The pot of gold becomes a bowl of oatmeal,
Those moments, if not gone, are fading --
If not far away, then farther apart;
When goals and plans melt into moments,
Now you are on your way.

Bill Purdin: 2223-6


I wonder sometimes if I'm so isolated
That I lose out experientially.
I mean those camels, those pyramids,
That Eiffel Tower, that Lenin's Tomb.
But then I watch you falling asleep
On the couch and think of the days just past
Driving, measuring, moving furniture,
Hanging curtains, painting touchups,
Going for pizza (not for me)
Talking with our daughter all day…
Well watching you fall asleep on the couch
And thinking of what my day was like,
I doubt it.
It might be nice, but in an odd Thoreauian way
I think it might be distractive. So many new
Things to factor there than here, in fact,
Here I can concentrate on things.
Plus I do get out and about, six states,
Ten towns, shopping at Whole Foods,
I average around 11,000 miles a year
Just around here. I know a lot of people,
Which makes life fun, and I still have long, long
Periods of working alone, singing alone, and
Writing alone to satisfy the soul.
So going to Fallujah or back to Vietnam,
Maybe taking one of those river cruises
Down the Bassac again,
Or maybe I could go back to Australia sometime.
Or maybe visit my sister in Wales
For the first time in 40 years.
But when one is happy were one is
It means something.
And I'm going to stay right here
Until I figure that out.

Bill Purdin / 2/18/13


It was a day like no other.
It was a day like every other.
But something happened that day.

There were two, really.
One when you were born.
One when I kissed you.

There are almost seven billion people now.
I know some of them.
They all mean so much.

You are everything.
You are seven billion to me.
You are the world.

Tomorrow is another day.
A day like every other.
A day to look forward to.

With you there is meaning.
With you there is true love.
With you there is us.

Happy birthday, Joy.

Bill Purdin: 2/3/13


When I read or hear something I love
It lights a fuse that can burn for years.
So that means -- with me infused --
You could be in my poems now.

We think the days go by quickly.
But they creep by like molasses. Every moment counts.
So each little reading or hearing could be the one
That does what the one does.

The thought of you in those long silences when I sit with hands clasped on elbows
And dream through my eleven terabytes, hoping for a word or thought.
When I write there are no holds barred. I think you're in there now.
In my muse matrix.

And then what I think and what I write
Becomes a stolen thing, something of you I cannot escape.
Do I owe you credit? A footnote somewhere.
You placed an idea into my care. It fell to paper God knows where.

Bill Purdin 1/28/13


There is a silence in the minds
Of children that gets lost
As the years go by.

A feeling of wonder looking
At something for the first time;
Of hearing some emotion for the first time;
Of doing things for the first time.
A silent emptiness waiting to be filled.

There's a noise that accumulates in the minds
Of people and it distracts us
As the years go by.

That feeling of losing ground;
Of watching our dreams pass by;
Of feeling emotions dampened by day-to-day;
Of doing the same thing over and over;
Of overwhelming yearnings we still have.

There is a peace that comes next
Like a blanket we slowly go under
As the years go by.

Bill Purdin: 11/25/12



We are here to inspire each other.
We are here to excite each other.
About the future. About today.
We're here to help each other see
That there's nothing we can do
About yesterday and that it
Doesn't matter unless we let it.
Past successes are overdoses
We must overcome.
Past failures are injuries that
We must allow to heal.
We are here to give each other
Lives worth living.
We are here to help each other
Find the truth about today.

Take your biggest victory ever,
Compare it to a smile you instilled.
Search and examine, you will never
Find life more honestly distilled.

Caring for each one near
Is the Happy New Year.

Bill Purdin: 12282-6


Thinking about gifts for you
Leaves me filled with doubt.
How can I choose a gift for someone
Who gave me the day? Not just today --
As if that was not more than enough
(And you gave me that, too.) -- but life, really.
You gave me that first day.
You gave me that first kiss.
You gave me the day of the movie.
You gave me the day of birth.
You gave me the decades of adventure.
You gave me a lifetime of freedom and fun.
What could I possibly get for you?

Bill Purdin: 12232-6


I just sat here this morning crying.
The names haunted me.
So young. So deserving.
Everyone right where they should have been.
Stomped out.
As if they were nothing. Nothing at all.
A school founded in 1956
With a long history of safe children
Shattered by the fingers of a young killer
As they carefully loaded high impact rounds
One after the other -- a child's name on each one --
Each into its place:
Charlotte, James, Daniel, Grace, Olivia,
Emilie, Josephine, Jack, Ana,
Noah, Dylan, Caroline, Madeleine, Jessica,
Catherine, Avielle, Chase, Benjamin, Jesse
And Allison. All loaded into magazines
And readied for use. Six women, all hero educators:
Were loaded in there, too.
Rachel, Dawn, Nancy, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria
The guns and those bullets did exactly
What they were designed to do.
The killings stole the future,
The past, and the present,
Us circling slowly in a broken world.
I just sat here this morning crying.

Bill Purdin: 12/21/12


There is no need to be overly honest in poetry.
We are recording history in the most distant sense.
The farthest from reality.
Historians always read poetry.
We're their last resort.
Poets are honest in the important ways:
The mental ways, the emotions' ways.
We tell it like it was.
Only the reader is an is.
Exaggeration is just another word for emphasis.
Accuracy has no real meaning.
Merging stories and experiences creates some disbelief. Who cares?
Poems are either alive or dead. Accurate poems never get the chance.
Poetry is born in a state of incredulity and confusion
That can only result in the rawest of careless observation.
It takes a lifetime to make sense of things.
There are no phrases like "poetic-accuracy," or "poetically-true,"
At least outside of satire and derogative, backstabbing politics.
No one would take you seriously.
But people have told me that I can be inaccurate,
Especially in events shared with the reader.
(Say we were both in a war.)
Readers now "disagree" with me and let me know it.
It's not what you think. It's what you feel.
And they show it.
When my pen inspires emotions, I am happy.
What historian would ever say that?
A historian would never write about this moment.
Yet with each word I sail forth unshored and free.
There is no more need to be honest in poetry
Than to be poetic in honesty.
But even that sounds nice, doesn't it?
So. Tell the truth in poetry? Absolutely not.
Tell the story and let the truth be aught.

Bill Purdin: 11232-6


It gets cold in New England
And the snow piles up outside.
People wrap up in coats and blankets
And hide away inside.
We all have to work and plan
Waiting for a summer's day
Keeping warm together
Whiling the winters away.
All the little flowers
Covered in white so deep
Blossum in the hearts of little children
Dreaming while they sleep.
Summertime in New England is
For having a good time.
It's when lover's hold each other
And whisper you are mine.
It's for layin' under the branches
Of the old shade tree.
It's when the sun's so warm
It seems to say follow me, follow me.
But soon enough those broadleafs
Will be falling to the ground
And the wonderful temperatures
Will be going down, going down.
I love to be in New England
All year long.
To listen to the seasons' changes
And hear the willow's song.
To feel the foamy waves crash
And sense the Pilgrims' pride.
Or just sit by the rocky coast
And watch the seagulls glide.
I love New England
It's where I was born and came alive.
I love New England,
It's where I live and thrive.

Bill Purdin: March 6, 1982


The winner takes a moment. Something he or she's
Been waiting for. For a lifetime.
Who can blame them? Winner takes all.
Didn't ask for it. Just took it. Just desserts.
In that moment there was a thought of gratitude:
Was it for the others' inept play, or
For understanding?
Not that it matters.
This was a moment of self-indulgence.
Hard-earned. Well deserved.
Next some head home. Some drop to their knees.
Some try to write it all down.
First was that thought when
In the shock of sudden victory
And thrall of actually winning
That moment of insanity:
You knew it was all about you.

Bill Purdin: 1082-6


Do you know why
Everyone has to be
Quiet around a golfer?
It takes full concentration
Of all the senses to do it.
Noise distracts one
Of the senses.
A movement?
That's fatal to the effort..
A combination of movement
And sound in a moment
Of focused mental action?
It's much better to be silent.
This applies to everything.
Not just golf.

Bill Purdin: 12222-6


I can't fill your emptiness. It's taken years to know this.
I wonder in and out of one of my own.
I can't be your answer to the question you never ask.
I can't be the words you never speak.
Your magnum silencium is overwhelming.
Like a room I can't find my way out of,
Or something I can't remember but keep trying.
The mobius loop of love's promise.
There is a mirror we stare into.
The image is distorted, me and you.
Though it looks so normal. Something's just not right.
Things that were and aren't; things that could be but won't:
Shade the light as we look at things as they are.
It must be but it can't be. It can't be but it is.
They say time cures all. What if they are right?
What if now the cure is and we aren't?
Could all of that be gone?
Like so many things
We swept aside, moving on.
Are you going to be
Another one of those?


Bill Purdin: 10/30/12

(dedicated to Felix Baumgartner)

It was all so usual
Up to a point

After that was fine too.
It was just that part.

Wrapped in manmade protection, I was
At the edge of space.

No more instructions, no more protocols
Time to go. It's time to go.

They told me I would spin, but not like that.
Still spinning when I stowed the lines.

Waking up in freefall is no fun.
There's work to do.

Broke all the records
Except the one I want.

In the film, I saw you
The quiet patient you.

It was a tough, tough one.
I'll do better on two.

Bill Purdin: 10/14/12/Time: 15:37


We watch crazy TV shows, and
The scary chronicle shows,
That bring human disaster and tragedy
Into our living room and couches.
We stare at reality shows that sadly
Depict the underbelly of the human state.
We see our neighbor's troubles and
Silently rejoice. Hey, it's not us.
We watch sports and perseverate on
The violence, can't get it out of our minds.
A fender bender can tie up traffic for miles.
We crane to see our politicians stumble.
We strain to find some wonder in life.

A poet finds it everywhere, even in yesterday's
Coffee cup, a broken paper clip and yes
Even in the way a hand brushes us
As it passes in a rush of pressure to
Get to the day.

A true eye is given to us all..
The secret of poetry's popularity.

The need to make the obvious thrilling
Is fused by strains of the obvious willing.

Bill Purdin: 12/26/12


When your feet touch the ground
It adds a level of knowing
That just can't be visualized.
It's subtle, you just know.
This doesn't work inside.
Those frames and joyces,
Those windows and walls,
They all deaden the incoming.
Inside everything is quiet.
Outside everything is alive
And you can feel it even if
You don't know it.
Walking through the neighborhood
Is much different than driving through it.
Somehow you are more a part of things.
Less apart and intruder.
More like a tree than salesman.
More like the sky than a voter.
Outside walking, your feet
Are more like bear claws.

Bill Purdin: 12/25/12


There are days like that
Almost everything goes right
The "All set." feeling
Is everywhere around you.
Don't be an ass.

The middle of the fairway
The easy up-hill putt
It all seems so painless
Persistence is paying off.
Don't be a dope.

Deep in the rough
The three-putt pain
They are just as seductive
Something to blame finally.
Don't kid yourself.

Bill Purdin: 9/9/2012


"There are terrible decisions
That you have to make
In business," he said.
"The you being me."

I was thinking of the quiet
The cold winters, the warm fires
The deep, deep snow,
Seeing your breath exhale extragantly
Not just huffing and puffing and
Finally seeing a little, if that.
Where he was, it gets really cold.
People sort of huddle together at home and
Work, out and about.
People know each other up there.
They know what's happening.

"It's hard when you work together,
Know each other, have agreed and disagreed,
Seen each other for years every day almost."

The dog enjoyed the walk although we went too far
As far as he was concerned. A walk involves
Less walking and more goofing around
Tugging the leash, learning new tricks,
Rolling together in the grass, getting treats.
What's with all this walking? But walking
Calms my thoughts so sometimes we walk.
Like today. We actually tresspassed to see
If an old path of my boyhood still existed.
It didn't. Just totally overgrown. I looked
Down where the path used to be. I remembered
Running down there at full steam.
Probably from the town police.

"We just didn't see things the same way.
Is that enough? He bothered other people
More than me. I always thought of him
As really nice."

At first I thought it was tomorrow's game
Somehow I missed that it was today. But
It was actually an old game with my team
At their best. One of the NFL's Top Ten Games.
The players seemed a little nimbler, more determined
Than they do now. It's only been two years.
Do we really fade that quickly? Wisdom replaces
Sinew, and holds off disappointment
For a while, but in contact sports,
It catches up fast. It comes in all flavors:
Some delicious, some just okay, and some
Utterly displeasing. And not just in sports.
Sometimes in sad surrender to consensus.

"He'll be all right. He's a smart guy. Vision is
A hard thing. You either have it or you don't.
The sad thing is you can also
Have the wrong vision."

The sadness was so unfeigned
That it unsettled me. Why not just
Do what you've got to do and stop
Overthinking everything? Sometimes there
Are decisions that you must make. Then
You must take what comes of that.
You have to be brave and right,
Which is an irregular marriage
If ever there was one.
Bravery rushes in to the rescue.
Right takes conscience and concern.
You have to be able to blend it every time.
The you being me.

Bill Purdin: 9/22/12


I once wrote a poem and said,
"If they don't like this one I'm going to kill myself."
(It was a poem of love really and reuniting love at that.)
And I really meant it. Because after all
What is there without sharing and telling the story?
Without allegorical free verses?
Anyway, that's food for thought.
Who would want
A world without studied awe?

