Monthly Archives: February 2016

Quiet as father’s love (#306)

she wears boots for the sound
you will know where I am
she closes her eyes
for every sunset
the wind has learned
not to ruffle her hair

On Saturdays
she wanders the farmer’s market
searching out ripe tomatoes
and interesting homemade jams
just a typical 20-something
in a floppy hat and Reeboks

by habit she skips every love song on Spotify
lyrics are lies
she still remembers her childhood lessons
on firm handshakes
she closes her eyes
for every sunrise

On Sundays
she avoids church
but she usually sits
in a hard chair by her window
watching the play of light and shadow
on the willow just outside
she knows the squirrels by sight
and how they shake the limbs without falling

and when she finally comes to see me
boots off
eyes open
to try to find who she is again
I don’t tell her what I think
or who I see
I am not her answer

the best I can give her
is my mother’s wisdom
passed down from winters
on a New England farm

“Sweetie, there’s lots of room in the sky.”

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Posted by on February 23, 2016 in new poetry


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1,000 words (#305)

When I die
You may do what you want with my body–
Bury, burn, freeze
Erect a gravestone
Dedicate a park bench
Name a scholarship for me

I only ask
That instead of a funeral or a wake
You recite
The thousand words I leave behind

Some are simple, well-known, obvious:

Others you won’t want to say:

The best will be those words
That you will have to search for
Words I have left for you alone
Left in the almost-dark
In whispers
Hidden in songs

Please find them when I die
And recite them, for me

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Posted by on February 8, 2016 in new poetry


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An apology (#304)


The difference between
        swimming and drowning
is air

The difference between
       falling and flying
is only the ending

The difference between
       pain and forever
is one kiss, poorly timed

Eyes face the same way
      but one sees light
      and the other the following shadow
Both pull forward,
      one with the gravity of earth,
      the other with the gravity of empty space
Lips not destined to meet
      two magnetic poles
      both pointing North

I pushed through the resistance
I ignored the rules


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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in new poetry


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The #1, Local (#303)

I want to be interesting
To the old man with the sketch pad
On the #1, Local.

Look at me, here,
Standing with arms stretched high
Bracing against the rattle of the tracks.
I am an eagle.
Proud. Soaring.
Or if not me,
Sketch my wife, at least,
Calmly in front of me
Her profile shaded by the flickers
Of passing light.
Beauty I would love seen by others.
Find us interesting!

The old man pulls out his charcoals
And draws a graceful curved line,
An eagle’s wing?
The fall of my wife’s hair?

The two guys next to me laugh
When they recognize
The curve of the young woman’s face
Who sits next to the artist.
“Smart old guy.
Always draw the pretty girl.”

My arms are still wings, proud.
My wife is still beautiful.
The train keeps rattling, forward.
As, of course, it should.

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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in new poetry


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Saturday, driving to grandparents (#302)

half-awake Saturdays
driving to my grandparents’ house
my mind gives me
voices and visions of what should be
instead of us

intellectual llamas
contemplating Camus
conversations that cover
love and other lost civilizations

talk radio
heater on high
occasional glances in rear view mirror
checking on my mood

like elephants
sitting on the telephone wires
birds flying backwards
giving us the illusion of speed

poetic wanderings
safer than talking
that just leads to questions
I don’t want to answer

God’s breath
looming outside closed windows
warnings of storms only I can hear
the silence of lightning
waiting to strike

I close my eyes

they hope I’m asleep

I’m not

this is my only answer

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Posted by on February 3, 2016 in new poetry, Uncategorized


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