A selection of short poems. (list)

The Lou Harrison Shelf

Last night, across
a dusty street corner
I reach
a junk shop—
the sort whose racks & shelves of
old tools & metal signs
are dragged daily outside—

& eventually
I’m perusing Lou Harrison’s bookshelf.

The owner
walks up
& explains he’d once
been hired
to clear out Lou’s home

In the middle of one side
of the shelf
there’s a staircase
which I follow
up & into
a modest
concert hall mezzanine
inside the house

I find myself casually
in the presence
of Lou’s friends
who seem not to know he has died

—perhaps, an earlier time, before
he’d gone

September 14, 2021

Hoping It Was Thunder

I was hoping it was thunder I was hearing
& soft joy when I was certain
& then   a few assuring flashes signal
more   to come

Sudden recollection
as of a voice that was forgotten
or the morning’s dove cooing from Maryland
Could it have been years since I noticed this?

pattering   on the gutters
& trees & roof
& even the steady drip through the ceiling
onto two attic steps

makes me want to be silent

To give   all the space
to low rumblings

March 18, 2021


Spinning on the heels
of your replacement funny flats,

you float free of the floor
& the long front desk,
where keyboards & telephones wait

for fingers & voice
they do not deserve
to know, or to have
your time

Or to feel
the click of your ring
& turquoise
earrings, dangling

But what
or who does?

I do not know.
I see you,
in your own rugged elegance,
unjustly tethered
to the rest of us

April 18, 2022

No Wonder

It is no wonder
no spirit
& no magic
are alive

In a house
without cracks
in the floors   or folds

in old
(for it)
to hide   in-   side

March 17, 2021

Half ‘Cross The Bridge

Half ‘cross the bridge
over swampy Totopotomoy Creek,
a place we’ve never been   or heard of
but come to
driving aimlessly

Now singing
Luke Kelly’s Raglan Road
half ‘cross the bridge
August & I, running,   laughing
after chatting with a Scottish man
& his dog   who’d come
from the opposite end of the trail

Incidentally, a Robert
Incidentally, a fiddler
whose wife called
at just the same moment as Kate

March 15, 2021

Reading Over Your Shoulder The Whole Time

After one
solitary yester-
day of observation

this one
is filled   with communion

Mostly unexpected, but
none   more so

than when on the metro
as I star the corner
of a page of poetry

the guy
sitting next to me
says:   wait,

you like that one

July 9, 2021


One green wrap
on near-black
around a barren branch

& another strand
outstretched & swaying,
just an inch
(or two) away
from a second
leafless limb

Watering   the mimosa tree,
recovering in the evening

June 8, 2021

The Upstairs

The upstairs
has grown dark
since we left it this morning

We climb,
stair by stair,
into a feeling   & the sound
of the radio
still playing Christmas music

December 4, 2020

First Blossoms

It’s late winter   or early spring
One of these drizzling misty midday walks
where the colors shine
saturated, under gray skies
& auto exhaust hangs   in the air

& the first blossoms lay   scattered neatly
around the bases of eager trees—
Orange-browns, auburn-reds,
skirts of near-translucent

& more than usual
the traffic   sounds
like an oceanshore

At times   needing
to breathe sparingly,
waiting for fumes to dissipate
Taking detours
around wide puddles
While the songs of sparrows
flood the air  above the alleyways

March 18, 2021

Pale Imitations

I am,

the wisened

September 30, 2021

While You Nap

I am sitting still
All around   leaves shift

nearer,   further

Breeze spins   the dappled light
over   & around us

I am hungry
My eyes   are open

The world   ’s dreams   turn,


July 13, 2021

Our Practice

Don’t need to avert
our eyes, you & I have
a different sight

a special practice—
Of Seeing

what is radiant
                      && troubled   (in the world);

what is both bleak
                           && vital

We, together
don't be down-weighed,
not dull & sullen

These days, I’ve treasured
a feeling in my gut
—like hunger

Don’t want to lose this difference;
keep cultivating
Our Difference

It’s not what is (or how it’s) served up—
It is the bravery;
It’s   the not recoiling.

Look—there is something stirring!,
in All of it!   We know
how to look

March 20, 2023

This Is What I Want

I see your face
while   you’re away today

& Mary Margaret O’Hara warbles

this is what I want

Life   in the picture
of your evening
—Your smile,
your stamping yellow
rain boots on the sidewalk

April 10, 2021

Whisper Wish

whisper wish
falls short, as when

my singing voice
or violin
melody unfolds, almost

like music
to your ears

January 10, 2017

Too Lonely For A Mansion

It could not be congenial—
even with some
magic windfall—

to live
in luxurious isolation

I am too homey
(of a person)
to guard
any fortune

I am too lonely a person
for a mansion

October 4, 2021

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