Quirks and Quarks

The purple coneflower sings “Of what is past, or passing, or to come.”

WB Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium


Thoughts and Prayers

I wrote this poem in response to the mass murder in Las Vegas several years ago. I am sad that I return to it again and again.


Villanelle: I Am Greater Than This Darkness


The Joy of a Pointless Walk

“Maybe walking into some marshes, and deciding at an undetermined future point to stop walking, was what was available to the Romantics, but I think …

The Joy of a Pointless Walk

March – a poem


gold blades slice
weeping bare limbs
pierce cold earth

ice water
bright tonic

sleeping roots
Quirks and Quarks

The Day I Spotted God Shoplifting

The Day I Spotted God Shoplifting

Many questions arose the day I spotted God shoplifting in the grocery.

God, God of everything, steals canned chicken? What could She possibly need, Producer of produce, Potter, Baker, Maker of meat and me? Stuffing another can in Her purse, out popped tomato soup, and I thought She’s sloppy in Her old age. I wondered if She had ever been detained – the sign reads “Shoplifters Get a Free Ride In a Police Car.’’

A unique opportunity, I followed Her and pretended to examine limp yellow celery, though She had to know my intention.

I wondered what She thought of this produce department? She’s probably seen better, like the good stuff that First Week. That was some fruit, I tell you.

I asked Her some of the big ones.

Are you God? THE God, God of everything?

Of course.

Would You recommend another market for fresh produce?

Anywhere is better than this dump.

Why are You shopping here?

I’m not shopping. Are you blind?

So, this Neil Diamond guy: What do you make of him?

Not my freaking problem. Get away from me or I’ll smite thee.

Annoying God of everything not on my list of errands, I apologized.

Have a good morning.

I shall.

Of course.

I waited in my car. I had to see the car God of everything drives, even follow Her home. A brownstone on the tony north side? A flat in the near west side?

I considered now I have something on God of everything, though She has plenty on me, because She is God of everything.

She drives a yellow ‘72 VW Beetle. It’s probably hot.


February Haiku


Thin gray twilight draws
Threadbare blanket close around
Winter’s stony heart

A Second Opinion

A Second Opinion

 I won’t tell you
 these things happen for a reason
 and other cruel lies.

 I will tell you
 I’ve seen your feral cells under my microscope.
 Unlike you in every way
 their genes encode bald greed.
 One of you must go.

 I will tell you
 about tears you can’t spare.
 You will ask how terror
 restores harmony to the universe.
 A perverse counter-weight
 to immense good.
 A life lesson that takes life. 
 You will hate your new vocabulary:
 anorexia, intra-thecal, stochastic.
 You will say chance insults intelligence.

 In the end, if you still seek a reason
 I’ll hold your cool hand.
 I will tell you
 chance favors greed
 and greed serves only the greedy.
 Beautiful one,
 this life is a world apart
 from your generous heart. 


 Now comes the quiet hour.
 The sunflower bows its heavy head,
 its soft petals curl,
 drop like tears to the dry ground.
 Now the finch eats her fill.
 She sparks across the garden 
 to hungry chicks
 and sings one true ballad.
 All depends on this quiet hour,
 the faded flower, its heavy load,
 the finch's wings
 and one true ballad.

October: When to Worry

October: When to Worry

 Today you would not write lines on October
 like the musings of your youth. 
 You said the rosy sky was afire and the smoky air was sad. 
 You smelled leaf rot (deep in your soul), and so on.  
 You marveled at pearly dew sparkling in morning sunlight 
 because that’s what dew does, and that’s what a boy writes  
 the day he sees October.  
 He’s learning to write October.

 It’s time to worry when you see brown.  
 When you hear “the terminal sound 
 Of apples dropping on the dry ground.”  
 You’re going south the day you see 
 geese flee, sunlight fail, green grind down. 
 You’ve got bigger problems than gray wind and dry rose hips.  

 You’ve pulled out of your dive the day  
 brown becomes cinnamon,
 when October nods, slips into red, and Autumn creeps. 
 You’ve turned the corner the moment you see  
 Summer pause on sunlit hill, weep, and move on.