If people don't like it is it really poetry?
There's no answer.
If enough people see it someone will like it.
Poof! It's poetry again.

But what if no one liked it?
Hard to imagine.
No one liked it.
It's all the honesty you can give,
All the love you can give.
It's all the funny stuff you can give,
It's sort of everything to you.
About you.
True of every poem you write.
But no one liked it.
What would you do?
I think I might kill myself.

If I suddenly woke up in a world, where nothing
Preoccupies me in this way that most people find odd;
A world where I couldn't just sit and stare
At a worm trying to crawl back into the ground,
Or a dead garter snake, or an at old friend
And be filled with wonder?
A world where the simple things
Are no longer fun to look at, to write about,
And to sing about?
A world where meeting people and shaking their hands,
Or hugging them, or hugging and kissing them, or
Spending the day skiing with them, or crying with them,
Or helping their dreams come true,
And telling their story, is no longer possible?

In that sad world of devastating rejection
I'm not quite sure what I would do.
I might kill myself. I mean, why not?
Then there's issue of how.
Poets do this all through history.
It's a well-known art of the art.
So clearly it's an option, although -- as above --
Often spoken in haste and awful worry.
It leaves a lot behind. A lot well-meaning people
Who may yet speak up.

So, on reflection, this option for its
Execution and resolution issues
Is a path of least resistance
Which I avoid.
I like to do it the hard way.
There is always the rewrite and repost.
There is hope of course there is.
We all know there are good days.
A day like this, perhaps.
But there are days, snakes, worms, and love
Out there waiting. It's all true.
Look around. It may save you.

Bill Purdin: 9292


We worked on a toilet that
Wouldn't shut off.
At first I said to her,
"Try a little firmer flush.
Maybe your are too gentle
With the handle."

That didn't work.

Then I decided that
I would be in charge
Of the handle.
No issue with me
Being too gentle.

That didn't work either.

So then I went down
Into my workshop
Where I found not one
But two replacement
Toilet fixtures, purchased
For just such a situation
When this sort of thing happens.

I chose one. The one
With the most parts.
We turned off the water --
The handle is old and
Takes all my wrist strength to
Turn it either way.
You can't really tell
If it's going off or on by
The turning pressure.
You have to remember:
This way is off and this way
Is on. The loosey lefty
Rule doesn't work because
It's jammed in a corner,
The handle is upside down
And you can't see it anyway
Because the walls
Are so close. It just
Could not be more

So, now we
Were faced with a new,
And larger project:
Replacing all the moving
Parts of the toilet.
We work together on it.
Mopping up the water,
Switching tools, putting
On the washers and bolts
(The wrong way twice).
The water On-off handle
H ad to be manipulated painfully at
Least four separate times
To determine if the
Connection was tight or
Not ... not, not, and then yes.

Finally, the connection was good,
The washers were positioned
Correctly. One last
Painful turning of the on off
Handle, and voila! It worked.
We flushed it twice and it worked.
The fill-water turned off
Right on time. (We lowered
The level to save a little),
and the connection did not drip.

Job done.

I said to her -- after she praised
Me for my amazing
Handyman-ness -- "The only
Difference between me and
All those other guys
Who say they can't do
Anything around the house
Is that I am willing to put
In the time and the effort."

Then I hugged her closer and added
"Just like in this relationship."

Without a second's hesitation she said,
"What? I'm a bad toilet??

Bill Purdin: 8/9/12


You and I once did crazy things.
Abusing our youth as we should have.
We skied, we golfed, we laughed like fools --
Which of course we were.
Wasting day after day in pursuit of pleasure
And experience, with wanton disregard
For the responsibilites and weightiness of
Life impending. We just pushed off
A nd swept down the hill,
Laughing all the way.

Seeing you again today was worrisome.
What would you think of me now?
Would I seem old and done to you?
Would I seem someone who you no longer even knew?
And, for me, would you still love fun like you did?
Would there still be a little crazy left?
I was hanging out waiting for you to show up
As usual.

I was wondering if you would even know me.
I was wondering if I would even know you.
So many years since we did all of that.
So many things intervening now, lives so different.
What would you ... "Hi, Bill."
There you were. I knew you. The sound of your voice.
Those hands. That look in your eyes. That smile.
And, we were off. Down the hill.
Just like before.
Laughing all the way.

Bill Purdin: 822-6


Half of the people who ever lived are still alive.
There's no escaping that everyone dies.
Despite our dreams and our cries,
It's just a crazy mystic shuck and jive.

Can't remember your own birth.
Can't imagine your own death.
It's a deep, slow cleansing breath.
Take it for what it's worth.

Living is an art ill applied,
But it's all we've got.
From a barrel like blasting shot
It scatters us far and wide.

There is no turning back,
No time when things were better
From the homeless to the jet setter
In a mansion or a hapless shack.

And who can dispute such clarity?
"All that, that is, is," he said.
Like all, who were, were ... he's dead.
Like us, who are, are ... no charity.

In this dead world dancing ... there's no winners.
Whatever lies beyond, lies beyond, we can't go.
Though one returned they say, we'll never know.
It's a world of dreamers; dazed, worn-out sinners.

He forgave me everything. Oh how I loved him.
She taught me so, so much. Oh how I should have told her.
We were friends forever. Oh how I miss you.
So many things left unsaid. Oh how I could have said them.


Half of the people who ever lived are still alive.
There's no escaping that everyone dies.
Despite our dreams and our cries,
It's just a crazy mystic shuck and jive.

Remember, whatever we did, and said, and tried,
Half of the people who ever lived ...
... have never died.

Bill Purdin: 6/22/2012



The New Year was meant to be a clean slate.
But it's smeared with last night's
Frantic celebration's dirty plate.
The New Year was the world born anew
But now it's just a gauzey hangover
We've all got to get through.

It was time off, to be sure, but
Returning to work we are not happy.
We change clothes, put on pressed shirts
But anger festers just beneath the
Ready-for-work surface and it hurts.

It's sad really these plastic pressures
Press us down like a cheap suit
Trampled on the party floor.
Pressures of consumption and earning;
Pressures of economy and politics;
Pressures of age and war;
Pressures of whatsgoingtohappennext?

The New Year was meant to be a clean slate.
But it's smeared with last night's
Frantic celebration's dirty plate.
The New Year was the world born anew
But now it's just a gauzey hangover
We've all got to get through.

Bill Purdin:12/31/11


Sleeping in heavenly peace eludes many today.
Watching television we see people just like us
Homeless, hopeless, terrified of the future
And struggling in a land of plenty.

Where once all was calm and all was bright
Today there is the greedy darkness that lurks
Behind the layoffs and losses
And shades the bright into fright.

Glories still stream from heaven afar.
There are those hand-in-hand moments of joy,
The sense of "luck" in the worst of times.
America's poetry still finds words and rhymes.

The amber waves of grain, somehow less redeeming.
Christmas morn is coming, the tree is gleaming,
Those radiant beams and that verdant field;
Where is the dream, the hope, the love that healed?

Bill Purdin: 12/22/11

"The heart can ache like no other muscle."

The heart can ache like no other muscle.
The pain is startling and agonizingly deep.
It reaches past our bodies into our souls
And stays there thrashing around, relentless
In its power.

Like an internal hurricane feeding off
The hot waters of our discontent
It storms into everything and blackens
Our horizon with only more and more
Dark imaginings.

There is no cure.

Bill Purdin:8/8/2005


It's been going on for decades:
A decade of childhood sadness,
A decade of disaster and war,
A decade of greed and marriage,
A decade of building and destruction,
A decade of slowing and sorrow,
A decade of waiting for tomorrow.

Remembering it all is a burden and a hazy benefit.
The strangest lessons seep and bleed out
At the oddest times.
Always too late of course, like
A tortuous mentor who reminds you
Of mistakes you just made again, or
A navigator who says,
Hey, that was our turn.

There were moments that I wish I could
Live over and over.
There were moments I wish I could
Forget; more like obliterate.
But the good ones fade and the bad ones bloom.
We get no choice in our history.
What is written is written by a cold hand
We do not command.

Each day is a daunting stress factory
From up 'till down. Things work out,
It's true. But still, one goes through
Not over like a soaring eagle thrown
Or under like a lowly worm.
We may wish one of those,
But beating hearts propel us,
Like rich blood through open veins.

Bill Purdin, 11/15/11


It comes down to knowing the difference
Between the truth and the lies
It takes time to figure all of this out
But once it's done how beautifully that flag flies.

Like ropes entangled, twisted and tight,
We struggle with these tempting thoughts:
Gifts wrapped in twined misgivings.
Still we reach for more, even though
Like square pegs we know it will hurt
Driving those emotions into hearts already sore.
The way things are has been less than we had hoped.
And yet that travelled road bends and turns
And each revealed stretch seen many times
Still promises a different view, but disappoints.
It's always the same: those choices, those snarls.
Hands tied, we struggle against the repetitive gloom:
There must be more. There must be more.
There must be more.

Unwinding the snarles, freeing the heart
Trying something truly new
Is scary to those who choose the devil we know
And miss the beauty trying to get through.

The barrier of history is a tough one.
It has no fire escape, no way around.
It's choices we made and made again
And suffered through and through
Until in desperate over and over ennui
We are willing to try anything.
Then a door opens to a world unseen
By the previous us who, fettered to tangles,
And tangled in doubt, thought we knew.
Knots at first are tight and balled
But, unwinding, they fall apart.
The tension that held, released by effort –
Not brute but patient. The cords of
Gnarling sinew relaxed and the world
We feared fell away.

Unwinding the snarles, freeing the heart
And trying something truly new
Is scary to those who choose the devil we know
And miss the beauty trying to get through.

Bill Purdin: 10/18/11


It comes on suddenly like someone out of nowhere.
It's disorienting and confusing.
No matter how hard I try I am defenseless.
Afterward I am sometimes ashamed, sometimes angry;
There is no predicting it. A vast uncertainty always lurks:
Somewhere between here and now; somewhere between peace and dread.
In wonder I watch so many people who don't even notice it or who don't really care.
I envy their ambivilance and nonchalance in the face of it.
It makes me feel small in my manic detailing.
It makes me wish I could be so unknowing,
It makes me wish I could be so unaware,
It makes wish I could be so self-absorbed in that way.
It would be happier surrounded by unquestioned assumptions,
It would be happier surrounded by hard-headed convictions, and
It would be happier surrounded by unshakeable preconceptions.

I realize I may well be harboring those, but "in another dress," as the poet said.
In concentric circles, my logic bound, to still other forms of wrong instead.

But how can I be sure? What do I know?
The moment comes and takes just a second to go.

Bill Purdin: 9/29/11


There were days when we fought
A war that shook us
And made us both answer
Questions that never should have been asked.
When love is deep, the waters are not still.
When passion is surging there is
No place to hide, no weapon banned.
Then there came a
Pause of tumult, a slow-grow
Truce in the love war when,
Like two exhausted wrestlers spent,
We just ran out of steam;
Frustrated anger petered out
To an unresolvable slowdown,
A lengthening hiatus,
A livable segway
Into something new.

That was years ago,
Now when I look over
At her, and breathe with her,
And sleep with her, and love her
I think of a strange word from a
Strange poem: Nevermore.

The struggle's over,
Love always wins.

Bill Purdin: 8/7/11


Some people just captivate.
We stare at them with wide open awe.
Their words are words we've heard before
But never with that emotion, that intensity
That tear-duct searing rip out
That leaves us breathless with shock
And fear and wonder and that craving
For more and more and more.

Like poets aflame
They transcend and bring us
A world so suddenly real:
A glimpse into how things really are,
That with their each straining effort
We feel our eking lives passing
Too fast, too slow, too feebly.
We know we are wasting every moment
Without such feeling, without such zeal,
Without such hopelessness and such fear;
Without such love and such emptiness.
Without such truth.

When a person like that dies it's no wonder.
How could they keep living
Among our compromises and our lies?
How could one so true
Who gave it all to us,
Who drained everything out
To the last refrain, do anything else?

When a person like that dies it's no wonder.
It leaves an emptiness
Like a word we can't remember,
A lost train of thought.
It leaves us drifting in it's crater.
We want to fill it, but it
Just stays empty.

Like a tune we can't forget
But will never be able to sing;
When a person like that dies,
It's the death of everything.

Bill Purdin: 7/29/11
For Amy Winehouse, 1983-2011


The sun was oppressive and hot.
The air was heavy
Like a burden we had put down to rest.
We were sitting together over a light lunch
In the shade, there was a soft breeze.
"It's nice," I said. Silence. "Here together," I added.
She said nothing. I looked over at her.
Time passed as the flowers
Watched the sun move slightly higher.
I was still looking over at her.
"What?" she said.
"Did you hear me?" I asked.
"Yes" she said. "I heard you."
I searched her for a response.
Even the flowers were nodding.
"What? she repeated. "I answered."
"No you didn't."
"I did too," she said. "In my head."

