Crossing the deepest river without a boat

Sailing the storm washed open sea in a cardboard box

My brain is climbing hills that only I can see

Each upward step is alive with pain granted and felt

With no medication to stop the fire

None exists unless alcohol laced

And it is such that it curls up from the earth below

While others float past talking

Their voices in pleasure do share and grant comfort

To them sharing the night and the day and the world travels on!

While the sky opens and — but not to me

I sing my songs in a vacuum it would seem

While standing in the dark on a street without a name

My voice claims the night in shyness

Beginning soft, then rising up to touch the branches of trees

While many memories come to haunt and

There I am, I’m crossing a river without a boat

Sailing against the wind in an open cardboard box

I speak to those passing in the deep dark surrounding me

But no one responds, no one hears my sound

No one notices me there in the deepest gloom

For, in truth, I am all alone

Alone in the night, alone with the gift

While the fire rages from the earth below

Coursing up my body with flaming words that no one can see or hear

There is no medication to stop the pain

That comes from sentence forming words swarming in my mind

But how glorious it all is to be alone in the night

While my voice lifts and climbs in song aimed at the stars and the moon

While I’m there crossing the deepest river without a boat in search of you

Climbing mountains that only I can see


Copyright 2018 Gordon Kuhn, The Poet in the Rain.

Without a Boat (Amended and rewritten 10/15/2018}

WITHOUT A BOAT (amended/rewritten 10/15/2018)

Jesus was a sailor who sailed without a boat
He had no need upon that to stand, for he could easily float
Above the briny chilling cold and darkest dark of deep
Where many sailors struggled and in death there they fell to sleep
He had no need to save anyone from their drowning
For their lives, they sole alone by free choice were forming
While his force was in league with the ghostly godly nature
And blessed with acceptance of the final cleansing rapture
But man and God in their relationship had suffered a fracture
And the book said Jesus had come with his blood to repair
The breach that God had laid upon humans in despair
And in trusting to his words to those he left behind
Simple messages given to save and to remind
All in time of his divine and spiritual nature
But if today he were alive he would surely and sadly find that
The church he never formed is now a business venture
Run by modern-day Pharisees and scribes
With guilt, incense, robes, and chants they monopolize
with finance and profit at the center
suggesting sins can be obliterated by monetary bribes
But Jesus was a simple sailor who sailed without a boat
Others never realized their faith would help them float
above the briny cold and darkest dark of deep
where many sailors had gone to deathly sleep
then with his fellows and fish the main course for dinners
he would sit and break bread with sinners
upon the shore with a roaring fire the flames in curls
Where he ate and laughed and talked about girls
And there he broke bread and drank wine
so long ago in an ancient time.

Written on 10/14/18 Copyright, 2018 Gordon Kuhn All rights Reserved


I woke this morning to a different world
Everything had sudden changed overnight
When the rains came, fell, and the grass uncurled
Where I had walked during the heat of the day before
And there was nothing for me to do
There was nothing I could or would say
The world changed when I turned and looked away
For a moment, a second, a sliver of time
When I thought all was safe and secure
And so I woke with a bloody nose
I woke and I found what I thought was false
And came to realize that there was no longer within the fight
There was little desire within me to travel much further
And yet I have to move along this path
And stay on the lane wherein it is true
That life is such and nothing can be undone.

Copyright 2018 All rights reserved: Gordon Kuhn

A Secret Life: Memories from another life.

A friend from a past life told me of a love
But sadly he said he doesn’t recall her name
That is really such a shame
For way back when he was just age 23
I knew him as we worked for the same company
He met her in a restaurant where she waitressed
Back when he in a suit was dressed
And he fell in love when she caught his eye
Along with his open, clear and honest desire
Hoping to date her but she was married
And his hopes on wing were carried
Right out the front door to fly away
And his heart was crushed on the restaurant floor
Then came a night following the heavy heat of day
Where in a pool hall barroom they met and she chose to stay
With a quart of beer and two packs of cigarettes each the other led
Back to his one bedroom apartment on Osprey
Down the hall from where I lived
There their clothes were soon shed
And in the heavy heat of the night she took his bed
So long ago was that singular day
But the reality was she could not stay
Each of them had a life to live
And she was not free for her love to give
Her face he can see in memory for years thereafter
But sadly, her name slipped away
It is just memories from another life that still remain
Memories from a secret life.


I recall the night when a hot summer rain came
And settled in with a breeze bringing coolness to the room
Where two lovers met and when they left never were the same
In an old cheap apartment in downtown Sarasota
Where they danced to a scratchy record
It was missing the label but played
On an old player, he’d found in the trash
While drinking from cans of stale beer
Rescued from a refrigerator that barely cooled
But without cares, they drank in a dim light
Coming from the only bulb left working in a corner table lamp
And somewhere in the world, a wall was being torn down
Somewhere a child was being born
Somewhere someone was dying all alone
As they danced
They could hear water dripping from pipes in the wall
Falling to the concrete foundation two floors below
Somehow the couple had found each other
Names were not needed that night and in a simple embrace
Shared the last cigarette in a crushed pack left tossed to the floor
While singing a song neither knew, but sang anyway.

