Thursday, November 28, 2019

Love Zone...

Love Zone... 

You're in my love zone,
This ain't a friend zone,
I believe in you,
Know this is true,
Baby you never have to be alone,
You're in my love zone,
More than just this song,
No matter how long.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/28/2019


Thursday, November 21, 2019



All this sound locked in my head,
A bottled-up devotion,
Right brain in chains,
A slave to the wallet,
Living in a capitalist dream.

My sax hasn't been out of the case,
Must be five years now,
I still remember the tast of a new fresh reed,
All starch and music,
Thank the universe for poetry,
My only right-brain escape from locked- in syndrome.

Left logic is always out on the town,
But the right side barely gets words.


By : Daniel A. Stafford
 © 11/20/2019


Monday, November 18, 2019



...Is a natural force in my life,
Like air or fire,
Water or earth,
I could not live without it,
On and off,
Electricity making pieces of reality,
I married the love of my life,
01/01/01 at 1:01,
I've made two careers out of it,
I live technology,
My poetry travels on technology,
Making my words literally electric.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/17/2019

#Poetic Philosophy #Tech

Friday, November 15, 2019

Hello Darkness My Old Friend...

Hello Darkness My Old Friend... 

It seems you're here to dance with us again,
Daylight savings had to end,
Early to work and leaving late,
Toil in hours of night seem my fate.

Fuzzy-headed is just how I roll,
A world of shadow with coffee in tow,
Though stars and Moon seem often bright,
Can't outshine the pollution of city lights.

Hours of silence and my friends have given up,
Darkness over leisure fills my cup,
Awake all night as others sleep,
My night of thoughts roam darknes deep.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/01/2017

Friday, November 08, 2019

I'm The Divider!

I'm The Divider! 

Act One: Shopping

I bought a new label,
Shiny on my table,
From a reporter,
Or other Bloviationary.

Gazing at my navel,
It makes me feel superior,
To someone in my own mind inferior,
So I go with my fears,
Aim it right between their ears.

Act Two: Division

It's not equal to Multiplication,
More akin to Subtraction,
No relation to Addition,
Distant cousin to Dissolution,
Evolved evil yet capable,
From some casual label.

Act Three: Helicopters

Millennials this,
Millennials that wonder,
Whose parenting act?

Act Four: OK, Boomer

OK Boomer Arrives,
In my ears like "Whatever,"
Useful to no one.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/08/2019

OK Boomer...

Thursday, November 07, 2019

The Human Hours...

The Human Hours... 

Don't get me wrong,
Workaholic stoicism has its place,
Most particularly in the hearts of those who count beans,
Yet even they have a heartbeat,
Draw breath,
And reach for the flush handle.

The toughest talk still stifles a yawn,
Has to lay down their head,
Stumble sleepy and vulnerable,
Deep in the Human hours.

All business All day,
All child in PJ' all night.


By:  Daniel A. Stafford
© 12/01/2019

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

The Howling...

The Howling... 

In November the winds remain,
Diminished in force,
Yet colder and sullen,
A foreboding season,
Still the cornucopia of harvest is celebrated,
A gathering in,
Comfort and rest with kin and kind,
A season's labor behind.

The cold comes,
Guard you well the embers of fires,
We must stand strong Winter's bane and icy bluster,
So that in Spring,
The colored leaves of Autumn will feed the blossoms soon to green the long hot Summer.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 11/05/2019

Tuesday, October 29, 2019



Rains fall like Niagara in the soaked and shivering East,
Snow builds mountains in the Rockies and Northern Plains,
Devil winds and fire tornadoes paint ashes in the West.

The winds of anger blow everywhere,
A common commotion at the center of it all,
Loud-mouth louts online and on stage,
Screaming the energy that feeds it all,
Building and howling.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10-28-2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Flying Home...

Flying Home... 

Cool grey skies overcast blanket,
Corn-stubble muted tawny gold,
Canada geese blend into either,
As the grasses join in to wave goodbye,
Summer's fireflies long gone.

I watch my breath drift off to Heaven,
Draw my jacket a bit tighter,
Daydream of places that I used to be.

