Monthly Archives: November 2012

Woodburn Oregon Sonata

Police surrounded the indignant priest,
his underpants in full regalia,

while the youth tore down the street
away from holy saturnalia.

“You interrupted our Sunday class!”
“Give me the boy!” the priest cried bleakly.

“We only had a little beer
and perhaps a game of willie winky.”

Rules of the Road

When the desire exceeds the will,
Expect the journey to be disjoint.

When the will exceeds the desire,
Expect the destination to disappoint.


When I was detained by the secret police,
all I wanted was sleep.

When I had just narrowly escaped death,
all I wanted was sex.

My body clearly has its priorities straight.

–Burl Whitman

Hospice Angel

Thank you, God
for sending
a gentle blond hospice angel
with a nice ass
to help witness
at my mothers passing

I take back
half the things
I’ve said about you
over the years

Passing Sounds

The sound of death fills my ears
harsh as reason

seemingly unending

I didn’t expect
you to cry out so

Buddha says go toward
what you fear

This sounds like suffering —
like birth


The light behind
the light behind the mind

sees itself
on the far horizon

leaving on a slow,
late afternoon train.

Steeple dark sitka spruce,
bold like sea sponges,

draws a bladed curtain back
to let it pass by.

Train Window

My dying mother
loves watching television
with the sound off.

The TV becomes a train window–
compressing life into fast snippets,
bite sized kibbles,
infusing the moment
like lavender in old black tea.

She laughs at it,
points out things I can’t see,
reads the news crawler proudly
the way she used to read signs
on the highway out loud
driving everyone else
in the car crazy.

The TV highway goes
wherever she wants it to go
past president Obama’s son
and the car with bright feathers,
the endless river of bright words
never fails to amuse her.

–Burl Whitman