© 2018 Poet in the Rain: Gordon Kuhn



Another morning has come to greet the sun
Chasing the night away as coffee brews on the stove
A cup with spoon to swirl the cream in to blend the clouds away
As I sit and think of questions that I cannot even form
I wonder about the woman down the street who lives alone
In a home being foreclosed on even as the year has come full circle
Her son is college stuff and flunking out as he goes to class
Neighborhood children run barefoot laughing as they pass
At my comment of concern for nails and rocks and wiggly worms while
The Church of the Holy Hypodermic will ring its chimes
At dawn, lunch, and dinner time, a mile away as I listen and decide
That the ringing bells are as lonely in their song
As is the old man in the darkened corner house
Alone, staring at a wall, waiting in silence for his time to die. 2/18/2015

RUNAWAY: Ragdoll Chronicles 01.03.1918

Ragdoll Chronicles 1.13.18 @ 0515 © Gordon Kuhn All rights reserved.
“Get away from the pond,” both Starter and Cawkin shouted while waving their wings and hopping up and down. But it was too late. One stepped up and placed a foot in the water, quite accidentally actually, but accidentally sometimes doesn’t matter and in this case it did not.
“What?” the crow called back.
“Get away from the pond,” the pair again shouted. But it was too late. They could do nothing but watch as the other crow at the pond melted away in the mist rising from the waters at its feet.
“She has him,” Cawkin said.
“Can’t we do something?” Started began to flap his wings and move forward anticipating a run to the where the disappearance had taken place.
“No. We have no idea where she might have taken him and besides, that’s just her way of teasing to come closer.
“But what about Nouveau? They found rags over there.”
“It’s a trap. She is showing us the rags to get us over there. She has him too.”
“But where?”
“God knows. I don’t.”
“Can we go after him?”
Cawkin looked at Starter for a very long moment of silence. “We can but….”
Robert made a dash to his car through the stinging rain. However, he had to stop short of the vehicle because as he approached it he discovered it actually was floating several feet in the air and at each attempt to grab hold of a door handle the car just moved higher. Finally, he set off on foot in the direction of the small local lake where he and Chase were planning on going fishing later that day.
Chase had a good lead on his father as he had already walked several blocks pursued by a strong wind that pushed him forward. Every time he stopped and thought about turning back he was slammed with gusts that knocked him down. Behind him was a wall of rain that was coming ever closer. Then, ahead, he saw the lights of a small restaurant and he ran for it hoping to get inside and out of the weather.
As he stepped into the lighted diner he was suddenly aware that he had never been there before and, actually, he had never known of this place but the smell of cooking hamburgers lured him further in. At first, it appeared to be like any other small restaurant. There were several booths and a small counter with five stools. But Chase sensed that something was odd about the place and then he saw that the people seated at the counter weren’t what you would expect. Four looked like very large animals with one human seated there and all were eating breakfast.
The opening of the door and the rush of wind and rain that accompanied Chase had drew the attention of the five and they all turned to look at him.
“Ah, look what we have here,” the man said pointing at Chase. “A human child.”
“A child? A boy child?” a very large brown bear seated at the end of the counter spun on his stool and asked staring in disbelief.
“No. Really?” a small creature resembling a white mouse seated next to the man spoke in a very low voice and looked to others for an answer. “It cannot be here. We must make it leave.”
Next to the mouse was a raccoon appearing creature and to his right sat an orangutan with bright red and long fur. The two grunted agreement. The racc00n picked up a piece of toast from its plate and, holding it between his hands, offered it to Chase, “Come boy, are you hungry? If so, eat and then, by the blessed ground hog, please leave.”
“No sir,” Chase replied softly. “I’m not hungry. I — I came in from the rain.”
“Well then,” joined in the large brown bear seated at the end of the counter, “why are you here. This is a restaurant. And, rain? You say, you came in from the rain? I don’t see any rain.”
“Uh huh,” Chase said glancing around, “it’s the strangest restaurant I have ever been in. And look at me, I’m dripping wet.”
“From what?” asked the brown bear. “Did you stand in your shower with your clothes on and then come here?”
“What’s that?” asked the mouse. “I couldn’t hear what he said.” He shook his head.
The orangutan snickered.
“Did you pour water over yourself?”
“No, it’s raining outside.”
“Outside, where outside? I see no outside.” The brown bear questioned.
“What?” asked the mouse. “Oh damn, I can’t hear either one. He turned to the raccoon as if to ask for help.
“Turn you hearing aids on you dope,” said the raccoon and slapped the mouse on the back of the head.
“I have them on,” the mouse protested rubbing the back of his head.
“Well, turn the volume up.”
“It is up.”
“Here,” the raccoon said, “let me see them.” He jerked one out of the mouse’s ear.
“Ouch,” complained the mouse. “Don’t just jerk them out. They are costly and if the queen even knew I had them I would pay dearly, perhaps even with my life.”
“Oh, for Thor’s sake, do you have to bring up the queen?” The orangutan knocked over his cup of coffee spilling the hot liquid all over the counter and his newspaper.
The brown bear raised its hand, “What’s that?”
“What?” said the mouse.
“I hear bells ringing.”
“I hear nothing,” said the mouse.
“Of course you don’t you idiot, you didn’t have any batteries in the hearing aids,” the raccoon told angrily.
“They are growing louder,” the brown bear stood up and looked around for the source.
“It’s getting closer,” the man said. “It must be the queen or her guard.
“GET RID OF THE BOY!” They all said at once.
“How,” the orangutan asked.
“Throw him down the chute!” the man said grabbing at Chase.
“YES,” the others all agreed. “Throw him down the chute!”

