The End of the World

Today feels like the end of the world, so

I’m pretending that I’m high.

It’s easier that way.

I refuse reality. I will not play along.


The boulevard is smeared with piles of Oreo ice cream.

A river flows on the edge of the street and

10 year old boys race popsicle sticks.

My dad’s truck splashes by, almost hits us.


My dad doesn’t wave because

there’s work to be done.

There’s always something to do,

even while the world is dying.


Get it Out

Writing a poem


is exactly


like taking a shit.


You’ll just be sitting there,


working or


watching TV,


reading, whatever,


and suddenly,


it takes you over.


It becomes


the most important thing.


It is urgent.


Get it out, or


face the consequences.



All That Matters

People jump off ledges


high above the street.


Dogs get crushed by cars.


People kill people


with guns,


with knives,


with their bare hands.


Trains come off their rails and spill destruction


onto the morning commute.


Mom is screaming at her children.


Dad is in jail for selling you know what.


Your pilot is badly hung over.


You can be replaced at work.


Your poetry is god awful.


So is the music you listen to


and the movies you watch.


Your socks don’t match.


You have crumbs on your shirt.


You didn’t wash your hands.


Your teeth hurt.


You smell rank.


A beautiful bird crashes hard into the window.


The model can’t keep food down anymore.


She’s coughing blood.


The president is an asshole.


We’re all going to die.


The doctor killed his patient


because he checked Facebook


during open heart surgery.


Mom and Dad are divorced now.


The children hate them.


The house is on fire.


He drinks too much.


She’s crazy on drugs.


Rich, white men pass laws to make themselves richer.


Someone shoots one of them in the face.


The sky glows danger.


The best player on your team just shredded his knee.


You slip and fall down the basement stairs.


Your arm snaps like a pencil.


Your 2 year old drowns in the neighbors’ pool.


All of this is happening,


all day,


every day.


This is the world we live in.


But I don’t care about


any of it.


All that matters to me


is this tiny, gray kitten






from the patio door.


Stay Gold (For Louie) Lyrics

Words & Music by Tim D.

(Verse 1)
Everybody leaves and all good things must end
But our souls are eternal.
They say that ‘All you need is love’
‘Love is all you need’
All I need is you

Let’s stay in and share some ice cream,
Fall asleep and share the same dream.
Let’s go out and and feel the wind blow,
Sing that song that only we know.

My broken heart
Will stay that way forever
cos I want it to.
I don’t want to get over you.
The sky went dark.
Am I to blame?
I call your name.
I’m not the same since you went away.

(Verse 2)
Like the poem says ‘Nothing gold can stay’
I don’t think that’s true.
We know that time isn’t really real.
I still belong to you
And you belong to me.

I pretend you’re in the next room,
Tell myself you’re coming home soon.
If I close my eyes and pray,
You’re still here like yesterday.


(Repeat Chorus)


Every Saturday I go to church.
It’s not what you think.
My non-traditional tradition, this ritual,
Calling me each week.
I could sleep in, but no–
I am pulled to be there
in community with this particular congregation,
To receive the blessings it offers me.
There are no pews, but tables in a U-shape, chairs,
No pulpit but a microphone passed around
No altar but a box of paper prompts,
Our communion is our writing,
words scribbled in notebooks,
Then read aloud, no matter how profane
Or tender, absurd or banal.
The sharing makes it nothing less than holy.
This sacred passion we share for words, books, writing,
Intensifies as we gather, emboldens us to grow,
Makes us more than we might be praying
with our pens in our rooms alone.

Every week we write it, minutes at a time. The gospel according to me, to you.
All true, none of it true, so help me God.

On Sundays

The kids arrived after lunch

on Sundays.

There were usually one or two buses,

but it was mostly mini-vans and

Japanese cars.

Mom and Dad dropped off their young Lutherans

for a week of Jesus and mischief and

I was their counselor.

I was there to help,

to teach them,

make their faith stronger.


I was a train wreck.

I was a time bomb.

Usually when I met the kids

I was still sweating out the weekend,

hard, hazy chaos and blackouts.

My friends would tell me what I did

on Saturday night.

I would nod, say,

Yes, that sounds like me.

I wore a Miller Lite t-shirt (seriously?) and

I snuck cigarettes in

whenever I could get away for 5 minutes.

I was a horrible counselor, but


I loved those kids.

They were wide open,

funny, fearless, full of life,

5 foot heroes with big, high voices.

I would be cool when I met them, but

later I would yell at someone for something,

so they would be a little bit afraid of me.

In theory,

I was there to teach them, but

in reality, they taught me.

They were little stars

at camp universe.

God pumped them up

like birthday balloons and

they flew into the sky.

I am thankful for those lessons.

Yep, on Sundays the parents

dropped off their wise little children.

We became a family for one week,

holding hands, hitting baseballs,

swimming in our miniature sea.

At night we sang praises

as the fire sent sparks up to join the stars.

I can still see the world

through those 12 year old eyes,

running, laughing,

shouting with joy

like puppies barking.

Thanks to them,

I’m still innocent somehow.

I’m still enchanted by this life.

I’m still hypnotized by the orange, gold glow of

the summer sun dissolving into that silver lake.





  • Copyright Timothy Downs