Poetry E-mail

Tan Line

Tan line
A fine line—
marks day from night,
dark from light.

Tan line,
A thin line separating hidden
from seen,
an edge too clean
to bear encroachment,
or fault.

Tan line,
Second serves
On courts, of clay
With nets—
thin white edge
All have to clear
To fall fair.

Tan line—
Crazy serves
(not pointless)
We drink the mountain’s
Odd quirks,
Oddball pros
Dead arms dropping---

I am beyond
The games lost and won.
I run
Not to miss the mark
This time.

Love is pointless
Only in this game—
In life
Love is all===
And only.

Tan line—
A new line
Of flashing eyes
And spirit—
The loss of you
A deep ache in me
and you—

you win,
your ad
your ace

Tan line.



Windows Sing Witness

Windows sing witness
Songs – great cloud of shout- etch fired
Images peering
Into our hearts, calling us
Walk holy journeys of ours
And theirs.  Still speakers
Of pain and faith, spirit flame
Embraced, melting to
Compassion- truth- peace, all
God qualities drawn onto
Our souls’ slates, painting
Black and clear sparks full colored
Memories of good
And courage and love long ‘ere
We lived them.  These mighty saints
Drawn and enflamed here
Glow as holy ones- holding us
Near to them and all
Others who fix hands to plow,
Hold one another and God.



Abraham’s vision
A star-crossed one—barren hopes,
Cried from an old man’s seed,
Become Isaac’s laughter, mine
Now. Find sacrifice redeemed,
Promises sounded
From Ram’s horn—celebrated, three millennia.
Myriad life leapt and grew
From dead loins to aged womb.
Old hurts struggle still
To kill brother-love, to wrest
Almost life from death.
Arab son—Hapiru son, when?
Pour your hawk nosed abandon
Into our own lives
Shine your vision in us, now.




You, shining Phoebe,
Servant Deacon –light bringer,
Food feeder for Christ,
You smiled your gentle wisdom
Into Paul’s heart. Caught by his
Pen, you image Christ-
Servant icon foot washer, he modeled for us
Caring touch. You reflect God’s
Glow, life challenge to my heart.

Sojourner Truth

Speak now, Sojourner.
Speak truth to my justice-poor
World. Even now, ” Ain’t
you a woman?”, courage wrapped,
bent, not broken—chain now broke.
Call faith forth, Jesus,
Her passion spent in dark sneak
Railroad, your journey
As well. Integrity and
Hope wear the face of all born
Of woman, not just
The fair ones. Send that Spirit
You wore to sunder
chains bigotry bound to me.
Unslave me, Truth speaker,now.


Boy with Loaves and Fish

I’m but a boy child,
No status do I carry here,
No power in me—
These basketed loaves and fish,
Crusty smell draped around me,
Small shoulders carry
Questions shrugged—why my food? Why?
My food is my share,
Puny fare for so many
My security held tight
You take to divide.
The puzzle in my face seems
Wry mystery wrapped.
What bounty works through my life
Changed into new found fullness.
You, Jesus, did this
Through me. Transformed what little
I bring for myself
Into plenty.—fish and loaves?
Me, O God, multiply me!


Stone carver, painter
Of God’s creative passion,
You hammered your dreams
And pain into reality, freed
Caught captives from stony wombs,
Image brushed God’s touch
Into the awed space between.
You sang poet’s fire, spark full
With human yearnings and grief,
Lost love, chiseled fears.
Your Pietas wrench us back,
Revere torn Mother love,
Compassion hewn orphaned need.
Your graced art gives flesh to God
Incarnate in us.


J. S. Bach

Singer of God’s Grace
And shepherd’s full fold glory,
You are God’s music,
More than somber fugues, two part
Inventions – played harmonies.
How darkness shadows
Our days – but you send note-sparks,
Flashes of medley,
Toccata cast, down the years,
Keyboard caught Divinity
Sounds your genius
Into my needy world. Make
Holy our strident
Lives. Your pure songs melody
Homage to our dancing God.






From Where I Stand

(at the Falls of the Ohio)

What speaks the murmur.
What cries the wave-lap,
Slap lapping rock and marl.
My river's silent stories,
I stand expectant to hear,
Long since told --- gone, memory
Carried, freight lashed &
Tight rope bound, em-barged
To another place, listen
From another time caught
In currents too slow for me
To know.
................Where I stand
(People may, but moons don't lie
About rhythms & cycles
And what awe-ful surprise waits
Wrapped in daybreaks yet to shine)
.. ..... From where I stand
Indian specters ghost hunt
Bison, endless patience wait
Herds' wet stink-shagged falls fording---
Hunter's face a wilderness
Of gnarl eyes, flint fire anxious,
Season upon season learned
Long since to sense hoof-splash soon
Then spear plunge Beasts' gasping hearts,
Chests heaving from fear-cold swim,
Blood lanced water a river
Itself another portent
Of sacrificial passage,
....... from where I stand
Corn Island waits hushed, not gone,
Asleep, cozied, snug
Beneath a flotsam sewn quilt
River stitched, never finished
Heirloom, (motion tendered alms),
Ageless alluvium wealth
Deposit for another
Bank (round the bend, past my view)

From where I stand, far across---
An Indiana shore, rich,
Full green & distance sweet
The other side of this flow,
Always moving, never still
Telling its own taciturn tale,
Crypt/ic island-- body buried,
(Canal caused current demise)
Liquid shroud, silt filled
Nose reek of diesel taint
From tugs, while cars & semis
Upriver bridge-belch progress
Into acid skies dark as
Pass over ---asphalt threaded
Needle, passage out of now,
Into the eye of never,

From where I stand, deeply moved,
River untouched but for fleet
Shadow, speckle-spark highlights
Over rippled glide, let wet
Throated river voice flow past
My mind entranced set adrift
To word woo me back alive.

