Geo. Staley







Geo. Staley has retired from 25 years of teaching writing and literature at Portland Community College.  He had also taught in New England, Appalachia, and on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation.


His poetry has appeared in ChestFour QuartersLoonfeatherRE:AL  Artes LiberalesNew Mexico Humanities ReviewFireweedOregon EastEvening Street Review, and many others.  His non-fiction has appeared in such diverse publications as The Journal of ThoughtUSA Today Magazine,MomentumIn-Ed, and others.


His first chapbook of poems, Where Orphans Live, was published in November 2003 by FinishingLine Press.  His second, Ready for Any Nuance, was released February 2011, also by FinishingLine Press.





Brian’s Cat


The 3  and1/2 year old’s head pops up from his nap.

“The cat jumped from the landing to the table . . .”


We have no cats

my wife’s allergic

 I dislike them

the table 14 feet from the landing.


“The cat came in the front door . . .”


I ask if he left the front door open.


His eyes full of cat coming in the front door,

“No, no, the cat opened the front door . . .

Brian’s cat . . . how could a cat do that?”


Before I chisel away more of his dream,

I assure him a cat will do that for a little boy.





[In my dream]


In my dream by the non-bearded man

I am uncomfortable:

he plans for me to shave

which is bad enough

but his plans include only a Bic razor

 no scissors

no water

no shaving cream

nothing but a Bic razor for a dry shave.


Then in my dream by the non-bearded man

the non-bearded man has me  saying:

It won’t hurt.

I won’t scare babies and their mothers at the supermarket.

No more bugs in my beard as I ride my motorcycle.

And I’ll look like everyone else.


Yes, I’ll look like everyone else.





Did You Get What You Wanted?


I never had a dream for a dream car.


A song or two for my memorial service

which won’t ever be held.


Grilled cheese sandwiches.


The mud splatter of a fat wedge shot

from a soggy Oregon fairway.


To witness kindness.


And tomorrow.













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