High Desert Whale

Once in a high desert so hot, so dry,
A whale was lost; no ocean nearby.
He swam through sands, with heavy heart,
Longing for water, a new voyage to chart.

A seagull, named Jack, with sour tongue knife sharp,
Swooped next to the whale, listening to him harp.
“Ha!” said Jack, “What an ironic sight,
A whale in this scorched, waterless desert blight.”

The whale, mid-sigh, said “I miss the sea,
I miss what I once had: life wild, life free.”
But Jack, with double ha-ha, asked “Why moan?
You have a new chance, make this new life your own.”

The whale, ha-struck, looked around once more,
Saw the charm of the desert never noticed before.
The sun, it was golden; the sky, ‘lectric blue,
Finally finding a smile, whale knew what he should do.

He swam sandy streets, ‘till he found his new place,
In this high desert city, he could live with grace.

When we dwell on our wants, we get nowhere,
It’s time to grab treasures we can show off with flair.

Do you like this poem? Read about the whale that inspired this tale. You can even follow the whale on Twitter.

The Misinformation Machine

They shout at the cameras
turn them off
Say you should be afraid
turn them off
Smearing people and places
turn them off
Dropping dubious threats

They troll for the sound bites
…turn them off
Fan flames to inflate clicks
turn them off
As long as they’re trending
turn them off
That’s why they exist

They constantly move goalposts
turn them off
Point our eyes to flagrant lies
turn them off
Spin friends into foes
turn them off
Until social conscience dies

But we have pure power
turn it on
Healthier influence, too
turn it on
Hoisting empathy and truth
turn it on
Blazing a loftier worldview

If you like this, take a look at some of my companion poems:

Going Trolling
Just One

Dark and Stormy

Clouds crash
drizzle devolves
into drencher

Temperatures will
shift rain
into snow

Making morning
slippery and slow

crash drizzle
devolves into drencher

He must rise
to weather
his winter adventure

promises urge him:

drizzle devolves
into drencher

Temperatures will
drop shift
rain into snow

Click here to begin this story. Here’s what you might have missed:

1. Three houses
2. Winter’s Arrival
3. Bless This Mess

Winter’s Arrival

“Looks like

She holds steamy mug
with both hands.
The scene from the
warm white-light
framed picture window
warns of winter’s
western approach.

Patches of pink
mingled with 
blue, black and
billowing clouds
reflect sun’s glow
as it crosses
beneath horizon.

“How much
do you think
will fall?”

“Forecast says six
to eighteen inches.”

He doesn’t bother
looking up
from book
when he speaks.
He has become 
accustomed to this ritual.
He reads 
his stories 
as he sits
in comfortable
recliner kids
gifted him
upon retirement.

She stands
at window and watches
stories unfolding
on street just steps
from their
cozy front room.

He listens
to participate
in dear wife’s

to cover 
those weeds,
I hope.”

She lifts her chin
as she looks
at tousled track
of land next door.
Subtle hints of contempt
invade the normally
sweet strain of 
her soothing voice.

“It makes 
the rest
of the us
look so
so trashy.”

“Mmmm hmmm.”

He is tempted 
to say more,
what’s the point?
Expressing true thoughts
surely leads
to injured affections.
The remainder
of the evening
would be uncomfortably
…and quiet.

Easier to
mumble approval
and continue
on his stories.
He enjoys
white noise
his wife provides
as mind escapes
into his stories
in precious books.

of snow.
I hope roads
are clear.
I hate the thought 
of kids traveling
in bad weather.”

“They’ll be fine.”

This time
he looks up
from book
to observe
winter scene 
and swirling outside.

“They’ll be fine.
We’ll have 
a great Christmas

Missed the first part? Check it out here: Three houses. Up next: Bless This Mess.

Three houses

Three houses,
savoring sweet slumber
in clear cold night.

To the north,
a wide rambler
warm, white
light-lined windows.
A bright star
shines centered
between garage door
and pitched-roof peak.

To the south,
suburban split-level.
bulbs blinking red
then green
in front-room window.
Multicolored lights
on ornamented tree
announce joy to neighbors.

In the center,
a solitary fake flame
casts red-gold shadows
on the lonely front door
of a forlorn bungalow.

Continue reading this story: Winter’s Arrival.