Thursday, June 2, 2016

Before the Prom

Pretty girls, dressed as women
(Moments ago in torn shorts and ragged t-shirts)
Now made up in stylized versions of magazine photos,
Hair curled, pinned, heels high, dresses catching the eyes of

Boys wearing rented tuxedos,
Leaving sticks and bats for bow-ties and boutonnieres
Hair slicked and head filled with newfound pride –
A man in a suit, after all

Looks great in photos of every combination
Of couples, girls, boys, friends, enemies,
Each (awkwardly) with a pair of parents
And a younger brother or sister looking bored
Or finding a friend for a catch  

Out of reach of the pomp and preening
Out of touch with the creature who was once
Good fun but now has been replaced
By an alien in shining shoes 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mercury Sails Across the Sun

Watch as Mercury sails 
Across the Sun today, suggests the Times,
(Modern Mercury, bearer of news).
In deliberate transit,
He dons his winged cap and shoes
And cuts a chord across the orb –
His art best seen through filters,
Dimming but not diminishing his swift flight.

What message will he carry from burning embers
To oracles awaiting information
Here on earth, where we trade in enlightenment?
Who will be led to other worlds by this divine guide?

Small planet, he glows in reflected light,
Catching heavenly winds
To sail across the sun while
Spinning slowly from light to dark,
So close to our system’s heart,
Warmed by its fires.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Small Boy

Small boy, broken, lies still.
Daily updates
Apprise a community in commiseration,
Impatient for progress.

His silence speaks volumes, and in brief
But growing spurts of communication
He reassures his champions,
While tempering their cravings.

With Quaker simplicity the words come,
Offering profound, though muddled, messages;
Words that, like poetry, tell his story and then
Echo in the listener’s core.

There is hope in the hitches and snags of
The fabric of this little life.
The threads are not torn, but pulled awry –
And with gentle, tender tugging,
Will again align as intended by the weaver.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What To Do

In the morning I roll over and open my eyes,
Spying daylight through the stripe of window
Permitted beneath the roller shade --
The sun peeks above blue mountains
On one side of this one-room-deep house.

The colors tell us what to do - reddish in the morning, 
We take our warning and stay inside, 
But on cloudless bright days we move and shake things up,
Whistle for dogs who run like
This is how it always is, no worries,
Nothing to do but dash bravely, stupidly
Between the splayed legs of ponies
Eating morning hay in the cold, snowy field.

In the evening, standing in front of the kitchen sink
On the other side of this one-room-deep house,
I pause in the dinner preparation
To delight in brilliant vermillion reds;
Or, with anxious eye, watch the storm clouds approach
After the sun has dropped behind the railroad tracks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Looming ominously behind my shoulder,
Time has come, and will be put off no more.
Impediments have been removed, interruptions are
Of my own invention.
Time sprints while days drag by,
And the querulous voice of my muse whispers –
Only a whisper.

For some this moment arrived days ago,
But mulishly I cling to the pace I have set.
Resolutely I return to the perch
From which I will lift
With the thousand flights of fancy I’ve had, of late,
And I will flutter my wings –
Only a flutter.

Body tense in suspension,
Alert to intimations of the notions I pursue.
The target dodges my advances,
Skipping around the corner even as I stretch out my hand.
And then a thought occurs –
Only a thought.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Road To Lamia

Just drive straight, they said.
Take the national road all the way there.
Bear right at the tolls, they said, and head for Lamia.
On your own, you will know
When to veer off the national road
To navigate byways to the port.
You may surprise some by speaking their language,
And later sample a local beer as the sun dips
Behind mountains
While its ebbing light casts shadows
On the waves lapping the sea wall.
Perhaps the balcony of a clean, spare room
Will afford a view of the sea,
Islands resting quietly on the still evening surface,
A cool breeze gently lifting the pages of your unread book.
Your sleep will be deep,
Washing clean your travel stains with dreams
Of tomorrow, when you abandon the road to Lamia
And head to sea.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


The tac-tac-tac and rumble of the train across the fields

Unearths memories – holding my little son up at the window to watch it pass,
Sitting with him in my lap at the crossing, counting cars.
The light in his eyes when he hears the first whistle –

On our honeymoon we ran to catch the train in Oslo,
Passed through fjords, did the crossword together.
We worked our way through the schedule we had penciled
On an envelope, and had our first fight over a cup of coffee – 

I used to ride the train home from college
Along the northeast corridor, claiming a seat on the side with the view,
Navigating through marshes and harbors,
Reconciling my child-self with my future-self –

At camp if we came to a railroad track we had to lift our feet,
And shout “gilly gilly gilly” until we crossed over,
Wet bathing suits rolled in towels on our laps,
Small passengers in rickety trucks on dirt roads –

I think I’d like to spend my last days on earth on a train.
Ample time to read and write, making trips to the dining car,
Holding your hand, as those waiting at the crossings
Count our cars and dream of going somewhere.