Tag Archives: writing

My Muse beckons

My Muse,
she sits upon
yon shore, across dark waters flowing,
serene and smiling with invitation,
red hair blowing
in the same direction
as the wide deep river
does go.

I find I lack the courage
to traverse such a feat, for fears
take hold of the mortal
man in me.

This side is good,
she whispers from across the waves,
full of life, stars, and wonderment.
Won’t you come over
for I know you will enjoy it too,
It’s where your soul will thrive
and come alive
as I sit by your side on the
riverbank of life,
exalting in all that
there is.

I look away,
avoiding her gaze
The river is strong and a
torrent of a task to cross
and nature has created a coward of me.

Oh, but her sweet whispers reach
my ears, speaking of mysteries,
of love, of magic and mischief.
The core of my being
smiles inside
at the bright,
light of potential
in those whisperings
of all that could

So I turn to her
my red, red Muse
and smile as I dive in.
Cold water clutching,
I surface
stroke after stroke,
kicking and fighting
I beat the water with
a fury, setting
up a rhythm it cannot

All the while I hear,
her words.
That wonderful self
never ceasing
until I reach the
far shore
but alive,
fears cast
as I fall
into my Muses

by Philip Wardlow 2019

Time, Tenacity and the Reason Why.

Moments flit
mounting to minutes,
then hours,
Days cycle
as the sun sets
and I’m left
Wasted, are the stars
that twinkle.
Wasted, is the moon
No inspiration wrought.
Looking deep,
a hole hides
where once
a solid space
did reside.
Why the vacancy?
Oh, if only the
tick tock
of time could
halt, or
grind down to
near a trickle
then perhaps
my soul would have
the tenacity
to finally

Philip Wardlow 2018

Don’t know


Don’t know if I’ll
ever be able to show the world
what I see
Really see
Not a facsimile
Of ifs and buts
But of What’s
and Wherefores
And art thous
Not “I suppose If you think so”
But maybe,
has to be that way
as its always been,
To be found guilty
By ignorance, history, and apathy
Your worth only
found after your long
gone in a
when the writings
all done.


by Philip Wardlow 2018

The Rush comes not in Lazy Days

The rush comes not in the lazy days
where modicum rules the self,
and the mediocre distractions
gestates the soul,
feeding it the sweet
sugar it needs
to bloating,
instead it comes
in the quiet asides
in bed,
head to pillow
eyes up in darkness
flashing lightning like
self betrayals upon the
played out as a silent movie
in fits and starts
with no ending or
It comes in the hectic
angry busy
same shit different day
hours of
needle piercing the skin
confrontations to
a life squandered
to the delusion
that the next corner
coming will
turn you to
find a
glorious parade
in your name
A name you never earned.
Nor fought for
but expected nonetheless.
So rush,
days when found to your liking,
for they are few and in between,
a mess of tangled
leavings that you
should have left far
but sought to
making you
all the lazier
for it.

by Philip Wardlow 2018

Head Down Eyes up

I need to bleed
Feel Spent
Go numb to the world,
Say fuck you and you
without regret
because they keep
on doing what they do
whenever the fuck they
Dog eat Dog world
I’m a mongrel
A mixed breed.
I don’t fit in with
any of the pedigrees
like to fawn stroke
each other’s egos
like their
wasn’t a million before
just like ’em or a million to come after
I’m hearing the Universe’s laughter
for me or for them,
doesn’t matter
I’m digging deep
while their skimming
I’m running free
while their scheming.
I’m choking that bitch
called life
legs open,
she’s asking for me
to give her more
So I put my
head down
and go to work.
Eyes up.

by Philip Wardlow 2018


Throwaway –

You are tortuously pretty,
but that’s never been enough.

I shall entertain you for the night
and you shall pay, oh you
shall pay and you shall love
the purchase.

I will stroke your ego
as you hold it tight
and stroke mine.
But please don’t get attached to “it”
nor I
For I don’t have time for such frivolities

I will listen, I will see you, I will care
for that is who I am,
at heart
But you in the end,
you are
a snack, a mere morsel.
That could never satiate.

