This is the literary weblog of Jeffrey W. Hull, M.D., a pediatrician. It is intended mainly as a place to maintain a collection of poetry created for the enjoyment of a few friends and as an archive for my family. All material is protected by US copyright.

Jeffrey Hull

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I’m just your stage door Johnny,
Another decked out swell;
My clothes are flash, I'm scrawny:
I'm just a burned out shell.

Show me that nuance, baby,
Give me that winsome smile;
Blow me a kiss and maybe
I'll hang around a while.

You know my camera loves you,
The f-stop of my eye
Records what fortune shoves you;
This Nikon cannot lie.

Here comes that Broadway feeling
I've had so many times;
My cheap burlesque reheeling
Old jokes and pantomimes.

That good old Broadway feeling,
The curtain's going up;
They laugh to watch me reeling
To drink my bitter cup.

I'll pack my bags for Splitsville
And forward all my mail;
These worn out shticks and bits will
Just slide on down the trail.

That same sad Broadway feeling
As sure as sure can be
Tells me you're double-dealing:
Our time is history.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull A significant edit of the original - not posted heretofor.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I marveled at the birds' design,
   At feathers dull or bright;
And wondered at their soaring grace,
   The tips and wheels of flight.

Then walking one fine day a bold
   Idea came to me:
I made a sparrow with my hands
   And then I set it free.

My small creation fled with joy
   Away upon its skies
But now that made with such great care
   I hardly recognize.

So now I watch and wonder yet
   Just how it came to be:
I made a sparrow with my hands
   And then I set it free.

© 2011 Jeffrey Hull

Saturday, July 31, 2010


i79 morning, July, 2010
i79 morning, West Virginia © 2010 Rick Lee

I had a talk a while ago
   With Immortality;
Surprised was I at his display
   Of interest in me.

I'd spent some time with his dear friend
   The droll Infirmity,
Who shared with me some cheery tales
   While chatting over tea.

Now once I thought an endless life
   Meant blessed eternity
But these old fellows seemed to hint
   An endless misery.

Still others visited my hours
   With infelicity,
But none could match the icy stare
   Of mute Infinity:

That gloomy countenance conveyed
   A chill civility
That cast a shadow black as night
   Upon my reverie.

His eyes, void, zeroes, dead as stone,
   Bereft of sympathy
Peered forth as from the blackest night
   With bleak severity.

And leaving, ere he closed the door
   His thought came plain to me:
"It's only in the moving on
   That souls find liberty.

"What e'er awaits those on this plane
   Defies discovery
Of what lies next for all those souls
   That travel on with me."

© 2010 Jeffrey Hull

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Spring snow on branches, 2010
Spring snow on branches © 2010 Nina Camic

Forty years a zombie,
   Forty years undead;
Forty years these hungry
   Worms inside my head.

Ghouls of recollection,
   Iron in their claws:
Why does love abandon,
   Not confiding cause?

Those who choose departure
   Should heart's passion die:
Might you spare a moment -
   Pray just mention why?

©2010 Jeffrey Hull

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Misty morning, 2009
Misty morning, West Virginia © 2009 Rick Lee

When the diamond points shine coldest,
   Midnight's staircase all bestrewn,
Let thy beating heart be boldest
   'Neath the levitating moon:

Cast thy bread upon the waters,
   Sow thy seed on fertile ground—
Shun all shaky-handed potters,
   Bleary captains run aground;

Tarry long by those that love thee,
   Guzzle deep the wine of Life;
Peer beyond the stars above thee
   Past the tears and toil and strife.

Of such joys will nights apprise thee—
   Mossy dreams worn smooth by years:
Blessed be the Blood that buys thee,
   Balm to all thy shame and fears.

©2009 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Rising of the Moon

Moon rising
Moon over America © 2008 Rick Lee

My ship is taking water
   As I hurry out to sea
To flirt with Neptune's daughter
   Or his daughter flirt with me

While bright eyed dancing sailors
   On their pennywhistles play
Of sailing ships and whalers
   At the dark'ning of the day.

It's a jolly bit of boating
   If the sailors sing in tune,
And keep this vessel floating
   'Til the rising of the moon.

      The rising of the moon, my boys,
      The rising of the moon—
      We'll keep this vessel floating
      'Til the rising of the moon.

I've charted no returning
   And this port I'll hail no more,
I seek the fires burning
   On some distant fragrant shore.

