Thursday, May 29, 2014

Traffic Echoes

I stopped at the table,
the dining room table,
the one in the middle
of my small room.

I stood there for a while,
listening to the roar
of the highway
just off the fringe.
too loud,
to the odd
dissonance of cars
meeting in the middle.

Is there is anything better
than the sweeping sounds
of speed as pavement gets

I can’t hear it.
It winds and woes,
and spills.

They sweep,
they swoosh,
they swindle.

I put my keys on the
Hoping for the strange

Before the birds
start chirping.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Book is now available!!!

Dear loyal readers and followers. I have put together a collection of the poetry from this blog site and put them in a book. So now you can own your own Minute with Michael. See the link below for ordering information. Thank you for all your support through the years!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Maybe I'm Old Fashioned

They stood,
arms folded over
their twenty something
year old chests,
while the hot girl
in the short shorts
struggled to wipe the
vomit from her face.

She was smothered
in the excess of being
young and having too much

And still they just stood,
in stupefied ignorance, as
the drunken girl’s female
friend tried to get
the vomit soaked girl up.
These boys did not lift a finger.

“Why aren’t you helping,” I asked.
“We don’t know her,” they replied.
“That’s not a reason not to help,” I said.


“You were just trying to make
out with her before she sprayed
er stomach contents all over
the place,” I said.
“Yeah, we don’t know her.”

Useless kids.

I helped her,
I helped the drunken girl’s

I couldn’t help myself,
I have to help.

It’s in my nature to

But they just stood,
wondering if she was
still able to sex it up.
Maybe it didn’t matter
to them.

And I just don’t
understand it.



Monday, May 19, 2014

Some days, More than Others

Partly cloudy,
noisy streets,
sore shoulders,
tired eyes,
expensive coffee.

Crowded elevators,
secret farters,
nose pickers,
bad drivers,
uncovered sneezers.

Paper cuts,
toner low,
PC Load Letter,
on hold,
bad lunch.

Chipped nail,
stocking run,
bad hair,
zit in that spot,
food stuck between teeth.
After work stuff,
shopping malls,
crying kids,
crying adults.

Bed time refusals,
no hot water,
dinner got cold,
can’t finish that book,
bad dreams.

There are days,
when a simple poem,
is better than
all the other nonsense.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Old Enough

By the time I’m of the age
to be old enough,
I’m old enough
to know better than
to believe that I’m
old enough.

No moral,
No lesson,
No wrap-up,
No summary.

It mists,
It rains,
It shines,
It glows.

I giggle,
I chortle,
I smirk,
I grin.

Knowing better,
wishing for more,
praying for the best,
denying what’s in front.

I’m old enough to
know, but young enough
to hate it.

Crap, I lost my cigarettes,
like a damn fool kid.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


            “Are you sure,” she asked.
            “Totally sure. The pain is unbearable,” he replied.

            Darrin rubbed his temples. His eyes were teary. The noise from the street outside the hospital window was constant. Roaring traffic, ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, radios blaring, children screaming in the park, birds chirping, bellowed through Darrin’s small room.

            “What can I do,” she asked.
            “Just leave me alone,” he said.

            Mary sighed and rolled her eyes. She looked at her fingers and noticed how dry her skin was. She started picking at the edges of her index finger. She wondered how her fingers could get so dry. It was probably from the dishes. She thought she might have to change dishwashing liquid. Something that didn’t dry her out so much.

            “I just can’t stand it anymore,” said Darrin.

            He flopped on his bed and buried his face in a plush pillow. His hospital gown flopped open exposing his old, used butt to the room. Mary stood from her chair and gently closed the flap over his backside.

            “I know dear. I know,” she said softly.

            Mary pat him on the back as Darrin started to sob. She felt the roughness of the hospital gown against her dry fingers. She wished she’d brought some lotion. Darrin took a deep breath and then seemed to fall asleep. She kept rubbing his back until she was sure he was quieted. She leaned over him and kissed him on the back of his head. She turned from the bed, took her coat from the visitors chair and walked to the door.