And therein lies the unresolvable, the unfathomable
Difference in this world between people who
Actually say things they are thinking
And those who think things and
But never actually say them.
Somehow, in their heads, this is an equivalency.
Perhaps, in their heads, they are conversationalists
Who evoke emotion and enrichment;
In their heads they are funny and endearing.
They participate fully in the world, in their heads.
But we are left with an inappropriate emptiness
That, in their heads, they have filled to overflowing
With effervescence; with personality and purpose.
Inside, they are fully functioning in the give and take
Of life. They are true players in the game.
Inside, they are roiling with opinions and pithy tidbits
That bring down the house and that stir the passions.
Inside, where this realm of wonder (which I long
To share with her) exists, they rock a world
That none can see.

Watching her finish her gazpacho and pita, with a long
Draft of iced tea and lemon, I saw her eyes close
In a small ecstasy. Inside, I knew,
She was in the throws of pleasure. She put down
Her glass and touched the napkin to her lips, like
Kissing a lover who has done well. She looked
Over at me, said nothing. She shook her head
And there was a brief impression of a smile
Forming just on the curve of her lower lip.
I had the feeling she was laughing at me.

In a way, we were sharing a joke.
Inside, it was really funny.
Just sitting there, finishing lunch,
With the flowers watching, the hot air
Still pressing, in silence, not a sound except
The birds and bugs and the leaves
Rustling in the summer heat.

She was looking at me.
It surprised me.
For a moment
It seemed like
She wanted
To say
But the moment
Passed without
A word.

In her head, I could tell,
She had said it perfectly.

Bill Purdin: July 24, 2011


It can come at any time.
It's the day you realize that you are.
It might be at birth. You could have been the first
To touch her, still slimy, still attached.
It could be the moment they handed you
The scissors to cut the cord and you did,
Wondering what just happened.
It might the night you were holding her,
Mother asleep upstairs. She was crying in your arms,
What to do ... you gave her her first bottle.
She liked it. It might have been that moment
When you supplied the answer.
It might have been one night in the hospital.
It could have been when a friend hurt her.
It could have been that first bike ride
When you let her go... but probably not.
It could have been a boat ride,
It could have been a carnival ride,
It might have been when you taught her to ski.
Probably not those either.
It might have been some moment in the months
Of teaching her to drive.
It might have been when business kept you
From an important event and you knew
You would rather have been with her.
It might have been the night you and her mother
Faught until the door opened and you stepped outside
But could not leave. It could have been then.
It could have been when you left her
On the curb at college and drove away.
You remember how the steering wheel felt that day,
The same steering wheel she learned on.
It could have been the first time you cried
With the joy of loving her.
It could have been the time she called just to talk.
It could have been the night you returned home
After helping her move into her condo, when
You sat down in your chair and felt so alone and
Yet so happy. It could have been that moment,
That sweet, sad moment when you realized that
Your happiness is only found in hers, even if
It means sitting here missing her.
Maybe it's really that Father's Moment,
When you realize what it all means.
Or maybe it's a lifetime that feels like a moment.

When she comes over this morning,
And says, "Happy Father's Day, Dad,"
I bet I'll know.
I'm sure I'll know.

Bill Purdin: 6/9/11


Imagine that ... despite the threat of dire everything;
All of life's bear-downs and beat-downs;
Those beguiling and bewitching triumphs;
Those horrifying and depressing failures;
The principalities of prejudgment and assumption
That enslave us at every turn and twist;
The overwhelming powers of beauty and wealth
That drag us to comparisons and prejudice;
All of the sadnesses of enervating letdowns
That flatten us into a wrung-out state of going nowhere;
Those drag-a-long bags that we cannot change;
Those dreadful futures coming without pause;
The heights to which we are ordered but cannot go;
The depths to which we go but are taught to fight;
And all of those people who stare and talk;
That despite it all, we still find happiness
Beyond our wildest dreams; so rich we could not have
Planned it on our own; so fulfilling that contentment
Seeps in all around us like the aroma of spring lilacs
Or a loving embrace that fills us with peace?
Imagine that. Imagine that. Imagine that.
Imagine that.

Bill Purdin: 6/6/11


He handed it to me as though it were a treasure,
And I held it as though it were precious.
I could feel the embroidery
The stitching, the silky nylon.
It was folded tight like a package
Ready for shipping or a like a container
To keep it from running away.
Not its usual shape, flowing free and wide
In the wind, now it was a triangle of blue
No red showing, no life, nothing like you.
The officer who handed it me,
His face beneath that soldier's hat
With its shiny black brim,
Looked at me with experienced sad eyes.
I was looking in his for you.
The world caved in, I leaned on the casket
My tears were falling
People helped me up. I had lost control.
Nothing seemed to be real. I was
Spinning in a dark place, unbelieving.

This morning I had planned my clothes,
My shoes, my jewelry. I stood in
Front of the mirror smoothing the black cloth
And looking at my hair, looking at my face.
I remember turning and looking back at myself
And thinking of you.

I watched your casket go down.
Then I was in the car. The back seat.
We were leaving. I looked back, they
Were clearing the grave site, your grave site.
I was leaving you there. I was crying again.
There was nothing I could see through
My eyes awash with grief and worry.
You, dead, gone, buried. That flag.
I was still holding that damned flag.
Some of the folds had come loose
From my clenched grip.I dropped it in my lap
And looked down. There it was
Streaked, wrinkled with sweat and tears,
Some red showing now.
I had messed up the tight folds.

I wanted to say, when he handed it to me,
I don't want your fucking flag.
I want you back. I want you back.

As the car turned onto our street
And I saw our house our driveway
Coming, I started to tuck the folds
Back together, to make it look better
I tried to smooth its neatness back.
You would not like it
If it were not nice and neat
And tight and official looking.

I wanted to say, when he handed it to me,
I don't want your fucking flag.
I want you back. I want you back.

When I walked into our house
I was carrying it hard pressed
Against my heart, against my breast.

Bill Purdin: 612/11

I am a dead soldier,
But I'm not sure which one.
I remember my death like it was yesterday.
I can still smell the cordite and blood
I remember the relief when I died.
I remember my family's pain
At the funeral. I remember every word.
I remember when they cut off my uniform
And told me it would be okay.
I remember the moment I was shot
I remember when the world blew up.

I am a dead soldier
Who still walks among you.
I remember my buddies, they are dead too.
I watched them fall like shell casings
One after the other, all in a long arching line.
I read their files and know their stories
I was there and I am still here
Wondering wondering why.

Death disappointingly offers no answers.
I still feel uncertain of my place.
I still seek shadows and expect
Rooms to explode. Oh sure, there are days
When the sun rises and I feel the warmth.
But mostly I lurk here among you
A shadow in the shadows
Watching but never seen.

I am a dead soldier,
Walking among you.
You with your coffee to go,
A cellphone in your ear.
Me with those memories:
What am I'm doing here?

Bill Purdin: 3/31/11


We can turn from super sophisticated
To cowering coward in the blink of a tsunami
Or a earthquake or a gunshot.
We can change from confident to scardy cat
At the notice of a door left open or the
Sight of someone we don't know.
We can turn from arrogant to idiot
With just an unadjusted question
That we'd not thought of.
We all live on tetonic plates that
Can shift at any time. We all live
In the path of potential tidal waves
That can wash us away.
We balance on a web of shifting threads
That vibrate with thoughts and things
Over which we have no control.


We live in a matrix of choices made
Decisions taken and actions evoked
That we did and cannot undo.
Are we victims or victors?
Are we helpless, hapless and trapped
In a world not of our doing?
Or are we architects. time travelers
With options unbounded, everything new?
Answering one question answers all.
Our lives attest our point of view.
Are we free, or lost in thrall?

Bill Purdin: 3/26/11


The world split in two.
Everything fell from the sky.
I was running for you.
There was nothing to do but die.

Every dream we shared
Our hopes imploding
No time to be scared
With the world exploding.

Then there was no sound
Then there was no light
Threads of life unwound
No wrong no right.

The world split in two.
Everything fell from the sky.
I was running for you.
There was nothing to do but die.

Bill Purdin, 3/12/11


I wish you could read
My poems the way I do.

My memories race along
With the words I write and,
More than just keeping up,
They scream at me.
Don't leave that out, you coward.
Never ever say that, you fool.
I tread cautiously on history,
But they kick and scream
And throw things at me:
Change this, change that!
They never rest, ferocious.
Even as I write the peoms
They are changing them.
Before I write them
They are steering and forcing
My thoughts into places
I really don't want to go.
Their intensity lights a way
To where I never meant to go.
Their fear turns off all the lights,
And leaves me in the dark:
Where I never want to be .
Alone. Then wanting them to
Come back and show me more.
When I finish writing
I always feel drained
Of volition, wondering
Why I just did that.

I wish you could read
My poems the way I do.

Bill Purdin, 3/7/11

The last of a decalogy.

I see you in the mirror some mornings
But I don't recognize you every time.
You seem so clear-headed and certain,
So free of the terrors that haunt me
Like ghosts that become real
Hardening into things that chase
Me from where I hide and attack
With wrenchings and truth that shake
Everything loose until I fall in pieces
To the cold ground of lost worth.

I see you in the mirror some mornings
So bright-eyed as though those years
Of war and warring, of fighting in all
Directions; no trust, no friends,
No belonging, nowhere to go to be safe,
As if all those years were just nothing,
Not real, gone in that gleaming smile
That flares over me. Blinds me.

I see you in the mirror some mornings
Combing your hair and straightening things.
You seem so put together and happy.
You hold yourself as though secure
In your place. Confident. Where, I wonder,
Do you get that? Hasn't the world
Smashed you down daily like a bug?
Haven't you seen life dwindling into kindling;
All the flames turned to smoulder?
Hasn't love crushed you yet? Hasn't
Betrayal stained your countenance
With down-turning smiles? Don't you
Know that it's all like those rocks
On the beach getting ground down to sand?

I see you in the mirror some mornings;
It makes me laugh. Are you so naive
That you still believe in good and goodness?
Hasn't time sifted those myths out yet?
Look at you in your clean shirt and clear face,
Where do you think you are going anyway?
Do you really believe today will be the day?
Do you still believe in love and trust?
Really? It's hard to believe. I'm looking
In your eyes. We blink together.
Now you are smiling at me. It feels nice.
I want to be you, some mornings.
If I could be the me like you
It would be the best possible me.
And, that's the you I really wanna be.

Bill Purdin: 2/16/11


You watch the winds, eyes glancing
So subtly many just don't notice.
Friends need to keep an eye on you
Because you won't decide until
You feel the breeze. It's always
Something like, we'll see, it's hard to tell;
Or, it's just the way it is, I could do nothing.
The passive doorway you monitor
Is the in and out for important things
But you mask it all in a helpless excuse
Of it's just the way things are.
Years of friendship seem shammy
As you step aside to the inevitable,
As you put it. I wonder why
Are you there holding the keys
When really you never take a chance
A stand, a hand and say, here,
Let me show you the, or a, way?
The people around know you are
Important only in the way you dodge
Decisions. You must be gotten
Around somehow like a winter pothole
Or a slow driver in the fast lane.
Risky it is to pass you, and not.
You are an unreal reality;
A shadow with a gun. A friend
Who is not in the end.
You prosper in your grayness.
You are near, but never at,
The height of things. Your role
Is to stop and turn and churn
The pot, to be the missed bone,
The one left standing, the spot on
The window that cannot be reached.
We stare through you wishing you
Were not there, but there you always are.
I sort of want to be you,
Only to stop what you do.

Bill Purdin: 2/10/11


You can change history, a real talent.
You can rearrange reality so that
Even the true-thinkers bend.
Your way of rethinking and reliving
Moments with a creative twist
Makes C.S. Lewis look like a loser
Who just couldn't convince:
The Jabberwock was a joker-walk
Compared to your re-viewing.
In your self-penumbra, your shadow world,
You rule like a dictator of a whole nation
That sees what you see, hears what you hear
And knows what you know. The pile-on
Is daunting and diffusing and who
Can compete with the stone wall
Of sure knowledge that exists in
Your intentions and your hopes?
Who can fight to knock that down?
Who can pin-prick that bubble,
So tenuous and gossimer-like
That even the slight gust or turn of lip
Can explode it all in a poof felt
Round your world like a gun shot
Or a tsunami or a soft tear that fell
From a cheek to the breakfast table?
Who would do that?
Not me. I'd rather climb in
And see the world as you do.
As if I were you.

Bill Purdin: 2/2/11


You always are moving fast, going.
In the gym you move from machine
To machine like a demon;
At work you are always on a mission.
You drive quickly and efficiently
From point to point.
You never seem to look around
Or wonder about surroundings.
You know where you are and
You know where you're going next.
It's amazing. It makes me feel
Like a directionless slacker
Drifting through life without a
Lease or license, sort of
Sniffing my way along not really
Going anywhere. I do get things
Done, my friends think I am super
Productive, but I've heard it said
That I never look that busy,
That I never seem to be in the hurry
That drives you with such purpose.

I walk; you run
I wonder; you just know
I turn back, look for fun
You just go, go, go, go.

I sort of wish I could be you
I just can't figure how to.

