‘December 8th, 1980’ – a poem by Danny Faragher

December 9, 2016 in Coping, Poetry, Reflections

December 8, 1980

your soul is
a beam of light
shooting across the universejohn-lennon

down here
we twist and writhe
in the straight jacket of our grief

will we?
can we ever
Imagine again?

Danny Faragher

‘The Devil and the Koch Brothers’ – a poem by Danny Faragher with artwork by Michael Cano

July 20, 2016 in Happenings, Of the World, Poetry, Thoughts

The Devil and the Koch Brothers

The Devil dined with the Brothers Koch.The Devil and the Koch Brothers
“Boys,” he said. “I like your style…
“You pull those strings behind a cloak
“And embrace the darkness with a smile.”

The Brothers drank the wine and dreamed
A dream of empires rich and vast.
And with their dinner guest they schemed
And gave a toast to oil and gas.

“The meal’s on me.” the Devil said.
“I’ll see you boys in the ‘by and by’.”
And there was scarcely a moment’s dread
Or thought of the camel and the needle’s eye


On the writing of this poem:

I composed this piece in 2011. At that time the Koch Brothers were still pretty much flying under the radar.
I was puzzled as to what motivated them. How much more does one need? I would think that with age a person
would grow more tolerant and philosophical.  After all you can’t take it with you. David and Charles Koch, however,  seem to have carried their  craving
for power and riches well into their final years. The Faustian scenario popped into my head.

I decided to write it as a rhyming ballad, using  the quick rhythm of say… Coleridge’s ‘Kublai Khan’.  The conversation is all on the Devil’s
part (the silver tongued gent). I enjoyed closing it out with a biblical reference.

On the artwork:

Michael and I have collaborated on a number of pieces. His visual illustration is always original and provocative.
I am particularly knocked out by the art here.  With just a few suggestions –  among them that I wanted the Devil to be attractive and
human- he took the ball and ran with it. The idea of the Kochs having hand puppet bodies is marvelous . Michael’s wife, Patsy Faragher (my sister)
provided the inspiration for the scorpion-tailed cornucopia and also shot the photo. I am proud to say this project has been a family affair.
May there be many more in the future.

Love and Harmony,
Danny Faragher

the dancer

June 8, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

2006_12-26__Long Hard Climb 134the dancer

out of breath and behind the beat,
pushing hard to make my way,
like a dancer looking at his feet
I often stumble through the day.

so unlike that ‘parallel me’ who
completes each task with style and verve,
and coolly knocks it out of the park
when life throws him a wicked curve.

but sometimes when I’m flat on my face,
feeling as though I can’t get through it,
the other guy turns to wave me on, saying
‘hey, man! c’mon, you can do it!’


Birthday Poem

May 15, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

Birthday Poem

Danny New Year Shot 206eyes open from a dream
Sunday morning
sleeping in.
a  lawnmower is humming

think I’ll stay put awhile
let my thoughts swirl
and meander where they will

I can hear the drumming
of tiny feet as squirrels
chase across the roof

today begins my
sixty-ninth year
(funny how the number
still evokes an
adolescent chuckle
or,  perhaps,
even a

oh god!
am I really that old?

a number is a
number is a
number. just an
arbitrary slice,
an artificial notch
on the wall

the world

through my second floor window
the sky hangs clear and blue
above the gabled rooftops

but peace is abruptly broken –
a crow flying from tree to
wire displaces and troubles

a pair of mourning doves.
his victory caw ricochtets
through the neighborhood

I laugh out loud

easy to forget
how good it feels
just to be alive

an urge compels me
to mark this moment.
to transform the
nonverbal into words
to turn water into wine

I close my eyes
and  slowly
let  the bucket
drop down
into  the

inspiration is a
touchy process. it
resists a needy mind

one must be coy,
feign indifference but be
ever at the ready…

ah, the payoff

suddenly, words begin
to flutter by like
butterflies on the wing

most of them will vanish down
the hole where my forgotten
passwords sleep

but I will  manage to
snatch a few

out of chaos
an image takes shape.

like  a torch lit pictograph
on a cavern wall
a poem begins to emerge

I must run down stairs
write it down
capture it,
nurture it
savor it

May 15, 2016

Photos by Charlotte Olivea McClain

‘Pacific Blue’ song lyrics

May 4, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Scrolling Back, Thoughts

Pacific Blue – From the Dancing with the Moment album

verse 1
Splash in the water head to toephotos to 6-20 090
Make it fast, don’t make it slow
It’s chilly and cool, now
But that’s okay

My little brother has no fear
Watch him swim way beyond the pier
Come back now.  What would Mamma say?