And as I track the ocean
   Shine the stars that midnight pave
Above the soft commotion
   Of the phosphorescent wave.

With sails and shrouds a-singing
   I look forward to commune
With friends whose souls are winging
   At the rising of the Moon.

      The rising of the moon, my boys,
      The rising of the moon—
      With friends whose souls are winging
      At the rising of the moon.

And when that moon has risen
   We will raise our glasses high,
Our bodies no more prison
   And our souls released to fly

Where meadows dance with flowers
   Where sweet honey fills the comb
Where nectar rains in showers
   Where our joyous spirits roam.

Let all our pain and sorrow
   On those golden sands be strewn
And washed away tomorrow
   With the rising of the moon.

      The rising of the moon, my friends,
      The rising of the moon—
      And washed away tomorrow
      With the rising of the moon.

©2008 Jeffrey Hull

NOTE: This may also be (and probably ought to be) sung to the tune of an Irish rebellion song, By the Rising of the Moon, words by John Keegan Casey. The melody for Rising was also was used for a more recent insurrectionist song, The Wearing of the Green. The original melody was written by the famous itinerant harper Turlough O'Carolan.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Looking down above the city,
   Bustling proles and hoi polloi,
Faded collars hot and gritty—
   Stands the super paperboy.

Never was some stupid yokel,
   No, the man who says what is;
Cosmopolitan, yet local—
   Wasn't he the big news whiz?

Not some product of the play-schools
   Of more ordinary men,
Topped his class at A-grade J-schools—
   Saved the world with mighty pen!

Fantasized of fame and prizes,
   Wrote his novel on the side;
One too many compromises
   Gently greased his downward slide.

Long he views the surly skyline,
   Every dream so long gone bust;
Hacking out his dreary byline
   All he sees is grime and rust.

© 2008 Jeffrey Hull

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I framed a face of patience
   'Til patience was my name;
Though bathed in good opinion
   Impatient just the same.

I took the hue of honor
   And dyed a princely gown
To wear while out parading
   My fraudulent renown.

I mimed a touch of kindness
   As if it were my own,
Yet crouched in shame behind my
   Dissembling heart of stone.

Then cried my twisted spirit,
   Then moaned my black, black heart:
I yearned to love within me,
   Not pantomime the part.

And in a blessed moment
   A fair grace murmured low
An all-forgiving whisper
   As soft as falling snow.

Thus bare of all pretension,
   My armor stripped away,
I wept for my salvation
   And bowed my head to pray.

©2008 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Great Love

Mount Everest at dawn - unimpressed by temporal travails below
© 2007 Abrahm Lustgarten

I gave my true love all I owned
   And all that I could borrow;
A fool's investment, soon bemoaned—
   It bought me only sorrow.

I bargained with a silent sky
   To turn her heart toward me;
The sky, like I, began to cry—
   But tiring, soon ignored me.

I pled my case before the sea,
   Which he found unimpressive;
His waves replied dismissively
   I seemed a bit obsessive.

I begged the mountains intervene
   To somehow sway my lover;
The frosty-topped were less than keen
   To help my heart recover.

At last I begged the laughing breeze
   To help her heartsick brother—
She giggled, racing through the trees,
   "Why, go and find another!"

©2008 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 30, 2008


Sunset over Ithaka, island home of Odysseus

So hereby my Homeric tale:
   I set my foot along the path
Bereft of horse and shoe and nail;
   Inciting neither joy nor wrath
Of lofty gods, my ship set sail.

And venture far I did in time
   By sea and land and mountain pass,
In scalding heat or winter clime,
   By desert dune or high crevasse—
A windswept wand'rer's paradigm.

To fabled Ithaka and back
   With canvas set my oarsmen rowed
The island of the wise to sack,
   As passing years like water flowed
Beneath the keel's soft hissing track.

But then at last the field and grove
   Of distant shore before me lay,
That land for which so long I strove
   Through trackless sand and crashing spray,
To loot and plunder wisdom's trove.

There sat an ancient in his hut:
   "Your journey was the prize you sought,"
He smiled, and I could not rebut.
   "No greater treasure can be bought,"
And with a laugh, his door he shut.

© 2008 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 02, 2008


© 2008 Nina Camic All rights reserved.

When all the leaves have fallen,
   And all the suns have set,
When bee is done with pollen,
   And fisher shuns his net,

When stars take off their twinkle,
   And breezes tire to blow,
When age runs out of wrinkle,
   And winter pines for snow–

Just where the blue is nearest,
   And stretch the heavens wide,
I'll wait for you, my dearest,
   With mossy time to bide.