Bill Purdin: 1/29/11


Oh, so worry-free you are.
So breezy with the praise, so confident
Of how things go. My hands tremble
With worry, trouble around every corner,
But you walk with the gods of luck
And happy times never ever ending.
I stare at things coming my way as I
Did in the war: bullets to dodge,
Rooms waiting to explode, everything
In tenuous flux, uncertainty edging
Every moment. Life is a blood sport
Adventure to me, for you it's
A walk in the park on a warm
Summer's day, hand-in-hand with
A lover who will never leave.
Oh, so worry-free you are.
The world is a safe place, a haven;
Sighs of gratitude and contentment.
You sleep so well, no twisting sheets,
No sudden awakes in vast confusion,
No nights that will never end.

Each morning the world is born anew.
Oh, how I wish I were you.

Bill Purdin: 1/22/11


You are so beautiful, all eyes turn
As you walk in and walk out.
To me it seems as if you have it all
Immediate approval, restless stirrings
Wanting to know more, allure.
For me there are memories of things
That vaguely approached your high status
But only once or twice (and I was lucky).
Regally you move around among us
As though annointed with the oil
That never runs out; perpetual motion,
Never ending yearning, always being wanted.
It could be like a reign of joy and
Fulfillment for you, everything goes as planned.
Or, it could be a prison of prejudgement
That haunts the real you like a ghost
You cannot elude or a dream that won't
Disappate in the morning's new light.
It could a lifelong party of exuberance
And camaraderie, full of happy happy times.
It could be a lifelong disquise, a mask,
That cuts you off from all things real.
It might be a confidence builder that
Lifts you to the highest levels so easily.
It could be a confidence disaster that
Locks you in a room where you never know.
I want to be you. But, I don't want to be you.
Do you ever think that
You don't want to be you?

Bill Purdin: 1/18/11


Your gray hair and mild eyes
Whisper of a lifetime, perhaps,
Full of rich memories and battles fought,
Some lost, that has woven a sort of
Mozaic-quilt that you can pull over you
As you sit there looking at me.

There are quilt patches that clearly show
Quick repair and stitches
That could have been better.
It really is a little too small.
Perhaps it's still unfinished.
I'm sitting here in the ambient
Reality of the room, but you?
You have that blanket. You can throw it off
And use it as a pillow when it's warm.
You can use it, as now you do, to stave
Off the cold that's coming.
It's a shield you've earned, I think.

Your gray hair and mild eyes;
Were you always so peacefully blended?
Or did your hair once blow long in
The winds of youth and recklessness?
Did your eyes once have that talon-thrusting
Intensity that drove up profit charts and
Other people crazy? Did some of those
Patches come with blood, smoke and flames?
Were some torn out of other lives with tears?
You seem to hiding some underneath, or
Maybe protecting them?

When it's your turn to speak
You often let it pass, unspeaking.
Let others burn their bridges, do you think that?
Or do you just like to listen now, like a afficionado
At a symphony who hears all the nuances and
Subtlities of vibrations and techniques and knows
Exactly what the composer intended even with
Your eyes closed and your hands folded
Softly, untensed now, those clinches gone forever?

Or are you in there, behind all of this, scared of
The coming inexorability? Worried about all that
You have done? Regretful of so many things past?
Are you in there, tremorous with pain,
Worried of being called out, starring in your own
Tragedy, now alone, driven back onto
Yourself and your undeniable memories,
Your lack of glory and lack of courage,
Assignations of doubt and no way out?
Sitting here like a self-imposed prisoner are you
Wishing to God you were somewhere else?
Somewhere young and free again?

It's like looking into one of the mirror-on-miirrors
Rooms where the images telescope away repeating,
Ever smaller but never disappearing, sort of
Bending off into eternity: me looking at you
You looking at me.
Your gray hair and mild eyes, and mine
Seem to blend together into a long, tapering
Spear thrusting into our mirror
As far our eyes can see.

I want to be you.
Do you want to be me?

Bill Purdin: 1/8/11


You're so young and new,
Like a year beginning, or a lifetime.
You even smell new, no taint of
Things dragging behind you.
You are so wide-eyed and excited
Like someone who just woke up
On Saturday with nothing to do.
I can pick up you in my arms
Like a book or a painting except
There is nothing on your pages
Nothing on your canvass.
It's easy to be you, I think.
You don't have years of mistakes,
And worse, years of success,
To guide you or misguide you.
You watch a shadow across the
Ceiling like it was the space shuttle
Taking off. You feel a hand on your
Shoulder and reach to touch back.
No sense of what-does-he-want,
What-should-I-do. Just a natural
Reflex to touch when touched,
To look back when looked at.
You don't know the dangers of
Eye-to-eye contact. You don't know that
Touching is a string of events.
To you, so new, life is just life.
Breathing in breathing out,
Looking out; not looking in yet.
So free.
I wanna be you,
And still be me.

Bill Purdin: 1/2/11



You see the world as options
With you in charge of it all.
There is nothing you cannot have.
There is nothing you cannot do.
There is no one who stands in your way.
Like Ozymandias you compel us all
To look on your works and despair.
Those who work in your shadow quiver
Under this laser gaze. Not in fear
For you are kind in the sense of
Forgiving those on a lower perch
Who cannot see as far, but from
Doubt that they can say it properly
Or that they can do it with the dispatch
You require. The dread you spread
Is just another option you choose:
It's easier. Explaining is tiresome.
Judging yes or no is like
Hand-over-handing up a thick rope
Climbing to the uppermost
Until there you are up there,
Suspended. All options exercised
But now at the top you have
Only one option
When you look down
From way up there
Can you see

Bill Purdin: 12/29/10


The way you see everything as something dodgeable.
I always want to tackle things like it's a game.
You always see a way out.
I only see a hundred ways in.
You can fall asleep anytime, anywhere.
I need a world set right to sleep tight.
You seem to have an inner peace with all things.
I am a maelstrom of disquiet.
You seem unruffled by the world's parade.
I twist in agonized empathy, nothing too small.
You can go on despite something bad.
I linger there, fester there, twist and turn still there.
Your memory is selective and formidible.
Mine is unspecified, random and undependable.
Everyone loves you from afar.
I let people in and they question me with sharpness.
You keep it all in.
I can keep nothing in.
You love a routine.
I change everything to avoid routines.
You practice temperance in all things.
I practice excess in all things.
You never laugh for no reason.
I do and offend people for no reason.
I wanna be you: happy and loving.
I wanna be you: content and accepting.
I wanna be you: except for one problem.
You fell in love with me.

Bill Purdin: 12/27/10


Watching her is my national pastime. But
It wasn't always that way. As time goes by
She became more and more beautiful
And interesting to me. In years ago
I was too busy, too important, too whatnot
To really pay attention but she was still there.
Those days swizzled by like flaking cards
Or the view from a plane window at the runway.
The wonders blurred in purpose, all
Those things I now find so fascinating
Were there and then too, but who had
The time? Who had the time?

She certainly was going back and forth
To work, and getting ready every morning.
Now, this process of getting ready
Is enthralling to me. I stroll by and watch
Her blow dry her hair, captivated by how
She is looking at herself in the mirror.
Does she see what I see? The beauty?
The grace? The purpose? The gentle love
In preparing for her day– not for herself,
No never that–for others? Just so.
So that nothing interferes with her giving
To others. So that no one wonders
"Is she having a bad day?" Or
"She looks tired this Friday." Everything
Must be right so that effectiveness
Is unimpeded. No impediments allowed.

She makes oatmeal in a show of multitasking
Dexterity beyond belief. Boiling, cutting
Fruits, checking the coffee, setting the table,
Getting dressed, checking weather,
Taking a phone call, and it always comes
Out perfectly. I drive her to work sometimes now,
Something I also never did back in the
Wizzing days of my conceit. She loads
All of the work she brought home–and got done
Somehow–into the back seat and jumps into
The front seat with a whooosh of gentle perfume
And fresh air from outside, looks at me and says
"Off we go." On the drive she is piecing together
The jigsaw of our day, her day. Dinner tonight,
"I'll be home later (5:00 p.m.)" A discussion
Of surprising detail about our daughter or
An insight into something she read in the paper.
Then we pull up, a soft kiss and I watch her
Carry three bags full of stuff, teachers' stuff,
Into the school. I think how lucky they are
To have someone like her on their payroll.

I remember when she worked for me,
Hard days for her, since loving me is
A complicated she-loves-me-
She-loves-me-not-task that rises and falls
In her with hard breathing like a man working
Or a woman in labor.

To me it was so easy. I do and done. Enough said.
But as the years have gone by, I see how wrong
That was. How mistaken I was.
Like that blurring view out the window
Of a speeding airplane, I thought I lofted
Into a higher orbit than that, but really
I was a in a low, low earth orbit, more like a rut
Of not ready, or not caring, and of assumptions
That were true, like she loves me, but were
Harsh like petals torn out of beautiful things
And cast to the wind as if nothing mattered
But the capricious outcome of a child's game.
She loves me, she loves me not...
As though it will all turn on chance in the end
When in truth it had nothing to do with chance.
It was a miracle of love tested, tried and found
Not wanting. I watched her yesterday, walking
Into her school. Our kaleidoscope of together
Mirroring through my thoughts. I watched her
Press the button on the door, asking for permission
To enter the security-minded building. Her finger
Was soft pushing, gently, not let-me-in urging.
The cold morning frosted her breath in the
December air. She turned and smiled at me,
Her hair jostled softly with the movement.
She didn't see my tears. Tears of love
That I cannot control. I have lost control now.

Now my thoughts cannot hide me,
My preoccupations have evaporated.
Now I am free to feel a moment
So rich and yet so everyday. A moment so
Many just let go blurring past. No pause in awe.
Then I was once like that. But now
The she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not
Is a song of emotion and devotion,
A moment to moment unfolding
Something I adore and cherish.

As I drove home alone
I felt the alone but it soothed me
Because alone is a feeling that
Comes from together. That little
Thought had me smiling as I
Arrived, turned off the car
And walked toward our house.

The cold air iced leftover tear smudges
But they warmed away once
I got inside.

Bill Purdin: 12/11/10


They move together through time as though
It were all eternal. There was no aisle
They ever walked down, no honeymoon, just
I do and back to work. There are memories, though.
Flowers in her hair, a near fatal ditch and run for him.
The way her willingness warmed the beginning.
His interest in idle weekends and being together.
She can remember the sense of finally finding another
Who shared and wanted all that she wanted.
He can remember loving her at first sight.
The years blurred by with the speed of life and blinking eyes.
He remembers when she made him feel like a whole man
She remembers a sense of home and real love.
The years intervened like ax blows, the tree shook
Was wounded, scarred, but stands.
There were terrible events that would not end,
That hid beauty in souls contorted, in ends and means.
There were festival times when laughter racked them all.
There were times of extravagance and of near destruction.
There were times of recovery and of deep, fast decline.
There were moments like vicious hands on throats
That nearly choked it all out, then there were times
Of majestic forgiveness and healing, times of such
Closeness that those isle-less, honeymoon-less beginnings
Were a gray morning to a sun-warmed afternoon.
Basking times those were. And always interrupted
With new worries and old ones they thought were gone;
Ax blows again, wedging into their contentment
Flying chips of dreams, of doubt in all directions;
They treated each other like a cheap date, a dispensable
Bauble that could be cast aside without a thought; though
So precious, so relished, so vital to them both.
And, yet on they went. At times hand-in-hand, at times
In hand-to-hand combat. Battle weary but never
Surrendering, life at sword's point; no battle too small,
No fear too large to grapple to grasp to gasp for air.
There were years when they were always together
Almost boring each other couch-to-couch.
There were years when they lost each other in work
And thrill-seeking. There were years when he disappeared
Into old terrors and when she disappeared into a room of her own.
There was another pair of eyes on them through it all.
She watched and thought and never took sides. She
Knew them as no one else knew them. She was there for
Everything. But it was always them, and their way.
Their defiance, their love, their pride, their stubbornness,
Their joy, their deep sadness, their willingness to share,
To forgive, to start over, to keep going, to get it done
No matter what. The crazy phases of life with him,
The steadiness of everything and absolutely nothing with her.
They kept it up when everyone thought they wouldn't.
They stayed the course even when the course disappeared.
For thirty years they stayed together, thirty for her,
Thirty for him, both so different they must be added up.
Not merely thirty years. That overlooks something so
Essential that anyone might miss it like a mountain
In the background or a tree grown from a seed cup.

After sixty years, hers and his,
They seem happy with all that is:
The times to come and times ago:
Joy that only true love can bestow.

Bill Purdin: 11/27/2010


Like getting out of a broken down car.
Like a marriage that's gone dry;
A love that's left an awful scar.
An answer with no question why.

Like a routine that's strangling you.
You've been your enemy so long
A friendship just grew and grew;
Saw it happen, knew it was all wrong.

Suddenly you're in shambles.
You thought you had it but it had you.
A mess you made with all your gambles:
What are you going to do?

Out of control, you wasted it all
On being right, avoiding every fall.
On being humanless at all cost.
Staying away, staying lost.

Like the walking dead you now move without assist.
Groping among the flowers you knew did not exist.

Bill Purdin: 8/19/10


There is a dream I have...

That on one of my birthdays
I can wake up serene and happy
Without a care in the world.

That I move through the day
Doing things for those around me
Without the baggage draggage.

That those I love share the joy
Of a day set aside
Of everything true and everything tried.

