A bowl of popcorn tipped over to

release hundreds, maybe tens, 

of hot, white clouds of corn 

over the woolen area rug.

The broom, last used to dust up

after a long haired cat, already

overburdened with irregular sweeps, 

pushed nothing into the dust pan.

On hands and knees then,

loose fibers from the rug and 

life shards shred from the couch

became alarmingly conspicuous.

Vacuuming over the daily life

a few days before meant to

pick up the dirt, failed miserably.

It appeared clean. And company came.

Corralling this spill carefully not to disturb

the delinquent debris visible just now,

perhaps, was meant to live in perpetuity as

a reminder that not all that is left 

is meant to be forgotten. Clean is wiped out

as some dirt clings so as to cultivate

hybrid strength and a new varietal

from what had been left behind.


Door knock  Push  Fittin’ to fight

You took  You owe  Hold the gun

Wrassling to the floor  Pulled punches

Do something  Shoot  Slump  Run

Thirty seconds.

That face. Filled with smile, 

big, boyish, fuzzy cheeked.

“I was born to be a good  

role model for my younger siblings, 

I was steered away 

from being a family man

to a fighting and angry man.”

I won’t know him as a man,

See no anger in him as a boy.

Unformed. Uninformed. 

A seedling only beginning to sprout.

Those thirty seconds,

now thirty years.

The sentences weigh heavy on me,

not the seconds or the years- 

the sixteen, 

seventeen turned eighteen

spent being a boy 

sitting at a desk

writing a song of himself.

Thirty years.

I was born 

to be a good role model,

I was steered away 

by someone else’s beef,

she gave me the gun,

told me to shoot,

I’ve got no fight in me,

he won’t be a  family man

I won’t either.


Not So Fast Spring

The morning’s wind marched
through the atmosphere 
on an expedited mission.

It howled through the small
spaces along window sills
shifting last season’s dust.

Unrattled by unsettled panes,
the gale force was a comfort to
Winter huddled up before its leave.

In a regroup there the idea 
that one more mighty blow 
would give warrant to curl up.

When the wind waves gently,
it is easy to float between
clouded thoughts and inclemency.

Clearly not ready to dismantle
the rath built to withstand dark, 
I’m not ready for bright yet.

Waiting for Snow

Rather than pull the blinds

to shut the frozen front out

I sit. Waiting. For first flakes.

Moving to the kitchen 

busying the knife with chop

Onions. Garlic. Spice.

Out the window, birds fly

to evergreen perch 

as the first snow finally falls.

Snow suspends time and 

blankets faded summer growths

in winter’s warmth.

Quiet stills street sounds as

traffic moves to busier streets

before the snow plows. 

Glad to be in flannel still

I hide behind heavy clouds

like winter’s first full moon.

The Day in Cinquain


to meet the day

so still the hour at hand

alarms will soon expect response


At work

minutes slow dance

around a floor of clocks

in slow repeat across the dial

of time


venetian blinds

allow filtered sunlight

shadows scatter across the floor


At home

unlaced unwound

not bound by rule nor hour

some shoulds get lost in folly thought


Still dusk

salmon colored

clouds skim across tree lines

cicadas warble lonely cries

for night


day dreams turn dark

subconscious mind awash

with scenes unforgetting of past

lost time

Prayer that the Cake Rises

The cake has risen: 

the toothpick comes clean when inserted in the center;

The cake has risen: 

time and temperature cooperated in the experiment;

The cake has risen:

the baker, more so the celebrant, will rejoice;

The cake has risen: 

the icing will not have to fill the crater left from a fall;

The cake has risen indeed in the oven, one of a handful to do so successfully.

Glorious beauty beheld with the perfectly formed round,

Glory to the baker, whose measure proved precise.


It pulled out of the ground easily

the root had not taken hold of the soil

with its connection to sustenance interrupted;

rigor mortis was beginning to set

as branches gray and brittle

had not thrived from the interference.

The tree was a donor’s gift 

that she planted for no particular reason

in a flower patch next to the garage.

Never mind that it would grow tall

and its roots would crowd under 

the siding and, likely, the cement floor;

but it didn’t whither and with attention

began to look alive and carry on

with living season to season.

She moved forward, not taller,

counting out twenty two pills daily

to feed roots and thwart disease.

But then something changed, she

dropped needles and leaned to hold

on to an upright position.

Over a winter, wind chill

when growing things are silent 

balancing on a dark edge

she left easily, not tethered to

the Earth as others, in fear, do

not alive, but always ever green.