I will smile, I will laugh as appropriate,
and convey every nuance to let you
know where my interests lay, but really,
its all just a lie.

You are wanting
wanting of something I could never give

My heart, dear
My heart

Though it beats.
It beats free.
Free of a pain
I never want to venture
to ever endure
or see again.

I have thrown that possibility
far far away from me.

by Philip Wardlow 2018

***Character treatment for erotic novel I am writing this year

Excerpt from “Everything on It” by Shel Silverstein

A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken thread and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thoughts and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years, and years, and years…

To Forge

It’s not easy creating something from
But actually,
you always start with something,
The tools in your hands,
the piece of metal before you,
and the knowledge and creativity
to wield
a whirlwind
of beautiful
possibilities with but a thought
at first strike.
The exquisite toll it takes
on your body.
As the sweat rolls,
the blood mingles
all poured into
the making.
Coming straight from
the heart and soul of you

But this cold forge
has not been stoked
in months
No immense heat emits from the
concaves of the mortar and brick.
The bellows are silent.
The bins are still full of rough stocks of metal
Just Waiting.
To be struck
on the anvil
and for my spirit
to finally stir up from
the dust.

by Philip Wardlow 2017

My Alchemy Persists




I’m trying to capture

a lit bit of magic.

Distill out the mundane,

filter out the impurities,

and infuse a little energy

into this tired body and brain.

You have always been that

catalyst, that additive, that chemical,

or heat to speed the reaction.

Give me just a dash of you and

I will change this lead to gold

or this chunk of coal

to a diamond that

sparkles like your

eyes do.

Your kiss may be the final

ingredient  to the elixir of life

that I have long sought.

Oh how elusive that magic is

at being caught

and wrangled like

lightning in a bottle.

But I am an alchemist, and

with my books, my bottles, my studies

my mythos, my faith, and you…

I shall wrestle with the five mysteries of life;

air, earth, fire, water, and the

elusive aether…

and condense their natures down into

a malleable creature from which

I can ride with you into the night.


by Philip Wardlow

The Unmarked Grave of my Father

It started out as a question from my wife.

“Can you call your mom and get picture of your Dad?” she asked me.

This question was asked by her because I had written a little something on my Facebook about him on Father’s Day,  stating I didn’t  have a picture of my father but I believed that he might look like this.  I had posted a picture of some generic older man that closely resembled him. ( see below on the picture I posted)


My wife actually called my mom enquiring about pictures. My mom told her my older brother, who lived in North Carolina,  had the only picture of him (she believed anyways),  as the rest had gotten lost for whatever reasons I  didn’t understand. Well, I don’t really talk to my older brother (another story for another day), so I called my mother  and told her it would be nice if she could tell him to scan the picture and send me the image.

Since that Father’s Day request to her,  no picture has surfaced for me to see. Surprise Surprise…  I can always rely on my family to come through for me.

Fast forward a little to last week,  we had decided to go to an Air Show south of us in our state of Michigan.  The air show just happened to be taking place in the same area where my father had died and had been buried.

So again my wife asked, “Hey, we should go and try and find his grave, since you have never been to it. You want to?”

“Sure, why not. But I have no clue what cemetery he is buried in.” I said.

So I called my mom yet again and asked her this question and her reply was,  “Hmm…I am not sure of the name at all. I don’t really remember,” she said.

“Really mom? Really…? ”  I asked.

She finally drudged up the funeral home name where the service had taken place in 1982, the year he died. The place was still around thankfully so I called them up.  A nice old lady named Barbara said she would investigate their records from that time to find out what cemetery he had been buried in.

She called me back in literally ten minutes after talking to another nice old lady I am sure , named Betty who worked at the Oakhill Cemetery where she  found he had been taken.

Through Barbara, Betty relayed great directions to the gravesite and Betty even offered to attach a cemetary Map to the front door of  the cemetery office, as she said they would not be open on a Sunday for the day we were going to be coming down.

“GREAT!”  I said and thanked her profusely for both of their efforts.

