winning and losing

there was a dual wrestling meet last night
all these boys, young men really
hoping their practiced discipline and best efforts
would place them on this side of glory
a raised arm at third period’s end
a personal win
points for their team

quick food, hot coffee and school spirit
we bought an event tee for the big son
I didn’t look at the shirt ’til later
against the black cotton weave
was the image of a handsome, young man
135 pounds
his chiseled arm raised in victory

it was then I realized
the tournament was named after this wrestler
he’d died in a car accident two years ago

and I knew
whether the big son
won or lost
we’d been winning all along

at this time of year
when the magnifying glass
boxes in our hearts
may thoughts of warmth
go out to those
whose children are no longer here
but live on in their souls

Baby Elf

Baby Elf

illustration previously published

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“ball is life”

our children start moving away
our parents begin moving closer
the circle of life is a shape
that falls flat on its side
with no dimension
just one 360
and your time is over

I prefer a sphere
the sphere of living
the globe of going
the ball of bounty
you may go ’round
and around again
so let that dazzling ball drop
and roll into
a blessed and hopeful future

maybe sport advertisers
do know best
“ball is life”

Little Tree

Little Tree

art published last Christmas season

game odds

a shiny new toy
perfect doll sliding out of its box
entering a game
sans instruction manual
only pretty little cards labeled
deep dramas
up down friends
frenetic flirtations
in out romances
off we go ’round the board
doll stitches tightening
crossing over and under
the fabric
holding our insides together
sometimes unraveling
when the pink and yellow money
runs out
we don’t collect a vacation
step on a wrong space
and get caught beneath a trap
’round the paces we traverse
gathering pieces along the way
letting others go
when they no longer prove useful

and when we finally reach that place
there’s one last move
before
the game is over

Heart Jester

Heart Jester

this guy has been ’round the block a few times

life is a line

we sometimes spend our lives concerned over –
being first on line
choosing the right path
towing the line
being offline
being online
going down the wrong road
border lines
bylines
lineups
crossing the line
traffic lines
skylines
tree lines
the waterline
the shoreline
outlines
tan lines
following dotted lines
our waistlines
defense lines
taking the shortest line
getting wires crossed or knotted up
sniffing lines
hem lines
panty lines
firing lines
signing on the line
communication lines
wrinkle lines
writing lines
lines of demarcation
timelines
fault lines
waiting in line
making headlines, avoiding them
picket lines
yellow lines
assembly lines
coloring in the lines
cutting on the lines
perfect lines
making beelines
memorizing lines
first lines
last lines
stepping out of line
lining up
drawing lines in the sand
pickup lines
party lines
lines of crap
a line of bullshit
lifelines…
the only line missing
is the only line that matters
it is the line cut into our flesh upon conception
the thin, supple line that separates our life from our death

there is a line.
walk it well
cycleLife Cycle, acrylic on paper painted thirty years prior