© 2008 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Light Brigade

Charge of the Light Brigade, Balaclava, Crimea, October 25, 1854.

Beyond the realm of light and sound,
Beneath some weedy leaf-strewn ground,
The gallants of the bold brigade
Who charged the guns now rest in shade
While on some shelf a book decays
That sings of how the the blacks and bays
By war's confusion and mischance
Rushed headlong forward, flag and lance.
Some say the dead in glory lie
Beneath some bright admiring sky
But who can name one bold hussar
Who charged the cannons of the czar?
Huzzah, huzzah! the Light Brigade!
Huzzah! the reckless dash they made!
But like their charge, their lives meant nought:
Not ground nor immortality was bought.
Forgotten now the sparkling sight
Of sabers in the morning light;
Forgotten, too, their dying groans—
The weight of time has crushed their bones.

©2008 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, February 01, 2008


Northern mockingbird. Wikipedia Commons

A cheery song I lately heard
   That floated from a fence whereon
In rebel gray, a friend averred
   That I should rise to greet the dawn

That poked its head above the verge
   And splashed the clouds with hopeful red
Where moon and sunlight daily merge—
   But I in sickness stayed abed.

Some intuition gently stirred,
   I bid the curtains open drawn;
I know now what the mockingbird
   Will lilt aloft when I am gone.

© 2008 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, January 04, 2008


© 2007 Nina Camic All rights reserved.

Abroad, above, below, behind,
   Revealed full plain to see:
The truth unwinds to those not blind
   To man's iniquity.

The moon must monthly hide her face
   Above this sorry show;
And stars endure with chilly grace
   What prospers here below.

The lamps beneath the bushels hide
   To flicker there unseen;
Dishonest men in pride abide
   And all that's true demean.

The foolish mill about in herds
   With slouch and downcast eye;
The stones cry out for honest words,
   Yet dares no voice reply.

The wicked now their gain compute
   While others but bewail;
If good men keep their counsel mute,
   Then evil will prevail.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, November 09, 2007


Marko Rämö,

I am a lonely pilgrim,
   A pilgrim's lot I share,
To wander through this valley
    And often taste despair;
To miss some rocky foothold
   And stumble from the way,
Or lose the track in darkness
   When night has swallowed day.

I heard a fair voice calling
   From far the other side
Across a quiet river
   That ran both deep and wide;
It beckoned me, or warned me—
   My ears could scarcely tell—
Sang soft some voice of heaven,
   Or growled some fiend of hell?

Thus in a failing twilight
   I stood upon the bank
And bled out my resistance
   As fear my courage drank.
Then whispered low my Master,
   His voice devoid of wrath;
With grasp as soft as morning
   He set me on the path.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ebb Tide

Seaside, Monterey, California 2006Seaside, Monterey, California 2006 © 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Beneath the patient starry sky
   And mountains of the moon
As quiet as a mother's sigh
   A tide will come, and soon;

To fetch that due from debts accrued
   Or laid to our accounts
The twists of fate will be unscrewed,
   And reckoned all amounts.

When sweeps that foam across the bar
   To whisper low our names
It beckons come just as we are
   And voids all other claims.

©2007 Jeffrey Hull

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Smith of the gods
Hephaestus, smith of the gods

I summon you, oh great immortal smith,
   Hephaestus, ancient master of the steel:
From days of fading legend and of myth
   Again let hammer ring and anvil peal!

Call forth those fearsome fires of storied fame
   To smelt the stones about your smoky deep
Then pour your magic ingots from the flame
   Hid deep within your sacred mountain keep.

Now stir the blazing coals, and fan them white,
   Your brooding visage dark, as cinders fly,
And leaping sparks give off their eerie light
   That casts the hammer shadows arcing high.

And forge for me such armor as your hands
   For star-crossed bold Achilles did supply:
A shield of gleaming bronze with iron bands,
   With magic plate to shield him breast and thigh.

Then beat from sparking steel a blade right keen,
   In dreaded dragon's blood full tempered then,
Such fearsome sword as mortals have not seen,
   A flashing brand of gods, and not of men.

For blood of mine has answered country's call—
   Far-voyaging men war's dangers cannot shun.
Use all your godly crafts, may he not fall;
   A mortal father asks this for his son.

