Sunday, November 20, 2011


May 29, 1917 - Nov 22, 1963

Hampton Junior High School
Detroit, Michigan
Ninth Grade English
Last class of the day
Principal walked somberly into room
Whispered to teacher
Turns to class
The President is dead.
School dismissed
Go home.

Four friends walking home
Stunned silence
Frozen in time
Filled with fear
and apprehension

Vietnam War
3,000,000 Vietnamese, dead
52,000 friends walking home, dead

Number one song, 11_22_63
Dale & Grace: "I'm leaving it up to you."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Memories of Life

The world would be a better place without leaf blowers. There used to be rakes. They were used to silently sweep leaves into small piles which could be picked up and placed in trash bags. When I was a kid growing up in Detroit, my father, bother and I would get out there on Thanksgiving morning and the three of us would rake up a big pile of leaves and place it just off of the curb at the end of the driveway. In the years before they made burning leaves illegal, my Dad would light a fire and burn the pile off into the crisp autumn air. I can still smell the smoldering mound. Then we would all go inside and watch the Lions game.

Memories of life. Popping up here on my blog from time to time, so that some day my daughters will have a piece of their father to remember and maybe show to their children, who maybe will ask about a photograph on a table or discovered in an old album.

There are some things that are felt but never said. Some questions that get asked, for which are no answers.

Why didn't this one work?

"Your head just inches from my own, your toes cradled beneath mine. Your breathing slow and measured. You lay beside me, safe, content and deeply asleep. Ever so gently your hand slips into mine. Loosely, then tight, then loose again. You are drifting, immersed in some far away dream. Quiet lovers, in soft cadence, intertwined. I could have stayed forever."

These moments I write about; No finer gifts could ever touch my life.

But stories always end,
And if you read between the lines,
You'd know that I'm just tryin' to understand
The feelin's that you lack.
I never thought I could feel this way
And I've got to say that I just don't get it.
I don't know where we went wrong,
But the feelin's gone
And I just can't get it back

Friday, November 11, 2011


Friday's have been slow, especially toward the end of the market session. So today I packed up an hour early and climbed up Camelback Mountain. Well, not all the way up. You get to know when your body says, "I'm too young to die," and its time to turn back down.

At a spectacular view of the desert below, I think about the last night we slept together. It has become one of those moments to remember as it is too revealing, too eloquent, to let go. I wrote about one in a previous post:

The closest we ever were as a couple were those special moments on the dance floor, sometimes just locked in a deep passionate kiss....

We were far into our Sunday night, our TV night. The shows and movies were over, the television was off and we were under the covers. I was mostly asleep. She was mostly awake. Out of a quickly forgotten dream, I felt her fingers on my back, up and down, back and forth, slow and methodical. I wondered at first if she was trying to wake me for a quiet, fleeting moment of intimacy. No, her touch was too gentle, too soft, too personal. She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not.

I knew that if I awoke, she would retreat, feeling smothered and seek distance. So I didn't stir. I did not want her light, sweet touch to stop, to disappear. Another man might awake and turn toward her. But another man would not be beside her, not this night.

I continue down Camelback, having not reached the peak, full of the memory, the magic, the melody of her touch. She loves me. She loves me not.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Cactus Tree

There's a man who's been out sailing
In a decade full of dreams
And he takes her to a schooner
And he treats her like a queen
Is love just the release of chemicals in the brain to aid in the procreation of the species? Do you know anyone over 50 who is in love?

A girl pours a shot of expresso into my coffee at Starbucks. It's 6:00am and I am not at my best. I think and feel, yes, I can fall in love with her. But all that comes out is a "Thank you," and a one dollar tip. Out of some distant memory I hear Joni Mitchell.

I sent M a text message about our times together. It was too early to call her and by writing it down I wouldn't catch her by surprise. Maybe what comes back is thought out, felt out, honesty.
There's a man who's sent a letter
And he's waiting for reply
He has asked her of her travels
Since the day they said goodbye
He writes "Wish you were beside me
We can make it if we try"
Thirty years ago, by now I would be holding hands with the girl from Starbucks. Small talk chit-chat would have led to the abandonment of our customer-barista roles and lead to the magical creation of chemicals, hope and budding feelings The dance of love. But now the days turn colder, light becomes dimmer, we don't think about love, we think about the end of days. Love never is lost, it just disappears.
There's a man who's climbed a mountain
And he's calling out her name
And he hopes her heart can hear
Three thousand miles he calls again
He can think her there beside him
He can miss her just the same
Then one day we find ourselves in that one last great love of our lives. We won't know when its over until its gone. I can count them all on one hand, the real ones, the great ones, the magical, romantic, intense ones, before they disappeared.

But not this one. I'm not ready to let her go.

She will love them when she sees them
They will lose her if they follow
And she only means to please them
And her heart is full and hollow
Like a cactus tree
While she's so busy being free