SWIMMING in ideas

through dark caverns

Rising water threatens

No stars or moon

Jagged rocks, slippery slopes

growing cold

empty laughter drags

like obsolete weights

clock ticks louder

A noose tightens

No air

Weary, overwhelmed, vulnerable, naked

Petrified to take

The next step

Knowing a light is tucked away

Yet unable to reach it

Pushing back

Leads to

silent panic.

Yet the spinning brings

A new day

A new year

New hope



Vast colors

of knowledge






© 2015

For Giving

 Author’s note: This is the final poem, the final prayer, of the suicidal character Bill Avery in my short story “Justice,” published on this blog February 1 of 2015. I just re-read the story, and though some of its content is crude, I think it holds up, whether considered a parable or not. It has a decent twist at the end. God grant me… strength. Peace unto you this Christmas Season. A.S.


FOR THE joyous and final sin my Lord,

For every one that came before,

For failing as a father,

For failing as a son,

For failing each and every one,

For being a fool when opportunity was bountiful,

Forgive me.


© 2015











To The West

to the west crp

Author’s Note: Second photo from the annual luminary lighting at St. Albans’ Cunningham Memorial Park. There is something very surreal about helping light these candles, walking from tombstone to tombstone, seeing the names and dates, and then taking in the place as a whole. Peace unto you.


THE LAST few minutes are a thing to behold,

The morning was great, but even harmony gets old.

Per her request, the elves split and they hid,

And she was dressed like a model, before we second kid rid.


As we brought it back home, we couldn’t resist,

“The Twelve Days of Christmas,” she sings it best.

Her biscuits were baked as we walked in the door,

And they went down smoothly, with butter – no more.


But it happens each day, as the last minutes tick,

The head band wrong color, the shoes played a trick.

The search it begins, as the pressure gets high,

I plead, “It’s not worth having a tear in your eye.”


But they come anyway, as she brushes her hair,

The pain in my heart, more load to bear.

I try hard to keep it, from erupting in shout,

We gather and rush, to the car and out.


Her friend, he knows, she’s under duress,

Her silence is telling, she stares down the abyss.

She shoots me a look, says “My day won’t be good,”

After sharing words of love, each day like we should.


I want to scoop her up, and hold her so tight,

The announcements are blaring, so it wouldn’t be right.   

As I get back home, with a long list to do,

I’d smoke if I had’em, my nerves it would soothe.


There’s death and mayhem, in this country each day,

Problems worldwide, and pointing this way.

Momma’s road trip is ending, her safety we need,

I say it quite often, it’s my constant plea.


But our little girl’s busy, her days are consumed,

She’s far far from loafing, as some might assume.

So my wish and my prayer, would selfishly be,

Let our baby be wise, happy, care free.


© 2015


Seth with kids 2012 024

I TURN MY back to the mirror, in the room where I work

Turn my thoughts to the past, though I cringe with a smirk

I gather and hunt, in a deepening well

Of pictures and docs, of hellos and farewells.


I’m distracted by two, that relate to one boy,

A poem and obit, though neither bring joy,

Near two months now, and a failing resolve,

That light will be shed, or that truth will evolve.


The details still sketchy, and may always be.

For the death of a man, unable to see,

The path he was led to, had pits on each side,

And though he was driving, he was along for the ride.


So December is here, the month we confirm,

The strength of our faith, we give and we serve,

But there’s a great void, an empty divide,

The greater the love, the more pain inside.


A mother, no son, a sister, no brother,

Nephews and aunts, and uncles and cousins,

The smile of a child, who grew to a man,

A youthful exception, a break from the plan.


The only sound in this house, is the hum of warm air,

We pray we’re protected, from the wolves that we fear,

That safe returns follow, departures-a-must,

That’s all we can hope, from this God that we trust.


© 2015