Do You Know How to Fly?

A book about a serial rapist and killer.

This is a blogged book. It is about a real killer and real victims.


“How is it that you didn’t know? How could you not see these things about him?” Michele Quinones leaned her head slightly to the side as she repeated the same questions that had been put to her by those she thought she knew and whom she thought knew her.

Her face was expressionless; however, her head and right hand responded with a slight rise and then dip as she placed emphasis on each “you” echoing the questions put to her repeatedly in disbelief by family members and friends.

It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon, April 14th, 2013, and the one-time girlfriend of Delmer Smith, an attractive, intelligent, forty-two year old woman, sat with me at a small table outside the Panera Bread Company in the Coco Plum Plaza in North Port, Florida, drinking iced coffee. We had just finished lunch at the sandwich shop where we met to discuss her relationship with a man who terrorized women living alone in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in 2009.

She paused in her thoughts, her unblinking, dark eyes held mine in their grasp. I could see in her gaze that she was hurting deep within.

“That is what they asked me. You know? Over and over again.” She looked away and down, and then added, “It wasn’t so much a question,” she said, “but more of a demand.”

A short-lived smile touched her lips. Her voice lowered, softened. She lit a cigarette, busying her fingers, took a deep draw on it, then blew the first exhale up and away from my direction. “My friends,” she inhaled again. “My family,” she said quietly, more to herself than to me. Her eyes were still looking down and with the palm of her free hand she absentmindedly smoothed her dress. “It was like, you know, I was at fault for some reason. I was the guilty one. That is what they wanted to know.” To be continued.

PATRIOT Poetry with a streak of random thoughts. 8.17.17


So proud you stand, you patriot
So proud above the cast iron statute
Of Robert E Lee astride his horse
You think you are creating Camelot
And you shouted with glee
As the statute fell down past the aged tree
That had shaded it, protected it, been there
In snow and storm until you arrived, you patriot
And you stomped on his face, you patriot
You stomped on his face like some superior
You stomped on his face and shouted with raised arms
For you are a patriot and set about to free us from our history
Set about to destroy our history and our freedoms because
You are a patriot.
No, you are a coward.
You are scum.


Copyright © 2017 Gordon Kuhn All rights reserved.

Puppy in the River and Random thoughts on 8.15.2017


I believe I was ten years old and out riding on my bike on a warm summer’s day. As was my custom, I stopped at the bridge on Madison Street in Maywood overlooking the muddy, trash filled, and sluggish Des Plaines River. It was one of my favorite spots for daydreaming, but on that day my favorite place turned into a nightmare that still haunts me to this day.

As traffic went past behind me on four lanes of hot asphalt, I would stand and wonder about the first to view the river when it was clean and pure. I thought about the explorers who would trace the river to its beginnings when you could reach and cup your hands and take a drink of such refreshing waters that, by the time I stood there, had become dangerously polluted. It was only a foot deep at the middle, if that. What once had been a proud river had been destroyed by industry and polluters all along the wandering stretch that once had been so pristine.

I hated looking down at the shallow path of water that flowed 30 feet below me filled with junk and stink. But it was natural to peer over the concrete rail and down to the slop and slime and, on that day, as I peered over the edge there in the water was the body of a puppy floating upside down, its stomach bloated, white fur with streaks of green, its head was held by a rope tied to a brick.

The Puppy in the River

Subliminal thoughts of deep despair,
Beneath the Des Plaines surface there;
Shallow waters ran cold and dark,
Did silence the puppy’s plaintive bark.
A toss, a throw, from bridge above
to water flowing not far below;
A brick about the neck,
a final gift they did bestow.
And I, a child, beheld the horrid sight,
Before the dawn had turned to night,
Before the darkness settled in,
Leaving memories to haunt from deep within.
Curse me, bless me, dear god please defend me!
Take this memory from my sight,
remove the evil that I see.
A puppy in a river drowned—
And I, with it, am forever bound.

Copyright Gordon Kuhn, All rights reserved. 9/18/2013