There’s too much rain in Seattle,
too much snow in Maine,
tornados in Kansas scare me,
earthquakes in California, same.

There’s too much unrest in Turkey,
I don’t speak the language in Spain,
Venezuela’s economy has flatlined,
American leader’s insane.

I am the tree in the desert,
untethered, roots withered away,
restless to find my next garden,
where I’ll grow whole and green again.

Rained Out


The carnival has come to town
to sit out a solid week
of cold spring rain.

The tilt-a-whirl is silent,
the Ferris wheel doesn’t spin.
Roustabouts huddle beneath an awning,
smoking cigarettes, spitting on the ground
between curses hurled at the rain.

The colored lights flash overhead,
but they aren’t drawing in the crowds.
Time to pull up stakes and head out
to another strip mall parking lot,
somewhere south of this two-bit town.

© 2015 DM Shepherd

What if we were the refugees?

What if the sky were never blue again?
What if the sun failed to shine above?
What if all we know and love
were to vanish, as vapor into air?

So much is taken for granted
when life is easy and sweet,
but what if we were the refugees,
unwanted, mistrusted, displaced?

Reality is such a fragile thing,
shattered in a moment to waste,
by nature, by war, or unlucky fate,
held together only by grace.

When you sit snug and warm,
sheltered, with plenty to eat,
keep compassion in your heart,
for those left homeless, unsafe.


Somewhere, wrapped deep below
many layers of muck and mire,
lies a kernel that longs to sprout,
shoot up out of the earth,
reaching for the sun, bearing fruit.

Yet so many forces hold it captive.
Cold of winter, lack of rain,
being told, time and again,
you can’t, don’t try, too small,
too weak, too young, too old.

Still that small, hidden seed
vibrates with desire to germinate,
to create something more than what it is.
Then finally it finds release,
as it spills from the tip of my pen.

In the Firelight

We sat by the blazing hearth,
roasting toes back from frozen to pink,
and fingertips from numb to sensing.

Glowing light flickered across your face,
dark eyes sparkling in reply.

Though a cruel and heartless season,
winter does have this saving grace,
to sit with you before the fire.