Pacific Blue
Oh, what a view!
Don’t it take your breath away?
Pacific Blue
With nothin’ to do
Messin’ ’round on a summer day

(verse 2)
On a blanket soakin’ up the sun
Drippin’ wet, havin’ fun
Watching the people passing by

Hear the music from the candy shack
The Coasters callin’ ‘Yakety Yak
Hey, pour some ketchup on those fries

Pacific Blue
Oh, what a view!
Don’t it take your breath away?
Pacific Blue
With nothin’ to do
Havin’ fun on a summer day

ooo… ah

Sneakin’ glances at the older girls
An wishing I was in their world
And my every word was really cool

Hear them laughin’ with the boys they meet
They look so fine they smell so sweet
But for now I’ll stay a dreamin’ fool

Pacific Blue…


About the writing of Pacific Blue

The song captures the memory of a summer day in 1958 when my brother, Jimmy, and I walked from our home in Long Beach  to the Belmont Shore Pier to spend the day at the beach. Although we went to the beach many times, this particular visit became imprinted in my mind. All my senses were heightened by the smell of the sea, the coolness of the water, the sound of rock and roll (Yes, Yakety Yak was playing), the aroma of french fries, and by the gorgeous Pacific extending its blue surface to the horizon. It also conjures up the dawn of sexual awakening in my preadolescence. I yearned to be around the shapely ‘older girls;, but was cool with staying put in boyhood for the time being.

Musically, it channels the West Coast harmony sound that we were a part of in the sixties (the Peppermint Trolley Company, Bones, the Faragher Brothers), but also melodically a bit of Sam Cooke and Sarah Vaughn. It features a jazzy chromatic harmonica solo in the bridge.

Love and Harmony
Danny Faragher

Photo by Jeanne Harriott

‘Sanity’ – a poem by Danny Faragher with artwork by Michael Cano

April 20, 2016 in Coping, Happenings, Poetry, Thoughts


the shattered glass reflectsSanityPic
a thousand images

where lies reality?

the ordered world breaks down
into a random spray of neurons

matter over mind
free radical chaos

sanity is a dangling rope
reach out, grab it and
hold on for dear life

Sweet Persuasion – a poem by Danny Faragher, artwork by Michael Cano

April 15, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts

Sweet Persuasion

sometimes on a sleepless nightelusive muse
the elusive muse appears before me
and with seductive charm implores me
in sweet persuasion I can’t fight

she reaches out to extend the touch
of fingertips beneath my chin
and gently lifts my gaze to hers
to command with whisper – ‘Write!’


Invisibility – A poem by Danny Faragher with artwork by Michael Cano

April 4, 2016 in Coping, Happenings, Poetry, Thoughts


they call them the ‘wee’ hours,
but when enveloped in their dark cover
one breathes the severed solitude of  the ‘I’
the bed creaks under my rustle and turn

a dog barks in the neighborhood,
sharp spears of sound  pierce the night.
do keen ears detect an intruder?
perhaps he fears invisibility,
dreads disappearing into the inky gloom
and is announcing to the universe
a confirmation of his existence –
‘I bark therefore I am’

I fight the urge to open the window
stick out my head and
join my canine friend in primal cry


– See more at: http://www.dannyfaragher.com/category/poetry/coping-poetry/#sthash.5Da20uY0.dpuf


Lady Death – a poem by Danny Faragher, artwork by Michael Cano

March 20, 2016 in Coping, Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Thoughts, Uncategorized

lady death is always thereLady Death_pic
she rides in the shotgun seat
we are fellow travelers

though my gaze is fixed on the road
and our eyes have never met
her figure looms in my periphery

between us there is an awkward silence
how does one break the ice?
can’t chat about the weather with death
(man, talk about an elephant in the room)
the white lines are racing by
but with my companion
there is no closure
no shedding of light

sometimes, though,
out of nowhere
she purses her lips
and whistles a
haunting tune – the
melody strange,
but, oddly,

Manassas Battlefield – a poem

January 17, 2016 in Happenings, Poetry, Reflections, Scrolling Back, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Manassas Battlefield


Photo by Bryan Faragher

a forest,
turning red and gold,
keeps solemn watch
in the chill October air

the last vestiges of daylight
begin their retreat from the
rolling field below

high above,
the agitated sky
swirls and tumbles in a
boiling mix of blue and gray

a  row of cannons,
perched on the high ground,
is melting into the dark.
the bronze barrels that once
belched point-blank horror
into a sea of humanity
are now mute
cold to the touch

beneath a green turf
the ground slumbers
but it is the sleep
of the traumatized
the fitful sleep
of the wounded

I  tread softly

on a hot summer day
a century and a half ago
this was the most violent
spot on the planet

under clouds of acrid smoke
young men in itchy wool
clutched their weapons
and marched into this
field… this
valley of death
in the opening act of a
national tragedy

I ponder…

the wound still festers
the divide still stands
the promise of a
‘new birth of freedom’
still a work in progress

I see figures in the distance

beyond the edge of grass
standing in the knee-high straw
an African-American bride and
groom are exchanging vows
she in white dress
he in black tux

the pastor pauses,
closes his book
and looks up
to nod and smile

the man and woman turn
to face one another
and falling into
each other’s arms
they embrace
and plant
a loving