Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rhythmic gymnastics

Near evening, the wind tosses crows

high- up between the trees --  like an exchange

of black batons. A dance of iridescence

while the sun suspends its hoops of  light

throughout the dogwood branches.


Together, the elements subtly glimmer

while in Rio, the Russian women glittered

from head to foot. Their florescence a version

of Monet floating in overkill. And still, I wanted

to be part of their ensemble but prefer this,

the toss and turn of rhythmic lightness

in late August. The juggling of one season's

last days with another's first. The inbetweeness

of time when the moment becomes

all sky. No beginning or end-- only

 what the judges cannot tally,

the release of hypertension and a soul.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Beyond A Bedroom Window


The light is soft

and I tell the sky ---

carry me with geese

back to those wild

evenings I knew..

Once again

I'm the pond rippling

from something cast,

a firefly

matchstruck in southern pines,

and footprints of a fox

that linger to fill

with  fallen seeds, catkins

and whatever

shadows drift through her woods.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


There is the mostly white sea bird

imbibing the blue tonic

of sky. Not ice-cold but cool.


And beneath the pines,

a woman in her white sundress

sipping water from a bottle. Its plastic

a light sapphire.


Sometimes, someone mistakes the gull

for a dove in the haloed glare

and others, perceive the woman

in  her fresh purity

as the girl next door.



In Green Relief


you need to step


         (leaves still,

          knuckled in prayer)


and notice

          the flutter.


Its buttermilk wings

skim your feet

as if to absolve

any pain.


A wash

that evaporates

into wind

          yet lingers


(like taste or scent)


as you turn

to hear a door shut.


Stay there

and remember

you're not locked out


but just beginning

to enter.



Friday, June 24, 2016

The Boy


Several days a week, he sits on the curb bordering

the golf course. The concrete chipped  and moss-stained

 like the bottom stair of an Inca temple. A beginning step

toward the sky and sun. For him, a step

toward supplementing the family income. Too young

for construction but old enough to out grow

his adolescent jeans, he focuses on what profit

he can make peddling fruits and vegetables.

Peppers, avocados, tomatoes, melons and mangos

are sold in crates. Nearby, he keeps a plastic bag with some cash

and coins for change. A crow in the mauve ash of a smoke tree

nags for nothing; and the wind scatters gum wrappers

near his feet. Neither distracts him. The boy stays engaged

with the task, tuning  his voice to catch more customers

as both cars and golfers go by. Fruta, vegetales --


his accent either Honduran or Guatemalan . Like himself,

it's undefined. But that doesn't matter. He's blessed. My child

is on the lawn learning how to swing. If lucky, his mind

won't stray beyond the flag, absorbed in the blank space

around twin butterflies and some tangled weeds.



Monday, June 13, 2016


A strange bird rests on the corner
of my roof.  His shadow angled
at the five minute interval  
between something after and something before.
This is my time out
from worrying about the house
and other issues.  The small force of energy         
               I've forgotten to free, animate.
The wind knows the bird ( a winged harlequin)
and what I'm talking about -
as it shakes a few twigs in its palm
               tossing them like jacks across the sidewalk.
They spill randomly and wait
to be picked up with other whims
before the sun bounces
this day downward; and the sky carries dusk
                heavy  on its shoulders.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Building On The Waterfront


It's now a condo. Swank and sweetened

with upgrades: chrome, granite and laminated wood.

Outside, it's vintage brick with black-painted shutters,

scuff marks left by the heels of age and climate.

They  walk  along these walls still waiting

for others to come back who will never return.

The upper half was a loft where a woman

illustrated stories for children.  Bench and drawing board

became the polished harbor where her ideas

docked in the evening hours. A  tide of lemon oil

 and  lamplight flooding the room. The bottom half

her book shop where antique volumes

lodged haphazardly on oaken shelves.  A china bull dog 

lingered near the window, ready to bark

if any of  the characters should whisper or shout

from their spine-sewn books. And once-in-awhile

a stray bird would fly through the doorway

looking to land someplace quaint. Like that corner

where  cobwebs and ivy tangled in a space

left  for harbingers of classic things --or trends to soon occur.

 It might have been the yellow finch

Hester  saw flitting among her garden plants, the mocking bird

Scout heard in a magnolia tree - or what I remember.

The swallow pecking at the casement's chipped paint

as if morse-coding a message of how the house

 of narrative would fall.
Notes -- Hester alludes to Hester Pyrnne, the adulteress, in Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel about sin and redemption in Puritan New England, The Scarlet Letter.. Scout refers to Harper Lee's tomboy in To Kill A Mockingbird.