Time Skipping

We were simply ‘there’ without any commotion or a light show, or any sensation that I could detect… just suddenly there at what looked like a food truck in the middle of nowhere. There was a young woman inside, elbows propped on the service window’s counter, staring at Jake blandly.

“You’re back, and with a friend I see.” The woman said.

“Yeah. When were we here before… or was it after this?” Jake asked. “Doesn’t matter I suppose. Let me have a hot tea please, it helps me focus.”

“That’s what you had tomorrow.” The woman said.

Time travel was so unbelievably weird, it made people say things like that and not blink an eye over what sounded to any regular person like she’d misspoken. I knew she hadn’t, and I’d only been at this for a short… time.

Time, it was a word I’d probably need to stop using eventually. Used how I had always said it, well, it didn’t make sense in that context anymore. Now it was more like using the word ‘coordinates’ or ‘longitude’ – more of a mark on some insane map that would be impossible to navigate without it. I mean, place and time were always thought of together here, inseparable as a concept. Yet, just a few weeks ago I’d have never said it that way. You didn’t need to know the time of downtown Cleveland, it was just a place… it had a latitude and longitude on a map, and directions to get there by several means of transportation. Now, all that’s changed for me. If I asked Jake to take us to Cleveland, he’d definitely ask about the time.

Back to Baltimore

[Author’s Note: It’s a follow-up song to Bruce Springsteen’s  Hungry Heart. I know he’ll never see this, but I liked doing it anyway.  I picture it being sung at a much slower tempo than the original. Maybe just Bruce and his guitar.]

Back to Baltimore

I went back to Baltimore
after thirty-some years
To face the sins of my youth
and some of my deepest fears

The mother of my kid is gone
but I found my daughter Ruth
I needed to reach out to her
if only to tell her my truths

I was confused by what it meant to be a man
and I thought it meant do anything I want
runaway from the hard things I made
but ghosts only live to haunt

I didn’t know if she would see me
I didn’t know what she was taught
I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t
But she was always in my thoughts

I thought my heart was hungry
but that was my ego and pride
I wanted to be a hero
so to myself I just lied

I’m standing on a downtown corner
flowers in my shaking hand
I told her I’d meet her
by the Lexington Market hot dog stand

Her half brother’s and sisters in California
they all know her name
they all know what I did,
and how I carry that shame

I waited for a long time
and felt she wasn’t going to show
my heart hung heavy in my chest
and I turned to go

Suddenly I heard my name called
softly through a crowd
I turned to see Ruth there
looking beautiful and proud

I thought my heart was hungry
But man I was wrong
This is what was missing
from my life all along.

Love might be like a river
that don’t know where it’s flowin
but sometimes it makes it out to the ocean
and comes together with what’s it’s always known

Onondaga Morning

I crawl out from the closed flap in the teepee, it’s just barely the dawn. I am the first to rise, as usual it seems. The smoke from the previous nights fires is still rising in the cool morning air. It’s a true summer morning, and I know there is much to be done today. The open grassland affords me a clear view for a great distance around us. I walk a short ways from the camp, through the dry grasses to a knoll, pull aside my breechclout and relieve myself. As I slowly walk back, I stop and look at the dome of light the rising sun is creating. I smile, as this all feels good to me. I look at my own arms, dark and lean, my skin is beginning to crease. In not too many cycles, I will find myself an elder. But, for now, I am here in the grasslands with 9 of my brothers. Nine good brothers I must watch, and keep to their tasks.

We are far from our brothers and sisters of the longhouse, but we will return in some days time, with fresh meat and skins. I know that it will not be very long until the sun, and the air will tell us it’s time to move. Down from our light housing, closer to the sea. The shelled fish will be plentiful, and the cold winds more bearable there. Doing as we have done for many cycles, it is as it should be. I feel a sense of peace and purpose here, it is hard work, but it is all good work. And, soon afterward we will have a time for celebration, and we will all enjoy the foods and goods we have worked hard for.

