Tag Archives: Family



I lost my father
when he was sixty one

He wasn’t exactly lost
I knew where he was
but he didn’t

Six weeks in a coma
some parts he sent ahead
and some came back

The great Swiss-German
precision driven
driven precision
mind stopped ticking

True the right artistic side
the one he’d put away
the one that mostly died
when his mother died
at eight came out to play

Whatever we hadn’t resolved
and there was plenty
stayed that way

but art is no small
thing either



My grandfather came to Canada
trailing the civilities of Europe

Planted ten thousand trees
on the bald-assed prairie

Plenty of produce for a family
and acres and acres and acres
of flowers as well

On the other side of a depression
and the rationings of war
every plant like every animal
on my parents’ ranch
had to pay its way

At our house in Austin
we have only flowers



You’d be crabby too
if you’d been through
what I’ve been through

Yes, you might be a little crabby too
if all your relatives looked down on you

Sweet Granny Smith with her stem in the air
pretending she’s green as the unmown grass
has a worm hole or two I could tell you about

And there’s just no living with cousin Mac
since that damn computer came out

But enough about them, let’s talk you and me
how I’m so much more than an ornament tree

About how lonely I am, and inviting you in
your teeth in my flesh and your lips on my skin

So if you’re looking for love that’s true to the core
I’m telling you love, you’ll be looking no more

If you’re looking for a love that’s going to stick
I’ve got plenty of pectin to do that old trick

And we can be jammin’ all night and all day
if you’ll bring some sugar, and meet me half way



If Uncle Ernie
had not gone off to war before I was four

If he had not loved movies, or sat
in that seat in that theatre when on leave

Where the bomb came through the roof
and through the floor
and killed a few
and then blew up
and killed some more

He’d have been here handsome and bright
helping my father with the ranchers load
and telling stories to my delight

Marrying and making me
cousins in the night



When the natives of this land
suffered a death such as this
they knew how to grieve

They felt it to the depths of their being
and cut deep into their arms and legs
that they might reach deeper

Today my great friends
I reach and bleed with you

Written for my cousin Kenny and his wife Betty on the tragic loss of their eighteen year old daughter