As simple as a burst milkweed pod sends seeds on October breezes,
As easy as Autumn leaves fall to Earth,
As natural as a flock of geese in formation.

I am flying home,
Just in those moments.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/27/2019

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Old Stories...

The Old Stories... 

i cant tell now if the old stories were wilder,
Less inhibited,
More macabre,
Or just less tainted by "correctness."

All the lessons buried,
All the warnings of powers larger than ourselves,
Was it just because the forest and jungle laws were closer,
Or is it because we hid in concrete and dead wood?

Tooth and fang are going extinct,
A mistake,
Because personal extinction may be more remote,
Yet we are animals too.

Fairness is a virtue,
Yet so is resilience,
Even more so nature.

Watch the seasons dance,
Tell me what is truth,
What is myth,
What is a lie?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/26/2019

The Grand Opening...

The Grand Opening... 

At this time,
On this night,
Through the thinnest of veils,
Spirits may rise and shine,
As we all turn to the inside,
Contemplate the passage of time,
Watching grass and flower and leaf,
The colors of myriad endings,
Countless signs of the long cold rest to come.

Drumbeats and howling winds,
Twinkling stars dance in and out of dark gray cloud curtains,
Swirl 'round the bright and lovely Moon.

The otherworlds beneath my feet and above my head,
I wander in the heart of the night.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/24/2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Originals...

The Originals... 

The people you grew up with,
Scattered like Autumn leaves from the same tree,
Some from the very same branch,
Other from across the tree.

No matter how far the wind blows you away from the tree,
In a quantum universe,
You are still entangled.

The memory of the branches that bound you,
Of Springtime and budding,
Washed in same rains,
Of the rustling winds of Summer nights,
The shared glow of fireflies and stars,
And Autumn's cool frost and bluster.

No matter how we crumble and mulch and scatter,
You are the originals,
And I remember.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/22/2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Ghost Of A House...

The Ghost Of A House... 

Autumn leaves dance on old branches,
Large and stout arms to hold the falling rain of color,
A luxurious russet blanket covering the still-green grass,
A palette yet to be painted in the crystalline tones of Jack Frost,
That wandering vagabond of cold and breath-hushed nights,
A trillion mirrors on Earth of the billion twinkling stars in Heaven's night.

I saw its bones once,
Boarded up with faded and chipping paint,
Not long before the bulldozer struck.

It haunts me on Autumn nights,
The old farmhouse at Eaton,
Where love must have been made,
Children raised and played,
Where the old oaks shade only the ghost of a house.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/17/2019

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

They Call Him Vampire...

They Call Him Vampire... 

Like many things that move through the night,
The tales are taller than long shadows,
The truth is the iceberg below the surface,
And the mystery is a sought-after whisper of fantasy and dreams,
Never to be truly known.

Its said he is ancient,
This I believe.

By some freak of nature,
Some deeply-twisted whim of fate,
He never ages,
Not even a speck of grey or the smallest wrinkle.

Can you fathom what that must mean,
The cold curse it must be?

You and I lament about "never going home,"
That refuge of childhood and youth,
Yet imagine seeing it by daylight a thousand years from now,
Every sign of its existence crumbled,
Dust and built or grown over.

Could you bear to walk in the sun?

Perhaps his talk of blood flows from a time when that was all most had to give,
A time when there were no zippers,
All was buttons and ties,
And sewing needles were made of stone or bone.

To hail from an era where clocks did not exist is t be timeless,
Ruled all by Sun and Moon.

There was a time long ago when a lack of manners was cause for blood to spill,
Is it any wonder his are impeccable?

Perhaps his love died one night in a kitchen,
Red-rose blood flowing in among bits and cloves of half-minced garlic,
Solver necklace hewn from her lifeless body,
A stake driven through her heart by a jilted Von Helsing,
In an era where romance was the only true coin of life.

There are many reasons to hide in the mists of the night,
And he has lived them all.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/15/2019

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Shallow Pumpkin...

The Shallow Pumpkin... 

The shallow pumpkin has shallow roots,
An empty gourd of poor seed,
Thin of skin and rotting from the inside out.