That on just one of my birthdays
It's peaceful sun up to sun down
Selfishness and disregard nowhere found.

That every hour is spent in productive try
Of building for each other and unwinding
The snarls of twisted years gone by.

I cook and everyone's happy
I build and everyone's happy
We rest together and everyone's happy.

But it has never happened yet.
There are heaps of burned out candles
Of dreams that never happened.

There are broken dishes, tossed aside presents
Waiting to be taken out on trash day
That never comes.

There are pools of tears that run so deep and still
That even the slightest motion sends
Ripples like tsunamis to Earth's ends.

There is a dream I have.
Of a peaceful day in harmony
With all around, with all around.

Most likely it will occur around my grave.
They will stand and hands will touch.
And say we wasted so, so much.

Bill Purdin--73110


She turned and looked in my eyes
How can you criticize?

Softly beside me, she is thinking.
We ride along as though flying through the air.
The world is still, we're sinking
Lost in thoughts, I look over, she's still there.

A careless word drifts on thought
She knew it more than I said it.
My mind threw it, it was caught
Her softness, her confidence hit.

She turned and looked in my eyes
How can you criticize?

There was a long day ahead,
Much to do.
She was looking, and looking said,
It's always up to you.

Her hand in mine, lips on lips
Memories of so many years
All hanging on mutual scripts
Floating on a sea of fears.

She turned and looked in my eyes
How can you criticize?



She was one in hundreds when she was born.
In a world of slithering, awkward, creepy
Brothers and sisters all destined to a life anonymous,
Although all kings and queens in their way in their world.
To passersby either unseen, or terrifying,
They all lived lives of sudden attack and slack, longbodied rest.
In the hot summer days finding water was always an issue
Because water brought others and it brought them out in the open.
And when eyes were on them, danger was everywhere.
In the skies it lurked like lightning out of nowhere. This killed some.
On the ground, the swift-footed mammals were death afoot. This killed some.
An even in the water as their forked tongues licked the precious fluid
There lurked sudden strikes that dragged them down. This killed some.
Just moving around there was danger on the black, hot roadways. This killed some.
Even resting in their hidden netherworld crevices there could be digging and scratching
Until claws and teeth reached their soft scaly skin. This killed some.
But the years went by and she grew and had her own hatchling neonates to add
To the long process. And then one July day she curled up in a perfect coil
And died from nothing obvious. In fact she seemed to be alive.
I looked at her, tail tucked in, head resting on her circled body, neatly stowed
Away. I poked her gently with my pen. Nothing. Again. Nothing. I looked
Closely. Eyes open, tongue hiding, a majestic pose there in my parking space.
I got the pen under her and lifted her up, balancing her long 18-inch body
And placed her on the grass. When I came out the birds and bugs were on her
And it was clear to me that nothing would be wasted.
I am still thinking about her, her life, and her death. Soon, I will stop that
And get on with the day. After all,
It was just a snake.



You make everything harder
And more complicated and always,
Always you make things verge on argument
About territory, dominance,
A sense of judgments, double standards,
Family ancestry, about
Various forms of learning disabilities,
Constant criticism, and who's better than who.
You dredge up old contests about bicycles,
Cars, houses, what happened when,
Who was right who was wrong, you
Relish those moments when you were
Victorious over the alpha male, or when
You were so mistreated and retreated
Cut off all ties for almost a year.
You bring these back as though they just happened,
Those moments of my failures, my weaknesses,
And you grab the shaker like a weapon
And pour salt on those wounds and rubbing it in
You laugh wickedly as though in ecstasy
Beyond bounds and control.
And then you walk away,
Out of the room full of the righteousness
That only a happily closed mind can conjour up.
I am left alone standing there with nothing
Left to say. Almost.

"I was only asking if there were
Any more paper towels, Honey."

Bill Purdin: 6/6//10


They have changed that's for sure.
It all started with a kiss, actually.
Lips so soft, transporting to another world
Where everything was candy and the heat
Oh, the heat. It warmed the worry
It took away the fright, it cozied the night.
It brought forth a deluge of things
The best things, everything, it just kept
On bringing them. As though everyday
Things were love uninterrupted, a child
So rich in experience, years upon years
Of challenge of failure of rebirth of changing
Of everything always changing changing.
And now those kisses are more than ever,
Although briefer, now in passing,
Perhaps casual, some might say taken for granted.
Kissing like our parents, they might say.
But we can only hope our parents kissed with
Feelings like these. Oh, we can still dig in there
And kiss like lovers lost in ardour, steeped in lusty Provocations, as though depths to be plumbed
Were crazy red with excitment. But now all of that
Can be just brushed, lips to lips, within each other's
Breath, touching lightly and still feeling it all.
No one knows what a light kiss can be
Unless the light is on them. And even then
It takes time, oh time,
To revel in the light.

Bill Purdin: 5/11/10

You struggle, as though wrapped
And being squeezed, life out, no hope
Twisting to be free, nowhere to go
Hopeless beyond saying it, lost in utterness
Alone, in darkness, descending, so, so low.

I know. Once so deep in me, I caved
So cold in that dark place, that I came
Close to the tip of things, nothing
Beneath, nothing above, just me
And the tip of the iceberg, the tunnel
With no light.

There on that balanceless point, I teetered
Like a bottlecap spinning, eternal-less
Empty of reason, discarded, to be forgotten
Useless now, less than ever even imagined,
Even dizzy-less, still spinning, knowing
Not even obliviousness was given to me.

Forced to witness my own torture
Pain never became pleasure as they say
Agony, full throated, was mine as long
As I chose. No filter, no dampening
It was pure, delivered with intent by
An enemy all mine. All mine.

I wish I could free you, but I know too much.
There is only one way out and it's through.
Takes your doing not a lover's touch.
If you make it, I'll be waiting for you.

Bill Purdin: 4/13/10




Freedom comes in strange flavors
That hit the tongue like fire,
Like ice, like a sweet candy,
Like a retching piece of grizzle,
Or even like a tasteless thing
That passes without notice.

Freedom always seems strange at first.
What do I do now? It seems dark in here.
Nothing is the same, all is misplaced.
What's that? Where's that?
Who are you? Who am I?
It's disorienting.

Like leaving home with no goodbye
Nothing stays the same.
The smallest things seem to satisfy.
Everything needs a new name.

Bill Purdin: 12/28/09


Dark times
I was on attack.
Made such mistakes.
Wish I could go back

To unsay and undo
What I said and did.
To resay and redo
Quickly close the lid.

I would cage that lion
There is no doubt.
Sheathe the claws
Tear those memories out.

I can't, though I would.
It's done now for years.
Doesn't matter what I could.
There are those tears.

Bill Purdin: 12/15/09


There is a pain that
Statistics can't define,
Can't be labeled
As chronic or acute
No treatment can erase.
It throbs and spreads
But never shows.
It aches and deepens
And never slows.
The only one who knows
Is the victim who suffers
But we hide it
Never confide it
And on and on it goes.
There is a pain so horrible
That it numbs us
And it dumbs us
Until we actually
Think it's normal.
Just another day
Alone, in disarray.
No more questions now:
Hope is the prey.

Bill Purdin: 11109-5


The problem with goodness
Is there's no end to it.
When you are disjointed,
Addicted, wasted and
Killing yourself, it all
Goes down and down:
It all comes to an end.
It's not pretty but
It is dependable at least.

Being good only lifts you up
And up without end.
World's come along for you.
Sky's blue for you.
Friend's call dispels loneliness.
All of life is richer with
The uncertainties of good.
And there's just no end to it.

Eternality vs. a known end.
It's a really hard choice, friend.

Bill Purdin: 1139-5

The problem with being there
Is that you see things incontrovertible

That make you shudder, make you stare.
Your eyes don't lie, it's irrefutable.

Is it better to just stay home
To hide among the memories
And soft things that settle back
And put your feet up, thinking
All thats behind me now. But
All that's behind me now is still
Ahead of me too. I run in circles.
The past they say is prologue
How true it is. So, so true
That the past is still here
Dragging along like a lazy dog
Or tire chains I forgot to take off.
I see dead people too. My mind
Remembers some so vividly
That when one comes along who
Walks that way, or says a certain
Word that way it fills in all the blanks
And there they are. People long dead
Talking to me, walking to me,
Causing me to stop and let my
Past walk past. Sometimes it is
Actually the same person, not dead
Of course, but one from long ago
Who is still here saying the exact
Same things, smiling the exact same
Way, annoying, fumbling, and
Even looking at me in the exact
Same way. Or is that just me in
The mirror? The mirror in me.
Each day is a trail I have walked before
I see the same forks coming and
Take the same forks going. And
Why not? Sometimes we grow tired
Of battle, of new and better.
The old and worse look good some days.
Attractive even. But that old hermit
With the miser's touch must go out.
It all happens again.

The problem with being there
Is that you see things incontrovertible

That make you shudder, make you stare.
Your eyes don't lie, it's irrefutable.

Bill Purdin: 10/29/09


Biting nails
Talking excessively
Not sleeping
Can't get a break.
Playiing favorites.
Write it down.
Pants too tight.
Totally impatient.
Staring stupidly.
Fucking crying.
Can't follow instructions.
Fighting panic attacks.
Silently freaking out.
Scaring me angry.
People finding me out.
Privacy invaded.
Trying not to be an asshole.
Learning nothing.
Thinking too much.
Jealousy welling up.
Wanting a little good luck
But getting nothing
Except a feeling
Of deepening need
To talk and
Bite nails.

Bill Purdin: 9-2-09

Edward Moore Kennedy 1932-2009

The hand of God, so called,
Comes down on men without favor
Like a guillotine dropping without
Merciful gravity or a curtain coming down.
The hand of God wipes
It all away or wipes it all clean
Again. Happiness: a memory;
Great deeds: just a record somewhere;
Neither for us or against us, this
Hand comes down either with justice
Or with love; or if you're lucky, both.

Edward Moore Kennedy was a sinner
And a liar, and a reckless fool,
That's for sure. Edward Moore Kennedy
Was a great man who saw the needs
Of others and ran to meet them,
He was a wise man who led a nation
To be better, to be kinder and
To be freer. That's for sure.
He was a bad husband and a good one,
He was a bad father and a good one.

When all is said and done -- and
Now it is -- he was just a man,
A boy, the youngest in his family,
Who lived and, now, has died.

We grow no bigger in death
Than we were in life, but
It does seem that way sometimes.
As our sins are forgotten
As our bodies dispose of
Life's burdens and struggles
We seem, sometimes, to enlarge.
In this case, presidents and all the
Pantheon were there but were
They thinking: "I wish it were me."?
Do they envy the successful end
Amid the gathering of great to
Pay homage? No scandal marred that
Day in Massachusetts even though
A hurricane was bearing down.
Did they think to themselves...
"I should be so lucky!"?
After all of the hoopla and uproar
Of his life it must have been awfully
Quiet in that linen-drapped coffin.
After standing all his life in the harsh light
Of politics and gossip, it must
Have been awfully dark in in there.

The camera strolled over faces like
A landscape to assess. There were
Bored eyes, crying eyes, eyes that
Looked around from their corners
As if concerned about where
The camera was and where it
Was going next.
"Father, hear our prayers"
Rang through the church with a
Recital of liberal doctrine, as
If it were all part of the liturgy.
Then came the Eucharist.
It celebrates the ascension into heaven
But, really, who knows? Is
Ted, just dead and gone, or is
It something more? And if
Something more ... what? That is
The question. True?

Death always seems so religious
And yet life seldom feels
That way. Just as the curtain
Is coming down we all genuflect
In the isle and take our seat
Piously hoping that it will do:
After all that we have done
What else can we do?
All the cards have been played.
All the dies have been cast.
Everything is through.

The gathered sadness is a swirling mix
Of so many reasons, it's a concoction
Beyond comprehension.
Each attendee's thoughts are hidden
Behind a bereaver's mask.
Some sorrow is self-referential,
Some is self-torture, some
Is thoughtful and some full of regret,
Some is denying and busy rewriting
History frenetically beneath those
Knitted brows. Some is unselfish,
Sad for the loss of others, and
Some is confused and worried that
No deep feelings have emerged.
Some is empty and dissolute:
Hope the mask is secure and
Complete. Hiding in bereavement
Many sins stay covered. It's
Safe in a sea of tears to
Just tread water there. No one
Knows and you look just like every one
Else. You hear the music and
See the priests, but like a rock in
A stream it all goes past, and you,
Unaffected, unreachable, beyond
All hope. So, the least of the
Mourners and Ted had something
In common that day, The passion
The purpose all swept past
Them both, eddying motionless
Amid the flow of time.
Now immovable, still.

Ted's son, it must be said,
Really, really loved his dad.
His speech was the favorite
By far: better than YoYo
Or Placido Domingo, or the
Great mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.
Better than the brilliant organist,
And better than anything
Anyone else could have said.
He used the one instrument
That only plays the truth and
The only one that cannot ring
False. The human heart.

Ted said that there was no
Security in hiding and did
What he could to continue
The dream and honor
His brothers. Right down to
Today. President Obama's
Speech was wonderful, but the
Hug he gave Ted, Jr. said
Far, far more.

As darkness fell in Arlington,
The eternal flame seemed
To flicker a little
As the casket went down.

