To a Friend Who When I Asked How She Was After The Pulse Massacre Replied, “Just shoot me too.”







Will you smile real pretty when I pull the trigger?
Will you let a squadron of dragonflies carry you
By your nipples and hair into a green forgetful sky
By your toes, your nose, the white fuzz on your ears?
You will forget the red and blue years
Sailing a typhoon of moonlight, money and mercy
Mercy for queers, money for roses, so many
You can give one to every hobo-drunk in the world
And ten for me, your god-forsaken rebel.
If I whirl a twister of wishes and dreams
To right the wrongs we have brought upon our children
All the animals and insects gone to extinction
If I gather the lint from our toes, sox, bras, underwear
Into a sudden mighty wind and knock the leaders
Kings and tycoons off their murderous feet for good
To say there is something very different from
What they promise and what we get, my dear
Will you smile, will you smile, will you smile real pretty?



What the Bag Lady Said When I Asked if She had the Time

This is a politician’s year
Do you think I’m rich enough?
Time, I don’t have any.
They all refused me the time.

I would have married a cripple,
One never asked me though.
They all said no to me
Refused me, all of them.

Why do you want the time,
You can’t keep it.
I could pick a rose for you,
They’re free in the park.

I once heard a symphony,
No one believes I did.
I can’t recall the tune now
It still listens for me.

The Truth is

for Joey

Think of unreality

                   an angel dying, a god being born.

The walls of the waiting room are like the nurses
flat and white. They lean ready to fall–
Sleep…I dream you rising from hell
to a heaven of your own.

There can be no peace until the truth is known
and the truth is love does not conquer all
I hear the shriek, the weeping
the gnashing of teeth

I see you behind glass, head shaven, arms
and legs tied down, face contorted, eyes fixed
on one ceiling light to which you pray
and curse bitterly.

Jesus cursed the fig tree, it withered and it died.
Like John below your cross
I stand by your bed
bewildered sick.
You wear love like a bloody crown
but the blade through my side
cuts deeper than my heart, my center fractures.

I can cry but not save you, laugh but not heal you
dream but not make you whole– Somewhere
an angel is dying.

The truth is
this is our earth
not as love intends, but as men make it
men and the forces we all must bend to
quaking earth, pull of moons, power of madness, and death.





Greater has one who gives the little he has
Than one who gives from plenty

For one gives from abundance and has more, while the other
Has nothing, yet gives–

This isn’t the widow’s mite, giving to a temple or church
But living the Light of Life, healing
The sick and poor–

We, the rich, need heed a call to love and give them more.

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning


There was a sidewalk troubadour, twelve-string in hand
He said, “Come hear me warm up my guitar man …”

A vagabond in rainbow poncho pushed a shopping cart
Decorated with snowman, reindeer, garland and a sign that read,

“Happy Xmas, I’m homeless, please help.”

A red, white and blue wolf visible only to me,
Moved him down the street nipping at his heels.

A group jammin’ to a jazz trumpet and drum called out,
“That guy’s a taco short of a combination plate!

Their laugher filled the sky… The full moon floated
Like an empty plate– I wanted to walk into the desert
Find the place where heaven split apart and fell to earth…

I wanted the earth to open and swallow me up, but
The troubadour sang a song of three ships in a harbor

He sang, “And all the bells on earth did ring on Christmas day

…in the morning…”

An angel, audible only to me, sang into my ear,

“And who will ring the bells for the poor on Christmas day

… in the morning?”

The singer he was warming up, He sang for me
He sang for the bum, Christmas morning:

Monday night, December 15th.






Revisions here by Rayn Roberts 2016

Published in different form December 2005 in Turbula

(originally published in “Jazz Cocktails and Soapbox Songs,” 2003)

Some are going to die tonight.


When old winter’s bitter cold
Sinks into wire and soul
Through window and wall

Where is the haven
From welting wind, snow
And ice, where
Do the homeless go?

Never was a time
More apropos
For the bonfires
of Girolamo
to cleanse us of greed
and warm the poor!

Churches open a door,
Yes, some will sleep alright:
Some are going to die tonight.

Rayn Roberts 2016