© 2004 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, September 14, 2007


Sky, bird 2007
Storm clouds and bird © 2007 Rick Lee

When I was shut-in and abed
   An angel came to me;
She fluffed the pillow 'neath my head
   And brought a cup of tea.

Her cool hand lay upon my own
   And straight my fears were gone;
The softest light about her shone,
   Like mountaintops at dawn,

And louder than her voice to me
   The hissing of the foam
Of waves upon a quiet sea
   That sings the boatmen home.

And when my heart surrendered to
   Despair, as sick men will,
That whisper would my strength renew
   And bid my soul be still.

She sat with me by night and day
   So long ago it seems;
But still she listens when I pray
   And visits in my dreams.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, August 24, 2007

Don Juan DeMarco

Night sky, 2007Night sky, West Virginia © 2007 Rick Lee

"There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio:

   What is sacred?
   Of what is the spirit made?
   What is worth living for?
   What is worth dying for?
   The answer to each is the same: only love."

Life's compass rose has four points true,
   Four questions that distill
The breath that animates our lives,
   The breeze that sails our will.

What sacred oil illuminates
   The darkness here below?
What blessed unguent balms our wounds
   And wipes the debts we owe?

What makes men conquer fear and doubt
   And rise to face the day,
When all life's joys must disappear,
   Like dry leaves blown away?

How is it that a man can choose
   To risk his blood and breath,
To fight for where his heart abides
   Perhaps to seal his death?

The answer constant, simple, true,
   Without, within, above—
As say the many, live the few,
   The only word is: love.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, August 03, 2007


The monkey clans assembled
   Each turning of the moon,
And how the jungle trembled
   From midnight to the noon!

They screeched and howled and hooted,
   Ignored no hinted slight,
As loudly they disputed
   Each noble monkey's right.

They held a grand election,
   A leafy crown to bring
With bows and genuflection
   To coronate their king.

Surrounded by his flunkies
   And chosen by acclaim,
The king of all the monkeys
   Was monkey just the same.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 27, 2007

Isaiah 52:7

Misty trees, West Virginia 2007
Misty trees, West Virginia © 2007 Rick Lee

What lamp proclaims this light
   That ushers heaven's peace?
Whose tidings in the night
   Proclaim the world's release?

What messenger reveals
   What heaven thus ordains:
That blood salvation seals
   And God in Zion reigns?

And from His mercy seat
   Our sins He will excuse–
How beautiful the feet
   Of those who bring good news.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, June 29, 2007

Confederate Cemetery

Confederate graves
Confederate graves, Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois, 2006.
Robert Lawton. Creative Commons license.

By rank and file the stones parade
   In springtime warm or winter deep;
Entrenched in final defilade,
    In easy peace the soldiers sleep.

On muggy August afternoons
   No lads march by in dusty lines,
Nor ring those jaunty caisson tunes
   Past groves of aromatic pines.

Those rebel boys who took up war
   And joked and jibed what such portends
Got what - or more than - bargained for
   And lie in silence with their friends.

The last of fading evening's bees
   Buzz quiet Taps as home they go;
Sweet honeysuckle perfumed breeze
   No longer interests those below.

© Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 25, 2007

La Petite Fille de la Mer

A Mermaid, John William Waterhouse, 1901

Azure, azure wave and sky,
   Prancing pearls of spray;
Diamond laugh and emerald eye
   Beckoned me to stay.

Flowing, flowing flaxen locks,
   Skin unholy white–
Flashing scales among the rocks,
   Giggling water sprite.

"Tarry, tarry," sang the maid,
   "Bide by me a while–
Just to watch the sunlight fade,"
   Smiling in her guile.

Never, never, nevermore
   May I leave the sea;
'Tween the ocean and the shore
   She enchanted me.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, May 11, 2007



Above, a playful ocean
   Mocks cumuli below–
In busy shuttling motion
   The trails weave to and fro;

My eye hangs high suspended
   Beneath a thread of air,
To view the world upended
   As from an angel's chair.

How like the air's frail shimmer
   Is time: how soon the past
Retreats; now fading dimmer,
   It slips beyond my grasp.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, April 27, 2007

Little Ship

little ship
The Brig, Gustave Le Gray, 1856

Red cloud horizons, the sailors' forewarning–
My little ship swims on waves of the morning,
Jostled and harried by storm seas upswelling,
Bound for what land there can be no foretelling.

