September 10, 2011

To take a small thing,

and reveal its essence –

Isn’t that

the sum of all eternity?

A slight of heart,

The turning of a few strings –

The squinted eye

does see clearly.

And we played without blinking

Lying face up in the grace,

confounding the beasts

and calling them by name.

All those years –

barely audible;

then it hit me:

God is still here,

in the wonder

and the neutral tones

and mostly,

not knowing.

With that, at least,

there is hope.


Clearing the Air

July 5, 2011

The thought occurred to me today –

fluttering like a pretty bird

into my attic.

An Intruder

landing, perched high upon a beam

Like a spirit descending

Without permission.

“Blogging is stupid!”

It chirped.

My hands shooed and shook

in a panoramic sweep

Clearing air and thoughts alike

Dispersing the thick, hazy strands


from some other guy’s web.

Image by nance.


March 10, 2011

The sun crept up

over the dark horizon

unescorted, unnanounced

without a backwards glance.


And I secretly watched

that fierce light bask in itself

behind the stillness of

a thousand naked trees.

Its beauty nearly ruined me.

The Poetry Boss

March 6, 2011

The Poetry Boss came to my door

carrying a stick and a box of pens.

“Well?” she asked, kicking the snow from her boots.

“Aren’t you going to let me in?”

I opened up a little wider

enough for her to edge inside.

She dropped her fur coat to the floor 

in an apathetic heap;

like a prowling fox



I recoiled.

Then, reconsidered.

“Would you like to see my oil paintings?”

I politely inquired as her eyes scanned the room.

Ignoring my words, she moved to the kitchen table

and sat down.

“Let’s get to work,” she said, with a snap of her stick.

It was not an opinion,

or an option,

or even a misty cloud of inspiration.

But rather 

a matter

of fact,

like those pens, now scattered like snakes

running for cover

falling off the edge of the earth

“Get me a glass of wine.”

Her stick tapped the floor,

a metered rhthym

counting down

the innevitable.

This was inspired by my dear friend Nancy Rosback who really did just about shake me by the virtual lapels, demanding some good poetry. I am grateful.


February 24, 2011

The words

somehow lead

the way,

slipping down

steep banks

of desire

and longing

and the wish that wasn’t there

after all.

This ink

runs before me

on yellow pages lined

like roads that take me

forever nowhere

While slivers of dark

diamond eyes

Peer through the trees


their mangled tents

lining the streets

like beggars hoping for

a holy word:

Go and sin no more.

Dry empty clouds


a blanket of warm air

falling all over me

like a blessing.

Image by Nance

Ambivalence in Earnest

January 23, 2011

This morning

I changed my mind

Five times

Before tasting

the first sip of coffee,

Or five fingers full of

apple-raisin-bran muffin.

This decision was not hard.


I zigged left

And then turned right

Then circled back again,

All in pursuit of a worthy cause.

Or not.

This decision was not hard.

Risk versus obligation

Placed squarely on the scales

Safety or quest,

The pros and cons

perfectly balanced

Equal partners

In league with


There they lie

sideways on the tray

Lifeless and spent

Fish eyes staring back at me


As if I was the question.

The decision was not hard.

Thanks to Nan for the photo!


January 19, 2011

Yes, I am grateful


for all that is


even though,


you know,

things are



not well done,

flapping hysterically


like wet clothes

on a  tree.

I believe

I am


Photo by Nance.

In Our Image

October 20, 2010

Your eyes have drawn me in


Like a flame beckoning

To hold, to trust

To know beyond doubt

That this is real.

Your touch lights my soul,

Reminds me of living

And dying

And never wanting to be alone

Without you.

This is our past

And our future

Colliding as one

Into each other’s arms

Like we do,

Making this life our own

In our image

Of our flesh, our bones, our sweat –

our fleeting, fragile selves

Longing to be whole.

So we give


completely surrendering

To each other,


giving in

to the destiny

that is ours –

Only taking

what belongs to us.

I wrote this poem for my wife in celebration of our 25th anniversary. I read it to her on an isolated beach in Nantucket as we toasted our champagne glasses.

Image by Nancy Rosback, “A Collaboration in Time.” How appropos.


October 12, 2010

It may appear

that all is falling

away, and nothing

is left 

but a glass mirage

mocking your gaze;

Then in sheer wonder

you slip

down icy sheets of glass;

reflections of what used to be.

They do not catch your fall,

but you laugh,


scary saucer,

like steaming kids

tumbling, squinting from

the winter sun.

Photo by Nanacy Rosback.


October 2, 2010

Some day

I will move

all of these things

to their final place

of rest,

where they belong.


Photo by Nancy Rosback