Poems From The 80s & 90s

I’ve previously posted a selection of my earliest poems (from 1972-1976), and selections of both my early love poems and of my ‘love lost’ poems (from 1978-1988). Here I will post a selection of a couple of other poems written in the 80s (to finish up that time era) and some of those I wrote in the 90s.

Feeling I was finally over a lost love…


I am a fiery flaming torch
burning and blazing in the night.

I am a roaring raging inferno
lit and lashing against the wind.

I am a booming blasting furnace
choking and consuming the air.

I am a scorching scalding fury
illuminated and ignited from within.

Tonight, I am shining
bright as a star
and hot as a phoenix —

Reborn from the ashes of my own fire,
I spread my wings to fly.

I spent many years living on or near Wrightsville Beach, and this is an earlier poem written in tribute to the beach experience.

The Sun Is High

The sun is high
and hot
and heavenly —
And I lay and sacrifice myself
in fire
to the bounds of my endurance.

Only then do I give myself to the sea….

And there is water,
an ocean of water,
tumbling, thundering water,
rising and crashing on the sand —
And I am drawn to its oblivion
and I do not hesitate.

The attraction is incredible on approach….

I run,
and fly –
into a breaking wave —

dashing spray and spindrift
in the explosion of my impact.

And I am quenched,
in effervescent ecstasy.

Playing with rhyme, alliteration and minimalism….

Cold Country

Cold country,
Dead flowers,
Trembling trees,
Icy towers.
Sudden snow
on the land.
Frozen fingers
in my hands.

Winter world,
Black skies,
Frosted feet,
Teary eyes.
Bitter breath
in the air.
Wild wind
in my hair.

Numb nose
Red face,
Warming wood
Fire place.
Burning blaze
at my feet.
food to eat.

Camp coffee,
Chapped lips,
Amber ash
Sailing ships.
Crisp crackling
sparks of light.
Soundly shivering
throughout the night.

Playing with art, alliteration and minimalism….

Vincent’s Vacation

painted postcards
airbrushed asses
watercolor waves
sandblasted shores.

Salvador’s sun
Vargas’ vixens
Warhol water
Seurat sands.

cubist clouds
surreal skies
dada drops
pop art porches.

Late summer on the beach…

Summer Shadows

Last night,
I saw them surfing on the ocean.

This morning,
I saw their footprints on the beach….

They are on my porch now,
relaxing in rocking chairs
on a sunny, late summer afternoon….

The ghosts of summer
on the wind.

I put myself in a friend’s shoes for this one….

She’s A Natural Disaster

She’s a hurricane outside my window,
a tornado at my door…
She’s a natural disaster
I just can’t ignore.

She’s a storm surge on the water,
a cloud bank in the sky…
She’s flooding all my senses —
I know I’m going to die.

She’s lightning on the rooftop,
a rain that’s going to pour…
She’s a tidal wave of calamity —
I can’t take it anymore.

She’s a whirlwind of destruction,
a tempest tossed at me,
She’s a wrathful rising hailstorm
I think it’s time to flee.

I put myself in another friend’s shoes for this one as well. It was meant to tease him…

If I Only Had a Spine (lost song from the Wizard of OZ)

I wouldn’t take a snubbing
or any social drubbing
everything would be fine —
I would stand up to any foe
and I would tell ’em all where to go
if I only had a spine.

I’d cuss ’em out for hours
and I’d send ’em some dead flowers
I’m sure they’d get the sign —
I’d respond with a zinger
and I’d give ’em all the finger
if I only had a spine.

I know I’d really love it
to tell ’em where to shove it
up where the sun don’t shine.
I would hum this merry tune
and then I’d show ’em all the moon
if I only had a spine.

I’d talk about their mother
their sister or their brother
I’d lay it on the line —
I would knee ’em in the nuts
and I’d kick all their butts
if I only had a spine.

It wouldn’t be a bummer
to ask ’em for a hummer
and to kiss my behind —
I would wave my erection
and I’d fart in their direction
if I only had a spine.

A friend’s movie script inspired me to write this one…

Accidental Satan

He was –
unintentionally evil.
He was –
mistakenly bad.
He didn’t think it could happen to him
but it
drove him mad.
He was the
Accidental Satan
He blundered into Hell.
He thought he was joking
when he
cast the wrong spell.

He was –
incidentally damned.
He was –
unexpectedly cruel.
He didn’t think it could happen to him
but he
was a first class fool.
He was the
Accidental Satan
He fumbled into Hell.
He thought he was joking
when he
cast the wrong spell.

a simple miscalculation
a slip of the tongue —
a misapplication,
and the deed was done.