Eye on the Star for my trip's navigation:
Love is the compass of soul's obligation.
South of rejoicing and north of bereavement,
West of endeavor and east of achievement.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, April 13, 2007


Perigord Noir
Fog over the Périgord Noir, Dordogne valley, France
© 2007 Nina Camic All rights reserved.

Though nowadays it's rare to see
A sea that calms for deity,
Or crowds that sate their hungry wish
By sharing just a loaf and fish–
Now told in the vernacular
Are wonders less spectacular,
As now His miracles are wrought
On those whose hearts His blood has bought.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, March 23, 2007

Moby Dick

The white whale

The great white whale beholds the sail
   That means to work him woe,
And plumes the breeze of southern seas
   Where Bedford whalers go.

The lookouts shout, the crew turns out,
   The longboats pull away;
With rope and lance and half a chance
   They'll kill the beast this day.

The captain's eye regards the sky:
   The gulls now tell the tale–
Their raucous cries the calm belies
   Where sounds the great white whale.

He rises now and at the bow
   Harpoons gleam sharp and long;
Then there's the throw! and off they go–
   The rope sings out its song.

The salt spray flies and stings the eyes;
   In headlong buck and leap
The whaleboats dance and dip and prance
   Like sprites across the deep.

Then all is still and with a thrill
   The crews gasp at his rise:
Leviathan now turns on man
   His black and baleful eyes.

They watch in awe his toothy maw
   Gape terrible and wide;
As if in dreams the sailors' screams
   The only sound provide.

He sounds again and flukes descend
   To crush the men and boats
Upon the swell the splinters tell
   Where one lone seaman floats.

And down below the bilge planks show
   The whale has come to call:
A crash! The din! The water in!
   He means to kill them all.

The ship sinks fast until at last
   The masts slip out of sight,
And on the waves but one man raves
   Upon his float that night.

The story's old and often told,
   But mark this hoary tale–
And learn the rule: that man's a fool
   Who seeks his own white whale.

The wise man learns, where hatred burns
   But naught of good can come;
Obsession's cost is ever lost
   When God totes up the sum.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, March 02, 2007


Baby feet

© 2009 Rick Lee

How tiny then those feet that she caressed
When Mary put the Christ child to her breast,
And cradled in her loving mother's arms
The form of God on earth made manifest.

And surely Joseph took a father's pride
As toddling steps became a surer stride
And boy about the temple grew to man,
Whose feet would take Him whither, what betide?

Along the winding roads of Galilee
His sandals bore a dusty ministry
Down trail and track to bring the blessed news:
Fulfillment of the ancient prophecy.

When Jesus sat with Pharisees at meat
A quiet weeping sinner washed those feet
With tears of shame, and dried them with her hair;
Her faith had earned forgiveness made complete.

At last His feet received the brutal spike,
The sinners' and the Saviour's fate alike;
The taunting soldiers gambled for His clothes
And pierced His broken body with a pike.

And now at home in glory sits the Lamb
Upon His throne beside the great I Am;
There falling at those feet all Heaven's host
And all the prophets back to Abraham.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Dedicated to Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto

Friday, February 16, 2007


© 2007 Nina Camic All rights reserved.

Were there a place where dreams were real
   And wish need not be spoken
But merely willed, and thus fulfilled:
   No dreamer's spirit broken.

Were there that place for all to find
   In nightly sleep, or waking,
Not guilt nor shame nor hurt nor blame,
   But misspent time's remaking.

Were there a place where reverie,
   Reality beguiling,
Could past erase and in its place
   Leave hearts to reconciling.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Saturday, February 03, 2007


© 2007 Nina Camic All rights reserved.

The bones of the ancestors hither and yon
With patience await a particular dawn
When dressed in new raiment of flesh on their frames
Will rise from their graves to remember their names.
And what will they find in such terrible hours?
No fish in the waters, nor birds in the bowers;
Before the Son comes to spread peace in his path
He'll summon from heaven a War-God of wrath.

The green seas will boil, and pale skies glow red
As trumpets of archangels, rousing the dead,
Awaken their souls and their bodies as well
To march in the armies of heaven and hell.
And curious what the commotion's about,
The new resurrected will rise up and shout;
The main of them bound for the blackest abyss,
Except for such few as are fated for bliss.

