Sketch: Early Mustard Seed Theatre Company

sketch: peter hoff and doug smith

 sketch from journal #12, never doubt, 1978.

This is a drawing of Peter Hoff (now known as Zeke Peterhoff, and me, wearing our Mustard Seed Theatre Company T-shirts and apparently juggling with our minds.

Good times.

and the radio played

sunlight shimmers in

her eyes her

breasts dance with

each tiny breath


my name

-- doug smith


Making Ends Meet

Making Ends Meet


It was a lean time, surviving on peanut butter, pasta, and soup and enjoying the freedom that a wide-open schedule provided where even at work I could draw, write, compose. Ah, but I was young and my sense of humor perhaps more crude than good and cartoons like this resulted. 

It's silly, but there it is.


if you catch me

counting stars

some night

when i should be

gazing into your eyes

or if a tear drop

forms when we

should be 


chalk it up

to mystery

or a muse chasing

escaping vibrations

but never blame your

self and never doubt

our love.

-- douglas brent smith


Mysterious Towers

Fig. 1 Mysterious Towers


I remember as a child being fascinating by the concept of Figures in text books. Illustrations were often labeled Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. I wondered, "why don't they just print the title of the picture?" but never found out.

In fun and tribute, I named this doodle Figure 1. It appears in journal #12, never doubt, 1978.

the gold standard

someone found sparkly yellow

stuff, indifferent deep in the ground

wet in pebbles too thick to drink

too heavy for wheels

small quantities scattered

"let's make it money"

they said "because it's so pretty..."

now everybody wants what was 

in fort knox as if

every heavy clunk of gold

held a genie inside

with three wishes for riches

and what do you 

do with them


wish for more gold

-- douglas brent smith



can you still feel my cords? she

said often after the heat had subsided

and we were nearing sleep

at first i said yes, even though

i had no idea where they were

or if they still were

but like so many other lessons

from you i learned

after learning every square lovely

inch of your warm body

where your chords were


there were other chords, also: lines

from your soul to mine

gullible at your will


mixing sunbursts with rain

notes from my guitar, chords

calling your name

after long walks with puppy dog

after altercations over where

each or both of us would live (tell me)

can you still feel my chords

a thousand miles away?

-- douglas brent smith


Washing Down The Phone

Washing Down The Phone

I drew this cartoon in 1977 -- long before we carried around mobile phones. Every phone was attached in someway to a wall. The phones were heavy enough and strong enough to withstand an alien attack, a building collapse, or a major earthquake. You didn't own them, you rented them. Not exactly the good old days.

Of course when the phones got dirty, we just hosed them down.

-- doug smith

play your hand

don't tense up on me now,

all of my cards are marked

scarred from handling bent

at the edges

i'm playing several suits at once

none a perfect fit

no aces up my sleeve

don't quit don't leave

read them and grieve

i'm weary of your silence

duplicity dulling our electricity

whispers like screaming

read your hand plead your hand

bid or pass i'm faster than you think

holding my queen of hearts

with a secret message

better play your hand and hurry


before the queen finds her jack

and there's no turning back.

-- douglas brent smith 

cry Wolf -- inside back cover

Back inside cover of journal #10, cry Wolf (1977)


Back inside cover of journal #10, cry Wolf (1977) douglas brent smith


if i were a hippopotamus

i'd never wear a suit

because one would never fit

be chic or even cute

if i were a hippopotamus

apart from where the rest go

sitting alone in my hippo home

i'd chat on the phone with Ionesco.

--- douglas brent smith


could this be love?

somewhere a special lady

speaks my name

smiling and remembering some

soft magic moments

that turned the world on wheels

to a happy tune


someplace here this dreamer

thinks of her

grinning that glorious grin

weaving that wonderful touch

into a golden design

of unmistakable beauty

and caring.

-- douglas brent smith


which one?

in the distance

far beyond my reach

sits a curious quizzical lady

reflecting on

near misses and

wet kisses and

tardy attempts to connect

beat shaded under-rated

near-miss exchanges

sharing these changes

as time slips from us

while clouds, rain, thunder

sweeps over keeping

distances prim

far turns trim

blinking in the flash thinking

we cannot know how

to go

now to hear

one of our voices sing

what only wisdom brings

there's time enough for knowing.

-- douglas brent smith


Inflated Pinned and Leaking

sketch by doug smith

 Inflated Pinned and Leaking - sketch by doug smith


all of her goldfish died

she bought one each day

at the exotic pet shop filled

with fish who eat fish

she put the stranger in a bowl

watched it swim around

went to class

came back finding the fish

floating motionless at the top

dead each day

so she gave up fish for plants

placed in her window

they reached for the sun gracefully

willing and as if pulled madly

trembled, withered, wandered toward death

as if strangled by some invisible

plant canceler

oblivious to all this

she grasped my trusting hand and

led me to her dormitory bed

and in the morning

wondered why

i hadn't died.

-- douglas brent smith 

tongue magic

my tongue once tense relaxes

prodding a voice grown resonant

when seeking to impress you

standing there hiding

from my nuance from those hints

of what might be for you and me

a new way of singing

reveal yourself your will your

firm resolve not tempted beyond

but pulled from within

go ahead and hide yourself

those firm breasts those

long legs those changeable

strange eyes

those deeply thought sighs

save it, turn away, i do not

care any more my wooden voice

speaks perfect platitudes of logic

aloof alone independent calm

even though

if your no became oh...yes

we could discover

what our tongues do best.