From where I stand, this river's
Silent lips sign mute mind touch,
Slow speaking how short my days ---
Standing inside a moment's
Breath-take, such my span of years ---
Making little sense
Of a mere letter or two
Read frozen, in an epic
Tale thousands of years spoken,
Worth the full telling only
In deep, slow susurration.

What speaks the river murmur?
Soft assurances through flood
And thin to assuage future
Fears about my world working
Out somehow like this curled rope
Of life, where I stand.


No Other Worlds

(for Loren Eiseley)

night black air      knife cut thick,
heavy drapes my thighs --
wet sweats hanging    work out     weary
resting --    insect song drone &
cricket chirp an     “I am my own world!”
din, & larvae wrap cicada phonics
around me  -- cocoon encase    my thoughts
waiting focused    inside   to comfort nestle me.    

i don’t exist     in their night-sighted world --
& beyond perception      sit    apart --
not a part    of rasping wings  &    
fiddle legs     drumming     their identity    .
for night tuned ears.

the home I seek,     like Homer wrought heroes,
hides behind a darker destiny    
than Argo bourne wonderlands
magic made     to challenge    
my own Argus-eyed    wanderings.

who I am     I     mystery unfold
mid journey    not the end    of it.
Discover search    a larger world
than I will ever find     outside
inside myself.

Dark monster waiting,     crayoned    
from childhood days      tongue-chewed
fist drawn,        

square-lipped scream     my fears
from their fire-eyed      faces.    
Circe  &  Sirens and one orbed giants
hidden  lurk,      & ward my name     from me.

No other worlds    but my own
Need    exploring to find my place     here.    


I Ponder

Fish, orange-gold gliding,
Seek out answers to hunger.
Mouths gulp mysteries.

I pond/er search as well ---wonder
If the questions I swim among
Are all the answers I need gulp.
My hungers gnaw, a dogfish school,
Shark infesting me --- fear-feeding
On my dark lusts with frenzied teeth,
Mouths agape --- not finding the core
Of me to sate their own seeking.

My mad cravings      not a rending
Ache in this garden place --- this safe
Retreat --- simple-shrinks rank deranged
Ogres eager to feast on me.
Here they no longer terrify.
The twisting path a curl of peace
Rich with/drawing color repast
Food for eyes and soulful chewing…..

Taste and see the goodness….. Textured
Trail replete --- a belly laugh full
With bursting growing climbing…..life
Singers chant me a mystery.
It seems mystery grows amid
Planted paths shaped like question marks.
Vines bloom a refuge for my heart ---
Shade to heal in --- my hurts warded.

Their simple leaves and bending stems
A shout of quiet joy.     Trumpet
Vine, Solomon’s Seal, Burning Bush,
Scripture sign my walk --- make mindful ---
Entwine earth with heaven --- Jacob’s
Ladder abloom    (no need wrestling
Angels here).     Sit and pray.     Soft breathe,
And be.     Buddleia, --- Nandina ---

Clematis climbing --- mute proclaim
This rampant beauty garden path ---
Ordered chaos.     Slash and burn no
Power here where rock, sun, water ---
Fragile plants --- squeeze life out of clay.
You sing birds and butterflies for
My heart searching. No answer sure
As the peace found here --- full with God.

Wind/flowers dance away my doubts,
gentle healing a fractured me.

New Doors Beckon

I straddle a crossroads, not a fence--
My quandary place rips and tears
Out of richness not poverty--
Boggle-mind potential     tugging---
Which way walk?    Which step take? Which dream
Follow?    Which dark plunge chance to make
To find the me inside    alive,
Full with song.    
New doors beckon near
With a wry twisted sense of fun--
To anxious quest what “Game Boy” choice
In me to pursue,        thrill waiting
Breathless    behind each opening.
Same thresholds were there when I wore
A young upstart’s face,        peering    now
Through folds,    wrinkles, and gray/white beard.
My choices drum for me a more
Insistent beat---choose any yes
For one        becomes no to others,
My life no longer span enough
To stride through all--        risk void stepping
If the choice is booby-buzzed    blank—
Hollow—a TV show vacuum---
What prize behind each door?     Can’t choose
One but not the others—future
Closed and locked.
But isn’t it said
When one door shuts    others open?
Wiser hearts than mine have conveyed
That reality---open doors
Become beginnings of peril---
Or promise,    place of faith-stepping
Shadow walking charged with anxious
Excitement     skin crackling hair raised
Static popping electricity
Shiver teasing arm hairs alert—
Nervous belch or quick anxious glee
Leaking from our face and spirit—
No matter our age—we sweat and
Fantasize--    a pimple faced kid
Ready to knock on a first date’s
Door,        or tremble sits  porch-waiting
To find what unthought surprise strides
Into our hearts.
Every door     a way
Into a new world,—new sights, fresh
Gifts to seek in oneself—pieces
Of old dark pasts,    fear-stashed     apart
From our own eyes and memories,
Brought to light,    then chest hugged tender
As part of me,    my darkness, mine.
Every life holds stark patterns, ---
Individual images,
Dark self needing    own acceptance.
Chiaroscuro enhancements
Sharp limn my light & shadowed life.
Darks deepen a too pale palette,
Etching our rising,     another
Rembrandt “Lazarus” drawn from death’s
Porch,        “Come forth!” ear ringing us back.

