Mental Incontinence

drips backround1

The stresses and pressures squeeze until I shout
by dribs and drabs, words force their way out
The “poor me’s” the “why me’s” the “life’s not fair’s!”
The aches and pains, the daily strains, the “no one really cares”
This mental incontinence, this leaking of thought
for this diarrhea of the mouth, a remedy is sought

A little on the sensitive side, the leaking doesn’t stop
A single conflict and I’m off, to find another pity pot
Caught up in the flow, the pressures grow
Won’t be long now, I think I’m gonna blow!
So, the thoughts will pour, emotions will war
the mouth begins to move, who knows what’s in store!

These bloody emotions are swelling and cramping
Don’t know which I need more, Zoloft or Pamprin
This inability to stanch my leaky dysfunction
overwhelms focus, destroys concentration
This cycle of leaking, this mental menstruation
causes those around me a sense of frustration

Whether it’s depends I need to stop this flow
or just a bit more stability to help me grow
This mental incontinence has got to stop
My pissing and moaning requires a mop
This stinking thinking is way too hard to control
Can’t stop my mouth leaking even when it’s the goal


The Library


Row after row, section by section, a maze for hunting new adventures
Spines of every color and kind
bright, faded, repaired, or in desperate need,
all with varying textures of age and smells of time.

Some covered in cracked plastic
others sporting broken spines braced with
 yellowed tape
all become much more attractive in someone’s hands,
grasping, holding, flaming another’s interest
drawn into the past or led to the future,
either learning, reminiscing or escaping!

Comatose lives wait between the covers
resurrected by touch, fed by the spark of interest

Infusing a new mind with thoughts originating years,
decades, even centuries before
The author, granted the chance to live again

feeds off the pulse of the beholder, the touch on pages enliven,
characters become new again as a reader gets hooked,
flat pages gain dimension, characters dance through our imagination,
fusing the souls of reader and author
adding a new generation 
to the writer’s immortality

Old Hat

Carney hat

Gray, black, white, silver
the constantly changing consistency of pattern
herringbone wool with texture and style
giving warmth to the wearer
and comfort to all of us

Whether sitting atop the full round face
holding the thick dark pompadour in place
or capping the thinning skull of the aging man
colors matching the gray and black of mustache and sideburns
the Irish tweed Trinity captures the persona of the man

The comfort in the fit, the way it defines the curve of the head
framing the symmetry of the face and the set of the eyes
remained constant while the body of the wearer wore away each day
familiar feels of relief from the proverbial old hat
acclimatizing us all to what was not

As someone who’s been with us forever
reaches the point when they no longer are
the inanimate takes on life
gives us comfort and peace
even now, when the hat resides boxed in a drawer

All in the Prep Work


We can take a can of paint, re-coat a rusted chair
making it beautiful, almost new again
but if the rust and old loose paint wasn’t cleared away
it’s just a matter of time until chips and rust resurface
a painful blemish on our new perfection

Just like anger!  If we don’t deal with the resentment
if we just move on, deal with the present, keep it clean
avoiding the real bone of contention underneath
the poison, the rot, the untreated decay patiently
waits for the next bump to bring it back to the surface

How do we balance moving on, not letting yesterday ruin today
with clearing away the root of the problem? Surely the hardest
part of the Serenity Prayer; dealing with past problems,
and changing, requires one foot in the past. It’s not the same
as setting troubles behind and then joining them there

Do we just accept the things we cannot change? Spray
on a new can of ‘just for today, it will be ok’? Do we
take up the fight and change the circumstances?
Deal with the unpleasantness of confrontation
risking clearing our resentment, but losing the other person

Where do we gain the wisdom to know the difference?
How do we set aside the emotions to not react?
As with most things, it’s all in the prep work. Take
the wire brush of reason, bounce thoughts off others
and then, choose the next right thing

Best Seller

book peace

Our life unfolds before us
memories gathered, moments combined
taking our eyes off the present to view our past
Stories, dramas, decisions…
choices paving the way to who we have become

Growing and learning
experiences accrued along the way
loves, loses, tributes or tumbles
those we embrace or those we avoid
even those we have excommunicated
all hold a place, leave a mark, on who we are

Separated and viewed singularly
like pages in a book
all these small pieces of us…
pieces flowing into one another
our decisions and actions of today
shape the choices of tomorrow

As we look back through the chapters
viewing the story of our life
fold down the pages of successes and joys
save the “what if’s” for the positive impacts
look at the impressions we had on others
What if we were not there to change those lives?

These are the things that matter!
these are the paths we want to keep marked
these are the images to keep alive
the parts of us we want to always share
the true making of a best seller!

Shadow of Holidays Past

Christmas Advent Celebration Candle Heart December

For just a few moments during the holiday season,
with all the festivities and celebrations,
I can’t help but reflect…
Some life changing moments, although they pass by
so swiftly, impact us deeply throughout our life.

Even after decades, a lifetime ago, I can’t help
but wonder… how would things be different?
How many lives changed, but for the turn of a wheel?
One stupid moment in the name of fun. A young life
flung to the side, the impact crushing so many dreams.

Avoidance, anger, or alcoholic amnesia!
We each dealt in our own ways. Time healed,
scabs form and fall away. Others can’t help
but pick at the past, ripping sores open again
and again, causing a lifetime of pain and scars!