It is a false jack-o'-lantern,
Decaying and caving in 'fore All Hallows can even begin,
Raising a horrendous stench,
Leaking a mess upon the world at the earliest frost,
Amounting to a waste of time and effort.

Pin your hopes upon the pumpkin of deep roots,
Look for that to glow true upon the night of thin-veiled spectacle,
The light of the past illuminates a magical future.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Friday, October 11, 2019

I'm A Dreamer...

I'm A Dreamer... 

...And I'm not the only one.

That line was so good it deserved a welcome reprise,
Thank you John in the sky.

In the seventies and eighties sense of the term,
I believe that if we dream big enough,
Miracles can be baked out of even small potatoes.

If we let the "pragmatists" have it their way,
We would live in dark and cold caves,
Nary a wheel or spark in sight.

All I have to do is dream...


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mental Twinkies For Nerds...

Mental Twinkies For Nerds... 

Magazines on glorious glossiuss paper,
In hand at a bookstore coffee shop,
Triple-shot latte and oatmeal-raisin cookie,
Slightly warmed.

Atlantis Rising with everything from alternative energy to ancient Egyptians in the Grand Canyon,
Races of ancient giants and lost pyramids in Eastern Europe.

Nexus with much of the same plus aliens and quantum physics,
Don't forget the occasional dinosaur.

Ancient American with copper mining in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan four thousand years ago,
Hebrew fortresses in down-State Indiana in 50 BC.

Be it biblical mysteries or libraries under the paw of the Sphinx,
Electrical power plants inside the Great Pyramid at Giza,
Or even hints at finding Atlantis,
I am in geeks' Heaven.

The hours are mere minutes,
And I am an arm-chair Indiana Jones in the temple of Caffeine,
The Eterniverse laid bare at my feet.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/10/2019 

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

The Poets' Ache Redux...

The Poets' Ache Redux... 

Of what use is poetry?

Where does this drive to record the stream of words from the subconscious come from?

Is it seeping into our souls from the shared intelligence of the Universe?

The mystic whispers of Muses and Angels?

Transmissions across time and space from other dimensions?

I know beyond any doubt that we poets are connected by and in it,

This adoring of the written word,

The unstoppable drive to produce them.

A clue is how it screams to me in Autumn.

An ephemeral yet undeniable force,

A drumbeat of psychic power

It manifests in an acute sense of the passage of time,

An urgency to salvage traces of moments soon to be gone forever,

Otherwise lost and forgotten.

I know in my bones that every beautiful and unique Autumn leaf will end its dance,

Become dull and moldy,

Crumble into the Earth and feed insects and worms,

Forever gone and faded from eye and mind.

Every snowflake and frost crystal will melt away,

Blades of grass mowed and mulched.

We are all leaves and snow.

Once in a great while an Autumn leaf lands in amber.

I am writing this with a pen from the late 1990's,

Shocked that it still writes,

Caught in amber like a tiny miracle.

Perhaps we all hope to be so lucky as the leaf in amber,

Or as pyramids and sphinxes,

With enough mystery to be worthy of memory or at least investigation.

How many notebooks full of art and poetry lie in musty boxes,

Lost to attics and basements and old garages,

Or buried in landfills,

Perhaps sitting on a shelf in an abandoned gold mine,

In a dusty nightstand in a bedroom of a ghost town saloon,

And worse,

In abandoned poetry boards scattered in forgotten dark attics of the internet?

It would need an army of love to save them all.

I ache for our words to be blessed with Amber.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

© 10/08/2019

Sunday, October 06, 2019

No Spectators In The Pumpkin Wars...

No Spectators In The Pumpkin Wars... 

I tend to fall...well,
In with the traditionalists,
Tories of pumpkin as it were.

Pumpkin pie and coffee is sacred,
Nearly as hallowed as jack-o'-lanterns,
Though not so far as to need a turnip harvest,
I find Linus quite modern,
Searching for some "Great- Pumpkin".

Spice this and spice that,
Ceareal and ice cream,
Probably shampoo and soap,
Destroying perfectly good bacon,
Will asparagus be next,
Or is it caviar and champagne?

I'll go as far as pancakes,
Just leave my devilled eggs in a natural state,
Zucchini too.

There is only one way I'll consort with the enemy...