            “I’m sorry,” mumbled Darrin through his pillow.
            “I know, it’s okay dear. It’s okay,” said Mary.

            Mary put her coat on and stepped into the hospital hallway.  The door closed sharply behind her. She felt for her wedding ring on her finger and remembered the day Darrin and she picked it out. A cold day in London 45 years ago. She was young and sexy then and could have had any man she wanted but she’d chosen Darrin even though his future was uncertain. She was taken in by his boyish smile and silly charm.

            She cleared her throat and looked at her aging reflection in the window across from Darrin’s hospital room. She missed her sexy legs. They drove Darrin wild. Now he was a blubbering idiot and she felt abandoned.

            A young nurse walked by and gave Mary the slightest hint of an acknowledging smile. Mary hated her and all her potential. Young miss thing.  She stiffened her back and started walking toward the exit. Her walk was slower now, far too slow for Mary’s taste but it was as fast as she could go these days. She despised it. She never wanted to be an old crone but now she was and there wasn’t a thing she could do about it.

            She looked back toward Darrin’s room and wondered if he even knew that she had come to visit him. She sighed and remembered that she had to go to the store to buy more toilet paper and sugar. She slightly chuckled to herself.

            “Toilet paper and Sugar, how odd,” she said to herself with a smirk.

             She stepped out to the parking lot toward her old car.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What I didn't do

I saw a beautiful woman,
sitting at a table in the bar.
I thought I should go and
talk to her.

Her smile was bright, her
eyes were sharp, she had a
crisp, gentle laugh.
She carried herself well.

I imagined us together,
walking along a beach,
strolling along the city
streets window shopping.

I imagined carrying our
mutual possessions into
a shared living space, or
dancing in an unpacked living room.

I was building the courage
to speak to her and was about to
step in her direction just as
she backed her wheelchair from the table.

“Crap, I live in a three story walk-up,
without an elevator,” I thought.

I didn’t go and speak to her. She and
her group left the place and I don’t think
I’ll see her there again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nowhere Near Stars

On the road toward and
back from Dallas,
the sky was cloudy,
and gray.

I was looking forward to
seeing the vast night sky
spilling out in front of me,
but I never saw it.

I stood outside on
a chilly spring night,
sniffing the sick
wet air, looking up,
waiting for the clouds
to clear.

A think pall of clouds
slowly trolled over the
land. Starlight was lacking.

Those jeweled holes in the
night sky are lost to me.
I don’t remember the last time
I saw them, or at least more than

City living blocks the light
of time. The past, shining bright,
is missed. Much like my own.

Pequeñas Estrellas, so far,
so close. Out of sight, out of

We never get old,
we just gain perspective.
The lights are there,
we just don’t see them.

We miss it, all.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New Eyes

             The water lapped gently against the long white pier. A loon called out over the quiet morning. Tyler looked out across the lake toward the sun rising behind the tall trees. A light mist was rolling up over the water. Tyler sipped his coffee and leaned against the lake house balcony railing. He took a deep breath. He filled his lungs with the clean crisp country air. He coughed on the exhale. There was still too much city in his lungs. His coughing echoed out from the balcony and over the lake, garnering the attention of a small flock of geese. They didn’t flutter off but did look his way, as if the cough was some sort of unknown new predator.

             Tyler caught his breath and cleared his throat. He took another sip of his cooling coffee and turned away from the calmness of the lake and back toward the lake house kitchen. He considered making some breakfast, some sort of real country breakfast, eggs and ham and hash browns, orange juice and a slice of toast. His stomach grumbled at the prospect of such a heady breakfast. Maybe he’d just have some bran.

             He stepped away from the quiet of nature and back inside the lake house. He closed the sliding glass door behind him and placed his coffee mug on the kitchen counter. He was stepping toward the cabinet to get himself a bowl and cereal when he heard a dramatic thud on the side of the house. It made him jump and cry out. He’d been a little nervous about staying in this rural setting all by himself. He had visions of a hatchet wielding murderer breaking in and hacking him up slowly, because it would probably take a while with a hatchet. He worried about some redneck locals getting wind of his stay and taking it upon themselves to introduce him to their way of life, whatever that way is. The thud on the side of the house only seemed to fuel his fears. The breakdown he’d had in the city was still very fresh on his mind.

