September 11

September 11th

How do I explain the rupture
between Then and Now.
When no Safe was Unsafe
and a September morning wasn’t filled with
Cremains and loose paper,
when only Bird Wings fluttered in the blue sky.
How do I tell you of the Fear and Grief,
Personal and Communal,
of people spirited away in dust falling from the sky
mixing with Tears that streaked on all our faces.

I wish I could explain how
our Country’s shifted Foundation
was filled with that Ash and then with desert Sand.
How we were all struck mute
as Doves became hawkish
and Hawks became harsh Patriots.
We all averted our eyes and covered our ears
as Rendition and Enhanced Interrogation
and Warrantless Wiretaps
were wrapped in Patriotic bunting.

I wish I could understand how the new normal
is now just NORMAL –
the shoeless shuffle in airports,
the suspicion of brown skin,
the lilting accents that are now ominous.
And how that September morning,
‘The War against Terror’-
(And it was our TERROR)
is now just another chapter
in high school History books,
dry as Ash and hot desert Sand.

*** A reposting from several years ago. 9/11 still brings me to tears.

old stone wall

Stone wall

Great gray stones leave the bank of the river,
stacked with their brethren
between the old cedar trees.
One upon one,
they stand together, shoulder
to shoulder
in deep, masculine force.

Over decades, they settle.
Some, restless, move again
toward the river.
Most hold fast, remembering
their task.

Until, one morning
after the first spring storm of April,
in Springs push
for more,
the old stone wall shudders,
and with a deep sigh,
gives way.
Cedar and stone

*** We went out after the last storm and our old rock wall had fallen. The chipmunks had loosened the soil, giving the rain a place to wash out behind the stones. And it just gave way.
We will restack and make it whole again, but who knows how long ago those stones had been carted up from the river and stacked with their brethren.

sweet and low


One by one,
the evening stars ignite,
torched by dusk’s retreat
into twilight.

The celestial lamplighter whistles,
sweet and low,
his lullabies to the evening stars
as he makes his way across the night’s sky.

Sweet and low,
he croons his twilight tune
as the stars hover,
ever closer,
to listen.

Come, take my hand,
we will race the stars
to the ridgetop
and sing his lullabies
to the moon,
sweet and low.

ridiculous joy

Spring garden in the Ozarks

The disc turns the soft fragrant earth
across the spring fields while
small moon faced calves caper
and lark,
whisking their tails in triumphant and ridiculous joy.

Ahh Spring-
you dress in Edens green,
(you Eve, you Adam)
drawing us into the garden
from which we all fled-

where moon faced angels
caper at each fence post,
their wings tangled in sweet honeysuckle
and ridiculous joy.