New doors beckon me---
“Step through now.”
Shed the shroud wrapping  my lost smile,
Lived memories become bright-eyed
Hope for not lived yet moments--    wait,
Still rapt in surprised naiveté,
Captured innocence a treasure
Not to be squandered     or held safe,
To narrow & grow petty.        But
Spent in richness sharing, risking
Pain or betrayal    find the kiss
Of fullness filling my heart.
Becomes a passage full with doors
Beckoning --- each with mystery
Masked--    like myself---open or closed,
No knowing ‘til it’s tried     if I’ve
Become the door itself through which
Others trust and enter     searching—
Or shun    so nailed tight shut     a/way.
I straddle still        my world--- new doors
Beckoning---    yet each opening
A dawn gate inviting me now
To be both     way    and new journey.



Flying days are special days,
Exhilaration high days
Full of soaring and elation-
Not yet the peaceful drift,
The cloud quiet float of balloon,
Basket tied wicker womb, for lives
And thoughts of above, yet somehow attached,
Unseen tether tenuously holding me
Connected to my world.

Serene the soar --
Sounds normal speak below,
Become a trumpet in my ear,   demanding.
I flew in younger years,
Towel draped cape a flash of color,
(No need the phone booth, I)
Safety pinned "Cannon" at my shoulders
All the net needed for this Superboy --
Doghouse roof jumping,
Flight of fancy fueling
The sudden surging power to save
The world, if given enough time,
Before supper call.

I fly still.   Not in dreams
And fantasies of evil checked,
Bad guys locked, uptight and surly.
No more the stark black and white
Of clean drawn boundary, good against evil,
Right versus wrong, saint faced
By demon, --Us opposing Them.
That erst-edge of contact now a fog
Of questions and lines
Mystery obscured, held and breathed,

What I grapple with touches and changes me.
My prize, a vestige of Jacob's limp.
I wrestle with my own angel, called darkness,
Find a me in there as well.
Compassion does not attempt to soar,
But sits and rocks and holds
The hurt and sings of life,
Helps dreams of flight remain.

I fly still  -- a stole, my cape,
Alb, my triangle caught "S",
But the color of this sore-ing
Is grey, as grief, and good from bad
Guys hard to know  right
From right or right from wrong,
Which boundaries limn my age
Blurred vision,  all still
Somehow one, --needing to fly still.
I fly as best I can.
Let some other Superman save the world.
God tried  -- and found power in failure.
Things don't seem saved
Most days.  But days of heights tried
Give a different view  --
Proportions change when details disappear
Into a larger miniature landscape,
Distance etched then rolled,
Put away for a closer seeing
Another day, --special to fly into
Exhilarated and free.




I am a Humpback

I am a humpback with young—
Protective & proud—
Gentle as a watery nudge—
Sharp and vibrant as a tailslap
Thundering my presence.       Hear
Bubbles boil a rush of rise,
Furrowed throat aburst with krill.

I am a humpback--    song singer
Few players can follow—
Basso-chant the score I sound.
Wake , my world--    sing deep
The wild I sojourn wide.

I am a humpback--    faithful,
Unafraid of the deep—
Mysterious as surprise        & questions
Unasked--    unexpected—
Breaching a kelpy grin
With barnacled jaws--    scarred
By danger--    sacred the sense
Of life,         pouring joy -
Water streaming fluke drops
Catching spray sparkle sun,
Beads light lancing my worlds eyes,
Then plunge into  aquatic dark.

I am a humpback large as life
Will allow me--    as held
As the flow of world
Which slippery surrounds me—
Graceful as laughter pealing
Gut given & innocent.

I am a humpback, passionate & playful
Alert to dark dangers         still,
Undercurrent riding beneath—
Buoyant as hope    
Aswim with sunrise-    you
Ebb & flow in me rhythmic
As the tides, eons danced
In slow time
To the very core-pulse
Of me.

Back Porch

Stately lady gowned white & foxy red,
Pretty as any belle who plies the river,
In need only of a wheel to paddle away—
Hooded shelter for gaze & dreams &
Thoughts flashing in & out of shadows –
Like bird quick spurts & darts, food searching,
To another place, you are refuge near.

You table welcome family & friends –
Railing gather & hold us – ledge become
Elbow perch for deep pond peering – story
Sharing a time for lives opened searching
To find answers we swim among, silent
In the dark, and anxious to sunlight see –
Feel the glow of lighted hearts & hopes,
Warm candles dancing their gold smiles across
Faces, ceiling fans a purr of breathing.

Glider squeak & sway of sitting, hands held,
Back & forth touches a sanctum inside,
Old as remembering – deep mythic hold
For primordial need, astride a limb
To watch magic flashes tear the night apart –
Cool air a shiver of leaves drawing near –
The rocking, a rhythm of memory,
Hummed & pulsed with milk sweet breath, gentling me.

Jagged shards of light spill out rent cloud plash,
Rivulets cascade from prelapsal shanks,
Water worries dark ground splotched garden loam,
Seeps to fill my empty need to root wrap
Earth to me, en-natured, on this porch.

Web  By  My  Door

Web by my door--     complex framed

Narrow net for through-viewing

Gentle be/held morning,  fresh broken --

Lamp to downspout hung.  Soft edged silk

Gossamer light-caught quick silver

Threads dew bedecked glisten pearl drop

Lenses capture-shine an upside down

World.  Sticky string, spider draped

Woven web comely trap beckons prey caught

Snatched--     no strings attached --     cocooned

And set aside in gauze --     arachnid spun

Cotton candy treat.     Red-eyed mouth drool

Captor, hover suspense patient for me

To disappear into its web by my door.



Birds saber-flicking hyper tails,
Seed laden sparrows replete sing
Shower lieder, and cascade splash
Wriggling little downy bottoms,
Nest settling rumps into the purl-
Echoed calls enfold the garden,
Wing flap laughing their joy-- lifting
My world’s grave faced need of gladness.