Sunday came and I drove with my wife, along with my mother-in-law who was tagging along to the air show,  ( and no, the thought of bringing my mother along to this , never crossed my mind).  For many reasons. One being, having my mother and my mother-in-law in the same car in the back seat  would have driven my wife and I insane.

Btw, here.is a picture of my mom and mother-in-law below  in the back seat behind me at one time…it wasn’t pretty that day:



Okay, on with my story.

We arrived at Oakhill Cemetery after a little of bit driving.  It was a cemetery  set in a semi-run down part of town bounded by an old brick and mortar walls surrounding the perimeter, wrought iron gates at various entrances and exits bid you to enter or leave as you pleased. IF YOU DARE! It was actually a very entrancing place to drive up on.  The place immediately reminded me of George A. Romero’s cemetery setting from his movie ‘Night of the Living Dead’…. awesome, I thought to myself….. 🙂



We drove up to the building you see before you and sure enough good as her word, Betty had attached the Cemetery Map and Burial page log for the specific plot section along with instructions on finding my father’s grave. Cool.

We got out and parked the car near the relative area and proceeded to the task like good little archeologists on a dig to try and decipher the hieroglyphics, map and instructions to where he might be buried.

The first thing I realized  regarding my father’s information about his burial site was that he was buried without a marker, meaning he had no headstone put in place when he was buried….wtf!

Okay. So that’s interesting.

According to the information he was in Plot 83, Row 7, Grave #8 , near a person with a last name of  “Swift” , it stated in the instructions, approximately  20 feet off the road.

My wife and mother-in-law  began searching diligently for “Swift”  at the beginning of the section as the map markings were too small and hard to read  for each Plot section. I ranged further down the road as it seemed intuitively, in looking at the map, to just be further away than they were looking.

It was sort of thrilling in a way to be out doing this. I had always wanted to be an archeologist or anthropologist growing up,  digging up dead bodies and sifting rocks and dirt. I just needed a good hat and whip to complete my ensemble…. 🙂



After a few minutes with neither of us spotting the name “Swift” I suddenly saw it, the name “Swift” etched into the stone work of a very aged and corroded marble headstone in the shape of an obelisk, ( a broken obelisk) .

I had just found one of the supposed  neighbor’s to my father’s grave. Oh ,”Swift” must have been rich to afford such a marker in their day. (See below for actual picture of it)



I yelled to the others to stop the search in the area they were in and to come over.

We quickly referred to the burial location log and saw he should be buried in Grave #8 location between a  gravestone marker 8B with name of Dugan and  gravestone marker with name  labeled  only with the letter “J”per the entry in the log.

We quickly found this: (see images below):  It seems the “J” meant Julia.







So that means my father was buried in that non-descript space in the middle somewhere down below where I stood.









But just looking at this patch of parched grass, you wouldn’t know it.

Here was a man who lived on this earth until the  age of  73 years  through 1909 until 1972, with him dying when I was only eleven years old.

In that time,  he had married twice (I believe) and had us three sons bearing his name, yet you wouldn’t know he existed without me telling you he existed. (btw he had married my mom when she was 29 and he was 59 years of age in the 70s, so he was already at a  “grandpa age” as I was  growing up.

He has no picture to be found (as of yet) and now no burial plot to even show his bones were some six-feet deep  below me held by the earth.


I suddenly felt a little sad.  Not for me. But for him.  He died alone in his home without us in his life, separated from us. He was buried alone without us as I only remember going to the funeral home  as an eleven year old and not to his grave.  They say funerals are more for the living, but fuck that. He deserved better than this. Yes, everyone will be forgotten one day but damn at least I should remember him.

I also felt ashamed at not trying to find his grave sooner than I had on almost a whim as of now.  Had I really blocked him out from thoughts and every day life as to not care about such things as a picture of him or to possibly  visit his grave.  God, I was asshole of a son, I thought.

THAT’S gonna change.

Immediately when I got home I started looking up gravestones to buy for him.

I have decided so far that it’s going to read:

Willie Wardlow 

February 9th, 1909  to April 20th 1972  


I am still deciding on some one line of phrasing I’m thinking of putting on below this.

When its finally put in I will put a picture of it on here to show you guys….  🙂