chapter 3

chapter one
chapter two

I knew
I realized

I pray
I can write
chapter three

before my spine
becomes unglued

joy august ripsaw

joy august ripsaw

it’s never perfect

out of body
feet in the clouds
head below the rest
not moving forward
but losing no ground
heart and soul
right now
a keyboard duet
for an invisible piano
will be studious again
at rock bottom
where the colored paper plays
the pencils swirl
and the brushes sweep into dance
the melody heard
by intruments
not requiring perfect circumstances
they know life
is never perfect
even at its most musical
guitar man

the true meaning of art

he asks
why do I have to take art
I respond
art is not something you take
it is something you give

she says
I can’t even draw a stick figure
I respond
life saving fire has been born
of simple sticks

he says
I can’t do anything right
I respond
you’re in good company
now put all your wrongs together

and make beautiful art

Sad Eyes/Prisma

Sad Eyes/Prisma

My excuse for still loving ROCKY… Do I need one?

“In the warriors code
There’s no surrender
Though his body says stop
His spirit cries – never!
Deep in our soul
A quiet ember
Know it’s you against you
It’s the paradox
That drives us on
It’s a battle of wills
In the heat of attack
It’s the passion that kills
The victory is yours alone”

–from Burning Heart song, Survivor
rocky torsoDo I need to an excuse for still loving ROCKY?
I freely admit it here, is that enough?
Has my boot-shaped heritage all these years, made me swear allegiance to Stallone?
Are the gloves off because my father and brother are former college pugilists?
Will bulging biceps and baritone voices forever titillate my girlish senses?
Do I remain under the influence of the ROCKY poster–
tacked long ago in my purple bedroom?
Win or lose, “just go the distance…”
Has this underdog’s remarkable tale, present through almost every phase of my life,
given me the strength to keep moving forward?
(queue Rocky’s Theme)
Perhaps it is much simpler than that–
Rocky Balboa has been a warm-hearted friend, sometimes simple, often silly,
but endearingly life-affirming.
and that’s my excuse…

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.

Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” – Rocky Balboa

muscle torso – sketched a few weeks back
(truth-to this day I often workout to the Rocky soundtrack – Yo, don’t judge me ;))

On My Way to Shangri-La

I’m on my way to Shangri-La
  utopian state
carved deep within a mountain valley
and steeped in lush promise

if I enter this harmonious climax
I’m not sure I’d be willing to share
my lips might seal like Tut’s tomb
toward those who covet rejuvenation

or perhaps I’ll surprise myself
enlightening others of a place where
words find themselves and settle into their meanings
wine, nectar and willow wind for all

maybe I’m not good that way
tempted by a steaming paradise born of sublime art
to wet my back and feast my eyes only
might be asking too much of me

what good all this knowledge
if only to give it out and end up with precious little
“to the victor go the spoils”
fantasies are kindled by motive

an exotic kingdom of one
defining a life’s work like treasure in a gilded casket
while existence survives in willingness
but fortune bears better threading

I pray on my quest to Utopia
I remember the warmth of flesh on mine
as all tombs are eventually unearthed
and all fabrics eventually disintegrate
Gold Egyptian in marker a few weeks ago.

the pirate’s code

do you believe in the pirate’s mask
X marks the spot
gold beyond the dreams of your dreams
so I’m told


the pirate can lead you there with his gruffled face
that snarled nose jammed between eyes of imperfect steel
the right, concealed behind a veil of black
like the dark ship he sails at midnight


will you bury your treasure for future seekers
whose dreams follow a map

or will you drink it away, swilling dirty rum
and dare the living to find it


will you hoard for fear of emptiness
laying curse to lock and lid
abiding by the code–
seekers walk the plank beneath the jolly roger
while you adore your black ship,
the wild sea and a dreamer’s treasure

you know
will never be found…


animated refuse

animated refuse

……………………………………………….the tunnel

want it bad?
it’s deep down

you might reach it
crawling on hands and knees
’til they bleed
stumble through the deafening black
clawing and scraping at the tight walls
fingernails ripping off
the tunnel
doesn’t use up life
it just takes time
a beastly eternity
if you make it all the way
shield your eyes
get back on your feet
the light is blinding
but fragrantly warm
now suck in that lucid sky
there’s not much time
next shadowless passage
is just over
the horizon
arnold pumpkinquickie sketch, was going to do a whole tunnel concept – truth be told – housecleaning day – damn 😉

body counts can be lonely

your first makes you feel clumsy
the next keeps you in the present
the third makes you crave the future
the fourth grabs hold and you must run
the fifth is very learned and you do
the sixth wants much when you have little
bodies start turning into lonely places
the seventh, eighth and ninth become conjoined memories
the tenth needs more than you’re willing to give
one, asks you to linger forever

and you do…



nude model college curriculum


I never cared before
things going down that should be up
things going up that should be down
none of this ever mattered
and I don’t think it does now
I think what’s bothering me
how much blur there is behind me
I wish I would’ve recorded
paper, photos, journals
there are flurries of images
like snow, I recall them
they land on my tongue then melt
there are distinct memories
not necessarily good
taking up too much space
I count five decades plus
seven-hundred-thirty days
I get worried looks sometimes
from the young kiddies when I substitute teach
What year were you born?
I never hesitate, 1963 with a smile
as they need reassurance their old temp-teacher won’t melt like the
West Witch
or the snowflakes
I laugh remembering
the feeling coiling around ‘those’ old people
anyone beyond eighteen as I recall
gosh, I feel so young in my head
and inside my heart where it’s warm
maybe it’s okay if the snowflakes melt
better old and warm than aged and cold

for now…

I’m blessed to still have both parents
my dad often jokes
“…just wait ’til you’re 83…”

Aged Smile

Aged Smile

born a few months ago, previously published


Frustration and a Talking Tale

Another selection from my teenage journal.


Frustration looked down the path with eyes of anxious fire. She, like the muskrat, embedded herself into the ground. A grin of one-hundred teeth repulsively staring. Her scent left no space untouched. Always, Frustration an unworthy creature, attacking from the back. Shadows cast beneath the fold. Frustration, like the starving animal, unsatisfied and hungry for the lagging one.

Blue Tale

Blue Tale

May you dream of happy memories…

Free verse written 1977, Blue Lion created in 2014 published with another post a few months back (I still like this guy, he makes me smile. I hope he makes you smile too.)