But now in their homes the dead peacefully sleep
Beneath some green hillside, or cast in the deep,
With sad weathered headstones close marshalled in rows,
Or graved in old meadows, where grass only knows.
Awaiting their day of rebuke or reward,
When Day of all Days brings the Lamb with His sword,
Now all that remains of the worst and the best,
The bones pass the ages content in their rest.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, January 12, 2007


Sunrise over the Kanawha © 2006 Rick Lee All rights reserved

Age is heaped upon the old
   Like beauty on the fair;
Wisdom's lavished on the wise
   As fools no folly spare.

Old men need not to be told
   How cruel is master Time;
Young men stop their stubborn ears
   And will not heed his chime.

Profligately burning hours
   Like leaves on autumn lawns,
Callow Youth with ears of scorn
   Half hears the truth–and yawns.

Time will teach but soon how fleet
   He runs from day to day;
Soon enough the race is called
   And light has slipped away.

Age just shakes his snowy head
   Whose years have come and gone;
Count them wise who find their joy
   To greet another dawn.

© 2007 Jeffrey Hull

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Rays © 2006 Rick Lee All rights reserved

A little town, not long ago–
In cosmic terms, a day or so–
Admittedly a humble place
To usher in a Savior's grace;
A dusty bend along the track
That ran to Hebron, out and back.
A common birth, a poor boy's lot,
Like millions more long since forgot:
A baby slept with kid and lamb
And crowned the line of Abraham.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, December 15, 2006


December Evening Sky © 2006 Rick Lee All rights reserved

Grendel! Now there was a troll's troll! That beast
   Came silent as the summer dew, like mist,
Vile arms strangling lookouts 'til struggle ceased,
   While Hrothgar's beer-hall fire cracked and hissed,

The drunken Danes snored soundly and deep dozed,
   Dreaming scenes of Asgard, or the great hall
Valhalla. The ruthless fiend crept and nosed
   Out a weakness, burst through the wooden wall

To fall upon the king’s men unaware,
   Slaughtering the sleepers without a sound,
Heads ripped from bloody necks, a ghastly tear,
   Crushed Dane skulls and limp bodies in a mound.

The grim monster with hate filled eyes of fire
   Brought doom from which no sentinel could guard–
No unarmed man or woman felt his ire,
   His burning hate and quarrel from them barred–

But full in fury fell on those at arms,
   The thanes of Hrothgar, king of all the Danes;
Deflected not by sorcery nor charms
   Such incandescent hate that never wanes

But brightly lights the ages, 'til its ground
   Dissolves in misty time, where sleep the souls
In bliss or torment, dead to sight and sound:
   Cruel Grendel–there was the troll of trolls.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Dying King

I leave now my possessions,
   The ship my spirit sailed,
And likewise last confessions
   Boxed up and tightly nailed.

My name and deeds forgotten,
   Nor carved on any stone–
My house, its timbers rotten;
   I live here quite alone.

No vessels proud await me,
   No far off perfumed land–
No more can time frustrate me:
   My glass is out of sand.

My guards have all deserted,
   Alone I pace the walls;
Commands I once asserted
   Now echo empty halls.

My food is recollection
   Of dreams that long since died;
I drink with sad reflection
   This bitter cup of pride.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Janet

Crazy Black Janet danced wild ‘round the square
Raven locks flowing with stars in her hair–
Never seen tearful, nor ever seen sad,
Everyone thought that Black Janet was mad

Twirling to tunes that the nightingales sing,
Calling their lovers aloft on the wing–
Danced in the summer and danced in the snow,
Never had married, nor taken a beau.

Lindsay the Piper long pined for his love,
Face of an angel and eyes of a dove–
Piped his beloved a low wistful tune,
Piping at midnight beneath each new moon.

Black Janet danced as the piper grew old,
Danced 'til the day when the piper grew cold–
There in the graveyard where secrets are kept,
Crazy Black Janet was still, and she wept.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, October 13, 2006


Title placard, Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927

The crystal city spreads before my gaze
Its glass-clad spires above the summer haze;
They rise as if to clutch the crisscrossed sky
Where contrails weave a lofty tapestry
Depicting endless motion to and fro–
The pinnacles of pointless come and go.
And there below, the glinting cars parade
In grand battalions by an esplanade
That limns a shore, and farther still, a bay
With heeling sailboats charging through the spray,
Careening on, a salty cavalry
Like knights of some aquatic chivalry
All jousting 'round a foam-flecked azure field,
Each sprit a lance, each sail a blazoned shield.

