self portrait

self portrait comp

Once again
I study the lines
on this face,
depending on the angle
both parents appear.

At different
ages both of my
daughters looked
like I did
in those black and white photos
I inherited.

How do we
become who we are?
cells that form
shapes of hands,
a certain transcribed motion–
time in a mirror.

Ammol at dVerse has asked us to write a portrait poem.  In the past I’ve done a series of self-portraits in the style of other artists (with poetic accompaniment), but in this case I just took 3 recent drawings in my own style, an occasional morning exercise.

hand s

I also like to draw my hands.



torso 2s

to set in stone–
the whiteness of marble
polished, glowing,
rendered with light

an image meant to be immortal

plundered and abused
by the movements
of men and time—

faceless and unlimbed now

the imperfection of decay–
reassembling beginnings
over shadows
of the end

Merril is the host for the dVerse quadrille, using the word “set”.  I drew this Greek sculpture torso a while ago, and added some watercolor on top of the drawing.  What remains of the original figure has its own beauty.

Adding it Up

never ending

If there’s a deadly sin, it’s power. It’s wanting to be more, by making others less—less than less.  It’s controlling with physical force, psychological terror, subjugation.  And if you don’t possess the genetic make-up to manipulate others directly, you make it up with a knife, a whip, a chain, fear, lies, starvation, locks, poverty, cages, technology, homelessness, isolation, guns, an army, explosives, drugs, religion, words, the law, bombs, lack of medical care, money, corporations, willful ignorance.

There is no end to the expressions of superiority and omnipotence.

Aren’t we rich? Barren
land, rivers of blood flowing–
empty to the core.

As Dylan observed, “all the money you made will never buy back your soul.”

no peace s


I’ve posted so many times on gun violence, I’ve stopped counting.  The last time was on June 1 of this year.


Placeholder image

Every day 88 people die by gun violence in the United States.

in which endings are both lost and multiplied close up s

Silence weeps
and eyes refuse sight.
No questions
can be posed,
nor answers given. Light is
erased. Dust and blood.

violence close up s

kalamazoo s

What is the color of mourning?
of empty spaces, and Where?
black, but it has no reply.
just questions and sorrow.
will remain unfilled,
killed.  More shots from another gun.

paris s

war is not healthy haiku s

As Dylan knew, you can’t separate a gun mentality from a war mentality.

Who are we?

It’s haibun Monday on dVerse.  Frank asked us to talk about peace to commemorate Hiroshima.  I’m not feeling it right now.

Derby King

alonso haiku s

When I saw Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday words, “pretty ugly”, I couldn’t help thinking of my baseball team, the New York Mets, 13 1/2 games out of first place.  But there are some bright spots…

Pete Alonso, New York Mets first baseman, won the Home Run Derby at the All Star Game yesterday.

There’s a long history of baseball haiku, so every once in awhile I indulge.  Also good to get back to some drawing.

You can see some of my other baseball haiku here and here and here.

Reading My Palm

reading my palm s

lines that pay no attention
lines that don’t rhyme
lines that get no satisfaction

lines that answer with a question
lines that cut out the middleman
lines that just wanna have fun

lines that distort
lines that trace the outline of regret
lines that reel in the years

lines that have paid the price
lines squeezing out every last drop
lines tracking my tears

lines scaled to meet expectations
lines keeping score
lines that aim to be true

lines verging on madness
lines confined to what is known
lines whispered in the sound of silence

(with apologies to the Rolling Stones, Cindi Lauper, Steely Dan, Smokey Robinson, Elvis Costello, and Simon and Garfunkel)

Nina and I have been doing our MeMadTwo blog for 5 years now.  We’ve had ups and downs, stops and starts.  Right now Nina is not posting much, due to a variety of issues she’s dealing with.  I don’t want to keep posting there without her (it’s Two, not One), so I’m going to use this blog for times when she’s on hiatus.  When she’s posting, I’ll be back at MeMadTwo.