Saturday, August 13, 2016

in which the cat rescues us.

With a few intriguing manners
and a tendency to purr,
the cat has managed 
to rule us all.

It was her master plan, no doubt,
when we rescued her—
a soft and yielding bundle
of tabby stripes and gangly legs
and a voice any Siamese would envy.
(We found that out later.)

Last night
as I walked back to the house
from taking the trash out to the curb,
I saw the cat silhouetted in the lighted window—
looking like a picture book where
all the homes are filled 
with light and warmth 
and love.
And I thought, the cat did that.
The little tabby cat who used to be a stranger,
made our house 
a home.

Friday, June 10, 2016

an informal treatise on the nature of ducks

a family of mallards
has taken up residence
in the garden, among the creeping
and the nearly impenetrable
indian hawthorne,
the black snake lives.

it doesn't seem like a
wise choice of
but then mallards are not exactly
they are, however, genial,
also punctual—
marching in each morning
on their marmalade feet,
emerald feathers slicked and glossy,
ready for the ladies.

they are two brothers,
playboys, i suspect—
but sometimes their sister tags along.
or is it their sister-wife?
you never know with mallards,
and i never ask.
they stick around for
and sometimes they
fly over the fence to visit
the city ducks
with their virgin white
i guess i should tell the neighbors,
but i figure everyone needs
a walk on the wild side
now and then.

Monday, May 23, 2016


my ear is ringing.

my ear is ringing, and

the raven sounds his dire warning

from the pine tree in the garden,

where he waits for the unwary chickens

next door to leave their eggs


my ear is ringing,

and a jet whines above me,

above the white plaster ceiling 

and the curling roof shingles

and the cannibalistic raven 

waiting in the pines.

my ear is 

ringing, ringing, ringing,

inside my head inside

my house

beside the pine

under the late spring sky where

the raven 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

a poem for my brother

This poem is for my brother,
who called to wonder why
I haven't been taking pictures lately
and if I was still


So here I am, brother,
still holding the camera you gave me
and keeping my eye out for light,
wherever it may find me.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

e.e. cummings on the secrets of living

“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile” 

― E.E. CummingsComplete Poems, 1904-1962

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

spring revels

yesterday the trees 
danced chastely
in their new spring green—
until the lowering sun
painted them with
consuming fire

Friday, February 26, 2016

of black holes and other matter

Black holes are real, they say;
they've proved it now.
How they bend the fabric of space and time
when they collide;
their siren songs luring the stars
to endless sleep—
while down here, in the dust
and infinite solitudes,
we hold on.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

self-portrait in my mother's mirror

The reflection is mine,
yet I see her there, too—
shimmering across
the beveled edges of her mirror,
the one she left to me.
I see how her spirit dances close,
stopping to brush my cheek
and maybe chuckle with delight
over the horn rimmed glasses
so much like hers.

("They look good on you!")

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

storms on mars

sometimes i am alive,
but not living.
sometimes i'm
but not alive.
"yet not i, but christ lives in me."
does he?
there is faith, but it falters
in the wake of
in the everydayness of being
but not living.

there is no dearth of
rich and full of happy laughter,
of love and friendship and
it's more like i'm short-circuited,
like aliveness
zaps in and out depending on
the current state of the
power grid,
or the tides, or the moon,
or the storms on

Saturday, December 26, 2015

christmas (past)

the bird holds on,
despite the fact that his tail is coming unglued
and his balance is less than perfect
and the trees are getting smaller
every year.

he is comforted by the presence of the wooden angel
and the crackled glass ornaments,
both keeping their place on the tree despite
the culling of so much else,
so many beautiful things deemed
unnecessary now,
by the powers that be.

still, he is here—
present for another christmas,
carrying with him the memory of all the others,
merry and bright, those
happy golden days of yore.