And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. Anais Nin


A Few More Postcard Poems - 2009

Sent To Farmington, NH
Reunion – 6

my longest, shortest job
100 p-nut butter sandwiches
bleached hands
red, swollen
give two weeks notice the first day
by then, all I
want to know of work
stings my pride

Sent To Bronx, NY
Reunion – 7

vacation sex
hotel sex
life without a care
welcomes tired bones
battered spirit
a salve so well earned
we’d book a room
for the memory

Sent To Sante Fe, NM
Reunion – 8

this place, so changed
left home before I
grew permanent teeth
sought freedom and
a new climate

today, I return
quotes from my uncensored
life will appear on
the billboard
across the street
from the Dairy Queen

Sent To Anchorage, AK
Reunion – 9

pathetic poets
a west coast tour
on the cheap
imagine DNA on
every surface
hope meditation
garlic fries and Ganesha
can stave off bed bugs
claim they won’t stay here again
when they’re famous

Sent To Pablo, MT
Reunion – 11

never knew the
true meaning of BEAR
big, burly men who
like other men
more like Paul Bunyan
than Robin Hood
not the image of Disney
barely tolerated
nonsensical judgments
don’t hold up when
a few of God’s creatures
are still hunted
for sport

Sent To Barneveld, WI - inspired by returning home

wine tasting
break dancing
a summer party
on a cool
september eve
three old friends
and a nine year old
laugh at the dog
until bedtime

Sent To Concord, NH inspired by memories of San Francisco then and now

most things
then and now
disappoint me
never as I remember
or imagine
but you
forty years later
still make the
blood rush
to my head

Sent To Chicago, IL inspired by the importance of friends and the final decisions some people make

one year of tragedy
frays the fibers that
surround my heart
I seek a respite
from turmoil
why do some give up
jump from bridges
without screaming
I’m certain they lack
one strong friend
to hold their ankles


The Day Didn't End Well

On Tuesday of this week, Gordon Patterson was struck and killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bike home from work along St. Johns Road in Vancouver, WA.

Hit and Run

4 pm
September 15, 2009
St. Johns Road
Gordon Patterson
Age 50

should not happen
one too many stricken
in hapless ways
by thundering herds
underneath hooves of
inflated rubber
two tons or more
steel and glass
crush their smaller cousins
accidental swerve
clipped by a side mirror
maimed, flattened
in a narrow lane
off the sidewalk
in a neighborhood
like ours
like yours

plant a ghost bike
on the spot
wear a helmet
say “be careful”
to loved ones
ride the risk

this is a bike town
that lacks respect for
two-wheeled friends
reflected by high beams
in moonlight

it wasn’t Gordon’s time
not on a Tuesday afternoon
neither late summer nor early fall
just a beautiful afternoon
when an 18 year old driver
lifted him to the sky
phantom wings carried him home
up the hill
a final time