Young Man at the Beach

Advisory: Nudity, sexual situation


Aware only of himself

and the warm rays of the sun,

he half-dozes, lulled by the

crashing surf, hands wandering

instinctively toward his cock,

his striped towel absorbing

the worries of the week that

he sweats off on his free day,

lazing making on the beach.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper




Some nights the old fears come back,

rustling around the door as dusk

bleeds light from the sky and then

making houseguests of themselves,

hogging the pillows, drinking up the wine,

demanding too much attention, but here

they are, and like forgotten cousins

or friends from lives you thought had died,

they must be entertained, and so

you dance with them and listen to

their talk and take a certain comfort

in their familiar spirits, but still

you wish they’d go and leave you to

the loneliness they represent.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

Fantasia on a Random Sentence from a Language-Learning App

I  hear voices in the garden,

probably those crazy flowers

dispersing their seed at all hours,

thinking not once of mortal sin.

Shakespeare called it spirit’s expense,

though he referred to men, not plants,

but daisies too want into pants,

in a figured way of speaking;

the flora, too, always seeking

to take their part in nature’s dance.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

Stations: A Sonnet for Holy Week

Though the state would pardon, the religious insist on his death

by crucifixion, and thus he takes up the tree,

the weight of which brings him to his knees;

helped to his feet, he meets his mother bereft

of her son, the holy sacrifice;

Simon takes the cross; Christ’s eyes are wiped.

Stumbling, he reaches out to Jerusalem’s women.

A final fall; soldiers strip his woven

cloak. The comes the bloody nailing,

the painful death of the saving scapegoat.

Placed first in the arms of Mother Mary wailing,

then wrapped in pure white linen graveclothes

and laid in the tomb where he is to rest and wait,

watched by angels until his rising day.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper


A grand and beautiful raccoon

saunters, non-chalant, down my street

and scrambles over a fence, feet

sure on the wooden planks, as soon

they sun that prompts the birds to croon

will wind up his nocturnal rounds;

humans, cars imperil his grounds.

He, domestic-wise but still wild,

knows now to shelter, sleep a while,

await night to roam out of bounds.


Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper


My first attempt at the decima espinel form.  The rhyme scheme is surprisingly difficult, but it came out OK, I think.  I didn’t get the pause in the right spot, though; it should come between lines 4 and five.