No whip,
Don't skip the nutmeg and allspice,
There in the land of magazines and good books,
Or perhaps poetry.


Look at the pretty leaves!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10-6-2015

Saturday, October 05, 2019

A Leaf Dancing In Dreamland...

A Leaf Dancing In Dreamland... 

Blowing down the street in the heart of the night,
I whirl in the air and skitter over pavement,
Tickling obstacles before rolling over and around,
Spinning color changes in the show-light pools of street lamps.

I am the dry rustle that scares you at first,
The troupe of dancers in the company of foggy-breathed chill nights,
With a supporting cast of fleeting charcoal clouds and blinking twinkle stars.

I am the prophet spectre of a year's ending.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/05/2019

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Midnight Oil...

Midnight Oil... 

...Or maybe a candle,
A lamp,
After all,
We are in a post-Edison-and-Tesla era.

And yet,
The lights are soft,
My heart is open,
Pen in the hand gliding over paper,
A spiral notebook,
My favorite,
Filling with poetry,
At the cadence of my Muse.

I am thinking of our far-off Paladin,
With a vision of healing,
Heartful of hope,
Future still clothed in fine robes of possibility.

There is something powerful about these hours in the season of Autumn,
Indeed all the year,
Yet now the most.

The cool nights,
Low golden angle of afternoon sun,
Promise of Orion's return to the bejeweled Heavens.

The tinge of color is creeping upon both tree and bush,
Leaves not yet skittering down the streets,
Yet I find that I can't stop from turning them.


© 10/02/2019
By: Daniel A. Stafford

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Sunday Paper...

The Sunday Paper... 

We were watching the Sunday Morning show on CBS,
A Sunday tradition of ours,
Her passing comment took me back decades;
"Like in the Sunday Paper..."

I remember a time when you were lucky,
Maybe a single gas station in town was open,
Family and friends home together.

The expanded comics section was in color rather than black and white,
"The funny papers" some called them.

The arts and theater for the week listed in all their glory,
Reviews and previews.

The local community section with local accomplishments and festivals,
Who won the bake-off,
The local boy who my officer,
College and high school graduations and weddings,
Exotic vacations townspeople were taking.

Himtan interests were the best,
How to keep blacksmithy alive,
Or cutting ice on the river fifty years ago,
Maybe how a new museum was being planned.

Of course there was a gossip section too.

The best days of another era.


© 09/29/2019
By: Daniel A. Stafford

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Pits...

The Pits... 

As my Mother used to say,
"Sometimes in life you get cherries,
Other times it's just the pits."

What was never mentioned;
Sometimes those small hard things might just crack a tooth,
Yet with a little effort and a lot of luck...

Cherry trees are large,
Beautiful in bloom.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/27/2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Scent Of The Grind...

The Scent Of The Grind... 

The beans spill into the hopper,
As I spin the handle in and antique tradition,
The scent washes over me,
Serenity and satisfaction falling,
Ground down and landing in a brown paper bag,
Old-school air freshener,
That rich brown,
Percolator-bound brown gold.

For a few days,
I have the best-smelling garage on the planet.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/25/2017

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tarash Sparau...

Tarash Sparau...