Scene, Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927

Along the asphalt boulevards and streets
The blaring autos march, and none retreats
As phalanx meeting phalanx at each cross
Must have its futile way, or count it loss.
And now the dipping sun calls out the hordes
Who vainly seek ephemeral rewards,
To bee-like buzz about the corporate hives
And trade their light for simulated lives.
Disgorging by the squad and by platoon
They spill into the fading afternoon
Abandoning the towers' glass and chrome
To squander precious hours driving home.

Scene, Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927

Now night unfolds her blanket; stars appear
But pale against the city's atmosphere
Of glowing buildings, every window lit
And every street ablaze, as would befit
Triumphal dramas of a bygone age,
Now recreated on the present stage.
The snaking lights along each motorway
Press through the night until the breaking day
Burns off the morning fog and calls again
The myriads of stoic businessmen
Who stream into the towers to resume
The jobs that bite by bite their lives consume.

New Tower of Babel, Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927

This vision now unfolds so stark before
My dreamlit eyes, as opening, a door
Reveals forbidden glimpses: first a thrill
To snatch away the breath–and then a chill.
For now the city's secret will be told,
That palls the scene and leaves the marrow cold.
The inner eye of thought now peels the skin,
Revealing what lies sinister within
The glitter of the chromium and steel:
A modern monster hungry for its meal,
Behind the mirrored walls of glass concealed–
Now in the half light of my spell revealed.
And there I see the city: a machine
That grinds down dreams of men by dull routine:
From industry to greed, and love to lust,
Until at last their souls are crushed to dust.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, October 06, 2006


© 2009 Nina Camic All rights reserved.

The blackbirds have decided
   To mosey south again,
So lately I'm derided
   By slacker journeymen.

The raucous undertakers
   Sit perched upon their limbs,
Fluff up their black windbreakers
   And screech their birdbrained hymns.

They jostle in the morning
   And trade their empty threats,
Squawk one another warning
   And flash their epaulets.

I leave them to their chatter
   And hurry on my way;
As noisily they scatter,
   I'm off to meet the day.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, September 29, 2006


I stare at these four trailer walls
Where fame and fortune leave no calls
And wonder what made her decide
To leave our cozy single-wide.

What blandishments of here and now
Could nullify her marriage vow
To stick around through thin and thick,
Or rich or poor, or well or sick?

Just who enticed my erstwhile wife,
And promised her some better life?
Does sordid drama somehow seem
Fulfillment of a housewife's dream?

Good luck to her as off she goes;
She's packed her bags with more than clothes.
Though blame is mine, I think she'll see
When she arrives, well, there she'll be.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sunday Morning

© 2006 Rick Lee All rights reserved

Jemimahs on the griddle,
   Fat bacon in the pan;
No Sunday morning riddle–
   That's how please a man.

As fog burns off the hollow
   The moon goes off to bed,
And sleepy stars soon follow,
   Far ridgelines blushing red.

A moment quickly fleeting
   To drink the breaking light,
Then wash and off to meeting,
   And singing time tonight.

The Sabbath chores are calling,
   Won't wait another cup;
I'll have to quit my stalling
   And hitch the horses up.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, September 08, 2006


© 2006 Rick Lee All rights reserved.

Red light in the window, blue light by the door–
Old humiliations on the killing floor.
Hundred pounds of heartache, ounce of cheap perfume:
Dragged his resignation up to see her room.
After, there were mumbles; silent he arose,
Stripped of expectation, sorted out his clothes–
Rust around the drain plug, stains on dingy tiles–
Flickering fluorescents, lines that mark the miles.
Time to flee the morning, time to have a beer–
Warding off reflection how he wound up here.
Red light in the window, blue light in her eyes:
Hope has not forsaken–it's just in disguise.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, September 01, 2006

State of the Art

Manager, Maxfield Parrish

He's more flesh than spirit,
   He's more weak than strong;
Truth–he will not hear it,
   He's less right than wrong.

Sadder than he's wiser,
   He's more old than young;
Sleepless early riser,
   His songs die unsung.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, August 25, 2006

Let's Go Dancing

© 2006 Rick Lee

Like birds on the wing, like the waves on the sea,
We'll swirl with abandon, my love, we'll be free–
Stairstepping aloft on the beat and the tune
To skip 'cross the sky, while that stuffy old moon
May frown his reproaches as much as he might:
The stars shine for lovers, the heavens' delight.