Tadpole not yet frog ghost prowling,
Large brained dark sperm shape,- still, subsurface
Stealth bomber, gray gliding menace,
Monster sowing a scary chill
To see him gulp and go, swallow
Without warning, water strider
Terror pulled in its wake, waiting
To become the next bitter bite.

I sit entranced, contentment curled
In my mind like toddler fingers
Wrapped around a popsicle stick.
I soul-retreat to taste the red ---
Rich sip cool sweet nature’s savor --
Know the God inside, outside me,
Tranquil rocking me quiescent.


Patchwork Image

(for  Ross, Robbie, and Alex )

Aids  quilt,
woven fabric of memories
sewn sentinel of
shattered dreams and
lives interwoven
pain and hope
of Tragedy.
Innerstitched shouts
of praise to replace
real presence
real reminder of loss
empty holes torn
in the cloth of potent promise
and talents untried
and gifts unshared
ragged edges snipped
short --too short
to wear to golden
Tears and sorrow and
endless lists of names
into our hearts
swollen to breaking
rent asunder
by death--obscene
and vicious totally
without conscience
prejudice, respect
for age or gender
or gifts ungiven
back -  to lovers.

Patchwork image
of my world
you unfold
my pain -
and sorrow that you
need exist
at all.

“American Gothic”  (after  G. Wood’s Painting )

What rigid pitchfork holding mind
Stares at me       piercing
Me caught on tines of time, caught
By his eyes --       closed doors,
Curtained like attic windows
Hiding       what lies behind.

Beside --standing sister --        severe,
Concerned turned eyes looking,
Looking past --       away from me --
Any me --       too constrained
By her own need
To any-other see,
Much/less her brother.       Yet
Cameo at collared neck speaks
A softer she --       somewhere lost
In a kinder day.

What art do they play me into --
Standing before that painted world
Drawing  me with their strictness
To wonder about their life
(And deep, face-stoning hurts,
Fortress jawls set
For protection and security)
And who my own face
Paints me to be.


Covenant Call

I sat designing today,
my way through spectrum-inked
of silent,
Stars, and
Sunshine, and
Ladder Shapes climbing their weaving way
through light
and blue
and shattered sparks of
Covenant bow.
And you were there,
behind the Stars,
beyond the blue,
and radiant reds---
ever-present part of me
I with-drew,
for a time,
to be a deeper part of you,
to draw you
in my mind;
to form you
in my thoughts
and have your presence
and love me.
You called me --
in the midst
of our thoughts --
a contact of Covenant more real
than paint on paper --
to speak your love,
to share your day --
your voice,
the gentle hand
of light
which shades
and hues the
piebald tapestry
of our lives.



Paths & Fences -Thoughts from a plane I- Dallas

Hazy paths,
earth bound threads,
limning people’s lives
from square to square --
asphalt stitched winter cover,
mist mantled quilt --
distance drawn
for seer’s sight,
life lines tempting me
to walk the rope
of stories lived and waiting
to be told.
Those tangled trails
are sometimes fences
of fantasy,
where days and nights
huddled in the years --
the wide - eyed wonder
of world of dreams -- and
by alarming light,
to stretch themselves into
yawning reality.

We are caught
by paths and fences,
to be free
within them --
to walk in fascination
and wonder into
a future
which embraces our lives
with a stoop-shouldered
hug.     I
am loved!
That is the only fence
I need
or path to take
to find
how rich
my life.


Time Unspent -Thoughts from a plane II- Phoenix

Time away from you
is time unspent --
seconds suspended pendulum
swinging --
counting its past
in metronome numbers
fingering the years
with palsied prints placed
on mechanical wings
holding aloft lives
infantastic cloud forms
others’ time --
far distance rushing
beneath me
with a roar and
slow-motion sense
of need.

Time and distance
the ache in me
for being away-from
Rivers,  lakes,  streams,
miniature landscape lights,
my thoughts from
below.     Oh
to see the sparkle in you --
the splash of life
behind your eyes
waiting  to invite me
into yourself.
Only time with you
is time
worth spending --
and with all those
whose lives are
time-tied to ours.

But you are
with me now spending
in my head and heart --
lovers unaware
of passing minutes
linked fantasies
of presence so real
it fills my
humanness with
your timeless love.

Follow-steps --Thoughts from a plane III -New Orleans

New horizons call
me,   beckoning,
siren song singing
of different days
labor prep’d and
delivery draped,
in vocal chord clothes
birthing me
from complacent placental place
New life!  New life!
New life, new hope --
New steps -- to take
with hand grasped twin
searching -- with me,
eyes pressed tight
closed,  seeing
question shaped hope.
New life spanked into
open throated cry,
upside-down spilled
braking barriers, charting
my faltering follow-steps

What lies ahead?
for com-panions
bread eating breaking
sharing lovers searching
in separate shoes
finger locked
lived together dreams
gently drawn
in prints side by
side placed  intertwined
new white tense-bleached
nails arrowing
a new path followed
finger grasped,

With no other,
given any choice to choose
others from,
would I live
the steps my life
points out, but with you.
To stride into
the startled future --
Tiger lily shaped
and amber washed --
to find what golden
glory day unfolds
to chase the sun,
nectar cupped-for-us
new sweetness to
a pollen poor


Blest My World

Gray dawned day,
cloud driven &
rain suspended -
Colors the daylight,
Shine-filtered & soft -
Welcomes thoughts
of other times
in sun glow days
of faster pace
and pressured need
to do
and leave new mark
on a re-markable
which fast forgets
its own.

