dresser drawer

Her husband has died.

I think about that as I fold the laundry
And put your t-shirts away.
How will I know if you have left me?
Standing here at your dresser,
Things emptied from your pockets
Scattered among the photos-
Framed memories of fishing trips,
Your birthday a few weeks before we were married,
Costume parties and the family
Grinning at the camera.

Will your image fade from view
Even in these?
Will what we are become undone
As you become undone?
I can’t think of it
The fantasy too real to dwell on.
Her husband is gone
But you are not.

I smooth the wrinkles from the cotton shirt
And close the dresser drawer.


Early Spring Morning 2

I write you from the edge of things
the corners of rooms
and margins of old atlases
where dragons live
and sea monsters swim

It is here where I marvel at each dawn
and wonder if you are well
and sleeping
and have enough to eat
enough to dream

I write to you from the center
of the universe as I know it
the tiny corner of space
where you used to live
and where your voice sang hymns
of praise and restoration

April Egg Moon

April Moon 2014

I decided to write a silly poem about the moon
But your name kept coming up in conversation and with it
the way the moon looked that night
And the way the air moved with the trees
As though they had secrets to keep

There is nothing really that rhymes with the waning moon
Nothing that I can think of except that it sometimes rhymes with the snow
And sometimes with the way your blues eyes capture the moment like a polaroid camera
How is it that I have lived all these years and didn’t know
that shaking those pictures didn’t make the image appear any quicker

My impatience to see what I had just seen
To record it somehow so that it would be clearer
That waxing and waning are still metaphors
And my hair is still silver
in the soft white light of the April Egg moon

*** A fragment of a poem written a few years ago, recovered in honor of the Super April Egg Moon


Faerie glade 2014

there’s little reason to do other than what we have always done
wake early, regard the morning sun
sing with the earliest bird
have a hot mug of tea and read verse to one another
resting easy in the arms of the old chair

the world exhales, relieved of all our hurry
and fuming about every minute
she recalls the time when sun and moon
were enough to light the path
and stars were there for the naming

so gather ye rosebuds and we will all go a-Maying
round and round the mulberry bush
resting well in the arms of the good green earth
and easing our hearts with the psalms of bees


Winter cardinals

So much changed in so little time,
in this age of quarantine.
Things we never would have guessed.

Did you see that seismologists say
the earth’s crust has hushed a bit?
Her skin no longer inflamed by cars
and buses and trains and billions
of feet walking and dancing
and running and loping and
skipping across her back.

She is quieter.
You can hear the birds sing.

Sonnet in Green and Reductions

tulips 1

Sonnet in Green

Winter’s gray sky belies the inner turning,
Held solemn and slow until that one
True day, where all that is verdant deploys

Into a suddenness of green, extinguishing
that which went before. Moving vernal sun
From iced sadness to tulip petal joys,

Hearts lift with longing eyes singing
Openly, body and soul, to beckon
April blue skies. What once destroy’d,

Winter’s now past forgotten season, rejoicing
In the forgiveness of all springs, a pardon
In the resurrection of now and forever.

In the eternal newness of all green things,
We are all immortal with the rebirth of Spring



Held solemn and slow
until that
that which went before,
moving vernal sun openly,
body and soul,
to beckon
in the forgiveness of all springs,
a pardon-
We are all immortal with the rebirth of Spring.


Eternal Spring

True day,
where all that is verdant deploys
from iced sadness to tulip petal joys,
April blue skies.
What once destroy’d,
in the resurrection of now
and forever-
in the eternal newness
of all green things.

The first poem is a sonnet written many years ago. The second is a reduction using the second line of the sonnet ending with the last line. The last poem is a reduction using the third line ending with the penultimate line of the sonnet.

Uncommon Things

A small ash tray from Siam,
brass, shaped like a slipper
he kept this tiny shoe
and a letter from his mother.

‘Dearest Johnny Boy,
Rose was here,
the weather was rainy
we all felt blue.
stay safe.’

Written on onion skin paper
with two 3 cent airmail stamps.

A handful of Zippo lighters,
gold and sapphire cuff links,
a linen and lace handkerchief.

A love letter written to my father
by my mother before their marriage.
The longing of a young woman,
her plea for a letter in return,
her hope of a happy life
with a young man.

‘I can’t wait to be in your arms’
written on onion skin paper
with two 3 cent airmail stamps.

he kisses me

bob on his bday

he kisses me
as if he has better things to do

distracted by whatever
is in the foreword of his inner workings
tick tocking behind his blue eyes (those eyes!)

sketching plans on invisible whims
to catch the first train out of the station
riding heady currents of his singular thoughts

he has slept in my bed
for a thousand years
dreaming things
that have nothing to do with me

what has love got to do with it


second loneliness

Dogwoods on Easter 2

It has been an unusual Lent
to say the least
The devotional has been an old one I came across
of Henri Nouwen’s from Mt Vernon
on the Prodigal Son

I am broken open
this Lent
by this old story, this parable of a wayward child
and his truculent brother and loving father

I think of his mother and her fear for her younger son
and the weariness of that sad fear.
The relief and busy-ness of killing
the fabled fatted calf for a celebration and readying for guests,
trying to assuage her eldest sons pouts and consternation,
when all she wants to do is sit quietly
in her chair and be happy her son is home.

And I wonder if those thirty six righteous men are working
their asses off researching the vaccine to save humanity.
Or if they are wandering from place to stay-in-place,
just trying to find a soft chair to sit in
and a cold glass of water to drink.

Its all that ‘second loneliness’ that broke my chest open.
All that second loneliness for the world in all its pain and beauty
All that second loneliness in isolation
All this second loneliness, Lent 2020


spring ridge

With reckless abandon, Spring sweeps in
drifting acid green pollen in her wake.
She scorns the late winters chill
riding bareback and bare footed
into the robin egged morning.
What joie de vivre!
What carpe diem!
What sweet mysteries of bloom and bud
are whispered from her tulip petaled mouth!
She dazzles the bees, drunk
with their golden wares
all knapsacked to spill before their queen.