There is an ancient name,
They say it was sung by the last summer winds,
In chorus with the stormy gales of autumn,
Tarash Sparau,
The Song In The Breeze,
A magical creature of a season's moment,
The essence of the edge of summer and fall,
She wears a cloak of many colors,
It's vista is that of summer flowers,
Dancing with the turning leaves,
As the season turns all tawny and fire,
Last vestiges of soft pastel and brilliant riots,
Tarash Sparau's cool laughter in grey clouds,
Billowing pillows in the vast sky dimming,
There when mortals are not seeing the wood for the trees,
With their leaves of flaming crimson and yellow gold,
As the leaves broadcast the sunset of the season,
Tarash Sparau bears the horn of plenty,
Carrying it to now hale Autumn,
And Tarash Sparau's fine cloak of colors,
Whipping and flapping in changing breezes,
Resembles owls in the woods,
Or sometimes flocks of blackbirds upon the wing,
And this year Tarash Sparau cries crystal tears,
Raining from her pale sunset eyes,
For her sweet sister Summer is stained crimson,
And Angels with Soul Catchers surround her abed,
Dark eyed and solemn as they await a winter of the spirit,
Their halos of golden light offset by black feathered wings,
Their eyes all a mist for the duty they bear,
For again men's souls have taken the chill of Winter,
Haughty and cold and bringing endings with no remorse,
They have become minions of the Ice Queen,
Their souls puppets on strings in a frozen celestial lair,
And sweet Summer has wept herself to sleep,
Verde, Summer, buenos notches, y vaya con Dios,
Sleep in the arms of God,
Your sweet sister Primavera,
Oh angelic Spring and her gentle blue eyes,
Had no ill winds sweeping through her wild blown hair,
No, Tarash Sparau is bade by Autumn,
"Carry the prayers of men to the council of angels,
Let God's own ear hear the plight and wailing voices."
As an angel cups palms 'round every lit candle,
Tarash Sparau sings her tearful message,
Begging for kindness upon the ears of all,
Or at least all with a heart to hear.


By: Daniel A.Stafford
(C) 09/25/2001

Author's Comments:
I feel a sadness in the passing of summer, even more
than in so many years before, because this year,
winter took hearts and froze them still so long before
their time should ever have come, and those chill
hearts that have lost all mercy and caring wish to bring
more death into the world. I wish their eyes could see
visions of the summer's sweetness instead.

American Corn...

American Corn...

Ticky-tacky knic-knac,
I love all these roadsides,
Waving brash history's hat,
It's all fascinating,
The stories of bygone days,
The glories of our bric-a-brac.

Polish up the bullhorn,
Paint up a new sign,
Print it in the paper,
Blogs and social media,
Everywhere you can think and find,
Radio and TV,
Podcast and YouTube,
It's all very well.

Bring out the children,
Animals and local celebrities,
Old coaches and whistling trains.

From the world's largest ketchup bottle,
To castles in death valley,
Mining caves and ghost towns,
Cotton candy and carnivals,
Snap crackle and pop,
I love American Corn.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/22/2019

Author's Note:
Inspired by adventures with my wife, remembered through Huell Howser.

The Great Spinning...

The Great Spinning... 

To cover our nakedness,
The first cloth was long-ago spun.

All of life is made up of vortices,
Perhaps everything in the Great All must spin.

Every galaxy in the universe has been spinning since the beginning of time,
Just as do the planets around the Sun,
Jupiter's great Red Spot,
Saturn's majestic rings.

Water down a drain mirrors currents in the seas,
Winds and waves swirling and twirling,
So too tornadoes and hurricanes.

Sound waves spin the air,
Like pressure sculptures invisible.

Love is a vortex always reaching for our center,
Epic whet a brief tornado,
Endless jet stream,
Or brief Summer zephyr,
Leaving us forever changed.

Lies must also be spun,
Like a spider's web,
They are sticky and difficult to maintain,
Anchoring their author in time and place,
Often destroyed by larger forces.

Just as maple seed and Autumn leaves spin to the ground,
So too I imagine the breath in our lungs,
The blood in our veins.

Even electrons and atomic particles spin,
Made up of spinning quarks and magnetic fields.

I imagine other universes spin in dimensions we cannot see,
Perhaps meeting at the center of black holes.

The seasons and our lives exist because things spin,
Even rays of light and snowflakes wind their ways to their destinations.

Perhaps that's why I wrote this in cursive,
My pen spinning to the Muse's lovely tune.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 09/22/2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

Did They Bury Candyo In A Car?

Did They Bury Candyo In A Car? 

So the music died again this week,
Another splinter universe created,
A place of fewer songs.

If all the Earth is salted,
Are there still places for a Muse to land,
Ears not too tired to hear a subtle whisper on the wind?

The guitars are dusty,
And I have to go back to work tomorrow.

My soul says "Let's go."


© 09/15/2019
By: Daniel A. Stafford

Author's Note:
I just got word of Ric from The Cars passing away this evening.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

I Hear A River...

I Hear A River... 

It is easy to imagine sound as a river,
With all its twists,
Changes in pitch,
Gentle or fierce.

