Monday, August 20, 2018

A Short Collection of Summer


Over the eastern Dakotas
the winds exhale
a cotton ball cloud
and push it along
over wheat and rivers
just in time to notice
while finishing
The Detroit News
and a cup of cold coffee
on a Michigan hillside.

Chain of Causation

The daughters
paddled their vacation kayaks
so far out
the mothers got excited
and made the fathers
chase them in kayaks
It was the daughters plan
Laughing the whole time.

Right Time, Right Place

Drifting on the on a yellow raft
floating on the blue earth
swirling in the white galaxy
was the place to be
that Sunday.

Some Words in the Dark

Evening is a wholesome sunset
then Old Grandad, mosquitoes
and clumps of conversation
The darker it gets
the more the conversation opens up
until we’re just outlines of figures
silenced by lighting and bellow of thunder
on the western sky


No wonder the Ojibwa
on this land
had Animikii, a bird
who caused thunder
with the beating of its wings.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Washington’s Second Alarm

Sometime around nautical dawn
Blackbirds and Cardinals
sing and respond
before the rest of us
sleeping civil servants can see.
An unknown audience
hearing unwritten songs
While we lie back in our beds

small gods
fly over our neighborhoods
and land wherever they like.

But at exactly Six AM
Delta’s New York Shuttle
makes its final approach
sounding like a dull tornado
rolling down on the banks of the Potomac
Everyone aboard has stowed tray tables
in upright and locked positions
with no knowledge
the slumbering government workforce
will tell time by their descent
to runway nineteen.  

Sunday, July 1, 2018

In a Dark Country

We lost the bet
on our stone-age dignity
So we bred new ones
to strike dream poses
and dress up in adult clothes
then taught them to write
from inside the eye of the storm
and if they weren’t scared enough
we surrounded them
with lunatic conspiracies and gore
and sent them traveling overland
past the village of broken bells
where there will be no promised safe house
only a forbidden machine
in a landscape of original sin
while predators come down
from the mountains
to taste
the hearts of the innocent.

Monday, April 9, 2018


Driving west
into an unknown country
is a deliberate mystery
You don't know 
what you'll need
or what you'll find on the radio
The land pushes up green waves 
and sand hills
where birds hide 
during the day
and you hear them 
at night.
At the end
is the ocean
where the sun says
enough--time to
sit still on the shore 
and let the waves do the talking.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

On Farragut Square 

Daylight turns to darkness
and man made lights turn on
along the Avenue 

Admiral Farragut is standing here
as a statue silhouetted high
on a plinth because he sent his fleet forward 
and damning the torpedoes 

It's about this time
fleets of FedEx and UPS trucks double park
around the square damning the traffic
as they load their cargoes 
and sail into the sea of highways
on an evening breeze.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


Book TV

Whenever I watch TV shows
like Downton Abbey
I notice the magnificent libraries
lined with leather-bound books
I usually pick out a book
from the highest shelf
and wonder what’s on page one

There are so many
Who picked them out
Do some never get read
Have others given inspiration
to the reader to break away
and do something new
maybe there’s a missing book
left on a train

Do the books stay with the house
like part of its red blood cells
giving the rooms life
or do they get sold off in hard times
with the furnishings
Maybe they could write a whole episode
on a book in the library.