The cemetery pulled
The black night over itself
Like a cold, cold blanket.
The little flame
Was burning bravely
As the cameras and
And the long sleek cars
Departed so slowly.
In the rear view mirror:
There it was on the hill
Beside three graves

Bill Purdin: 8-29-2009


Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear dear one
Happy birthday to everyone.

May your true wish come true
May all good come to you
May you drink from the well of love
And act on the good you think of.

May you give love to everyone
Forgive all that's been done.
Expect nothing but a chance to give
Like it's your last day to live.

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear dear one
Happy birthday to you.

July 31, 1947: Bill Purdin


Chasing a dream, makes us closer
The odds-on favorite often falls short
Convince yourself that you are going to do it
Because you know you; you've got the game
The crowd loves a fighting loser, underdog
Who keeps chasing the lengthening dream,
Who overcomes the doubts to win anyway
It's just about honing your abilties and using
What you've got. The real battle of course
Is within, way within, deep within where
You really live. That place where no one goes
Except you. Just you. You know where it is
But no one else. We all have one. It's sad
In a way because it is there. It's great in a way
Because it is there. A human dichotomy.
But working out of that tumor, or control center,
We take the day for what it is,
How well we do in the struggle from
Where no one sees to where we are out in the open
Is the everyday production of champions.
It's the middle distance of life
Where what we are and what we do
Struggle to defeat us and to help us.
The battle of knowing and doing
Feeling and acting
Safety and freedom
Fearing and loving.
At some point you will give up
And let life take you like a lover
Open to whatever is coming,
Not caring about consequences
Embracing life at its essence.
Suddenly you are your own
True champion. You are your own
Best friend. That one true

Bill Purdin: July 19, 2009


There is nothing like not doing.
Not doing what hurts.
Not doing what tortures.
Not doing the one thing you most want to not do.
Not doing the angst thing.
Not doing the waste time thing.
Not doing the thoughts that lead to the doorway
Where you want to not knock,
Not enter, not even side glance at it
As you pass happily by.
Today's goal: not doing until I drop.

Bill Purdin: July 13, 2009

There are a million ways to screw up your life
And I've enjoyed them all.
But, thank God, for my feeble faith
Which saved the final fall.

-- Bill Purdin, 6/10/9


Standing in the waiting line, it occurs
That the shadow cast comes up short.
Others seem so beautiful, so happy
So successful, so unthreatened in their
Spaces in the line. They seem all set.
And yet, the scream inside echoes
Like a cash register taking in the money
Time after time, the clock's hands can't keep up
With my retreat. The paid piper
Is never, ever paid in full.

Walking out with bags weighed down
With preconceptions long spent
I think of you gone, some other noun;
Wish there was time to repent.

3/18/09: Bill Purdin


The elements of desire are legion
Too many to embrace even infinity's catalog.
They leap out like perversion
They hide away like sweet memories
With some passion and some pain
With attraction and revulsion
All beloved in some way.
All defy clarity's definition.
The merely physical, in time, takes a back seat.
The score becomes a memory
Where the textures, the smells,
The sounds -- oh the sounds, so soft
And whispering, what did they say? --
Even lovemaking was mere apophasis
To distract from the frontal assault of course.
We wanted to be friends true.
We all did. Making love?
Well, that was just amative handshaking.
We did it with enthusiasm but it was a potion
To help us forget the pain and sorrow
Of a buyer's market where what we wanted to sell
Was often more than the buyer wanted to buy.
Oh, perfidious imposters, how beautiful you were!
But lovelife, ah, that was a coin hard to cash.
The word, beloved, haunted all of us as we groped
Through our innocent laughter and hoped,
Learning that hate comes with love sometimes
And then finally, finally,
That love comes in hate as well.
That was a lesson of love, believe me.
Polish the stone, he said, and you may find a gem.
In love, emotions rule. It's the only language scribbled
In love's lucubration.
Screaming helps, but does not impel.
So, now, decades are the measure, not just days.
In that long endlessly receding mirror images abound.
So many to choose from.
There emerges a mosaic,
Many times compounded:
A sense of what is, what will be,
And, oh yes, what will never be.
Love will have its day.
Love will have its say.

Bill Purdin: 2/14/09



It's like a day only longer.
It starts with birth but
Goes on forever.
You can't buy your way out.
It takes giving like nothing else.
It takes taking to a whole new height.
It takes control where there isn't any.
It takes surrender so deep
That you may never find your way out.
Life is great with it or without it.
But it defines life like nothing else.
You think you're crazy.
You think you're so smart.
And it all comes down to the next second
Over and over and over and....

Bill Purdin: 12/13/08


There are so many bad things
Pummeled at us every day
No wonder right and wrong
Are difficult to discern in the blows.
Artificial foods that are indigestible.
Fast, powerful cars that wreck the world
And kill 45,000 Americans annually.
Drugs for everything: weight loss,
Erections, bone growth, pain of all kinds.
TV Shows that mirror a world
That no one really lives in.
The news is old before we hear it.
All the big deals that promise
But don't deliver. This is what we hype
As though it is what we all want.
I almost never see anything advertised
That I really want. Mostly they are selling
Things that, if you buy them, you are worse off.
It's just bad things looking good.
It's just good things looking bad.
And people looking the other way.

Bill Purdin: 12/12/08


Getting ready for better things to come
Is the heart and soul of life.
The cleansing of things
From daily clothes to the planet itself,
Is part of us like breathing in and out.

To know how to separate
The horrible from the beautiful,
The foolish from the wise,
The petty from the forgiving
Is life's struggle universal.

The cleansing of the corruption
In our intentions, our motives;
Clearing antonymistic defilements
That turn our good into our bad
Our wholesome into our whoresome
Sanctifies life.

Not success but effort toward success
Is the only security we have.
As long as we try to be
It will always be possible to be.
This guards the lover, the poet,
The dreamer, the friend.
It makes a day something
To celebrate not vacate.

This makes a life worth living:
Friendship worth giving.

Bill Purdin: 11/20/08


The trouble with daily living
Is not the daily;
It's the living.
Living with other people,
Living with confusion
When two people are together, or
When working together, or
Even shopping together.
The communication protocols
Are so uncertain --
There are so many --
That even speaking is dangerous
And duplicitous,
When the opposite is intended.
The struggle to be heard is overwhelmed
By definitional difficulties so hidden
And lurking that, even among friends,
Are far more prevalent
Than agreements ever were.
Agreement is now acquiesence
Into the world of "whatever;"
So far from the world
We really want to live in

What's needed is more compassion.
And commitment, that's needed too.
What's needed is more understanding:
All that matters is the we, not the you.

Bill Purdin: 11/19/08


I was standing there in the line
Looking at my fellow voters
And I saw them with the face
Or expression of doubt
Of being unplaced in time.
As though they knew they were
Standing there waiting to cast
A meaningless vote
In sea of meaningless votes
That at the very best
Would all add up to
Something less
Than meaningless.
They were still dead-set
Determined, solid and implaccable
In their determination to do it.

The line was the longest line
I've ever seen for voting
And getting longer all the time.
It reminded me of a line
I was in at an airport once
Where I was running to catch the end
But the end of the line
Was moving faster than I could run.

I had a sense that if they had
To stand there for a week,
They would stand there for a week.
I had a feeling that if a hurricane came by
They would not be moved.

Both sides of the eletion
Were standing there
Side by side.
They were all there:
The people who were for my candidate
The people who were against my candidate.
When something funny happened
Everyone laughed.

It was fun to be in that line;
That meaningless line going nowhere.
We were all perfectly happy there.
Contented really.
Lost in that middle distance
Between here and there.
In a place where time has been
Set aside for some purpose,
And there was no limit or requirements,
Around this time.
We just stood there
Watching the clock, watching each other

Someone mentioned
The sun coming up that morning,
How it looked like a giant "O"
Rising in the sky. Some people
Found that funny. Some did not.

This time in line reminded me
Of waiting for an airplane
Or a night watch on an ocean racer:
It was just time that was there
In the now. Not in the tomorrow
Or in the yesterday,
It was just all of us standing there
Wait for the polls to open.
Waiting to vote.

Bill Purdin: 11/4/08 7:57 a.m.


Writing poems is not a daily website function.
It requires a whole lot more than just a rising sun.
My guitar must be tuned, my mind must be tuned;
My life must be in balance somehow, and there's no way
To know exactly what that is ... a feeling.
I can't be too tired or too awake.
I can't be too busy or too not busy.
It has to be just right in a crazy
Seeking the middle sort of way.
If my mind is too steady, nothing happens.
If my mind is too irratic, nothing happens.
If I force it, it won't be forced.
If I wait, it waits me out.
If I just start writing sometimes that's okay,
But sometimes there is a lot of wadded paper flying around.
I used to hand write every poem and saved them all in books.
Now I type them on a computer and then write them out,
Just to see how they look in ink.
I have always played every poem on my guitar,
And I have always sung them all. If you know them,
You will know that some were not suited to singing,
But still I sing them all. There are some that die right there.
If I kill too many, I stop for a while.
If I write too many I stop for a while.
I think I have written over 10,000 poems now.
My first poem was in 1966, the same year
I bought my first guitar. I still have them right here:
The poem and the guitar.
I stare at that "Coming soon..." promise on my site
Sometimes for days, then weeks, then months,
But never years.
It stares back at me like a taunt.
But it is always been a kept promise.
I always write another one.
I always write another one.
My books are like one long poem:
My Ulysses.
Sometimes it seems to be chasing me.
Sometimes it seems to be leading me.
Sometimes it's sitting here beside me
Like a friend enjoying the moment.
It's a shadow and a foreshadow.
It's left and right, up and down.
I've been writing it so long
I'm not sure what it is anymore.
But I know it is a true
Statement of something,
Perhaps something important,
Perhaps not.
But, without it, I would be lost.
In more ways than one.

-- Bill Purdin: 10/22/08


The fear we feel
Just life's weary doubt
The spinning wheel
Day in and day out.

You react in anger,
Sometimes tears,
Were you really entitled
To all these years?

Oh, these hours of love.
Oh, these hours of peace.
Promises more and more
Everything's increase.

When did you really earn
Those eyes that shared
Deeply into yours
You could taste the yearn?

When did you actually deserve
Those moments of bliss?
Those loving arms?
That deep, deep kiss?

You didn't ask why.
You didn't try to earn it.
You didn't really deserve it;
And neither did I.

We sang those crazy times
Like a heavenly choir:
We heard sacred chimes,
Felt forbidden fire.

We acted as though --
Who could blame us --
As though love was always
And nothing could tame us.

That we were right
Years remove all doubt
We were oh, oh so right.
Day in and day out.

Bill Purdin, 10/10/08


Sometimes I begin it
Sometimes I'm deep within it
Sometimes all I do is spin it
But sometimes (sometimes) I can win it.

Grab the controls and twist the scene
From something nice and now obscene.
Bring new players on the stage
Shove new layers 'neath the page.

See the revolutions fade, the people run
See the evolutions gain, it's almost done.
Wonder what when it all up-ends
See how deep deep it all descends.

Sometimes I begin it
Sometimes I'm deep within it
Sometimes all I do is spin it
But sometimes (sometimes) I can win it.

Sometimes, I'm just watching
Sometimes I'm just wondering.
Mystified at the plundering.
Sometimes, I'm just watching.

Sometimes I begin it
Sometimes I'm deep within it
Sometimes all I do is spin it
But sometimes (sometimes) I can win it.

Bill Purdin: 9/13/08


It's all too much, really, what goes on.
It's all too much really, to get it all.
It comes at you like light speed
One thing after another.

Sometimes, I'm deep in it
Something, I can win it
Sometimes, all I do is spin it
Sometimes, I'm just watching ...

They grab the controls and twist the scene
From something nice and then obscene.
They bring new players on the stage
They shove new layers beneath the page.

I see the revolutions fade, the people run
I see the evolutions gain, it's almost done.
I wonder when it all up-ends
Can we live standing on the sun?

Sometimes, I'm deep in it
Something, I can win it
Sometimes, all I do is spin it
Sometimes, I'm just watching.

Bill Purdin: 9/13/08


When I threatened retribution and revenge
I didn't really mean it, shouldn't have said it.
But I wanted you to know how deeply I love you,
How much I hate it when someone hurts you.
I wanted you to know that your pain is mine.
I wanted you to know that you are not alone,
Not ever alone, not ever. You may feel that you are,
You may feel an unspeakable sense of threat or
Something like worry times dread times fear
And think that no one knows that feeling,
But I do. When all of this happened I was like
A drowning man, surging to the breathing air, but
Held below the surface, unable to rise. I watched
As the arrows of envy pierced you, and the ropes
Of dispair snared you. I saw you twist and writhe.
So, forgive me for wishing death and destruction on
Your enemies, for wanting their error to follow them
To the gates of hell, that their souls would cease
And then, by God, they would know what they have done.
Forgive me. I knew what I was doing, and that's even worse.
But, it passed without moment. It faded without effect.
Back to normal, I see beauty. I see wonder.
I see hope. And realize the deep of love:
That it can be so soothing and fire such venom.
And that in the morning when the world is born anew
It can bring back that reality of sureness and yes faith.
A quiet grows within as the tigers lay down.