-- douglas brent smith


the kids don't care

the kids don't care they say

strap them down with boulders

place flames upon their shoulders

cause the kids don't care

the code has faded somewhere

all the punitive measures

tied to worthless treasures

when the kids don't care

the kids don't care we see

when we fill them up with pap

who's the queen and who's the sap?

when the kids don't care.

-- douglas brent smith


temporary love

Temporary love teaches us to survive the temporary and to thrive in the moment. Given that, we may find that it's not temporary after all...

-- doug smith



the prospect of dreams

dwindling idly

so much smoke gladly


           spent offerings

proffered to spirits

unseen uncaring

shaking sudden hours

of time loose

changing loose change

to dreams of its own

so dance this way dear

with your reflection

in my glasses and your breath

on my lips

secrets shared are

no less lasting

and no more distant

than the sweet soft sound

of yes.

douglas brent smith


flight for now

your heart sheds tears to me

never for me

as if i were your psychiatrist

of love

wise in the ways of your wanting

though absent from the joys 

you feel lost


i once chased a butterfly for an hour

hoping it would remain free

dancing there with me

letting it land in my hand

and know me

because the moon knows

and the stars know

and this butterfly knows

that though free and skittish

and uncommitted

our love is never lost

but aloft on butterfly wings.

douglas brent smith

photo by doug smith


not inconsequential

of course there were thousands

of rational even dramatic

reasons why we would

never work out or

remain together like

gravity i keep falling for you like

fate untested and irresistible because

that voice those eyes that nonstop dancing and


you could tie a cherry stem

with your tongue.

douglas brent smith


no, again, so

your soft kisses danced

across my face

your agile fingers

found my heart

stars and planets shuddered


the stark, darkness hinted

with each breath

your eyes with tiny tears

smile up at me

pleading, asking

begging (gleefully)

though your voice

said firmly


douglas brent smith



precisely because

i can not tame you

or hold you to promises

you'll never keep

for the fumbling from friction

and tension weeping in the night

wondering where you are

incredibly over the constant

terrors you touch me with

a velvet glove over fondness lost

losing with the lies from eyes once true

now gazing on weakness

crushed under your strength

i wonder why i

want you more than before.

douglas brent smith


find your creative way

"Find the way to your own creativity and everything else becomes better."

-- doug smith


Let It Flow

sketch by doug smith

Can you tell when you're holding back? Or, are your senses dulled when things get dull and the sparkling shine fades away?

Creativity can act like water: sometimes we need to prime the pump to get it flowing. Let it flow. Move it forward. There will be surprises. There will be storms. I really do believe that the best thing you will ever create has not yet been created. It awaits your initiative, your verve, your motion.

You can't help but be creative -- no need to hold back. 

-- doug smith

Better than not perfect

 "One brilliantly creative idea a day is all that it takes, to undo a hundred thoughtless mistakes."

-- doug smith

etcetera etc

I'm re-organizing my soundcloud recordings as a place for my instrumental music. As a result, I will soon be "retiring" the album "etcetera." It's from a different time in my life, anyway and I'm ready to let it go from that platform. If you'd like to download a copy, you can here: (for a limited time!) 

Most of the songs from that album will remain available here at reverbnation.  

Break-up albums can get deep, and this one was an attempt. It was also an attempt to woo the next romantic adventure and failed deeply indeed at that (well, it wasn't necessarily the songs that caused the failure, but they certainly did reflect that failure.) Hopefully, everyone else involved in all that drama is now happy and living their best life. (I can still hear my therapist saying "don't be preposterous..." Ha.)

I'll be converting my soundcloud space to the kind of music you'd hear at one of my training events, or in one of my soundtrack recordings -- instrumental. That's my notion for now...

-- doug smith

five years

 thru five years

we've danced daringly with many

diverse partners

crept thru bedroom windows of 

a few starched spirits

and spilled a few

tears of our own

after five years

kids become searching adults,

your face remains soft and warm

and my hands remain calloused but curious

(a learning, yearning, burning process

breathing Spring,

simmering Summer

fearless Fall)

in five years

it appears:

some dreams last longer than others

and life's road turns faster with eyes open

as it rolls on revealing (with a

wink) that some cycles and hearts

remain synchronized, and that dance steps 

echo softly and that i love you still.

douglas brent smith

some lies

pacing thru the time tripped delicately on

edges of faceless fancies freed from the

rushing resentment of relentless realities

battering upon a daring door of dancing

chances taken and rebuttals received

answers mistaken and desire deceived.

douglas brent smith


Cloud Posing as a Pipe


sketch by doug smith

Sketch: Cloud Posing as a Pipe, from journal #10, cry Wolf (1977) douglas brent smith

secret dreams

so what if

your hair style

is three years


of the trends

and you will

not regard fashion

because we are

above and

beyond all that

caught between



secret dreams

"your mustache


she said.

-- doug smith


that shirt

soaring up here

on a colombian


looking up to

find you 

straight ahead

looking down

eyes narrow

ears open

for sounds

lending a touch

of thin

but absolute


strong enough to


wearing someone



douglas brent smith

the point on the edge that turns

  when it isn't enough to be weird when it isn't enough to be funny reality gathering speed pleads for shelter and just enough money...