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