Bill Purdin: 8/27/08

Happiness is a time when the world agrees
And countervailing arguments hold no sway.
Happiness is a voiced love that clearly sees
A warm embrace, a sunny kiss, a whole new day.

Bill Purdin: 7318


We scare easily. Too easily.
When right is so powerful
And always wins in the end.
The trials come long
Like cars on a busy road.
You’re not crazy.
The weird thing going on
Is that so many people
Believe in bullying and emotional
Distortion and manipulation
When they would never
Want it to happen to them.
Suddenly we run the other
Direction, metaphorically speaking.
We turn and run when
We should stand and resist.
They should turn and desist.
It’s the way things get better,
But what chance does the world
Have to change if every one
Scares easily and runs
Toward fear as if it were
Love and trusts love
As if it were wrong and weak?
Metaphorically speaking.



What others may not see in their rush
I see every day, I see every time, you walk by.
The scars, the bruises, the broken dreams
Only refining, defining moments
That deepened and deepen you
Like a writer enriching a character
Or a painter mixing new colors
Or a conductor digging out a
More vibrant performance from one who
Might be holding back.
It's like an athlete calling for more effort,
Or a teacher drawing out a student's best,
Or a friend standing by no matter what.
I see all of those in just you looking at a menu
Wondering what to order.

Your beauty is so astounding,
So amazing, so astonishing
It's brightness takes concentration
To see clearly, not through smoke and mirrors,
But through a clarity with such a sharp focus
That some are confused and some are dazed
Seeing something like that.

The years have given me
A proficiency,
In seeing your beauty.
And I would share it with others
If you would let me.

If you would believe me.

Bill Purdin: 7168

She Said, "It's My Life."

Striving to be always good is futility.
It is impossible for a human being to achieve.
At every turn we are tempted and succomb.
It happens over and and over and over.

The dream of perfection is a false hope.
It deludes us into thinking that we will grow.
But then when it comes we always go down.
It's the way we are, unsettled, never sure, so weak.

We kid ourselves with religions and political reform.
But in the final moments we always screw it up.
There are no reasons other than the selfish ones.
And, if you doubt, just look in the mirror.

It's the darkness that always wins.
It's the curse of Adam and Eve.
Just when you think a bright day comes,
You stand there watching it leave.

Bill Purdin: 758


It's tough to be alone:
A terrible self-deception.

If running from one thing to another
Changes anything, let me know.

Stick with one thing,
Until you exhaust it,
Drain it,
Beat it to the ground,
Take it apart to its basic elements
Put it back together twice:
First, the way you think it should be
Second, as it was before you wrecked it.
(And that might not be enough.)

Always be ready for the harsh
That it was perfect before you.
Before you saw its flaws,
Before you saw the fix,
Before you strolled in and took charge,
Before you screwed it all up.

Remember you.
Remember how you are:
Looking at the world through your eyes
You see the world through your despise
Your experiences, your disguise,
Your hiding-in-the-corner truths
That may have stopped the real truths
From ever getting past your filters,
Your devices,
Your walls that look like doors
Your emptiness that looks like windows.

As you sit there alone, diffusing the world
Swilling in your softeners,
Remember that putting it back together
Is harder and harder the longer you wait.
And you will have to do it at least twice.

It's tough to be alone
When you are not
And never were.

It's tough to be alone.

Bill Purdin: 6288


You were one of those people.
Those people, so many of them,
Who I have never really understood
In their dark corners watching
Who said things but behind the words
Were those small ripples that linger
For years and years and years and years
Vibrating around some hidden definition
That my dictionary could not confine.

You were one of those people
I always knew where you were, kept track,
If you were home or not, when
You were coming home, or not,
And I always wondered why about you
Why did you like that or this,
Why did you do something or not
Why did you say want to come along with me?
Or why you said nothing at all.

You were one of those people
Who haunt my moments of doubt
Who make me always worry that I missed
Something important, who always make
A question of every motive, every thought
And everything I've done on the
Dark nights when the sheets are tangled
And I drift in and out of twisting fettered
Thoughts as though you are still nearby.

Maybe it was because you are so shallow
So without real reason or true rhyme
So vapid and tepid that the pulse missing now
Was missing then too. Maybe it's because
You were too deep for me, too rich in reason
And in those textures of life and rhythm
That I missed it all. I missed the affection
I missed the devotion, I missed it all.
You were one of those people.

Bill Purdin: 6158
To my dad on Father's Day


She was nineteen and I was twenty
I had orders to Vietnam
She was planning a life.
No future she said to me.
The years have gone by that's for sure.
Life has been good to me.
I remember how it made me cry.
How so many years later,
Still I think of her, so young and pure.
In my pantheon her place
Is untouchable, unchangable and perhaps
Untrue. Who knows these things anyway?
Of all the events that have ploughed
Through my time are all there for sure;
Each one is right where I put it.
Hers is no greater or lesser ... except
That I remember it so vividly
Always in the exact same way.
It never changes.
Never anything new, anything different.
Always the same: she's unique that way.
Old memories are projects to fix, sanding them
And shaping them into something
Just a little bit better.
I fuss with everything until I'm happy.
Reality's not real.
I've added some stones around one of my gardens.
Every day I push them and worry them around,
Adjusting unseen imperfections.
To anyone else they are fine.
To me they are a mess.
I do that in everything.
Everything gets adjusted.
Over and over and over.
Except for her.
She was nineteen and I was twenty.
I had orders to Vietnam
She was planning a life.
No future she said to me.

Bill Purdin: 668


War and war's remembrance:
A dedication of those who know not
What war really is.
Marching up and down America's streets
And streets everywhere to patriotic music
Immortalizing how we killed each other
When all we wanted to do was just go home
Seems obviously improper to some who do.

Innocent people watch as the parade goes by
But bloody hands are everywhere under the sky.

Those who've never done it go so unnoted.
Better that there be a Kindness Day for them,
But who would stick out their chest and march for that?
Who would get up on a holiday and beat that drum?
Who would grab a lawn chair at 8:00 a.m.
And head down to Main Street to be sure
To have a great spot as that parade goes by?
Oh look, here comes little Johnny, he's nice to his sister.
Here comes Mr. and Mrs. Arno who were married for 60
Years and lived lives of faith and forgiveness.
Here comes that grocery clerk at the supermarket
Who always smiled. And ... look, look!
There's the old teacher everyone loved.

But today, all over, the other drum beats
For medals of war on soldiers sent to fight
Who wanted to just go home.

Those dead lie still and yonder;
That Day, again, to ponder

Bill Purdin: 5/26/08

Lonely and faced with a tough, tough day
The human race walks out the door.
From China to Chelsea,
From Daytona to Hobart Island
We walk together in our strange suffering.
The horn of plenty blows empty.
The promise of love is broken.
"Why me?" is a universal prayer.
And head-down we droop in dispair.
Bridges collapse and the whole world shakes
In a Seismic reading off the scale.
Politicians tireless and profits soaring,
No one hears the mouse's roaring.
We rush into gridlocked traffic,
We hurry to meetings that never end.
We stir and stir but nothing mixes
We try and try but nothing fixes.
I met a little boy hiding under a bush
He was staying out of the parent's eye.
He said to me to go away,
But he meant he wanted me to stay.
He cried as he tried to smile
And he was mad as hell, he laughed as well.
I took his hand and we walked back.
He said later he wanted to return to the bush.
It is trust we want, but can't imagine a way.
We live in a world-wide thesaurus
Of words that change from one thing to another
So we no longer know what to say.
The true words are forgotten in a buzz blitz
Of color and commercials and sexy glitz.
Lonely and faced with a tough, tough day
The human race walks in the door.
Exhausted, and drained, we throw ourselves
On the futile couch and exhale a sigh
Like a gut punch would require.
Or a nail driven into a tire.

Bill Purdin: 5/22/08


Difference from a live one to a dead one
Is easy to see in poetry
Because it just happened.
Because it just happened.
Right in front of you.

I saw poems die all the time once.
They were rhyming along
Swaggering with dusty rhythm
And then they stopped moving.
And then they stopped moving.
And then they stopped, moving.

A few, even as they were still and unrestless,
Torn from a book and tossed to the ground,
Dead for sure, still moved, still moved.

I remember every one, those poems.
They were structured like Housman,
Or free like Sandberg. Or long like Vachel Lindsay.
They were cryptic like Dickinson, or too brief
Like Yeats. They still move. They still move.
They, still, move.

But then, there were those other poems, too
The ones the winds blew away.
Many more of them.
They were well written but unremembered.
I watched them drifting away, carried off.
What's the difference: the living and the dead?
When a poem dies, it dies right in front of you.
When a poem lives, it lives because of you.

They were all written in different hands
They are all there for us to see,
They all had their wonder plans
Some are, some will never be.

Seems a shame all those dead poems.
Seems a shame all those dead poems.
But for the living, would've all been a waste,
It's something that must be faced.

-- Bill Purdin, 5/6/08


Can't spend a life not saying things
Can't spend a life just wanting
Can't spend a life just screaming
Can't spend a life just run run running.

Part of me wants to please everyone
Part of me wants to tear it all up
Part of me drifts into sad sad things
Part of me just sings sings sings.

People say I remember all wrong
(I do get paid to make stuff up)
Memory's just a lonely love song
Life's an unfilled overflowing cup.

The things I like are not for everyone
(That's that way it should be)
When I like something or someone
It's a deep diving zeugma mystery.

The rythme of the strings is air I breathe
The frets of are worlds to play on
My sword goes back into the sheathe
Can't remember why it was drawn.

Bill Purdin: 4/28/08


People love a love song and they always have.
Imagine a young woman, sifting through
Her memories of failed love and saddness
Who meets a man who seems to be perfect
But she knows he's not. She wants him to be
And marries him and lives with him
For years and years, always hoping, but never
Really happy because reality is never
What we want it to be. In her last days she
Knows that she has lived longer with this man
Than her parents, than her daughters, than any friend.
He has been her companion of a lifetime.
Did she ever really love him?
Was he just a category filled in the album of life?
She sees him there across the room and wonders
Do I really know him? Does he really know me?
Even after all the years there is no clarity.
Even as she closes her eyes, one last time,
She does not know.
Her last vision is his face, eyes awash with tears.
His hand on hers holding tight as she goes.
Her last thought: who am I?
All the years simmer down to questions.
All the moments leave us uncertain.
Never comes that moment of revelation,
Except in loving with no conditions.
Once we love like that, answers are not needed.
It's then that the true song comes.

Bill Purdin: 4/22/08


Watching the long nail bite
Into the wood, and watching
The wood accept it so painfully,
Then sanding the wound, smoothing
The puncture crater and filling it
Then sanding again, and softly stroking
The satin paint over it as if nothing happened.
Now joined, the two pieces have new meaning.
They didn't ask for it, but there it is.
A shelf four and a half feet off the floor.
From the scrap heap to a purpose.
But it began with that piecing, that pain
That attack on things as they were,
An assault of the status quo.
If I were that piece of wood I would have
Hidden further down in the heap, she said.
I would have tried to be useless appearing.
In the pile of wood scrap, she said, I would
Not have stood out. It would have been
Hard to find me. I would have seen to that.
She smiled. Her lips seemed soft and her
Face radiant. What a shame that would be,
I thought. Down there in the depths of
Useless forgotten scraps that smile,
That determination. That humor and all those
Thoughts of how things are and should be.
We were looking at all the scrap wood
Still in the pile.
They look happy she said.
I took her hand, turned off the light and
We walked outside. We were both squinting
Into the sunset when she said,
Let's stay home tonight.

Bill Purdin: 4/11/08


There is a thought that we all have sometimes:
Go your way in peace.
Even after an all-out argument you might have that thought
As your opponent walks away.
It's part of human nature, to see something
Valuable in allowing all to continue.
The difference between the dark revenge
And the willingness to forgive.
I could be wrong is a thought well placed.
He could be right it's possible, should be faced.
When we cut the cord, it's an ending.
Sure there are more to come, beginnings.
But still that bridge is burned, rebuilding is hard.
When we see ourselves in others we see.
When we see enemies in others, our eyes our closed.
The turned cheek still burns, I know.
But our hands are peaceful, our minds hopeful
When we do not eye for eye.
Go in peace. A wonderful parting.
Go in peace. We will meet again.
We can all bring hell to bear, it's sure in us.
But to wish well, well that's adventurous.

