My Irritations, Aggravations and Inspirations

Daily Life

rainy day – October 10, 2014

on a tin roof
a thousand distant voices lauding 
a cheering throng echoing
in this misty gray arena
urging me to victory
to the prize




October 1, 2012 “gold”

October 1, 2012 “gold”


silhouettes of crows cawing

at the hunting hawk

scattering songbirds from thistle and bush

into the blue sky of autumn

gold autumn

crisp, sharp, gold, autumn

the westing sun flows gold

to the edges of the valley

shimmering trees of gold

leaves, glittering flecks of gold

in silence break free from bowing branches

casting themselves gently upon a river

reflections of gold mountains

and trees and leaves

and air painted gold by the sun

the distant crow caws

at the hunting hawk

the blue sky

the gold earth

and autumn

©tlh 10/1/12

September 5, 2012 “born a Southerner”

born a Southerner”


it’s one of those evenings

thick, heavy, nearly liquid

familiar in the south

to folks down here

lying languid beneath magnolia and mimosa blossoms

and a colorless low hanging sky

straining with distant thunder to release cooling rain

a handful of drops at a time

scattered by a teasing breeze

a yellow moon and steam

rises off still warm fields and tarred gravel roads

the din of a million jarflies drowns the song

of the mockingbird and the whippoorwill

the phwup, phwup, phwup of a back-porch ceiling fan

offers relief

not from heat

but from night bugs

I crunch another ice cube

it melts on my tongue

I’m at peace

and thankful

to be born a Southerner

©tlh 9/4/2012

August 14, 2011 “south of summer”

“south of summer”


skulking stray dog days

loitering in the back yard of summer

keeping autumn at bay on the porch

hold a slippery sweaty grip on the south


withered green leaves

wrinkled damp clothes

hang from limbs of thirsty trees and people

like limp dishrags boiling


in the oily evening heat

beneath tall condescending columns

of rainless clouds climbing

up a pale sky roiling


in shades of pink

east of the setting sun

over the sweltering horizon

an August moon casts his milky gaze


on the sloomy glow of lightening bugs

slow dancing to the jar fly’s gravelly whirr

and the tinkling of ice in glasses of tea

sweet relief in a sultry gloaming haze


©tlh 8/14/11










July 3, 2011 “back alley blues”

“back alley blues”


a slash of diagonal gray

slices through a thin crack in the skyline

dirty sunlight seeps down

dingy back alley walls

dripping between black buildings

dark spaces

with filthy faces

lazy, sleepy eyes

of half open windows

look through cataract curtains

half blind

pain lined

weeping sooty tears

of faded flowers

and the faded laundry

of real life

over jagged scars

of fire escapes

offering no escape

from life behind the curtains


oily air

crawls heavily along narrow passages

oozing over stained floors

behind chained doors

bearing the murmurous din

and stagnant sin

of a living city

and faint whispers

of far away

consonant strains

as a blues guitar wails

and a blues man sings out

for a better day

©tlh 7/3/11

Photo: tlh

March 15, 2011 “winter clouds”

“winter clouds”


deep blue lavender clouds

climbing over the horizon

scrambling up the sky

fleeing the fiery red fingers of a setting sun

careering into the distance on a cold March breeze

shape shifting as they fly

losing ipseity

like the fluid face of a frightened mob

escaping the sinking inferno

marching into nothingness

across the ides of spring

blustering past the budding branches

of the pear, the maple, and the dogwood

and in the rush and gush of the gusting

ignoring the chipping chirping lusting

of lovestruck mocking birds and robins

dressed in fluffed, ruffed, feathered coats

clinging to the bare gray limbs of the rattling trees

and with every trill and note

driving the faceless clouds of winter

into the warming night


©tlh 3/15/11

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February 10, 2011 “Eight Razors and a Bad Shave”

February 10, 2011 “Eight razors and a bad shave”


I have worn a beard since May of 1992…motorcycle crash had me down to just one good arm for about three months, so I just let the fertile field of my youthful face grow wild with soft, thick, luxurious whiskers. It wasn’t until 1996 that I cleared the field completely in order for my four year old daughter to see the true landscape of her father’s face for the first (and only) time in her life. Since then there has been a beard of one sort or another adorning my plump cheeks without interruption. I have, on two occasions, gone from a full face beard to the more streamlined and fashionable goatee version; the second of those two goatees was designed and implemented just last week. The only problem with the goatee is there is more face real estate to keep shaved smooth; less close trimming and edging, but overall, more shaving, and more area that wants to get scruffy and scratchy (not really a big problem considering I’m sans a significant someone that might actually be in a position to find it scruffy and scratchy), but nevertheless, one can’t just go around with a bunch of scrub growing beyond the verge now, can he? Therefore, I must shave all the extra expanse, and do it more often these days, to keep my face spiffy and smooth on the off chance that a particular someone might appear on the horizon and be inclined to brush her soft hand across my manicured mug…though I’m a damned good looking fellow, I think my chances are much better if all the face around my goatee doesn’t feel like a cat’s tongue.

Back at Christmas I received a brand new razor from a member of my family, and until today I’ve had no reason to use it; however, my normal beard trimming razor had gone dull, and as I had no replacement blades I had to change my standard operating procedure. The new razor was wrestled out of its ridiculously over-engineered plastic retail container and put into service, but not without a great deal reservation on my part and on the part of my face as well. This new tool is not from a manufacturer I’m familiar with, and certainly not from one of the major companies, but really, what do I know about such things. It wasn’t the name brand that gave me such pause, it was something much more sinister about the razor which gave me the heebie jeebies…it was the SIX! (yes I said 6) glistening, stainless steel blades that first got my attention as the bathroom lights glinted off their sharp, shimmering edges. And then there’s the way the razor looks…like some tiny, robotic, alien death machine, all chrome and black swirled together in sensuous elongated curves giving the eerie suggestion of a dangerous otherworldly insect…with six razor blades in place of a mouth! So, I think you can see the source of my trepidation…this thing is just plain scary when you think of letting it touch your face or glide across your neck. I mean, my god…the damned thing looks like it could go all Sweeney Todd at any moment, and shave just a little “close” if you know what I’m saying.

So, I’m shaving my tender cheeky cheeks with a six bladed alien demon of unknown origin, wondering what my head will look like as it takes a roll down Fleet Street if I’m not extremely careful. I gingerly guide the menacing razor over my tender face. I expect a shave at least three times closer than my twin blade…you know, 6 divided by 2, and all that. But there was a problem, this high-tech little monstrosity, which should be giving me the shave of my life is, instead of deftly slicing through the tiny whiskers of my beard, pulling them out one at a time by the root, or so it seems! It’s brand new! First use! And it SUCKS! Heck, this little six blade gift could just as easily suck the beard out as well as it’s cutting them…Dang!

Six sparkling new blades in a sexy, 21st century handle, and I have to resort to my used up, dull, twin blade model from the last century to get a shave that’s even passable! It goes to show you…the name brands get to be name brands for a reason, and using a no-name brand only adds up to…Eight Razors and a Bad Shave!


©tlh 2/10/11