Saturday, August 5, 2017

Up North





Bluebird Fish Dinner #3

The silver grey scales
of the Whitefish I ate at the Bluebird Bar
matched the color of
the county road
I drove since Cadillac
leading up north through a sea of pines
to rent a cabin at the end
of a peninsula.

The day before my fresh water fish
swam beneath Lake Michigan white caps
under hard blue aurora skies
and popcorn clouds
its shimmering scales dazzled the sun for a moment
like the halo of a tilted Milky Way
I would watch that night
with a friend from Indiana

The Whitefish is a cold water fish
making me think
maybe the glaciers that carved these shores
and filed these lakes
not so long ago
would return like a neighborhood of angry fathers
to restore their defaced work
but not until I ate a few more summers of fish at the Bluebird Bar.


Leland Panorama

The green and grey Janice Sue
is moored at her dock on display at Fishtown,

There’s a yellow sea plane on the north lake
skimming the water moments before lifting into the air.

Nothing moves on the surface of the big lake
except ripples and rolling shadows.

At the Jolli-Lodge the bikes lie scattered over the lawn
as if they’d been struck by a shock wave.

Nearby under a forest green lamp sits a black Weber grill
closely tended by a white molded plastic lawn chair.

The white birches are resting
not like yesterday when they hissed and fizzed with their silver leaves.



Cloud Formation

Clouds move in as fog
on Good Harbor Bay
in the dark morning
before the farmers awake

More clouds spew from the nostrils of fisherman
like fire-breathing dragons
on the deck of the Joy
and then evaporate into the fog.

Sunday, May 28, 2017









TV Test Pattern

It was the end
back when TV stations
shut off and went to bed
like the rest of the civilized world

I would watch till
the last of the late, late movies ended
till the flag waving star-spangled banner
or the poem having touched the hand of God

I looked on helpless
until my last companion turned away
posting a sign on the door
a test pattern of lines and numbers
commanded by determined Indian in a head dress

You knew it was the end
because after one last desperate
twist of the dial through thirteen UHF channels
there was desolation
and off you went to dream
under a blanket of white static.

Saturday, May 20, 2017





Riding the Rails

Riding the 6pm Acela
from New York to Washington
under an overcast May sky
can be like living a life.

You emerge
from a dark tunnel
crawling through
open spaces
soon leaving them behind
picking up speed
moving into new scenes
until you’re traveling at 90 mph

***

Outside Philadelphia
worn out row houses
under tired skies
list like the hulks
of stranded boats
that once floated
on a vibrant ocean
long ago evaporated.

Neighborhood streets
still lead toward
decrepit brick factories
falling down
like abandoned temples
places that once promised
a new life
to someone’s immigrant
grandma and grandpa
remembered in family stories
after the generations moved on
but the houses remained
sunk on foundations
in neighborhoods
colored only by
brash graffiti
painted at night
and green sumac
consuming
black iron bridges
and chain link fences
over the decades
as silver trains blow by
on the hour
past dead stories of old lives
the travelers thinking
no life can happen here.

***

At the end of the ride
it comes to a full stop
under a dark shelter
and a black bed of ties
bound to the earth.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017




Human Autumn

Inspired by Loren Eisley's All the Strange Hours

Human autumn
before the snow
last attempt to order meaning
before a spring breaks
in the rusted heart
and dreams and memories
fall apart
in irreparable ruin.

Oncoming age
is a vast wild autumn  country
strewn with broken seed pods
hurrying clouds
abandoned farm machinery
and circling crows
family countenance
leaping from place to place
across oblivion.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


 















A Dream of a Thousand Heroes

Poem after finishing The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Cast out on the waters
at the hands of the gods
to everlasting chaos
Ego shattering initiation
over a sea of pangs
and discovery of evil
Double monsters
need twin heroes
Have faith father is merciful
Open the sun door
and return home
with the wisdom of an eternal spirit
and the cosmic dance.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

BIRD CLOCK
















My sleep is all wrong
even my dog can tell
when I walk her in the neighborhood twilight
she hurries me past the houses
and the birds hidden in the trees
trading their evening songs.
My dreams don't flow
except when I'm awake
and I see them as shadows on the lawns.

I slept too long to have a nap
but not enough for a night's sleep
and now it is near dark
it was the birds outside
hidden in the trees
that woke me
confused I did not hear their morning songs.
I wonder what will it take to fix my sleep
Maybe I need to tell time by the birds.