Your love is past
forgetting -- deeper delved
than seed bursting
with potency --
rich in promise.

How blest my world
to know your

Welcome Do Not Enter

What kind of welcome
is “welcome ---do not enter?”
rejoice & come in?
No splay-nibbed pen or twin-tined brush
or split-fingered someone
writ that forked tongue
in cheek greeting card fixed
on that stonewall
ivyclimbing a guarded hello
rock walling a stony
silence for Gethsemani goers
hiding a cloistered  wonder-what-the-hell’s behind
that wall   they don’t want   anyone
to see the grass ain’t supposed to be greener
on the otherside of
something there is
that doesn’t love a ....

does celibate grass grow with solitary roots
or root hog & die  before I wake
me up when its vespers not
prime time
he chanted terse ly
the cot’s so straight & narrow
you can’t
roll over -- (skin your knee if you
do,)  but horizontal hurdle a one-eighty
drop & bounce         if the springs aren’t broke --

Have to get your water
down the hall & hope
springs eternal those walls’ll
never stand
the test of stuccoed time,
paint it white and maybe it will
go away        
quietly    now
is peaceful somehow        it seems
the monks here
black-yoked talk
in whispers even when they don’t --
hush -- must come from a still place
which hides behind the welcome
do not enter.





Lockhart Sanctuary

Lockhart sanctuary,
stone postured animals
life carved rock
Hard veined statements
time share trilobite space
molecule linked across the years.
Chiseled earth Mother flesh
a waiting heart in quiet years
and speak terra day silence
dormant firma secret gathering
wisdom gathered
in Alabaster
singing incarnate image
granite caught freedom
arrested motion in fleeting paws and pause
posing questions to ponder
with weighted whimsy.

Systems & sculptors can’t carve
the same stone &
image creativity --
crushed in the rush for order
and a stone buster blank bottom line.
No tool can form & find the life
locked therein
that’s allowed only an administrated use --
chisel fire can’t spark
from hammer blows
by unsighted hands.

Geese & doves pigeon-breasted perch
& eye lash link to my chair
a quiet nested me
mind grasping in my hands
egg centric warmed --
rock rhythm
polish poised breathing
creative connectedness --
to count the days
on microscopic cilia flexing
protozoan fingers
into a fist  then
bursting in layer hard gasps
into my world.

Rams & rabbits
and crook necked geese,
punched through stone
nostrils flaring
to suck air
through lungless lips
and balance rump cradled bottoms
& rock in prenatal play.

Primate eyes search me
my primate self --
bright eyes monkey see --
monkey do.

This world eats artists
for breakfast.
Stone dust & charcoal
won’t be found
in a Kellogg box.



Pudge-fingered shadows
Child’s play flicker    phantom forms    cinema’d
across my life.        Josh & Christie
(shining their sunny selves into the cobwebbed corners
of my world) make magic lantern movies,
deja vu’d frames,     photoflash fixed...
polychrome painted mind-screened
memories    rerun.

Babble-jabber bubbles    funnies float
from excited lips lisped for a world’s
jaded ears, jar me (a kick in the head jolt)
awake    --staccato patter word      after word
whispered    to wake sleepers     ssh-h-h-
down step--step    
down step
hand, flat-palm tracing, baby finger trails,
father finger gripped morning greeters
stairstepping    a    hello!
into my heart.

Morning sounds unring
the key    to stories locked inside slumberskulls--
dream masked memories    tumbler/tumble freed--
toddler tales    hanging    ‘possum-tailed
& question mark suspended...        Remember?....
when our own were that age?...    Stories told twice &
twice again     ‘til we get ‘em right.
Stories threading an eye-tied smile,
silent signaled narrative needle,
sewing sparkles behind our eyes

love linked years-ago days    seam stitched
to wear    draped    mantled pleasure for our faces--
patch-pieced quilt, warm
and snuggle secure    dappled delight
my joy....    

Newburg Road Peace

Agnes’ Bells beckon me
from distant past
wandering out of
distance passed by
racing thoughts
of day -driven calendar --
wheels spinning -- schedule
caught & captured
for one suspended moment
from status symbol
appointment book  “ I
must be important “ full.
My ride is late,
So I sit seeing
fun funnelled fountain,
sparkle casting reflections
against  cement  shaped seats,
its whirlpool shape
in reverse
down/up cupped
circle shaped sheet music --
life line rhythms flow
into my crisis crammed day --
humming Pachelbel canon
mantra peace,
my heart,
be still.
Sit  & enjoy
the marvelous moments
deep surprise given
gift giving
a quiet
core caressing
to a waiting heart.
Newburg Road hill,
haven for
from busyness runners,
you water welcome

Good News

Birds, -slashing through sunlight
racing shadow across light
spilled grass, -singing
breathless beaked song of
earth – life –dayshine
perched on leaf limbed mount
riding the breeze
in shadow-dappled play.
Quite a sight
for sore eyes
mist screened in relief
from news  good given.
Signs of life, --new life, --
new line drawn dawned
by pain and anxious bourne
to umbrella shaped hope
filtering future fears
released in blood and tears.
Blue pinioned flight
promises peace and
soothe sails
into a new day.

Balloon : “Merlin and Nimue”

Silent soaring envelope
of air.
Pregnant bearer
of basketed lives
Suspended -- Awestruck image
of far sighted future raising
Reflected -- in dancing irises
Shining -- playful focus
of arm waving smiles.
Uplifted faces frescoed
with joy and delight,
Anchor unseen cord joining
earth and sky.
Transfixed mystic ball
magic splashed
Conjuring paired rune readers, --
Enchanting silken sorceress
Neighbors moon clothed Merlin,
Heat ascending cloudwrapped
canvas layered with
windbourne stars streaking’
Nimue hurled, -- caught
In gathered panels
of worm spun cloth.
You are sailing song-shout
of uplifted lives.



