Mark Tulin


I watch a homeless man
rest peacefully
between the haves
and the have-nots

The lucky children play
on the monkey bars,
as the blackbirds graze
on a fertile lawn,
beside a nearby truck
backing up, warning us
with blinking lights

I can see the world
between two trees,
and unequal
as tall as the palms
stretching upward,
as temporary
as a summer breeze
that carries
floating dandelion


Granny, I never got to see you when you were young
All dolled-up in leather heels,
a colorful shawl around your shoulders,
with such a loud and confident voice

I never experienced your grandmotherly love,
or ate your Mexican rice and beans,
took those shopping trips to Macy’s
and rib-eye dinners at the Ponderosa

I never saw you drive your Buick LeSabre
with your big, round sunglasses,
your skinny fingers on the steering wheel
and your casino vouchers safely in your bag

I never got to sit with you at Chavez Ravine,
watching a Los Angeles Dodgers game
The time you saw Koufax throw a perfect game,
and Maury Wills stealing bases

I never got the chance to see you when you were young,
gently stirring the white-speckled pot of Menudo,
your unique brand of spices and pigs’ knuckles,
ladling out just enough hominy and tripe. 

Mark Tulin is a former psychotherapist from Philadelphia who lives in Santa Barbara, California. A poetry publisher once likened his work to the artist Edward Hopper, on how he grasps unusual aspects of people and their lives. Mark’s books include Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories available on Amazon. Mark has been featured in Red Wolf Editions, Amethyst Review, The Poetry Village, Page and Spine, Fiction on the Web, Terror House Magazine, Trembling with Fear, Poppy Road Review, The Daily Drunk, The Writing Disorder, Oddball Magazine, and in several anthologies and podcasts.  Follow Mark at Crow On The Wire.