wondered who rode who.

Although she always put on a show and never failed to turn heads wherever they went, he knew – he knew – Raven was his alone.

Gray reached to his leathers for a cigarette and lighter . . . but they were long gone.


The young therapist picked up on the change in his demeanor and seized the opportunity.

“Well Mr. Gray, that’s a nice smile! Are you ready to tell us what summer means to you?”

Fresh from what was nearly a wet dream, Gray slowly formed the first word he’d spoke in six months.




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gray, white, and silver

shine in rearview reflection

life’s odometer

a good walk, time forgotten

surprised at number of miles



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a dark horde gathers

yellow-eyed fiends shriek and swoop –

hidden, she watches

the theft of her evening treat

vengeance and a meal . . . so near



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quartz metronome times

the freight train’s three a.m. moan –

post-coital blues



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bowing from the bank

straw colored grasses touch water –

snails emerge to feast


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leaf and bark incense

scent a gentle guitar riff—

the drifter’s noon fire



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TANKAS #6, 7, & 8

past a winter moon

a cat walks the tall wood fence

cold pains those who feel

it has no dominion

over those who must be strong


down through the dormant

morning’s cold rain soaks the stray

I offer my hand

startled, she draws blood then flees

not all in life can be tamed


the sun finds my neck

I awaken with its touch

human once again

I join myself on the path

spirit and flesh move . . . forward



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Hospital coffee

Hospital coffee

I briefly mentioned in my recent post, TANKA #5, that my youngest son – my 20 year-old, who has autism and epilepsy – spent Christmas in the hospital. After a series of missteps/under-diagnoses on the part of trusted healthcare providers, my youngest ended up having emergency surgery on his back.

After a very tough and slow start, his recovery is going well and the possibility of permanent damage has lessened – though the threat will be present for some time yet.

This was not a small thing and I don’t mind telling you that it scared the crap out of my wife and I . . . disability on top of disability reveals your place among the stars rather quickly.

I plan on resuming my writing within the next day or two.

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from pebbled rooftops

the warm breath of chimneys cloud

worry ghosts skyward

to dusty blue and orange

outside this place of healing


My youngest son spent Christmas in the hospital. I wrote this while looking out the window of his room at daybreak. He’s home, but there’s much to mend yet. 


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with near unison

geese skim the small lake

the blue jay chatters

preaching chaos, not order

feathered synchronicity



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