National Veteran’s Day March 29

The sky the clouds trees reflected in the veteran’s wall
make it seem invisible
as if I could walk though to the other side—

                Names written on air

ascending in light appear to enter where they’re given
dreamless sleep or heaven,
who am I to say where they go beyond the love we give them?

Some people thank the Vet for service to the nation,
I’m home alive, well as ever

Suspicious of trendy sympathy–

Those who do not trust tradition

often know the tragedy

of war

The power and the honor in sedition, that’s another story.





Rayn Roberts 2019

Dreaming The Old Man

Through slanting doors and broken windows
odd furniture in dim rooms

old books and roses rotting with age
I follow you,

charts and crumpled maps and paper
glitter like a lost hope–

Sudden sky and wide water
reeds along a shore

under a silver willow you call to the other side.

No limb or vine to hold my feet
my boyhood swept away

to a green recess of memory
nothing to pull me back

only rock and sand, sky and air bathed in amber light,

Peace, I am with you
looking in your old eyes, stretching out a hand

sinking in a river of night
transparent stones on the bottom of a lucid pool

I glide in bright shadows
fish swimming

in and out our one and separate selves



Green Lake Heron by Rob KasheyROB PICS 430







All Photos  by Rayn Roberts

Apparition by Rob Kashey

Apparition by RR

Rock Prophecy





Hymn to the Deadliest Weapon on Earth


Humor is the weapon of mass reduction,
It reduces bigot to nit-wit, snob to bore
The trendy cynic to last year’s unfriendly pessimist.
It’ll take the nay out of naysayer
Cure the terminal doubter and saw down denial like dead wood.

It refuses to go away

Cannot be destroyed by fire or flood
Stands up to tyrants, lets a dictator know who’s boss.
Humor fills the halls of the censor with snickers
Has clown makeup for bullies
Mocks the madness of a warmonger with one finger.

Humor puts your mother-in-law where she belongs… in a taxi.

The man who loses his sense of humor is in danger of losing his mind.
It is the in of insight
The light of delight, the tip of a glass
A whistle in the dark and a wink at the past.
It cracks lightning jokes at sullen cops
Defends against the IRS
Brightens NBC images and uncovers the lies of a government.
It brings light to darkness, lights up a eulogy
Draws the recluse into the light of day,
It can tickle a smile out of a grouch

Manage a chuckle out of a manager, soften the heart of the toughest CEO.

It puts the teach in teacher, the preach in preacher
The shoes and cans on the back of the newly wed’s car, yes
Where love goes humor follows like an old mate
The sly grin, sideway glance, the nod, the hint, elbow in the rib
The spiked punch and marijuana brownie
Love in the kitchen the truck the car
The tent boat plane alley elevator train and mini van
Top of the counter, back of the movie, deep in the wood
Woodshop workshop pet shop flower shop parking lot
Front yard backyard
Shipyard wrecking yard bowling alley
The dilly-dally-nightcap-champagne, bingo, let’s go

Would you like to see my video?

Humor is a joyful chance to see one’s self and laugh
A pun, tongue twister, quip and one liners
The glass lifted to life, to love, to loss and gain
The winner, quitter, the job well done
Oscar, hit song toast of the town, like air earth fire water
Essential to life
A breath-takin’ side-splitin’ rip snortin’ Soul Protector
It can open doors, topples walls and melt hearts
Halt a navy, turn an army, prevent a scrap and stop a war
It’s the weapon of mass creation by which disputes international and local

Ought to be settled!

Who can make ’em laugh louder and longer
Who can roll ’em in the aisle, kill ’em with fun, laugh ’em off the field
Who can bring the bloody house down?
No joke, I kid you not, it’d be a whole lot better than what we’ve got.

A nation that loses its sense of humor is in danger of losing its soul.



For a Fisherman

It’s not easy talking one man to another, son to father
Men tied by time, not easy to untie a bird’s nest
In a reel of memory, find love
Without our common and particular pain
Blocking the way, a word– a breath between us.

The days rise and go, gravity tugs bone and blood;
Some men are made fools
Thinking they know
Who will to the grave go first…
And not clearing the stone in a word
Letting go the trap of time
Snares some
Crying out while silent they remain–

Why we fail to speak our love is strange
When speaking ends our pain, father
From the darkness of my simple heart

I love you more than trout love the sound of rain
More than lilacs the April scented air
Or the elk its antler– you taught me well:
Not in business or in war is the measure
Of the soul, but in the love we come to know.



copyrightRayn Roberts 2017

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)