Category Archives: college


For Wendy, who sat beside me on the train

I watched the shadows
Of the train on the trees
And you listened to your Walkman
Partially oblivious
To the obnoxious people behind us.
I don’t know why
But I was prepared
To protect you from them.

To me
Oregon was beautiful
But you didn’t bother to notice
Because you had seen it so often.

I was as comfortable with you
As if we were good friends
But I can only write about
What I observed of you
Because I don’t really know you
And I never will.
Neither of us is sorry.

I would like to make this poem
Much more precise
And beautiful
For you
Who has made this journey better
Than I expected
But the trees pass, with their shadows,
And Phil Collins plays on
So I have nothing to say,
Thank you
It’s been a wonderful day.

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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in college



The Sun in the Leaves

I wake
To the sound of a single leaf
Splashing onto the lake.
The last wave of shadowy bats
Swoop erratically above the water
Snatching a farewell meal
Before a good day’s rest.
The sun is just striking
The tree above me
As if it is the unknown force
That released the leaf.
I count the stars
In the mountain-morning sky
And hear the wind gently blowing them dim.

Why am I here?
The woman lying next to me
Whispers softly in her sleep
Words she can’t remember.
Am I one of those whispers?
Every lap of water against the rocky shore
Strikes me as a single day of my life
I can no longer remember.
What was important to me then?
(Where have you gone April 15, 1982?)
I do not like losing myself
Nor the flitting bats in the dawnlight.

And yet (as Tammy rolls over)
The waves against the rocks
Shape the shoreline.
Minor motions
Created the canyon in which I lie
And the mountains I yearn to climb.
So who am I
To long for the flat earth of yesterday?

Another leaf falls
And its quiet echo
Splashes in my ears.
That single leaf,
Casually resting in the water,
Causes ripples which carve canyons.
I could only hope
For as much in my life.

The sun blows down a third leaf
And Tammy wakes at the sound.
“Thanks for waking me,” she whispers.
“Isn’t it a gorgeous morning?”

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in college



can e.e. help us?                                (college)

i can not trivial
                     eyes my love
you are strong
i am strong (we
are weak and un
                        linked for a while)

whos wrong
my fault? lies
in not loving
enough you say
i should be committed
to something (least
of all) your mind
is still a diamond
but now it cuts brown
sugar eyes
our lives were strong
now they bleed

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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in college



Family History                                   (college)

And so I fill the cracks with birdseed—
Mom’s recipe
Handed down from a chicken farmer.
But it seems to attract only
Carrion crows and irresponsible sparrows
Not the brilliant cardinal I like so much.
The pellets seep out, too,
To scatter like dandelion fluff
So I constantly refill the supply.

There has to be a better way.

But who am I to buck a family tradition?
     (just as my wife must make
      lasagna and meat loaf like my mother)
I know no other way
And spend my courage in keeping the cracks small.

Weather-worn, I fear I am not strong enough.

But really, why worry?
My parents have gone through life
Denying the cracks in their foundation,
As has the chicken farmer.
They were not broken and have not run out of birdseed.
Maybe they do not sing with the cardinal,
But the crows are company.

Everyone likes visitors,
Even sorrow.

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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in college



Stonor’s Eagles                                             (college)
(from the novel by William Horwood)

I roam
Through winds that eagles fly–
      Harsh mountain winds
      Swirling and crashing
      Against cliff faces–
Looking for a place to roost.
I whisper prayers into the night
To Gods I don’t know
Except in legend.
My face
Becomes my father’s face,
My eyes
His eyes.

Clouds form
And become the wings of the Gods–
And I am filled with sorrow.
Rain falls from the wings
And I sleep into my dreams.

Ocean breezes wake me
And my father’s face
Becomes my face,
His eyes
My eyes.
Terns rise in breeding flights
And I smile
And let the wind lift me up,
No longer frightened,
Through mountain passes.
Shelters appear
But I fly by
Taking joy in the rain
And the swirling wind
Pushing me upward.

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in college



Colibri                         (college)

We were close
But our touch
Was the melding of shadows
Caressing on a hillside.
We laughed.
Ours was the freedom
Of hummingbird wings
But night
And time
And our fleeing shadows
Abandoned us.
We are close again
But miles of mountain roads
And cloud covered sunsets
Stand between our shadows
Denying us
Even our ethereal touch.

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Posted by on May 17, 2013 in college