He was –
casually wicked.
He was –
surprisingly cursed.
He didn’t think it could happen to him
this was the worst.
He was the
Accidental Satan
He tripped into Hell.
He thought he was joking
when he
cast the wrong spell.

It was an –
unforeseen blasphemy,
a diabolic chance,
an accursed misstep
into the
devil’s dance.
He was the
Accidental Satan
He stumbled into Hell.
He thought he was joking
when he
cast the wrong spell.

A bit of sexual fun with synonyms…


Keep hold of the land –
we verge on touching.
Impinging contact
in close quarters.
Untamed encounter
at my fingertips.
For I am hard upon you…
Bouncing on…
Bumping into…
And you are on the threshold –
And I am on the brink –
And I finally come upon you…
(For I am within spitting distance.)

There was 10 minutes to kill at the end of a work day, and I bet that I could write a poem in that time. This was the result (hat tip to Monty Python).


She’s a witch!
She’s a witch!

Just look at her dress.
It is certainly a mess.
It’s more like a rag,
though it fits the hag.
And look at that pose
and the warts on her nose.
She surely is a sight
when she comes out at night.
I’m sitting on the very log
where she turned me into a frog!
She pronounced my doom
then off she flew on her broom.
And you better fear
if she comes near.
She’ll cackle awhile
and give you a toothless smile.
It’s brimstone you’ll smell
when she casts her spell.
Then you will be
a mute like me!

She’s a witch!
She’s a witch!

This one was inspired by a news story (where I imagined the ending).


They died together
and they were buried together –
to lie in adjoining graves.
They were young.
They were lovers.
Their deaths were so tragic
they made the national news.
And their parents put them together
the last thing she told him before the accident was,
“We can never be together.”

A friend went through a divorce and got primary custody of the kids. I was moving back to town at the time and moved in with them for a few years. I had known both his kids since they were babies, and I ended up playing Mr. Mom for a while. Around Halloween one year, I wrote these next three poems for them, but I ended up never sharing them with them because I didn’t want them to get frightened. Anyway, I briefly considered trying to do a children’s book of Halloween poems with these and a few others (including the two above). They are in the order I wrote them. One just seemed to lead into the next.

I Am The Ghost Of The House

I am the shadow in the corner
and the cold spot on the floor,
the rapping in the window
and the scratching at the door.

I am the ghooooost of the hooouse.

I am bad smells and awful bellows
and the thumping in the hall.
I am the horrid phantom
and a gruesome spook to all.

I am the ghooooost of the hooouse.

I am the rustling of the curtains
in the darkness of the night.
I am the weird illusion
and a groaning moaning fright.

I am the ghooooost of the hooouse.

I am that sudden eerie feeling
and the shiver down your spine.
I am the ghastly nightmare
just a haunting of your mind.

I am the ghooooost of the hooouse.

I am the pale unearthly vision
floating shapeless in the air.
I am the grim-faced spectre
creaking slowly…


There Are Thirteen Steps To Your Room

There are thirteen steps to your room…
and I am on the first step…
You think you hear a CRREEEEEEEEEEEK!
And I am on the second step…
You think it’s just the house settling…but you’re all alone…
And I am on the third step…
You begin to feel uneasy; you’re not sure why.
And I am on the fourth step…
You hear a MOOOAAAANN!!
And I am on the fifth step…
You sit up and listen hard.
And I am on the sixth step…
You wonder if your mind is playing tricks on you.
And I am on the seventh step…
You tell yourself not to get carried away.
And I am on the eighth step…
You KNOW you hear me now!
And I am on the ninth step…
You hear me THUUMMPP!!! and GROOOAAANN!!!
And I am on the tenth step…
Your heart is beating faster; I can hear it…
And I am on the eleventh step…
You bravely go to the door.
And I am on the twelfth step…
You LOOK OUT!!!!

And I disappear…

You breathe a sigh of relief
and go back to bed,
thinking to yourself
it was nothing…

There are thirteen steps to your room…
and I am on…


Someone is Walking on My Grave

I am dead and unsaved
and someone is walking on my grave…

I met my doom on an evening like this;
the horror you cannot know.
Hunted down and killed by a mob
on this night long ago.

I am dead and unsaved
and someone is walking on my grave…

I was covered over at these crossroads
next to this bridge and creek
With a wooden stake driven through my heart
as though I were a freak.

I am dead and unsaved
and someone is walking on my grave….

I am caught up in this time and place
trapped in the in-between.
Murdered at midnight, on a full moon,
buried on Halloween.

I am dead and unsaved
and someone is walking on my grave…

I have had no visitors for eons past
but now, I will be released.
For very soon now, I will break my fast,
on their blood I will feast.

I am dead and unsaved