Plan B

(for my students & my sons)


Be strong and dare to dream;

……….your life is more than what it seems.

Be good, be well, be nice;

……….these things you don’t consider twice.

Be calm, be fit, be smart;

……….take careful measure from where you start.

Be brave, be kind, be wise;

……….learn to tell the truth, even when disguised.

Be fair, be just, be true;

……….these things with time, get harder to do.

Be strange, unique and pure;

……….keep people guessing what else is in store.

Be bright, alive and … smile.

……….recall our lives, are but a while.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

By the third day of my vacation
I am nearing the end of reading my book*
(Unlike most others around me
mine is still printed and on paper).
I sit drinking black coffee, finishing a creole roll
and reapplying sunscreen to the top of my head,
where my thin grey matte is no better
against the sun than being completely bare.


The book is about numbers
and the mathematicians who have turned
into Madison Avenue alchemists,
promising their overlords that they
can turn you and me into symbols
and equations; that we can be sliced and
sorted into factors, primes, variables which can
then be adjusted, aligned, tweaked
all in the end really, to get to the gold.


It hurts me to think that I am
so easy to know; that even after so many years
of trying to create a self that could stand out
amongst angels, I could be so predictable.


A congregation of plovers drops in
again, just as I read the last page,
and I feed them the rest of my roll.



Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

* The Numerati, by Stephen Baker


hot air pairings

the greens and blues,


with mes and yous


these things are true …


the wheres, the whose,


the whats, left clues;


time can’t undo,


what’s laid, what grew.


the dusks, the dews,


the lights, the hues.


the sun, the moon,


with you seemed new.


the songs, the tunes,


the ocean’s bloom …


let’s both escape


on this balloon.



Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.

for Gabriel, who is fourteen


Wrestling with you, nowadays,

both in spirit and in form,

reminds me how much you’ve grown.

When I brace myself,

my arms around you,

trying to hold you,

I can feel you breaking free.

I don’t know how much is me,

getting older and what is you,

growing stronger;

but it makes me think of Jacob

and the angel, in the end,

wishing the night could

be just an hour longer.

animal squiggle (draft)

animal squiggle


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2014. All rights reserved.



Thanksgiving vacation, 2013. The perfect heart in grandma’s old room.

Gabriel Toromoreno: Photographer

Janet Ponce: light painter





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