Sunday, November 28, 2021

Bufflehead

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
round,

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.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Variant, 15

House building tip:
flowers and mountains.

Walls are mountains,.
Windows are flowers

always opening and closing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

Variant, 13

Let the wind go.
Abandon your dreams.
Tomorrow is already here.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Hints to Strangers

Avoid eye contact.
In fact, avoid all contact
wherever possible.
Beware of charletons and grifters.
Do not give money to strangers.
Clutch your packages
and handbags close to your side.
Don't talk with a foreign accent
to avoid sounding, well, foreign.
But don't forget
to enjoy

your visit
to our fair city.