Poems by Steve


A long favored garment

Old tennis shirt has been torn.

Too roughly I donned it

Through too many sets it’s been worn.

Now ruined aged cloth,

Sadly too rended

Too thin to mend,

Its useful life ended.


Bodies, like fabrics,

Become more fragile with age,

Needing more care and more gentleness

In this aged stage.


But cherished are memories

Be sure they will last

Even as we turn the last page

We’ll recall what is past.

Of much tougher mettle

Than old cloth

Or weak human frame,

O, I’ll remember our good times,

My Dearest, my Dearest,

Until I too will come

To the end of my game.

–Steve Coleman

September 5, 2016



Ever catch the eye of one
Whose dark guilt lurks deep?
Across a cacophonous cocktail party
A look exchanged perchance?
Truth travels at the speed of light,
Revealing secrets in a glance,
A snapshot of the bone-bared soul;
In one look all is told
Before the other’s eye turns stone cold.
But you saw, and now you know.

My therapist once said,
I need to get in touch with me,
Open my own heart to myself
And let me see
In the darkness that lies within.
Painful memories lie crouched,
Shadowy-shaped soldiers
Hiding in the foxholes of my mind.
Keep your heads down, boys,
It’s dangerous out there on the line.
Steve Coleman
October 3, 2004


Ocean’s Judgment

Foolish is the man who seeks to gain,
By sneak or trick or stratagem,
Some worldly profit it may be
Ashore, he seeks success in landlocked piracy.
Oh, but when he totes his sin upon the ocean,
If self-gain is his sole devotion,
It becomes that poor man’s futile notion
To have it tried upon the sea.
For when enrobed in black storm cloud at night,
Justice rises on its highest wave,
Speaks harsh pronouncements of the gale,
Sternly judging the moral metal of a male,
Hurling verdicts of wind and rain and hail.
No matter what his mundane mortal crime may be,
Man dare not take it sailing on the sea.
For, aye, then surely will he be
Condemned for all eternity.


Stephen B Coleman Jr
January 8, 2012

Million Billion Man

Ice crystals take a zillion shapes
A million billion snowflakes fall
Each different so they say
Unique each one in all

I’m just a million billion man
One of the hundred thousand million
Who’s lived on Earth so far
One wonders why God
Gave birth to me at all
For what I do is infinitesimally small
And what I want is so far beyond my reach

I’d like in my short time just once
To float upward
Higher than normal human eyes can see
Gain some view of the great beyond
And know the truth of being one
To see and understand

But I am only just a man
Who’s only claim to never-ending
Is my wonder
Is my wonder

As far as I can tell
Is that I sense at least
That out there is something more of me
And like the snowflake’s unique shape
I have some small meaning in eternity

–Stephen B Coleman Jr.


Icarus I, mired muddied guy,
Would escape this human pig sty,
To fly, to soar in the sky.
Envisioning luck, ‘gainst the muck’s alluvial suck,
I strain with upturned eye.

To be free from the mud
And forget human blood?
I dream that surely I could.
I spring forth on my wings, and see many things;
From high vantage, life’s understood.

Flying up high
In bright clear sunny sky
My wax wings fire up and fry.
Falling fool now am I, stared down by Sol’s jaundiced eye,
Falling back in the mud where I’ll die.

Oh, what made me think
That ole Sol would wink
And let me fly right by?
Now isn’t it odd, I’m a man not a god,
A creature of mire and not sky?

Steve Coleman

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