The sun breaks the horizon finally, and the light feels good to my eyes. Brother sun will light and warm another day for us. I am grateful for what we have, and all that we have had as well. I take nothing for granted, for the blessings we have now can be easily taken away by the spirits. A grateful heart is a gift to the spirits, and in turn they provide us the game we need. For others in our tribe, the spirits help make the plants grow and bear fruit that we all will share. Everyone has a job to do, and every job is important to us all. I have done all of these tasks in my life, and I have appreciation for them all. I can show the younger ones how to do many things, and I am pleased when they learn. Life is a gift, and I am deeply satisfied with it.

(This was a vivid and somewhat lucid dream I had many years ago. I can still feel, see and smell everything in it. I apologize for any part that is not accurate or in any way offends.)

A Report From Earth

The radiation clouds were thicker than normal today, making the few animals that ventured out look like living x-ray films. We knew our time would have to be short on this odd planet, but there were so many questions we had about it’s former occupants. One of the ground crew had found a book, possibly a history book.  It had pictures of how it looked here long ago. It was hard to believe at first, some thought it was fiction. This ‘black marble’ as we called is, was once blue and green.

What had the race of creatures done to this place? Our short period of research here led us to believe that there was once millions of species here. The had nearly extinguished all life here, and on the only planet in this system to have had life. All that remained now were some rather odd creatures that seem to have adapted to this hostile environment. Maybe it was a natural disaster of some kind, on a global scale. We have found no sign of a celestial impact though, leading us to believe that it was likely ‘self inflicted’. A global war maybe? But, what intelligent species would annihilate itself?

(A conversation overheard in my head)

I feel so needy

Learn to love yourself

I feel so alone

It’s okay to be alone with you

People won’t like the ‘real me’

No, not until you like the real you

It’s so hard to talk to people

Yes it is when you’re not living in the moment

But, I don’t have lots of money, a cool car, or…

Is that what you admire in the people you know and love?

I am such an ordinary guy

Welcome to the human race my friend, you’ll be just fine


You can have a good time

You can have a bad time

Please take your time

May I ask you the time?

It’s been a long time

I need more time

I’m right on time

Is there ever enough time these days?

Very timely

Good timing

Time consuming

Time saving

Make some time OK?

You can have time on your hands

You can’t hold the hands of time

You can’t have a handful of time

Beware the ravages of time

Time takes it’s toll

Time marches on

Time goes by

Where did the time go?

Time drags on

Time is on my side

Time is fast

Time is slow

Time is against us

These are some hard times

Your time is coming

I look forward to better times

Time, and time again

Times up!


With no other alternatives left to them

Babies began to refuse to be born

They somehow reversed their life-cycle

Shrank and divided back into two

Then disappeared all together

They did not want the life

We had laid out before them

The future we had made for them

They decided they had a choice

Because they had no voice

So, they did what they could

The Man

I met an unusual man today

Outside the bank of dreams

He was quite old, and spoke in very low tones

He told me that he knew me

He saw the pathway of my life

But my eyes had never met him before

Hard to see his face, and never caught his name

He said he had a message, my life had better change

This was my last chance

To find and hold on to love

He said I had wasted all of my other chances

Too cavalier in my recent past

But he said there was one more coming

And if I ruined this, well, that was it

I’d live the rest of my life alone

But if I loved, nurtured and treasured

With my true heart

I’d never  see him again

That was fine with me

He did not seem like a friend

Growing Pains

So much to learn

So short a time

So much learned

In yet a shorter time

Looking back through the cloudy years

Fragments of scenes come to mind

The awkward boy who only wanted to be liked by his peers

But felt more comfortable around adults

The adolescent, at night in bed

Right hand gripped firmly on my developing body

Hoping self indulgence might be a connection to future love

The young man I was in my twenties, so full of anger and lust

Seeking sexual conquests and self actualization at the same time

Not seeing the difference between ‘I love you’ and ‘I want to fuck you’

Trying to fill that emptiness with approval

So afraid of losing control

I don’t remember having much control

I was out of control