leap day

spring bluets 2012

on an early afternoon walk
the small dog and I
took off down the water road
to see if we could spy Spring

sun slanted through bare limbs of hickory
and oak
stretching into afternoon shadows, bruised
across the rocky path
and into the dried husk of meadow

we stretched to examine spare rods
of yearling saplings
for a hint of swollen bud or
risen sap of new life

while the small dog wiled his way
through undergrowth gone withered and lank
I scanned the waters edge for
turtles or mud puppies, minnows
or tadpoles

no signs were found, winter still held sway
on this sunny day
until on our own garden path, we stood
in the color of spring skies-
tiny bluets blooming in a field of green

My friend, Pete

Pete and Bob

Christmas at the Black Horse 2013 2

My friend, Pete Gleason, has left this world and is on to his next adventure. I am bereft that he has left so soon.

Pete was an extraordinary musician, guitar player, song writer. Always with his shaker tied to his foot giving beat to the small drum box, his pork pie hat at a jaunty angle, he would launch into a rouser that would have everyone whooping along. We all knew so many of his songs by heart, our voices would raise, becoming his choir of acolytes. He had a gift that moved people to laughter and tears. Everyone who knew him wanted to sit in when he played, hoping some of his magic would rub off.

He was also one of the best fishermen, really.
“While fishing from the Missouri shoreline of Bull Shoal Lake on the night of February 8, 1991, angler Pete Gleason caught one of the biggest walleye ever recorded by the IGFA – a 8.98-kilogram (19 pounds, 13 ounces) beast has held the men’s 4-kilogram (8 pound) line class world record ever since.

At about 10 PM, Gleason hooked the fish, which he originally thought was a striped bass, after it hit the live minnow he had on for bait. After about 15 minutes, Gleason and his friends were able to get a glimpse of the fish with their flashlights, and realized it was a huge walleye – not a striper.

Gleason backed off the drag and skillfully played the fish for another 20 minutes before he could finally slide the tired fish onto the bank. The fish was weighed 30 hours later and is estimated to have weighed more than 20 pounds at the time of capture.”

His talents were not just music and fishing but he was also a master carpenter, skilled and artistic. His projects shine – as I can personally attest. He gave me the most beautiful kitchen and bathroom I have ever seen.

Pete loved his children and was so proud of them. They were the apples of his eye.

Most of all, he was a loving, dear friend, whose strong hugs I will miss until we meet again.

rose colored glasses

I look at the afterlife
through rose colored glasses
’cause why not

the heaven we wish for
is the heaven we get
and there is no hell

and the love you felt-
from your mom and dad,
when you fell for your wife,
when you held your babies,
brought in that fish,
the time the guitar lick
caused the room to hush
then set it on fire-

all that is just a whisper
of what you will feel
when you inhale here
and exhale

I love you, Pete.

*The fishing info was from https://wawangresort.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/record-walleye-4/

Hangover (or the day after Valentine’s Day)


Too much chocolate and intimacy,
our emotions crowd
this small room.

The overwrought day of love and hearts
founders with the consumption.
Thank God these feasts are few and far between
and the dull days
that drift from indifference
to profundity
even in the thinnest context
lie ahead
for us to rest our heads upon.

Love will again become happily perfunctory
and satisfying
without the need for overloaded emotions
and recriminations
drying on our faces.

Too much is too much
and I willingly give back
all those candy hearts and paper doilies.

Give me the day to day
workmanship of your love,
the confection melted away
to the unsweetened morsel of us.

