top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Patrick Starling

Man... Look at these hands.

They could swing a fifth of rum

Like a sledge hammer, or

Rest in silent prayer.

Or hold a child.

Or break a nose.

A stare.

These hands could help

A boy become a man, or

Crack open one more can.

They could hold a cigarette , or

Carve a handle out of thin gray air.

They could write a poem, and

Try to make things square.

  • Writer's pictureJohn Patrick Starling

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

It seems like a million years

Since I picked out a good stone...

Lost a shoe in the mud,

looking for a flat craft that skip

To the far bank, and ripple

Water like rock fish at first light.

Good stones are hard to find in town -

Good for busting windows, breaking into shops

Cracking heads, or throwing at cops...

Good stones are hard to find,

And I found mine.

~John Patrick Starling

  • Writer's pictureJohn Patrick Starling

Pitching to a chalk-drawn red brick strike zone,

Nodding to the basement window squatting, and

Sending me signals from behind its black face guard

Check the runner leading off from the neighbor's pine

Breath the fresh cut grass, hiding my grip behind my thigh

Squint for the Sun, and whip my curveball, sidearm ~ screaming


Off the catcher's mask and hose bib

Bad hop into the damp and darkened cellarway...

Fifth inning. I'm winning. Game over.

~John Patrick Starling

bottom of page