Quiet

This forest is so young

My hands can reach around almost each tree,

My arms can tightly embrace even the oldest.

Yet such quiet pervades the forest

That I forget time.

.

Quiet is itself older than trees and forest,

Yet chooses to live here,

Comforted by the slow growth of maple and pine,

Hiding in the rustle of wind-shaken branches.

 

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Feather and Skin

The sixty-ninth year is coming upon me

Since first I made to count.

Still the self-same hawk circles over,

Or another in its place,

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Skimming clouds overhead, watching

My old bones and eyes.

She disappears a moment into the sun

So that I can remember the first,

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When we met, midway between earth and cloud,

And touched,

And recognized one and the other,

In midair feather and skin.

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Unwearied still, she ranges beyond my eyes,

Stopping only to spark a dream or

A recognition, or better yet,

A reminder,

.

In midair between feather and skin

.

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(With thanks to WB Yeats)

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Stay tuned….

I’m working on the final draft of my first book. Crowds are waiting for release:

137018-004-18C4C15E

I’m working as fast as I can.

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Cafe haiku

Floor tiles are mismatched

An old man stands bewildered

Which way to go now?

.

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A woman passes

In the cafe filled with diners –

A breeze melts my skin

 

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Skeleton Skeltonic Verse

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skeleton bones

rattle as they roam

‘til they come back home.

the last time i saw one

he, she or it shone in the sun.

he, she or it was having fun

until he, she or it shouted a curse

it was so much worse…

it’s supposed to be a skeltonic verse,

you dummy old bones,

stop all your groans.

go back to your graves in that thick thick thicket

‘til you find a poet who’s not dyslexic

 

Skeltonic verse consists of short rhyming lines that just sort of flow on from one rhyme to the next for however long one chooses. 

 

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Grandma’s Ghost

My grandmother wore a white sheet on Halloween.

Her black oxford stout-heeled shoes poked out from under the hem.

She walked with her familiar rock from side to side.

Her pale blue eyes glinted through the eye holes.

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She was not carrying sweet candy;

She carried a loaf of rye bread.

The aroma of weak milky tea surrounded her.

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When I ran to her to clasp her in my arms,

She was gone.

So I went home,

Waited,

And every child, “Trick or Treat!”, got a slice of rye toast

And a hot cup full of tea.

 

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Catholic High School

They sent us forth under false pretenses.

They sent us forth with the false idea that we knew the world,

knew where we stood,

knew what needed to be done.

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In truth, after graduation, we landed like turnips off a turnip truck:

stunned by the world,

confused by reality.

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Some of us stood stock still, rigid in the pretenses.

Others floundered, running blindly toward any sacred security.

And what of those trying to collect meaning as a little boy tries to capture frogs?

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And me, dumb as a doorpost, hanging onto the strap on a subway car,

Letting the coach sway and shake and screech around me,

waiting for a stop that looks good,

getting off for a while to look around.

.

Each stop had its own smell, its own dirty tiles,

Its own people to walk past as they slept.

Back Bay, Dorchester, Waltham, Roxbury, Manhattan, the Bronx,

Mexico City, Bangkok, Hanoi….

“Oh the Places You’ll Go” doesn’t begin to cover it.

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I settled in a town much like Middlemarch,

surrounded by flower smells, leaf color, neighbors,

far from the madding crowd,

on ground that does not move.

 

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