For all I know

love birds#5 (3)

time will not stand still-
autumn has deepened
across the Ozarks ridge

and you are not here

you could be in Tuscany
for all I know
flirting with the grandmothers
with your beautiful blue eyes
(those eyes)
and smiling at the children
playing in the piazza
as you drink espresso
and trade lies
with the young men
I can see the warm Italian sun
against your silver mane
so handsome and at ease
strolling up the cobblestone path
with golden sunflowers
and a good bottle of red

and I-
I walk my cloistered walk
alone in our empty room
I will trade our bed for the narrow cot
of a nun
and cast my longings into prayers
and rosaries

but you are not in Italy
I know
you are working long days
in the high lonesome desert of west Texas
where the autumn stars are out
as you lie in your own monks cot
calling home
to say good night

my husband brought me a bucket of moonbeam coreopsis

This poem is a bucket.
This poem is a moonbeam.
This poem is my husband.

A container of vague reference and history,
its origins unknown but its utility humbly significant.
Whether wooden or metallic in form, it chooses
to be the holder or keeper of all possibilities,
whether rain or mop water or tender young things safely carried.
This poem is a bucket.

Petals of pale yellow dancing in the spring breeze,
moving with the changing weather and seasons.
Sturdy and perennial, its heart moves with the tides
of earth, rain and sun. It is hardworking and dependable,
though its many faces show its charm and golden light.
This poem is a moonbeam coreopsis.

Bringer of gifts, deeply rooted and bound
to the rich soil of our earth,
a partner in a garden of different minds,
growing in systematic wildness, each portrayed
in the best possible light
or shade depending on its habits.
He is the keeper of spades and implements,
ancient rituals of furrows and seed.
He is the blue eyed boy smiling with his weed filled bouquet.
This poem is my husband.

This poem is a moonbeam coreopsis brought home in a bucket by my husband.


*** A Boomerang Metaphor poem -a form created by Hannah Gosselin
whose instructions can be found on Hannah’s site, Metaphors and Smiles,
Copyright © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2011-14

The Geology of Marriage

cairn 1

The Geology of Marriage

Our eons hidden under the topography
of the day to day,
years compressed into striations
of lives lived.
The igneous layer of crystallized need
eroded  and reformed,
creating colorful promontories
etched by wind
into hieroglyphic memories
painted in exposed rock.

Sedimentary layers
where old fossilized
hurts and frustrations
are buried-
Bones of contention
waiting to be re-formed
to make dusty arguments
whole again.

Digging to the metamorphic core
where we were created
by the fire of our first passion.
The center
the magma
the heat
where we return
to be changed
and changed
and changed again.

(revised 2020)

for days

And I am filled with
Maybe from Daddy’s side of the family.
Maybe his father accidentally brought it back from the trenches in France or maybe from your mother.
Herself emerged from the old growth pine forest to create a singular person
only to give into wild headaches and heartaches
with the shades pulled down
for days.

The Year of Clover Honey

The Last Really Good Shack - porch

It was the second spring in the old farmhouse,
you seeded the open meadow with red clover.
A common cover crop,
it did just that,
covering the slope
in luxurious rich deep green leaves,
topped by scarlet globes
of soft feathered blossoms.
Honeybees, intoxicated with
sweet perfume, staggered in the warm spring breeze,
humming their drunken songs
in sweet unison.

The bees song bewitched us-
a sirens song.
we walked across the meadow,
thigh high in clover,
waist deep in bees.
The hillside undulating,
shimmering with invisible wings.
The sound of a million bees
Their voices so deep,
it echoed in our bodies.
We held our hands out to feel the vortices of their wings.
We were carried in a wind
of wing song.

We were golden with pollen.

The honey was rich that year-
deep amber
and filled with the song of a million bees.

(revised 2020)

Tempus Fuget

DSCF1037 (2)

Tempus Fuget

Translating the ancient language of our long marriage-
Our vocabulary of years, memory and choices:
Love as verb
Cor ad cor loquitur…Heart speaks to heart
Love as noun
Amor vencet omnia…Love conquers all
But in the diagramming of that sentence is the lie-
Time, not love, is the conqueror
And our end is closer than our beginning.
Eheu fugaces labuntur anni
Alas the fleeting years slip by
In ictu oculi
In the blink of an eye….
Tempus fuget
time flies.