Shores of American Memory,  by  Kenneth Trimble


The Ballad of Charles Dougherty


On the streets of the Tenderloin walks a sad and lonely man

Lost in America’s Babylon, living with the junkie killers.

Once a King who strode the Moscow nights.

Vodka and Pushkin

Dostoevsky and darkness.

Teacher of language, simian man with waddle

Fell on Russian ice

Fell through time

Felled by arrogance.

Charles Dougherty whimsical traveller

Came home to Whitman’s dream

Only to find the trees naked of leaves

And the big man weeps.

Ansel Adams

Your grace

Inspired Half Dome

Inspired Hernandez

With its old adobe church standing lonely

Among the cacti brush

White crucifixes illuminated

By a pregnant moon

Standing in the graveyard

Among the desert souls.


I see you in pastures of daffodils and cool streams

Where bears bathe and lions stand distant

In the roar of the night star