Man of Steel
why won’t you come down from
your perch high above Metropolis
save me
I have desperately tried to fly in your cape
but you left me no field guide and
in this world I need to be more than just
a hero
Do you remember when
I gazed upon you with wonder
an unflinching conviction that you were no
mere man
Please can’t you see
how hard I struggle to soar and
I’ve no currents with which to take flight—
a cry
And from my booth I dash
carrying this child in my arms
shielding her from life’s evils, forever
her guardian
imperfect savior;
to the skies I search in vain
bemoaning mine.


© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.


I had the opportunity to chaperone my daughter’s kindergarten class trip last week.

We visited World of Wings, a great facility featuring a butterfly atrium, rooms filled with creepy-crawly bugs and slithering reptiles (inside their holding tanks, of course), and a whole host of other fun exhibits.  But the single attraction that stole the show by unanimous kid-vote was the bouncy house!! Butterflies flitting above their heads and Horned Bearded Dragons be darned, nothing could compare to the awesome allure of that bouncy house…

Naturally, I loved every minute of it. I loved being part of my daughter’s day, watching her interact with her young friends, seeing the sheer joy of discovery and rampaging fun on her face. I loved listening to her laugh; I loved seeing the curiosity that filled her innocent eyes. And yes, I loved watching her run amok with a whole horde of crazed, gleeful kids inside the irresistible bouncy house.

Just like those magnificent butterflies, my daughter spreads her wings a bit more every day. For someone who conjures and writes tales of the gruesome and horrible all of the time, it’s simply the most beautiful of wonders to see.

2014-03-13 10.32.26

Boy on Strings

My last January breath rose in a plume to the sky
and left me wondering if this would be how
my soul would one day escape me,

wispy vapored , twanged by fingers of Northeast wind;
I suppose I will always be a puppet but the excuse
of ‘oh, it will be much warmer tomorrow’ keeps me from cutting

the fishing line. I love the dangling, but if you should ask me I
will vehemently deny it, blow frozen curses into your
face – then request for you to reposition me. Please.

A light snow falls; February knocks and soon all trace
of my existence will vanish from the air. Still, I will
always dangle here, waiting for your hand to guide me.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

In Peace

I said a prayer in the moments before I saw you that

my composure would be steel and yet your

utter silence broke me down in ways I never expected.


Forgive me, I faltered when taking your still hand into mine and

realizing your sleep would be an endless one,

began to pity myself.  And in your dignified manner, you stilled me,


imparted sweet memories; you allowed me a time I thought had

long past and selfish as it may be, I am grateful for holding you

one last time.


I want you to know that behind your closed eyes, I still saw

you as you should be and as you will always be

to me: smiling


You were such a gentleman in every sense of the word.


Dear friend, I hope you heard me when I whispered

that I would not say farewell.  I kissed your cheek

and I meant it.  There are no goodbyes; there are only see you later’s.


So sleep in peace, and within your warm cocoon

learn of your new wings now.  Fashion your Heaven as

it should be


As one day, I will mine.


We will have a party then for the ages,

won’t we?  Be with love and light, dear

friend.  I’ll meet you then at the bar come nine.

~ for Rich

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Greater Than Anything

Greater than anything I could achieve as a writer, my daughter scored 7 out of 10 ‘red words’ correctly on her kindergarten test.

At, my, are, with, me, come, what, you, my, can.  Those words are just some of the ‘red words’ she has been learning; the building blocks of language.  The keys to reading.  Since entering kindergarten this year, the going has been tough.  She’s struggled; she’s despaired.  But day after day, she has gone to school with a bright smile and an unspoken grace.  Day after day, she has sat to do homework, to grind through the task at hand.  Yet no matter the difficulty, she has done so with a willingness and determination that few adults exhibit.

As her teacher quizzed the class on the list of ‘red words,’ my daughter listened to the word as it was spoken and then wrote it down, letter by letter; not once but twice.  This from a little girl who has gone through extensive occupational, speech and physical therapies.  This from a little girl who has gone through it all with that same bright smile and unparalleled grace.  This from a little girl who has made slow but steady progress every day.

She worked hard preparing for the test.  “Try your best, and don’t worry about getting the answers wrong,” I told her.  Which is difficult to explain to a child when the world around us demands that we constantly achieve.