I hear silence as the river.

Bounded by banks of sound,
Silence flows deep or shallow,
Shaping and giving meaning to the landscape of sound.

It is the silence at the end of our course that returns to an ocean of void,
Carrying the dust of our ending into the depths of eternal quiet.

When the silence evaporates,
We are found back upon its river,
Recycled once again.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 02/10/2019

Friday, May 03, 2019

Dream Visions...

Dream Visions is an antique book of sheet music that I purchased many years ago. It's a series of waltzes. I love the cover art.

I scanned the cover many years ago:

I love the idea of using this with a poem at some point.


Thursday, May 02, 2019

Antiquity Went Green...

Antiquity Went Green... 

In the verdant springtime of mankind,
The world was lush and rich with life,
Varied of color and shape,
Wealthy with the force of life.

Then the coins came,
Were swallowed by peasants and bankers,
The wee folk loved shiny objects,
Lusted for bread without labor,
A trick of magic.

Nobility was crafted out of gold cloth,

A masterful game of death and darkness,
Playing charades of light and glitter,
A Mardi Gras masquerade,
Unleashing softly-covered breasts and treasures,
Of every description and nature,
A trick of light and sorcery,
Woven into the fabric of language.

What a dark psychic poison it is.

Sloth begets a lust for shiny baubles,
The most ancient of psyops,
Infowars from the infancy of Humanity.

Can you imagine life without the language of the bank?

How much of every tongue would require excision,
How much mental space would need vacation?

I can easily see a green new deal,
It existed before we did.

It's why we are,
Likely to be why we were,
Failing a recognition of the dream as the nightmare.

Rasputin was legend,
Mesmer fabled.

They pale under the gleam of gold and silver,
The ringing song of coin and register.

Wake up,
Make a bed of swaying boughs,
The singing rustle of leaves,
The swaying of flowers and buzzing of bees,
The rise and set of the Sun.

Go back to the green and bury the gold.

May Day, May Day, May Day!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 05/01/2019

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Battle Cry...

Battle Cry... 

It used to shriek and ding,
Now it softly groans om,
The drumbeat of sleepy feet,
Never truly rested,
Off again to be tested.

Pet the cats,
Slip on slippers,
Start the coffee,
Set out clean clothes,
Brush and shower,
Master the comb.

Dress and button,
Zip and tie,
Pour the pot,
Kiss on the fly,
Hop in the truck,
Turn the key.

Flip on the radio,
Start up Maps,
She reads me directions,
Where the traffic is at.

I'm racing away,
I won't slow down,
Not 'til the end of the day.

Every which way,
My attention is split,
In fours and threes,
There's never enough of me,
Slap and dash,
Fire of the moment,
A job truly well-done,
That's way back in history.

Produce with the least,
That's the new American battle cry!


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/24/2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Wistful Thinking - Columbia...

Wistful Thinking - Columbia...

The people's goddess,
Part caricature,
Lady Liberty's elder sister,
Protector in spirit of the Underdog,
She is wrapped in an archaic and tattered flag,
Threadbare and mud-stained,
With blood at her feet.

What happens when goddesses are all but forgotten?

Withered trunk,
Yellowed laurel leaves,
Yet with life under the soil,
Roots precariously alive.

She walks limping with a cane,
Sleeping under bridges,
A thousand purple hearts jangling her tattered pockets,
Thousands more littering ditches and landfills.

All for a lack of unity,
A missing depth of compassion,
The carnival barkers' auctioning of the great society.

Ghostly tears wash through tracks of concrete dust,
The bridges and railroads crumbling about her head,
A cloudy wreath for a dull halo.

The empty towns her feet have trudged,
Lifeless soil and vanished insects,
Frankencrops tended by robotic tractors,
Flaming faucets in delapidated farm houses,
The empty backyard swings rusting to nothing.

There used to be promise and honesty in a plow,
Eggs on tables and fish in creeks,
A land of an abundant future.

Columbia is humbled by the seashore,
Microplastic tatters falling from her dishevelled raiments,
Waiting for us all to look up from our screens,
Actually see our neighbors and our world.

Long ago it was said all that glitters is not gold,
But I think everyone has forgotten.