Bill Purdin: 438-5


Erasing the past. It's just a button you push.
Then it's gone. All those visuals, those memories
Slowly disappate, but it's a big file.
There are a lot of interlinks. You think it's all gone
But then, there you are at a stop light thinking
This is taking too long. One them reappears.
She was walking in the crosswalk, carry a Macy's bag;
Or he was climbing out of a cab, carrying my old briefcase;
Or it was a dog barking somewhere; or
A television show that I watched once, now on rerun;
Or there was this crack in the sidewalk that reminded me
Of Minnesota, or Kansas or maybe a small village
In the jungle where things were flying around;
But it was really just this shopping bag blowing
On the street, empty like a drunken balloon.
And then I was moving along and the breeze through
The window reminded me of my Dad smoking Luckies
In the car. Then I came to a stop sign that seemed
Like one in Indiana I saw every day. It was just a stop sign
Then but now I remember how I would just stay there
Looking at this cornfield growing from little seedlings
To tall stalks and then to harvest plunder everything
Shredded and strewn like a battlefield after.
But we do push the button. It takes months and months
Of planning and thinking and rethinking. Actually,
To erase the past I looked as far into the future as possible
For me to see what I could see there. I know the little
Things will grow and then they will be used up and then
Well... then what? That was as far as I could see.
Some memories have gone now, pushed out.
But some fight their way back in, pushing in.
Memories swirl like they are blown on a wind
That is going somewhere but the only way to find
Out where is to let it blow and just go
Along. You can't really wipe them off, or
Efface them in any true way. Some things are there forever.
Dead people walk in our thoughts; mistakes take
Their toll over and over. Weaknesses reemerge
Jack-in-the-box-like. Good deeds done drift away
As they should. We wander in a hinterland of doubt
And hope. The past and the future are like a slow fog
We are walking through. It's always before us.
It's always behind us. We can see around us but not
With clarity or definition. It takes a lot of faith
To be alive. Imagine the things we do foggy-bound.
So many things that we forget some of them.
So many things that we can never do them all.
The past walks with us, the future holds our hand.
We are in the moment no matter how hard we fight it,
No matter how many buttons we push.
There's no erasing. There's no procrastinating.
It's all happening: the central revelation.
The stop signs are not really stop signs.

Bill Purdin: 418-5

Watching things change is fun
When it's other people's things.
When it's you, it's like a spray gun
Over all your accountings.

It's always the things not showing:
What's really going on in your life.
It takes assumptions to real knowing:
When it's you, you can feel the knife.

But watching others cope with change
We encourage them to accept what's due.
It may be something rich or strange:
We tell them ... "It's up to you."

Bill Purdin: 3318-5

He can look at a room and calculate the framing
In his head down to a sixteenth of an inch.
He can look at a house and rightly judge
It's weight and force integrity. Always on the money.
He drives a broken down Chevy truck 100 miles a day.
He says it's the most dependable vehicle ever.
He has a story for every topic and will talk and talk.
He charges a lot of money, but gives more than he takes.
He always returns his calls, volunteers to do pickups,
And never complains about hard work no matter
How far off-plan things go. He once worked for four hours
To bore a hole through the sill of this house and
Talks about it as if it were the best day ever.
He charged me for one hour.
He doesn't really have any money.
He doesn't really have any future.
He does, however, have today in the fullest measure.
It's his heaven. It's his hell. It's his dream. His wishing well.
He exists in a moment, a second-by-second world
With nothing behind or in front,
With no one better or worse,
Where ability matters and kindness rules.
And then he's gone.
An innocent in a world
Of hammers and saws.

Bill Purdin: 3/24/08


It's an entertaining place, this world.
You can really do anything you want.
You can really do anything you want.

There are no limits, just look around.
People do the craziest, funniest, weirdest and meanist things
You could ever think of . We couldn't make it up.
The billions all thinking about doing something
More than a single mind can grasp.
The soldiers, the whores, the flyers and the dreamers
The schemers and then there's you.
There in your life thinking, thinking, thinking.
Our planet lights the dark black space
We sail through. All the minds thinking
Cast a light to the end of time for you.

It's an entertaining place, this world.
You can really do anything you want.
You can really do anything you want.

To waste a life in dread and doubt
To spend day after day waiting to find out
Is the curse of all who huddle and hide
Jump on, grab a hold, and ride, ride, ride.

Bill Purdin, 3/16/08


Remember those days when you played in the sand?
Or when you ran to the dinner table, hungry?
Remember those dreams you had of a world of wonder?
What happened? Did the politicians wear us down?
Did the corporations turn us into consumers?
Or was it just the millstone of life grinding away?

Yesterday I was staring into the eyes of a newborn girl,
Just a week or two old. She was smiling in her sleep.
When her eyes opened they didn't focus, just let in the light,
And then she sort of squirmed her arms and turned her head
And fell asleep again. She was laying on a giant, for her,
Pillow made for babies to sleep on. A successful design.
When her young mother carried her around she watched
Closely as her world went by at what must seem like
The speed of light to her. Just out of the womb
Where movement was only measured in inches,
Where everything was pretty quiet and cozy dark.
Over her mother's shoulder I saw her looking around.
The world is suddenly huge and all she sees it
Is one room at a time, if that. Research says that newborns
Are "disconnected" at first. They see their arms and hands
But don't get it that those appendages are appended to them.
They do know voices and when I spoke she looked right at me.
An invader? Danger? No, it was curiosity in pure form.
Her eyes looked at me with interest, scanning for information.

I'm still thinking about that several days later. It's been a long, long time
Since anyone has looked at me like that. She was just looking.
Filling some small part of her mind with information,
Whatever it was to her. It made me laugh with some indescribable
Happiness. She filed that away as well. Those dark baby eyes
So intense and yet so open and unjudging. I was still looking
Into them when they closed very slowly. I had the sense that they
Were looking and looking as this slow moving curtain came down
Over her. And then she was asleep again.
I wanted to wait right there until she woke up, but
I had things to do and places to go.

Bill Purdin, 3/508


It started out pretty bad.
I forgot everything and had to go back.
Half an hour behind schedule
And it was only 6:30 a.m.
Then it was really hard. Harder than I thought
It would be. But I did it.
Then I planned to spend some time writing
But the phone wouldn't stop ringing.
Now it's nearing half day, and I am still
Way, way behind. Like a runner
Who won't give up, I'm still pounding away
Looking ahead and hoping.
Always hoping.
Sometimes I think that not giving up
Is what life is all about.
It has nothing to do with achievement.
It has absolutely nothing to do with winning.
And even less with losing.
It is just a long lesson in perseverence.
It is just a long, long lesson in overcoming.
It is just a long, long, long lesson in leaving yourself
Way, way behind, way off schedule, forgetting everything
Except that no matter what ...
On you go.

Bill Purdin, 3/4/08

There is nothing better than
Doing something you didn't really want to do
And finding out how much you love it.
The dragging effort to get going,
The constant turning back thoughts
That I can't even start constriction
And the this is horrible, I'm going to stop compulsions.
Then there's the I did it feeling
That lasts all day
And the I remember doing it
And beyond.

Bill Purdin, 3/3/08


Three inches of soft snow fell last night.
So soft it brushed away like a better thought
Brushing past a thought of dread or worry.
I saw two pairs of footprints:
My wife's to the end of the driveway and back.
She was getting the newspaper. It was
Still dark and the world was quiet, peaceful.
Her steps at the end were bigger as though she had paused
There, warm slippers melting the snow
In the midst of her errand, to sense
A world so quiet and fluffy, she might
Have looked around with no one awake
And thought to herself,
"Isn't this beautiful? It's like a miracle."
I hope so.
The other footprints were really paw prints.
A small animal had come from behind the garage,
Across the driveway and towrds the back yard.
Then the prints had dissappeared under the porch,
Where there's no snow but there is a vent of warm air.
No way to track what happened but I
Imagined the little critter stopped under the vent
And felt the warm air brush over its fur.
Perhaps it was thinking.
"Isn't this just great. It's like a miracle."
I hope so.
Inside out and outside in:
Something miraculous
Always around you.

Bill Purdin, 2/28/08

Front Page (4)

McCain says his campaign rests on success in Iraq.
Hillary Clinton down and really out, goes on vicious attack.
Quietly pressing on with hopes for the future: that's Barack.
Ford is pushing its workers to a buy-out.
American business is receding, there's not much doubt.
North Korea is hosting the New York Philharmonic
And politicos stare and try not to be psychoanalytic.
Bush always says one thing and does another.
Doesn't seem to know the difference 'tween one and 'tother.
He dances in Africa and preens in D.C.
Doesn't seem to care for Democacy or you and me.
The Dems are debating tonight on CNN
It's depicted poll-wise: older white women vs. men.
My, how the times they are a-changin',
Everything is shifting and we are all rearrangin'.
Let's hope when the dust settles there comes clarity,
Peace and harmony in our time? Or more and more polarity?
It's only Tuesday, watch our Video of the Day.

Bill Purdin, 2/26/08

Front Page (3)

Hillary's gone ballistic over Obama.
Witch emerges over All-American Mama.
She says he's as bad as Karl Rove ever was
But the Obamanics are now hyper-activated, abuzz.
The Oscars stolled down the red carpet
The writers came back, studios paid the debt.
Big Brother 9 went on its trashy way
Ralph Nader enter the election yesterday.
'Bout as exciting as Raul's "election" in Havana
(Or slipping on a banana).
Huckabee was funny on SNL
Tiger won again, his sixth straight trip to the well.
A bomb blew up a bunch a Shiites in Baghdad,
And nothing of Hillary "hits" could ever be that bad.

Bill Purdin, 2/25/08

Front Page (2)

Homeowners wallow in debt
We shot down the satellite, and yet....
Obama takes it all and is still standing,
Clinton's campaign's spending, she's demanding
That we all see he's just a boy,
Not made of the metal: the BillHill alloy.
Democrats bicker, no resonating rhymes
And McCain blames it all on The New York Times.
Pakistan may stop our deadly, driverless drones,
But Washington still can't hear the groans
Of Darfur, Congo, New Orleans
Over Haliburton, Exxon and designer jeans.
Serbia burned out our embassy
And America goes on free and easy.

Bill Purdin, 2/22/08

Front Page (1)

Obama's got 22 wins.
Hillary's on the ropes.
He talks about the people rising for change,
She's counting on the super delegate dopes.
He says "We can do it" change America and the world.
She says "Day One, Day One" but that flag's long unfurled.
He says, "Houston, we have liftoff."
She says, "Houston. That'll be his cut-off."
He dreams of a better world where people talk.
She says, "It's a fairytale." Jack on the beanstalk.
Well, the people will decide and it won't be close.
She's lost her Mojo, plus all those caballeros.
He's got Big Mo, big time. Tally-ho.
She's making her last stand. Alamo.

Bill Purdin, 2/20/08


If you take half of what you want
You will still have at least
Twice of what you need.

If you say half of what you think
You will still say at least
Twice as much as you should have.

If you give twice as much as you want to
You will still have only
Given half of what you could have.

When you imagine your capacity for change
You will still have only imagined
Half of what is possible.

And when I wrote this poem I knew
That I was still only writing
Half of the truth.

Bill Purdin: 2/6/08

In a cloud of dust
And a hearty "Hi Ho"
Sometimes our dreams end.

Love's not love
Without an "although"
I love you most as a friend.

Life has a promise
In the ebb and flow
Of days' and nights' pretend.

-- Bill Purdin: 1/30/08

The Flag

It flew behind me like a cape.
It was red white and beautiful.
It was a life dream coming true.
When I crashed and burned I thought of you.

-- Bill Purdin: 1/28/08


It's a busy, busy world.
It's a rude, rude world.
It's a "Hi," "Bye" world.
The sirens screech bad news in the night,
We seem to lose wrong and right;
Everywhere you turn you hear, "My bad."
And the children seem to be sort of CSI sad.

They are watching our every move.
They are listening to our every word.
They worry we are their future.
We hope they are ours.

When we cross reference our information
It's a pretty good start; takes a stout heart.
We push and stress like constipation,
We tangle and rangle and pull ourselves apart.

It's a world of games and shames.
It's a five star, way-too-far world.
It's an all new. all see-through world.
Careful what we wished for, a consolation,
The family photos seem to stand still.
There is a ringing in your ears;
It could be the wind, or it could be the years.

They are watching our every move.
They are listening to our every word.
They worry we are their future.
We hope they are ours.

-- Bill Purdin: 1/18/08


That feeling in your stomach
That you've screwed everything up
Is just a feeling in your stomach,
Not reality.

Once dead, I woke up again.
Once awake I remembered.
As I remembered dying
I smiled.

Death is thinking it's over
Giving into your stomach
Thinking it's real:
Fear overcoming.

We all stand on precipices
Over long falls to nowhere
There is no bridge to
Take us.

An open mind will free you.
Disregard trepidation's gravity
And freefall with exuberance
Of careless youth.

When we were young we
Knew we would live forever.
When we were young we
Had it right.

Bill Purdin: 1/10/07


Einstein discovered that velocity is relative
And gravity is not a constant.
The theory of relativity: that even as you approach The speed of light, light is still travelling
At the speed of light but time has slowed down
For you. In other words, matter and energy
Are the same thing in different forms.
Matter and energy make up everything.
Everything is relative, leaning on each other.
How you are determines how I am and
Of course the reverse is true.
The way you view the world is the world.
The way you view me is me.
And, of course the reverse is true.
Look brightly with shining eyes on the world.
Believe the best. See the best.
Today is waiting at the speed of light
For you.
It needs you to see.

Bill Purdin: 1/7/8

Just when you think you're weak, you're strong.
Just when you think you're right, you're wrong.
When you think you've got it all, you lose it all.
When you think you're short, turns out you're tall.

You search and search, but you don't find.
Just can't make a meeting of The Mind.
You pray for help but it does not arrive.
Everyone's dying, but hey you're still alive.

The secret of life is there's no dread.
"All that, that is, is," as Shakespeare said.
You try to fail but succeed.
Life tricks you, oh yes indeed.

Bill Purdin: 1/2/8

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