Naked Hangers

They hang, sandwiched between an embroidered work polo and a snarky t-shirt.

They hang, isolated, on what used to be her side of the closet.  A year after she died, a bereaved widower has finally cleared out her blouses.

They hang as trophies to weight loss and donated XXXL football jerseys and handed-down Oxford shirts.

They hang, entombed in the musty basement of a foreclosed split-level.  There, they witnessed a necktie suicide.

They hang, once covered by padded shoulder dresses, pleated tuxedo shirts, and polyester leisure suits.

They hang, naked.

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Assuming we haven’t had too many beers, balance is something we take for granted.  Like our beating heart, blinking eyes, and breathing.

And we don’t miss balance until it’s gone.

Stand on one leg.  No fair holding on to anything!  A little tricky, but manageable.

Now close your eyes.

In a few short seconds, you’re teetering. No matter how hard you try to keep your body still.  Even if you tried, like I did, to focus on something before shutting my eyes to keep myself steady.  No luck.

If we forget our focus and go to dark places, it’s a short time before we lose our balance.   Both literally and figuratively.

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Sticks & Stones

Sticks & stones may break my bones

But words will never hurt me.

A stiff-upper-lipped, big-boy-who-don’t-cry

British dad probably came up with that.

He may have been trying to comfort his kids.

But maybe he used it to rationalize

a sadistic indulgence

to shame a bed-wetting daughter,

and mock her stuttering brother.

These words are neither sticks, nor stones.

They are knives,

Slicing hearts and dicing souls.

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God is the tower,

the all-powerful transmitter.

Holy Spirit is the signal,

the universal broadcast.

Jesus is the voice,

the midnight comforter.



we are the rock,

mesmerized by black screens

and tuned to silent radios.


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Some nights I’m immersed in a bottomless abyss.

I’m befriended by blobby, snot-colored, toothy, odd-tentacled creatures.

They’re hideous…puke-inducing…and alien to all reason.

They’ll be discovered some bright future morning on a post- tsunami shore,

Our secret dialogues

Deathly safe.

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Not Yet St Patty’s


Not yet St Patty’s,

But above average temps for a week

After a month long frozen-slump hacky (lung) sac stretch

Leads to smiley faces and hopeful endeavors and optimistic beginnings.

A red headed woodpecker builds a nest high just above a crotch in the neighbor’s maple.

Flashy cardinals chirp and fly horny.

Trees are still spread wide and winter stick naked

Though buds form on twigs nearest the sun,

Readying to burst forth renewal

And the validation spring promises.

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Although our parents conceived us,

we were crafted beyond an infinite horizon

where God wove His Spirit

into our flesh,

and Her love

into our smile.

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