The afternoon of her test, her teacher gave me a thumbs-up when I picked her up from school.  “She did great!” she told me, but I barely heard her – the smile lighting my daughter’s face said it all.  Once home, she hurriedly took the test from her backpack.  She glowed as she pointed to the glittering star sticker atop it.  “I did it!”

Yes you did, my little girl.

Anything in this world is attainable, no matter how big or small.  And you don’t need to get everything right; you just need to give it your best.

Yesterday’s Fable

Yesterday’s Fable
Was it just yesterday you told me your time had come?
Under a cloudless sky
Nothing but myth and unspoken promise between us
It was an alabaster lie
I realize as much now
But I was so blind to my own beliefs
That I forgot to realize
My faith belongs
Only to borrowed time.
It still hangs in the air
Of that cloudless sky
So fleeting when spoken
So final when reminisced
I might not be here tomorrow
I might not see you at all
I laughed; not at you, of course
But at your absurdity
Something I steadfastly refused to own
But with today’s cloudless sky born new
And yesterday’s fable yet grown old
I realize how shabby these beliefs are in my own pocket
And you’ve forced me to throw them all away.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Coffin Hop 2013: Day 6 Giveaway: ‘Nothing Else’

Welcome to Coffin Hop 2013!

While racking my brain trying to decide what to do for Coffin Hop this year, I decided – what the hell, I may as well give away three prizes. Besides the prose I offer below, I’m going to pick three winners from those who comment on this post and offer each an e-copy of an anthology I was recently published in. Three lucky winners, three great books, one new home for each anthology. I’ll be picking who gets what, so if by chance you have already won one of these from me, just speak up and an exchange will be made.


Even horror authors have a heart, albeit blackened.  The following is a quick song I crafted some time ago after exploring a cemetery.  Must have been the spirits that whispered to me…

Nothing Else

Gazing out your window

Your cemetery of hope haunts your moments

Ghosts beneath your lids once your dreams

Tonight will be a long one

When you can’t reach pass your means.

But I’m the rain streaks your pane

I’m the soft breeze stirs your curtains

I’m the lone star in your dark sky

When nothing else remains.

Just outside your window

Your cemetery of life steals your darkness

Ghosts beneath your lids once your dreams

And tonight will be a long one

When you can’t breathe pass your means.

But I’m the bird sings your song

I’m the soft kiss on your full lips

I’m the one ghost never have left you

When nothing else remains.

Oh I’m the rain streaks your pane

I’m the soft breeze stirs your curtains

I’m the lone star in your dark sky

When nothing else remains.

Yeah tonight will be a long one

But I’m the one thing to count on

When nothing else remains.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

A Final Toast with Death

A Final Toast with Death

I await you

My bravado more resolute than ever

This snifter in my hand unwavering

These drops of whiskey delivered faithfully to my lips.

So come to me, Sir Reaper

You whose work is never done

You’ve stolen a good man from this world

Left behind his only son.

I have no fear of you this day

Not while my veins run hot


A good man seeks retribution

His weapon his only son.

I await you

Be a gentleman and share this final whiskey

Drink with me, Sir Reaper

I’ve business with you yet done.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Fakes Need Not Apply

Fakes Need Not Apply

The thing about this mask
Is that I choose not to wear it
I’m comfortable

Without this mask
You see me for all I am
So shame on you
For not seeing me coming.

But you
And your kind
You wear the masks I choose not to
You wear the masks I see through.

A brilliant disguise?
Spare me.

I walk raw, naked and senses alive
Even while the rest of me dies
Just do me this favor
Only this one
When I’m gone
Display this mask alongside my casket
To serve as constant reminder
For the fakes who attend.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Tender is a Cupcake

My little girl turns 5 years old today.  Where has the time gone?  My beautiful Athena blossoms every day.

I’ve said from the start that I hope my blog one day serves as her road map to learn about me.  My push to achieve is always with her in mind.

Happy birthday, sunshine.  This is for you:

Tender is a Cupcake

She is so much more

 than everything


this love

yet beyond my words

She is so much more

 than anything


her stature

yet bigger than my dreams

I protect

I guide

While somehow she teaches

and I learn

Holding hands

A smile

A giggle

A delicate kiss that lingers

within me


She is

my everything

She is

my anything

She is

my always

Tender is a cupcake

And she is sweet as can be.

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.