Wednesday, January 10, 2024


After the late night shower,

by morning these leaves look exhausted 

but content in their graves,

shiny too with clear pools 

in their centers no bigger 

than tears. 

Whatever yesterday laid flat 

and bruised in aridness 

now gains a second wind 

in the rain, a final taste, a gasp 

that returns blood to their veins, 

makes their brown spots shine

as small wide eyes.

I like this large maple leaf 

in the center of mud 

and not far away two thin eucalyptus leaves 

whose edges were nibbled on last night,

seem now recovered, stretched out 

on a neighbor's back, a small seed 

hanging like a bell from its spine. 

I mistake a red leaf for a feather 

and place it on the belly of a fallen 

chunk of bark, 

dark as espresso, 

arrange them all to my liking 

and remove my camera from a pocket. 

Part of me is always watching,

practicing their dying

Though I still feel 

far away from my undoing.

Yet for a moment here,

it seems not so bad a thing 

to one day lay down flat 

on the great heart of  this earth.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

 There, look, I say to me, 

and I look. 

I see blue, lavender—life. 

And stare 

      at that horizon's calm gaze. 

Like leopard eyes. 

Bright and then brighter

      and then dimmer and darker

as clouds part 

and re-gather . 

I promise to stay 


in this moment of clouds 

and swells 

not in the last moment, 

     not 1000 moments past,

nor in the next.

I will not squander this moment

      with its music of wind chasing wind, 

bird calling bird, 

water washing rock. 

yes .... yes I can do this, 

      I will, do this.

I will kneel at the altar 

     of this moment. 

No other. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Don't ask me how I'm feeling.

  Don't ask me how I'm feeling.

       Just don't ask.

Because I'm reeling.

No, no ask me...please.... ask!

     Because I’ll tell you

even if  you don't inquire,

even though I'm drained

of all routine desire.

I want to tell you. I really do.

     I don't want to be alone

emoting so much blue.

 I need to report it.

     Or should I say, deport it.

What is the right word

     for all my anguish?

What explains this weeping?

     This mood unrelenting, creeping

as a shadow 

follows me around

from my bedroom to the kitchen,

     From the market to the plaza?

I know the diagnosis—it is Gaza. 

Thursday, November 30, 2023


I start the day by eating toast 

with avocado instead of egg 

to begin a new ritual in my new 

moss green kitchen 

where I hang a gold and blue image

of Our lady of Guadalupe 

to save me from misfortune 

because I have always been superstitious 

and now grateful 

that I don’t live anywhere near

Palestine, Ohio 

where a homeowner with a bad cough 

took a microphone and told the

CEO of Norfolk Southern 

that his company stinks. 

I too have a right to feel wounded 

by miseries bursting from pipes 

and potholes and cracked sidewalks 

across my state.


Inside me a loud cry

will not cease 

for I know there

is no savior, no path away

from slumped bodies tossed  

under feeways by big owners.

of everything.

The smoke of small fires drifts out 

from the underpasses 

so we cannot forget 

who sleeps there. 

But I have avocados, sonnets, 

leaves from Lake Chabot, a grandchild,

a plane ticket. 

I can look but not get



I only need to hear 
the first three notes 
in his voice to know 
he speaks the truth about his homework
so I say, Ok Have another 
of whatever he is asking for.  

My little man hasn’t figured out 
how well I know him.  
He doesn’t realize his First Grade heart beats 
inside a glass cage for all to see.  

He tells me, Miss Robbins says 
she has eyes 
in the back of her head 
but I think she’s just kidding, don’t you?

I am the meteorologist of his moods. 
I know what he’ll say and what he’ll do 
until the day a shadow darkens his upper lip. 

That’s when he changes passwords 
on all his devices. 
And when the How would I know? answer 
shoots down my every question.  

Warnings, slow, like a truck beeping in reverse. 
And then one night the roof blows open. 

A spray of cologne announces 
a blunt has just been lit.  
And the whispers of a girl wake me
in the middle of the night. 

Each dawn pulls him further from 
the glass cage into a steel vault
and me wondering, must I love
him harder or with more ease?

The answer, like an engine 
in a rusty old car, 
turns and turns but never catches.

Saturday, November 4, 2023


 When facebook flashes pictures of him 

I posted 10 years ago, or 7, or even only 4,

an ache moves through me.  

My eyes fix on the picture, enlarge it 

with my thumb and finger for a closer look 

at this adorable being I lost. 

No he is not dead.  

Grown. But isn’t that a death?

The child body is shed. 

The caterpillar is no more. 

It makes me a little weak to see 

him again. That funny expression that 

amused us all.  

The musings sung to me—

so in love we were! 

A child grows noiselessly, 

in smoke as if by a spell—

all in one night pulled 

into the mystery. 

The force is in them, 

stirring them up, making them tall & hairy 

& hooded--making them say mean things 

and then apologize.

 I wish babies would hatch 

—not one beauty at a time —

but like cicadas—by the millions.

Not just one grinning, toothless, 

skipping boy-- but millions 

exactly like him 

all springing from the earth

every few years, 

high singing, buzzing.

The school reports

The school reports my teen man 

missing again.  I wonder 

what am I supposed to do 

with this new bullet of hurt? 

Peace with him now as brief 

as a traffic stop before 

the next bad news.  

Is there any use to sit 

on the edge of his bed to talk?   

Or to grab his stack of curls and pull 

him to the floor like my mother 

did to mine?

In the beginning, he never disobeyed 

or snarled or cursed.  

I thought it such a blessing 

but now I ask the thin air all around, 

was that a clue I missed--

some kind of secret suffering? 

Who knows why his future 

shows up like this—the days 

of sweet behavior giving way to vaping 

and mating in the back seat.  

Surely that good-kid blood still 

flows through his veins. 

All that light of heaven he 

once shared freely 

he may share again—

tho less evenly, less often—coerced 

by the dictatorship of