Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Variant 19


The fossilized shadows of trees
that stood here 300 years ago.
Dark with age and the knowledge
of what came to pass
and what will follow.
Snow caught in the branches
like the desire to forget
and the knowing

it can never happen.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Variant 2

 It is a good day
when the water stays within the riverbanks
and the flame stays in the fireplace.

But for how long?

Sunday, February 6, 2022

A Hundred One Line Poems


Frost scribbles on the window.


The trees do their winter dance.


Wooden fence posts with names painted on them, like a cemetery in single file.


In the spider's cookbook, the pages are all stuck together.


Oh moon, tell me that story again.


Recipe for disaster: add one human.


The laws of physics are immutable. You, sadly, are not.


I erased the note I wrote you, one letter at a time.


The river mispronounces the names of the drowned.


The snail sleeps in its car, in the middle of an empty field.


What does summer furniture do in winter? Black skeletons standing in a white room, looking for somewhere to sit.


If you cut water, it bleeds. If you cut glass, it cries.


An afterthought, filled with music.


Death, and its thousands of practical jokes.


The wind holds its breath. The trees count to ten.

Sunday, November 28, 2021


Alone. In a narrow slip
of open water the brook's hard work
keeps free of ice and snow,
the bufflehead sticks to itself
or its mate.

No friend
of the mallard or other ducks
they must share what scraps
of open space are available.

Separate but equal.
They prefer

the quiet places
where there is no one
to make fun of

its bloated head, the oversized
target he looks out from
at a world

distinct and difficult
as itself.

After Basho

Seventy-five years
and the pine tree hasn't blinked once.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Our Neighbor

On special occasions
he wears his sash and frilly hat
to indicate he is the representative
of a strange and uninhabited country.
He shuffles through the yard
introducing himself
to each and every tree and shrub
with a deep bow and muttered obsequies.
They say he hasn't been the same
since his wife died. There are children
who live in distant cities but never visit.
The rest of the time he can be seen
sitting at the kitchen table in his bathrobe
staring at the calendar, waiting
for the next day circled in red
to arrive.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Variant, 18

 Look in the forest.
Examine the trees.
Question the rabbit
and the skunk.
The answer
is in a thousand places.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Variant, 17

The grass is sheltering in place.
It's secrets all exposed
to the weather. Rabbits, squirrels,
chipmunks pick through it
like seagulls on a trash scow
or relatives at a funeral.
I am happy to die
so I don't have to hear
what people say of me.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Variant, 16

My friends don't want to leave
but I have nothing left to say.
I can hear the moth tapping his wings
against the back door screen
asking to come in.