Socks and Stars


In two large jars

I once kept 

my socks and stars


Late one night

I dropped 

the jar of stars


The jar broke 

The stars escaped

and created starlight


I then wondered

what would happen

if the socks escaped


So no longer do

I keep my socks

in a large fragile jar


I now keep them safely 

stored deep in the back

of a closed dark drawer




The Day We Saw JFK 

aka Our Encinal School 8th Grade Field Trip from Coyote, California to see and 

hear President Kennedy at the UC Berkeley Memorial Stadium on March 23, 1962


The morning air was crisp and clear and 

invigorated with a golden fresh new kind 

of infectious youthful optimism. The wide 

open sky was a pure true crystal clear blue.

The date was March 23rd, 1962.


President Kennedy's confident words echoed and 

resonated throughout that packed attentive stadium 

with his strong charismatic New Englander accent. 

His voice lifting us all in awe of his Presidential 

presence before us just like last month's John Glenn 

Atlas rocket Mercury Friendship 7 orbital lift-off.  


The fragrant mustard grew taller

and thicker that spring between the 

orchard trees that surrounded our school.

The Coyote Valley was brilliantly carpeted 

with fragrant vibrant spring flowers. The fruit 

trees were heavily covered with blossoms that 

looked like white popcorn. The valley was abuzz 

with worker bees buzzing in the blooms pollinating 

a fresh new harvest.


My grades were not so good then but 

Mr. Strayer said that I had "Potential!" 

and with JFK's speech still reverberating in 

my brain from that wondrous unforgettable day, 

"The Future" started to feel like a solid gold 

nugget in the palm of my tender timid hand.




Mystery To Me Still


An old splintered shipping crate

off the side of a forgotten street.

Must have fallen from a truck.

Split wide open,

I decide to stop

I take a peek.


Inside I see...

scattered piles of powdered tire tread rubber,

busted bundles of unmatched polyester socks,

torn garbage bags spilling black brake pad dust,

lug boxes full of barely used hotel bars of soap 

and huge clumps and chunks of government trust.


Ah-ha, I think to myself.

I have always wondered

where this stuff has been disappearing.

I wonder how long this abandoned crate 

has been laying out here like this?


I look around the immediate area.

I look for traces, tracks or any clue.

I scan down the dusty barren street

in both directions, again and again,

all the way to the distant hazy horizon. 

No one else stops, like this is nothing new.


Where has this stuff

been going for all of my life?

Out to be spread across the vast desert? 

Up to be dumped in a secret pit in the hills?

I cannot figure it out. No one seems to care.

It is a mystery to me still.


California Buckeye Dust Up At Ryder's Field


With all the country school picnic rules explained 

ad nauseam about the rattlesnakes, the poison oak, 

the creek, the ticks, the mosquitoes, on and on, our 

only teacher Mrs. Derby and three hovering mothers 

had totally overlooked and said absolutely nothing 

about the noble indigenous California Buckeye tree. 


Didn't have any rules for the "boys will be boys" boys 

having a spontaneous flash Buckeye running skirmish... or 

a romping, dodging and ducking dust up fueled with nature'

God given hanging hand ammo of the old Buckeye tree. 


Not one mention... about NO throwin' them big hangin'

just beggin' to be pitched Buckeye seeds as fast as we could 

yank 'em and hurl 'em at each other, one after another, hard 

as we could with Daddy's applied lesson of Kentucky windage 

and lead. It didn't matter... rival, buddy or brother you'd better 

scatter. A good shot leaving that old hillbilly "I got you" Buckeye 

tattoo of black and blue. The loser's score card to be tallied up 

visibly during recess in a day or two with ample teasing and 

heroic battle stories at our old one room Llagas School.


Look at that bruise!  Wow, I got you good, man!



Photo Credit: National Park Service website.


For those unfamiliar with a Buckeye seed. Think of an apple crossed with a golf ball.

Throw 'em like a baseball... ouch! Them suckers hurt! Sorry Mrs. Derby, RIP.



Edward Ferri, Jr.


Bio:  Edward Ferri, Jr. grew up on a "non profit" farm in the rain shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains when "Bailing wire, gumption, and spit" were the "apps" of the day. He is a strong believer in the spirit of Boo Radley and he still savors lessons learned during the 'missing miles' lived on the roads of North America on a motorcycle. His motorcycle once broke down in Binghamton, NY. It took a week for repairs but 2 years to leave. He is a graduate of SJSU and one frigid night at the Big 8 Motel, El Reno, OK. He has been published in Lucidity, Muddy River Poetry Review, Eskimo Pie, Still Crazy, Agave, Hobo Camp Review, Main Street Rag and Constellations. He first realized the beauty of Denali in the rear view mirror of a gutted gutless Volvo 544. He was leaving to meet Carol and never returned. His first poetry book of "Poems Kindled In The Long Shadow Of A Lone Motorcycle" titled GLASSY AIR, which includes 74 color photos, is forthcoming early this summer published by BookLocker.com.