Some days carry a color-cast
always aglow with images
cradled        in reverence
and tender smiles,    sacred sensed.
An August day,   full
with wings and flight towards family
and sharing of symbols  (window-
children of my heart
and hand)  and hesitant fears
of acceptance--
& expectations changed
from slacks to skate-board-buddy-
shorts,  spoke such promise.

Cerulean clarity fused
with wet horizon’
blue hue blended,
mysterious power        pacified
this day-- inviting a gentle
brush with neap-tides,
combing sand and shore,
white-foam curling
a salty surprise,        ebb
and flowing the back & forth rhythm
of our lives.
Shells gathered,        chosen
for ‘lobe suspended serendipity--
sail boards scudding,
shouting a paean of wind
& wave-slapping exuberance,    mylar
rainbows ballooned with speed--
Dowitchers head-bobbing walk
sandpiper strut their
knobby-kneed humor into our eyes
and slender-beak-poke holes into
their wet world.

We talk.
Four become two by two--
twinned long ago by vows pointing us,
coupled,        into the future.
We hand in hand-linked walked
a foot tender trail
over ancient shells--
Shells themselves,    of pasts
not remembered--    by other than
chambered nautilus endless spiraled
into now,    & vestige echoes
of rhizopods and arthropods--
trilobites mind melding me
to a primal world still real
to ancestral smell and
synapse sparks of knowing--
Mesozoic memories nesting
behind our eyes,    dis-closed.
We poured out silent
fears-- tension creeping    away
sideways crab-crawling
into the sea--            gone,
trailing empty bubbles.

We sat amid fish & clams & “puppies” dipped,
laughs and stories bonding
four into one
Net House nestled evening
drawn to dusk-- distance shared--
back to discover peahens
roosting-- chimney-perched pale ghost
shadows -- flashlight stabbed
in the night.        Then tale of
unpainted eaves and louvers
falling on vacant ears--
No one near to eaves-drop
or steady a climber in the dark--
becoming another story to grin.

Some say God lives
near the ocean.
Yes.        And now
the tides ebb
in my heart.

Morning Moment --Galveston

Bathed in it,    balcony caught,
Sunrise en-chanted    constant murmur,
Surf-surging foam-robed lines
Endlessly curling        their presence,
Water drumming the sand.

Black fluttering specks     far-dive,
Pelicans near, wing flap sync &
Indian file feed, flying
Baste dot & dip hems
Over the swell-- sewing
Eon old mystery,        like sea/quins
Blinking,        to the surfline.

Shrimp boats, nets gull-wing draped,
Drifting pendants,    green lights peering
Beady eyes        distance drawn
Surreal image suspended--    arrayed,
Time & horizon    waiting    inanimate,
For God’s touch to be--

Beauty eye-stab-fixes        my heart
In joy--        I lump-throat swallow
My coffee,        aroma
Forever memory twined with
This moment     rapt-faced shared
With Patsy--    Mickey, Roger,
Bobby, Becka, Andrew & James,
Adam, Daniel, Christy, & Josh.

Morning moment        given to know
How sweet my life.


Lover, you are garden rich
with promise and life
bursting through quiet days
to become hope & sense of life
yet to open.  You are garden
place of security & close held
love -- earth smell deep delight
unfolding the sacred in all you touch
like daylilies morning light-waking
or candle fire flashing     surface seized
by water cascade rock-split
flowing into my heart,
silent deep shadow swimming search
calming me,        like fish gliding.

You are garden  grandmother
arms wrapped around child-- grand
or inner-- opening soul-doors to find
how connected we mystery-world are
one for the other & all the others as well
who garden search
pebbles & rocks to delight splash
in surprise -- all are there,
I am there.        We
are there     in that garden.


Music singing
Songs of joy --
Playing prayer
And gift given
In return for gift
Dancing fingers running
Across a salt
And pepper world
With color-spice,
And white
Lives needing
God finds ways
To open the doors
Of our hearts
Marked deaf,
With music’s key
And notes
With nimble fingers
Of gift given
other’s lives
And sings
Yet one more reason
To play “thank-yous”
With our lives --
And listen
To music made
And add
To choral chant
My one
“How rich
My life.”



This, a poem to you, son David
you,  a man now,     still
a boy searching for himself --
with pensive smile  &
reflective dreams soaring
You   the flyer -- cloud piercing
before me   lost faraway look
in your traveler's eyes.
I marvel at your strength
& resolve -- your willingness
to feel the consequences
of principle lived
and acted on.
Your own freedom,   bound
tied -- held captive
by your need.
I know behind your controlled
cool  is deep banked
hot,   heart soft  &
steel hard
ready to gentle
the earth & earth's children
you so cherish.
You sometimes seek to disappear
and walk behind other's
eyes through secret doors.
But you can not   ever find
the door
that would let you out
of my heart --
quiet son,    oldest son.
So I write this        pleased
with who you are    &
hopeful I fly into the future
with you   who are David --
cool & fiery.


Weaving body , finger dancing
music into lives hungering
for song     keys to who I am
in another melody  -- improvised
notes unwritten as yet  --
notes not ready  to be penned
on lines drawn across  my world --
measuring the disharmony   --
harmony focused  twelve-toned
dissonance playing  --   singing
truth and acceptance,     paeans
not dirges,   Alleluias in minor modes
shadow singing my life.

I live Secure

I live secure
held in your arms of days
full to brimming   spilling
with care  &  moments
shared --    warmed,
by golden sun
of your love  --  flashed sparks
captured by your eyes
aglow from your smile --
tender cradling    me.

