covey of quail

Oct afternoon 2

I’ve not seen a covey of quail
in- I don’t know how long.
My dad and me would walk into the fields
stripped of their wheat
or soy beans
or rye
and within a few steps
flush these small round winged creatures
with little topknots crowning their heads.

I was always startled by the fierceness of their flight
and the wonder on my fathers face.

I answer the phone..

I answer the phone and
their memories spill out of the ether.

Its not enough to grieve but to remember together
what she was like or
what he said or
how forgiveness is as hard as the long dark night.

It has all changed us at a molecular level,
all those things we did,
things required
and unrequited.
How did we know to place our hands to that work,
how did we summon the courage to lift
and carry that burden-
the weight was great but not unwelcomed.
We rose each morning and put our hearts to the test-
until, weeping with the stars,
we lay just for a moment before we were called
again and again and again.

Love sustains and
Will exceeds what we know
and that which we cannot comprehend.
Those things that we were called to do
changed our DNA
until suffering is no longer feared
and death seems somehow diminished
in the light of an autumn afternoon.

changing course

Sunrise Nov am

It is early November.
There is mist in the air
As the small dog and I make our way along the rocky path
To the pebbled shoreline.
The autumn woods are filled with shadow
And muted gold, pumpkin, russet-
A tonal landscape against the pewter skies.

I wonder when my eye became jaundiced to the scene
Unmoved by the artistic tapestry of color and hue
Displayed across the Ozark ridge.
When did the gray sky become unwelcome
Rather than the silvered backdrop
To the loveliness of the autumnal display? A bowl
Filled with wild wings and honking voices of geese
As they vee through the low clouds.

Can I restore my sight
To this beauty? Can I recover my wonder
And excitement at the changes Nature bestows?
Will I accept the gift of time the season offers?
Long mornings to bright afternoons spilling into dusk
And deep nightfall – hours to fill and pour out
Into my waiting hands.

I will scrape the tarnished scales from my eyes
And change course into the autumn wood,
Raising my face to the mists and fog, filling
My arms with the abundance of autumns graces-
Opening my heart to its beauty, allowing myself to rejoice
In the gift of its golden time.

For Stephen

All Souls Day

Octobers Lament

In the November wood,
small furred creatures scurry
through the drizzle dampened leaves
making their way toward winter
and December snows.

Silent as the low gray skies,
the old grizzled crow sits in the dead hickory
contemplating the seasons change
and the cost of flight
and winter hunger.

Colors are muted
as well as sound
in the damp November wood.
Stillness settles in the shadowed trees.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.

in the news


Watching the interview,
you are grinning like a Cheshire cat
at the Mad Hat(t)ers
Tea Party.
You’re smiling,
orange you,
“Nobody’s being hurt-
Its for your own good-
We will win this fight-
It is the principle of the thing.”
And all the time
I know
you have
Someone else has lit the flame
flickering behind your eyes.
And that grin
is only hiding
the emptiness
in your

*A repost of a poem written many years ago. Seems somehow appropriate for today.

Give the Gift of Poetry

2015 Books


Poetry is always a good choice for gifts, don’t you think?

And since its time to start thinking about Christmas, I wanted to remind you that my chapbooks are available from Everdale Publishing through

The first is a compilation of my December poems for the seasons of Advent, Christmas and the winter solstice, Festival of Lessons and Carols. A perfect gift for friends and family. Or for when you have those quiet moments to reflect on this wonderful time of year.

The second book is Penelope to Her Husband, Poems of Myth and Fantasy, a retelling of myths, faerie tales, fables, with old and new characters that I hope will charm you.

These are available at

I hope you enjoy these little books!