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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Basically I screwed things up,
He said, when I asked him about his job.
I worked too many hours and never saw my kids,
And then I did stupid things.
I screwed up my whole life and had to start over,
He said, his Boston accent slurring over the
Rough edges he copped to.

But he seemed so happy with his new wife
And little boat;
His life, putt-putting into the town
For coffee on Saturday mornings.
He had to smooth things over with the kids, too,
He said, and I thought yeah, me too.  
Even if we don’t screw up our whole life,
We still have to smooth things over.

He grinned, then,
And though I hadn’t recognized him
When they first pulled up,
Now he was the same mischievous
Red-headed kid from high school.
And though I never knew him well,
I thought – this is a guy who has been schooled. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My poem, Piercing Beauty, published in Clementine Poetry Journal!

Clementine Poetry Journal

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Things They Carry With Them


Months have been spent on the jettison –
What to pitch, how to downsize.
Sentimentality has been given no quarter.
Beds, flowerpots, side tables –
Nothing sacred, nothing beyond the swinging axe
Cutting ties to just-a-house, merely-a-town.

But things will be carried.
Wine, of course, to toast a new life,
New jobs, new perspective.
Dogs, because poodles don’t stay behind.
And ghosts will accompany them, our shadows –

Spirits carried on the long drive,
And through the unpacking of boxes.
Heard as voices ringing in their ears with advice or kibitz,
Seen as images flashing on bike rides or ski runs;
Felt in quiet moments, when
All our thoughts will be conveyed.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Under their bridges they plan their
Attacks on the innocent.

Lurking and rubbing their hands in glee
While I fall into their trap –

I respond, I argue, I give them the time of day.
I waste my wherewithall

Fretting over erroneous statements
Proffered with a dash of outrage.

They invent and ascribe,
I defend and explain.

They disguise themselves as humans and I buy it.
I offer reason and sound arguments

As they retreat to their caves and mountains;
They laugh at me, I’m sure.

I swear I’ll stay away –
I’ll take a different route home

To avoid their snares.
Yet as soon as I let down my guard –

There they are with their tricks
To lure me into the darkness.

I’ve heard that when exposed to sunshine
Trolls turn to stone.