You are heart-hugger --
truth-tell-seeker  --
joy-sparkle  --
rich woven
womb/offerer  -- children blest.
Your heart shaped spirit
opens life holder wings
& doors   to new bright days
& visions of worth --
comfort cuddled
in your  I love you life
linking us together.

No other need in me
need be filled
except in you.
Treasured evening
with treasured friends
splashed with sunset
smiling and music made
with rippled reflections
ceiling dancing
and laughing light
playing rainbow
hide and seek
with wood and cloth.

Tender thoughts
held in trust
and offered
with open hearts—
with mist-eyed hope
and wisdom washed
faces smiling an  O.K.
across the room.

Memories made and
stories shared,
( formed by fish
and talk of ceramic clay
across our dreams)
and meal,
bind friends
to one another.

We search our hearts
to find what gift we bring
when welcome holds us near,
and calls us into knowing
how special
special love is.
Presence is gift enough
to form
four friends
as one.



Blustering old man
of ice
cold mornings,
playing whirling dervish dreams
with screaming wails,
and cutting coats
and scarves and
breath imprisoned
in crystal air,
drive icy nails
through gloves & boots
in frozen fright
the victims of your frenzy.

slash and rip
and rail,  in fever cold screams,
toss against
amber warm light
and calm
of the indoors air
a pretty little girl
with fiery hair
and ember red nose,
(secure enough
to smile
and grin a warm hello)
and crackling
within the arms
of your cries
and begins to sing
of life

Valentine, 1995

This cold morning’s driving
into the sunrise  -- dawn scripture-separated
night from horizon hugged stratum
of in-birth sky --    layered
mauve & pink slice of life color
canvas splashed our new awakened
thoughts, dawnglow painted hope,
lightly brushed.

You so await the light --
emotion search your spirit quest
for day -- so glad to shed the cold of dark,
grip colder than bone-chill ice.
Your heart is warmth
for winter night not yet broken
into day.    Your smile dances
my heart into life -- snuggle embraced
in your wisdom & gentle empathy.

I love you.    So easy to love      you--
so rich & full-filling to be near,
to share your life -- to experience
the always unfolding mystery of you --
to bask in you like comfort-stippled sunrise --
shining new dawn insights ever deeper
into God’s care for me & my world.

No daybreak could ever
smile light into my dark
world as you do--         I thank God
you are here
to joy-laugh it with me.


Red is heart

Yes --    Red is heart,
& passion,    & Pentecost flame
Suspended -- Spirit, abrim full
Flowing bright:    Red
Blood   &   crying eyes &
Flash of pain bursting red hot
Poker  -- scarlet cathetered violation
Specimen stuck -- pinned butterfly
Caught    fix-winged, no regard
For dignity -- I’m insected --
Displayed in the art of science
No care     that its self pain/ted
As its life.        Yet
Red is Lake Michigan
Swallowing a bright gumball Sun &
Sound of waves wind pushed &
My Patsy’s red jacket,   flapping,
Hood drawn tight --    crimson
Frame for a wisp of smile curling
Her excitement --     joy & nature
Thrill-peeking out at me
Through bursts of wind.
Like fingers playing peek-a-boo
Before her face --    the cutting
Edge of red streaked sky
Bleeding    its life onto the water
Tinting our Dunes the color
Of evening.        I sit
At the edge of fear,
Red tinged, dark inked void
Incarnadine, madder Lake
Maw veining to black
To its chasmed heart,       empty
Cold.        Red-eyed monster
Drooling --     in its hand
A clutch of heart -- my heart
Squeezed to icy cold --    my warmth
A vermilion pool beneath his feet.

Red is hibiscus lounging
On my porch -- floral fat &
Pleased with its bushy self,
Abud & abloom,    insolent &
Red-olent with sassy spiked tongues
Greeting me when I visit
Or wander there with my eyes --
Their Bronx cheer not the cheer
I seek, but find peace & beauty
There-cupped        & soft edge fluted
Hope inside me --  blossoming red
My heart!    Yes.


Tiger Lilies

Day lilies,    stretching tiger bright,
soak in shining sun --
flamingo legged cups,
for bumble bee’s delight --

You are new life singer,
closed against the dark,
shade-wrap cloaked
from star light’s gaze.
You shine my better side --
Jekyll hide
the darker part of me.

is needed
restgiver --
even for dawn glory
such as you.

Season of hearts

This season of hearts
and your own borning,
finds love dressed in different cloth,
swaddling wrapped life
newborn bundled smell
suckled babies’ breath,

You tender hold and lavish
“Nannah” hugs and smiles so deep
earth’s heart is bared –
a throat rich laugh of new life,
and mother-mystery sensed connection
to God in time with us now
generation drawn into the future
by grandbabies’ tugging.

Our own lives a story of hearts & hurts,
as all who love have found,
for love is risk of most sacred self
touching other self – vulnerable
and innocent – open to the world,
in trust – a simple smile of creative joy
and whispered     yes.   Your life
a yes,   enriching my world –
echoing in my life
the sacred laugh of God.


Corning Connection

Corning connection,
you warm welcomed us
with a glass blown kiss
and smile, crystal-coaxed
and spectrum hued
for glass lover’s delight.
You open,
for awe-eyed wonder,
“Innerland” vistas
mystery singing a
lyric laden truth –
reflection casting caught
Highlander hurled,
sharing sparkled
You brim-fill excited vessels
such as we
with new found
joy-focused lenses
a same same world
with newborn eyes –
sight line drawn
creative cords
with vitreous threads
umbilical bonding
us-together-with your
translumined art.  You
have touched us with your gift
and we are



New leaf slowly nods.
Light etches quick bird shadows.
Early dusk quiets me.

