Rhyme & verse

These are Non-AI creative works. Words were selected and placed in order by a human.

B.J. Smith

Dustland 2023

They walk on stones where no grass grows
and rake a yard where no leaves blow
since rain is gone and trees are bare
and wind is blowing everywhere.

Question 2022

We don’t see as one.
Do we both misunderstand,
or are you just wrong?


Relief 2020

We write from anger more than we wish
because that is what we have right now.

It burns the mind, the heart,
the belly and soul if sheltered
from the foul wind that howls outside.

So we breathe out fire and fury
and set aflame what we must.

Beyond the blaze will be joy again.
If not joy, at least relief.

Unwritten memoir

The story of a man
is not his alone
and not his to tell,
but only his to live.

Those he loves,
and who love him,
read his story as it unfolds,
as do others who care or matter
and who will tell it to others
or let it end
as it ends,
and that will be fine.

The story of a man
is joys inspired,
and pains inflicted,
and sins committed
and forgiven, or not.

The story of a man
need not be written
for it to live on.

On another page

war budget

False patriots



Sling stones of hope

Silken knots of courage

Nightmare knives cut quick
through silken knots of courage.
Morning heals our wounds.

Write the truth

It is hard to know what to say
once everything
has been said
and denied.

Make the words bolder
and louder, or softer
and small?

Mix magical letters,
with serifs or sans, and jots and dots
’til truth is revealed on the page,

All of that.

Do it all.


When I saw your face
I knew.

Your tears gave you away,
telling me silently
that you understood
what I had done to you.

What I had done to us.

I saw in your eyes that
I had done it to us both,
because we were still
one soul, a life.

We had been one.

Now we are you and me,
and soon there will be
just you,
and this empty thing.



A nameless poem, aimless words,
left scorned, unadorned,
at risk
of eternal unreadness.

No verse to be fixed
’til it fits in the mix, to be tagged
on the ear like a pig.

Nor indexed, nor cited,
all love unrequited,
for lack of the lie
called Untitled.

For a sister

Softly whispering in the garden,
the breeze moves a leaf
and another
and another
and then all is still,
but different,

Wild wind

Wild wind and hot sun
when Sunday chores are over
greet me bicycling.

Boulder Station

Bearded strangers bear bulging packs of worldly goods,
bads, indifferents,
while girls and boys and girls board
buses with snowboards
and snowbirds
flee south from mountain suns
for sand and salt
as if paradise and peaks
are just not enough
dream for living.

Friday morning sun

Angling toward the valley, gaining speed,
then looking up to see the sun pierce blue dawn sky
and light the Flatirons
brings a smile to this face
after the cold and gray.

Big Sky

Big sky.
Starlings swirl and dart
to and fro
two and three times faster
than eye can follow
when there is only
one eye left to see.

Towering cumulus casts
its own unseen eye
down on
puny me
and dares me to reach out
with the one arm that is left,
then moves on laughing silently,
mockingly with the wind.

The hat blows from my head
and rolls on the brim through the grass
and down the hill into the river
and out of sight of the one left-behind eye.

I thought to give chase, but one leg walking
carries me only slowly. The sun burns
my face now and I raise my arm as a shield.

If only there had been a shield
when I needed one so far from home,
among strangers.

Passage 2

You changed us, slowly, certainly, suddenly.

Your familiar smoky breath was there, always,
and then, no more.

You were there, and then not,
and ever shall be, a world without you. Amen.

A moment spans then and now.

They are nothing alike,
those before the angels …
and the long ones after.

Dream 2

You are home and we are
just happy to see you.
No questions.

Even though you can’t be here,
either of you,
we ask no questions.

We pretend that you never left,
were never taken away from us.

We ask no questions
but marvel at the sight
and the sound of you.

I thought they were dead,
someone asks.

And then you are gone again
and I am awake and I long for sleep
and no more questions.

Just let me sleep awhile.

Just let me sleep.

Holy Road Trip

Iowa 80 truck stop, Iowa, USA.
Iowa 80 truck stop, Iowa, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apostles in the back seats
wonder where the road to glory leads when the gas runs dry.

Tell the driver stop at the
lake and turn water into fuel
for this big V-8 and
catch some fish
for dinner by the way.

Enough for eleven or twelve,
we may have lost one.

That’s what He would do
if He were here and now.

Put the beer back in the cooler, men,
and cork back up the wine
and hang on to your seats for
we go now to another time
when all roads lead to Detroit
and there is no speed limit.

Would that be heaven?

Judas talks to the trooper
back at the truck stop.
They just drove off without me, he says,
crying, but I know where they’re going.

I’ll point him out to you
when we get there. He’s
the one behind the wheel.

Published April 2003, Coffee Press Journal

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