And when the sun's eyebrow peeks out from his bed,
Our dancefloor of clouds all a-kindled with red,
Why, homeward we'll whirl for a last glass of wine,
And blow out the candles, then your hand in mine
We’ll soar once again in our dreams of the time
Together we swayed, our own soiree sublime.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Priority of Sense

© 2006 Rick Lee. All rights reserved.

Did God construct the wing to please the eye,
Or frame the globe to love the butterfly?
Did He allow the vision of a cloud
To tantalize how heaven is endowed?

Did thunder or the keening of the wind
Precede the time when Adam's clan had sinned?
Then did the Maker give His sons the choice
To heed or not their gentle Father's voice?

And fragrances that waft upon the breeze–
Beflowered meadows, heavy laden trees
With sun-kissed fruit's intoxicating spell:
Were they here, too, before our sense of smell?

Did He fill up the sea with briny salt
To taunt the tongue and thus His work exalt,
Then did He grant His children sense of taste
To savor foods with which His world is graced?

The brush of lover's lip, or gentle hand:
Did these precede or follow God's command?
Does all the world around us thus confess
His presence in a mother's tenderness?

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, August 11, 2006

Anybody? Anybody?

Unicoi State Park, Helen Georgia. © 2006 Rick Lee. All rights reserved.

Has anybody spied the sky?
   I seem to have misplaced it;
I hear it's blue, but what to do–
   Some dark thing has effaced it.

Has anybody seen the wind?
   I heard someone defaced it;
Despite all pleas he marred the breeze
   And spoiled the clouds that laced it.

Has anybody sipped the sea?
   I miss the waves that graced it;
It fills my dreams and there it seems
   My mind can almost taste it.

Has anybody heard my heart?
   Some bitterness encased it,
And left its room a quiet tomb
   As if someone erased it.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, August 04, 2006


His prison cell a mind too small
   To hold the thought of grace,
Where lies no sentence can recall,
   And fear and boredom pace–

The walls are tall and stout the door
   That keeps the quiet in
'Til sense relents and grants the floor
   Its stony discipline.

Upon a time the Jailer came
   And offered his release,
But found that shame had made him lame
   So left him there in peace.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 28, 2006


Muir Woods National Monument, California © 2006 Jeffrey Hull

The trumpets of the greenwood
   Blow vivid reveille
Announcing morning's glory
   To meadowlark and bee

As honeysuckle tendrils
   Subdue a sagging rail,
A lurching, lazy boundary
   Patrolled by wary quail.

The sleepy ferns unfurling
   Close by the waking glade
Revere a toad Siddhartha
   Within their solemn shade;

The warty little Buddha,
   A dry leaf for his bowl,
Awaits a buzzing offering
   Then gulps the fellow whole–

And savoring the morsel
   With pleasure unconfined
Returns to meditations
   With emptiness of mind.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mr. Mojo

Chatahoochee River © 2006 Rick Lee

It seems me and Mojo have parted our ways;
He vanished last Wednesday–no sightings for days.
I've checked all the hospitals, bars, and the zoo;
By all indications the partnership's through.
It's not unexpected; you work like a dog
'Til joy disappears, and the dance is a slog.
I hardly can blame him for taking a hike
These days when so many are going on strike,
Away on vacation from keys or from pen,
Not knowing for sure if they'll ever again
Have just enough spunk and the requisite spark
To hit literarily out of the park.
For words in a string are an intricate thing:
It's devilishly dicey to get the right swing.
Without Mr. Mojo there's not much to do–
Play pool, or give up on a crossword or two,
Or hang down at Tony's and have a few tears,
Remembering the day, blubbering into my beers.
So here's to my Mojo, wherever he's gone
I wish him the best for the road he is on;
When that which he's seeking to find has been found
Someday Mr. Mojo might drop back around.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull

Friday, July 14, 2006


Here comes that Broadway feeling
   I've had so many times;
My cheap burlesque reheeling
   Old jokes and pantomimes.

That good old Broadway feeling,
   The curtain's going up;
They laugh to watch me reeling
   To drink my bitter cup.

I’m just your stage door Johnny,
   Another decked out swell;
My clothes are flash, I'm scrawny:
   I'm just a burned out shell.

I'll pack my bags for Splitsville
   And forward all my mail;
These worn out shticks and bits will
   Just soft shoe down the trail.

That same sad Broadway feeling
   As sure as sure can be
Tells me you're double-dealing:
   Our time is history.

© 2006 Jeffrey Hull
Older Posts