Maple seeds spin free.
Airborne whirlpools 'copter search.
Earth waits ----- rich, soft womb.

Birds, a chorus now,
sing a coda for the day ---
my night symphony.

First drops splash the ground,
paint abstract dark/light canvas,
water color washed.

The phone ring finds me
lost in quiet thought,  I groan.
Terrible the sound.

The distant motors growl,
Night time hunting -- fast the rush,
Swallowed by the dark.    

Thoughts all a jumble
Captured by the blank white page,
Pen is still     in hand.

Notes hang in my mind
Mozart sings in memories --
My daughter's fingers.

Alive the sparkle,
Eye dancing across her face,
My love smiles at me.

Wire fence-slant rising,
Bright ladybug climbs the sky.
How far search the dream?

Pink and white dogwood
Blossoms bask while breeze dancing
Petals open,    bow.

Roads are paths below,
Like dropped threads they snake and twist,
Crinkled landscape quilt.

Clouds dark blanket drape
River, flat with fast flood weight,
Trees, crushed, become rafts.

Bird,  fluttering speck,
Stitches circles to the clouds,
River's sewn halo.

White barge,  black coal full,
Boils out brown foam,   a slow wake,
Silent the churning.

I sit.   View the Falls.
Page white, stark.  Mind expectant.
Haikus write themselves.

English landscape clouds,
Luminous white, pearly gray,
Paint serenity.

Pigeon -- head-bob walks
Crooked empty wander search.
My shoe ----not bird food.

Spring light tender holds
Mist-edged Indiana shore--
Gentle the nursing.

Light dancing ripples,
Noon's quiet water ringlets,
Fish jump,   swift feeding.

Daylilies straining
To be first to drink the dawn --
Orange throated cups,

Hoo Ahh - Hooo -Hooo - Hooo.
Mourning dove sings its grief song --
Wings flute its leaving.

How soft the down float --
Long grass caught and breeze settled --
White feather dancing

Haze filtered night lights,
Strings of diamonds,  Romance caught,
Detroit's jeweled breast.

Pillowed cloud carpet,
Gold soft sunset,  palette brushed
Corridor of flight.

Sharp sun-etched oak leaf
Wind float dive long since spiraled,
Brown, crisp shadow cupped.

Dark Fourteenth Street bridge
Spans dark water’s flow of years.
Worn memory tracks.

Gold carp glide searching,
Gill rhythm oxygen full,
The edge of hunger.

Winding pebbled path,
Tan rock rolling underfoot,
Satisfying whisp/er.

Trellis climbing rose,
Early light soft unfolding,
Bud of rapt surprise.

River spillway boils,
Fossil beds a rush of flood.
Petrified rapids.

Muscle shirt a bag,
Jacob rail spindle through sees.
Eye-catching pond fish.

White/black sentinel,
River mist winter cloaked ghost,
Still,        inscrutable.

Clouds, bare twig branch bagged,
Slow wind-tug to fly away.
Caught    cotton candy.

Quicksilver river,
Pigmented flow of sunrise,
Watercolor washed.

Draped with blur of snow,
Raw chilled river silent-broods,
Languid worry rope.

Winter sycamores,
Stream walking jagged white sticks,
Stark water markers.

Silver blue sliver,
Mist-hued ribbon of river,
Calm, precious flow-er.

Crested cormorants,
Dwar/fish loch ness monsters, dive.
Snake-neck periscopes.

Dark leaves north wind dance
Woodwinds blow a cool blue tune.
Listen.        Winter jazz..

Fish, orange-gold gliding,
Seek out answers to hunger.
Mouths gulp mysteries.

Dawn fogged rope of glass,
River-flow of memory.
It’s past    a keepsake.

Wind dimpled river,
Alive with morning sparkle,
Shimmers a hello.

Less than perfect glass,
Morning’s soft light reflection,
Mirror image,        mine



Blossom full trees reach,
River channel sleeps below.
A silence of need.

Gulls flop-wing fishing,
Diving lessons full with hope.
Some come up empty.

Rock sown river walk,
Driftwood piled, caught bones of trees,
Fossil tales laid bare.

Low clouds southeast push.
Wind gusts cryptic water-walk.
River crop circles.

Jazz saxophone man
River blowin’ me far away.
Cool liquid blues notes.

Mist shadowed mirror
Still reflects,    no sense of flow.
What’s past is past-time.

Helicopters spin,
Maple seeds catching sunlight.
Magic fairy dust.

Limbs soft shadow dance.
Slow leaves shade-dappled-light play.
Wood wind music,    watched.

Still,    silver lady,
Soft morning light pearl drapes you.
Dawn gossamer gown.



White Morning

White morning’s chaste surprise,

Powder laced hoar draped wild

Cold huddled flakes crystal-cling

To feeders and stump,

Ice-stitching filigree mantillas

On junipers, spruce,

Seed stripped Susans—& rimed pond rock

Pristine skin unbroken even

By rabbit feet or tiny trident

Petroglyph bird paths

Cuneiformed into the snow


Thin white line of soft,

Cold hugs each branch,

Bay window framed river birch

Morning poses for our eyes.

A slash of cardinal,

Wings a red statement across our white page

Then, bird perched, head flicks his

“Come out! Feed me” through the glass.

Guilt draws me out to join that world.

Seed cup in hand I freeze

To watch a black-capped chickadee

Upside down feed on a suet cake,

Our inches away acrobat.


We broke our fast slowly there,

Window caught –quiet world unfolding

Wondrous beauty fixed—normal time

Lengthened to savor this moment,

This food for the soul.

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