Life goes on whether we like it or not.
Move on with it… or a part of us dies, locked
away in the shadow of yesterdays. Emotions stuffed
deep, never seeing the light of day, constantly
feeling on the emotional level of when walled away.

Sitting and pondering another second or two
A single flower and prayer placed in remembrance.
Stopping time just to reminisce…
A giant smile, a gleam in the eye,
the bounce full of youthful excitement.

All the laughs and lies and loves at sixteen
briefly brought back to life this time of year.
The sadness of loss, a splintering of friends,
a long ago life casts a temporary shadow…
shaped by the bright lights of the holiday season.

Holiday Shadows

mitten tree

The emotions grow as the day gets near
For some it’s expectation, for others it’s fear
Christmas carols, decorations and lights
In some houses it’s abuse and fights

Boys and girls with big, bright eyes
But plenty more sedated or serenaded with cries
It’s not all joyous, this time of year
Depression and pain, but don’t dare shed a tear

Christmas carols or crying for a meal
Holiday specials or a frightening ordeal
Season’s Greetings or the yelling begins
Decorations and lights or alone with their sins

No presents this year and nothing to give
What kind of way for any child to live!
Dark empty corner where the tree should be
The only loving contact was a fake Santa’s knee

For every soul who loves the Season of Lights
Many hide in the shadows, only themselves held tight
Holiday joy or a Season of Sorrow
While some gather and rejoice, some won’t see tomorrow

A season for family or families living in woe
Gratitude and joy or awaiting the final blow
Wreaths and garland or empty and alone
The Joys of Christmas or another reason to groan

Shark River Dreams

When I was thirteen and fourteen, I worked on my uncle’s lobster boat in Neptune, NJ for a month each summer. My uncle treated me as a real employee. The work was hard, the hours were long, and the smell of fish was hard to escape. For a teenage boy, it was worth getting up at 4am to be on the ocean all day, become part of a crew, and be treated as a man instead of a boy. It was impossible not to learn about karma first hand from the lifers on the docks.  I will always remember these days with fondness.


shark river2
Postcard from the seventies for Shark River Inlet

Shark River Dreams

Seems the head hits the pillow, and the alarm begins to ring
total darkness, except the mocking face of the clock
sit down to eggs and hash browns to power the day
stars still watching, their shift almost ended, ours begins
old filleted flounder and such, garbage to most, bait to us
salted and set aside to ripen, now loaded aboard
as the mooring lines are tossed, the engines roar
timing the tide, to begin our day

Purple on the horizon fights the black
the sea, a glass-like calm today, merges with the sky
surprisingly, these are days that most flutter the stomach
the fumes of diesel accent the ripeness of bait
no breeze to rescue the senses
no distraction of swells, or jolting drops
just the spread of ripples across the surface
the distant horizon, birthing a sunrise in glorious form

Most days, just as the sun begins to crown
the winch is primed to disturb the peace
the first flag is pulled, raised from the depths
crabs, starfish, seaweed and tackle cling to the line
then the first trap hits the gunwale with a shot
my standing sleep shattered by our captured crustaceans
empty the trap, band the claws, bait the trap, and off the stern
just enough time to do it again!

Thirty pots to a line, fifteen to twenty lines make a day
following the path from rock bottom to mud flat
not really knowing if we are ahead or behind
the sun begins to bake the bait, add ambiance to the afternoon
crushed ice coated boxes filled with another days pay
the coast changes sides, the last flag of the day
the scrub down, the rubdown, the countdown to home
the tide again low as we enter the port

A full day at sea, but the day is not over
lobster deliveries get done and the bait trip is run
biz talk, trash talk, smack talk and plans
who’s stealing lines and who’s drilling hulls
what goes around-comes around, to the extreme!
men acting like boys and this boy feeling like a man
sitting with my Dr. Pepper, soaking it all in
can’t wait to see who’s not sailing tomorrow

Shark River, NJ – a summer full of dreams
never worked so hard or enjoyed so much
memories, one after another, so vivid and fresh
still taste the smells, and feel the swells
sea legged careening and rocking boat dreaming
combinations of curses never considered or imagined
and a cast of characters never forgotten
a remarkable summer job that taught life lessons

The world on the docks embraces a normal all its own

Previously published by Silver Birch Press (First Job Series)

The Red Barn

THE RED BARNWe have a writer’s club at work and gather every few months. Each person takes a turn picking a topic, usually giving three prompts to use for either poetry or a short story. The random prompts have offered a nice break from focusing on a manuscript that has consumed much of my free time over the last year plus months.

For our first gathering, the topic was an image from last year’s calendar hanging on a co-workers wall. The five of us each has an entirely different take on the picture.  Here is mine.

Continue reading “The Red Barn”

Words into Reactions

For​ me, writing had always been a personal release, a way to creatively allow inspection of my emotions. The magic that comes from sitting with a blank page, going into wherever I go while the words are pouring out, and then reading what is now before me, is incredibly spiritual, and personally uplifting.

Keeping this outpouring of unconscious release to myself had become harder now that I see how much I am regularly touched by the posts of others. If I can touch a single person and lighten their day, than sharing these personal thoughts is worth it.

This is my first attempt to try and build a page dedicated to presenting both poetry and stories and I hope people find it as enjoyable as it is for me to write.