United we stand,
Out of many are one,
So it was said.

We were all once American,
And Columbia was our darling.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/14/2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Melodic Nostalgia...

Melodic Nostalgia... 

Sometimes they come to me,
An ear-worm in a box frame of faded memory,
Playing over and over in my head,
Bringing me to the haunting days of youth,
An iridescent shimmer tinged with yellowed age,
Seen through misty rose-colored glasses.

I wonder who will sing these songs in ages to come,
As snippets slip from my lips in moments of early-morning reverie.

I thought many were forgotten,
Now I know there are hidden corners in my head,
Treasure boxes faded with time,
Priceless and ephemeral.

There are rose gardens tucked away in Southwestern ghost towns,
Rose rustlers occasionally visit for lost treasures,
Forgotten flowers from long ago.

Are we all the rose rustlers of musical history?

Break the burning silence of sunrise,
Perhaps you'll know,
Especially if the tune is light and easy to carry.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/12/2019

Monday, April 08, 2019

Old Songs And Karaoke...

Old Songs And Karaoke...

I was told as an early teenager that I sang like a frog,
Of course that crack made me jump back in the pond,
Not so much as a croak for decades,
Young egos are like silly putty,
Soft and pliable,
Unless I was alone in the car.

As a young child I loved Elvis movies,
So did my brother and sister,
Pretty melodies,
Pretty girls,
Pretty cars and boats,
Wide-eyed poet child with open ears.

My childhood hero faded,
We moved,
Other music was everywhere,
So were books,
Along with pre-teen angst,
That longing to fit in,

Decades passed,
A chance vacation with my pretty wife,
An Elvis CD in a rack,
And the King sang to us all the way home.

It all flooded back,
That simple joy.

Soon the King rode with me to work,
And back,
My new voice coach,
My old childhood friend.

A wayward karaoke party,
Elvis in the list,
So the frog hopped back out,
Maybe not a prince,
Maybe more than a croak,
But I still love it,
An old secret passion,
Some right-brain splash on a left-brain world.

Those rusty old pipes still work a little,
Who knew?


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 04/08/2019

Tuesday, April 02, 2019



How I long for the internet of yesteryear,

The simplicity and easy read,

The uncomplicated pages and sweet graphics,

The possibility of depth,

Of unbroken concentration.

Today's American web,

It's like NASCAR on methamphetamine,


Likely to crash into the crowd,

So highly unstable.

In the UK they remember the better age,

The worth of a long read,

A slow afternoon and a good story.

I think the Ferenghi have invaded Earth,

Flash boom bah,

Boing boing bang,

Click-bait poison,

And I have to ask now,

Do I still have your attention?


By: Daniel A. Stafford

(C) 02/08/2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Touch O' The Night...

Touch O' The Night...

The constellation Orion snapped with a Galaxy S10.

They say space is the final frontier,
I'd have to agree,
Whether it's an innie or an outie,
Thinking about it in the average Jane and Joe's context,
Well that's tantamount to navel-gazing,
But pleasant.

It's the wee hours again,
So here I am playing in the poetic garden,
Dancing with my old friends,
It's not often the gate's left open these days,
But I'll take a sip of dreams when I can get it.

I need that quiet,
That recharge,
The drop in stimuli,
All flight depends upon it.

At least I got to look up for a bit,
Before Monday's alarm sounds,
Cool as it is that I made it play Om.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
(C) 03/31/2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Alien Holiday...

Alien Holiday...

Are elves really green?

I mean,
Like Vulcans in love,
Crazy in a strange and magical way,
Driven to toy-making as a form of exotic release?

Is it a sleigh or a saucer,
And reindeer or Cheshire cats in reindeer suits,
Wearing bells and antigravity boots?

Be it a pipe or a sonic screwdriver,
That bottomless bag of presents,
From around here,
Not are they.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 12/15/2018

Friday, January 04, 2019

Circular History...

Circular History...

I dream of esoteric knowledge lost to the steel march of Rome,
Of Druids among trees,
Branches burned by empire,
A dusty mirror of Europe lost,
Reflecting still today,
A sullen angle of greed amok.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 01/04/2019