             A sickly squawking caught Tyler’s attention and his fears of a hatchet wielding redneck breaking through the doors quickly faded. He guessed some sort of bird had probably crashed into the house. Maybe it was confused by the morning mist or some other thing about nature which a city boy like Tyler just couldn’t understand. Tyler went to the side door of the house and slipped on his tennis shoes. He grabbed his light jacket off the coatrack. He opened the side door and stepped outside onto the concrete walkway that led around the house. He felt the chill of the morning still lingering and caught a light whiff of something wet and moldy in the air. He felt a shiver but pressed forward toward the sound of the desperate squawking.

             Tyler turned the corner of the large lake house and looked up at the cedar shake siding and could see a large blood spot just under the first floor windows. His eyes followed the facade of the house down toward the grass below and he could see a very large black clump of feathers heaving and floundering. He felt his stomach turn a bit. The bird was so large. Larger than any he’d ever seen in the city. It was still alive and making a terrible noise. Tyler looked out toward the long gravel road that led up the house. There wasn’t another house or building for miles around. This lake house was a very reclusive location.

             Tyler stepped through the grass, clutching his coat closed over his chest. He was reminded of the time he was eight and Jimmy Logan and he found a dead dog near the train tracks. It had clearly been hit by a train and Tyler figured it probably hadn’t suffered. Jimmy Logan poked at the dog with a stick and Tyler got mad at him for doing so. Tyler’s father had always told him to let sleeping dogs lie, and this dog was certainly sleeping. He swatted the stick away from Jimmy Logan’s hand and told him he shouldn’t do that to the poor old dog. Jimmy Logan had just laughed at him and called him a little queer before running off. Tyler stared at the dog for a while. He just didn’t know what to do about the dog, so he left it there, but it never really left his memory.

             The bird cried out and rolled around on the grass. Tyler stepped back from it. He felt a wrenching rising in his throat. The bird was bloody on its right side, like it might have escaped the clutches of a larger predator before fleeing madly into the side of the lake house. It cried out loudly again and its black eyes looked up at Tyler. The bluish, black feathers were matted with bright red blood and Tyler could see a patch of feathers were missing. The bird tried to get up but clearly couldn’t. Tyler didn’t know what to do. The eyes, the eyes looked so panicked. The bird seemed to be begging Tyler to do something, to help it. Tyler felt the cruelty of nature. He felt the cruelty of his own crashes. He had a new understanding of why he had hurt Mary so badly with his craziness and why his bosses had sent him on this sabbatical. The bird’s eyes seemed to reveal all that nature could do, to a bird, to a man’s soul.

             The bird flopped on the grass, as if trying to fly. Tyler stepped back and looked toward the landscaping shed. He had a clear vision of what he had to do. He walked to the shed and unclasped the small hook lock. He peered inside its darkness and found what he was looking for hanging neatly on the wall. The landscapers were sure diligent about putting tools back in their proper place. He took the shovel down and walked back to the flopping bird. His resolve started to waver as he got closer. He started to doubt his action. “Maybe it’ll get better,” he thought to himself but he sort of knew it was a lie.

             “I’m sorry little guy, but it’s for the best,” said Tyler and he swung the shovel up over his head and brought it down as hard as he could on the bird’s head. He held it there for a moment and felt his eyes tear up. He lifted the shovel up gently and saw the sad bird’s smashed head. The bird had stopped crying. It had stopped everything. The lake house was quiet again. It was a pure silence; a silence that seemed too quiet, like an echo of silence.

             Tyler started to cry. He kneeled down into the grass next to the bird and cried. He cried for what felt like the first time. It was the sobbing of a child into a pillow and it was start of Tyler’s return to honest living. He wiped his nose on the sleeve of his jacket and stood up. He turned back toward the shed to look for a trash bag, and then to dig a grave.