Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Cell

arms up
hands clasped behind her head

she affects nonchalance

yet squirms...

-- thinned out,
as though flattened
under a plate
on a glass slide.

These are not tears
(Saline agar)

phage Doubt --
bacterium of fear.


So when we meet the Beast
We shall met him with dignity, with grace --
With voices upraised in song.

(for Ms. Sandra Bland in Heaven)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Slack skin and arthritic hands.
These are the raddled lands

where at the dusk of time
an old man lies,

his head to the wall,
his feet to the door.

I will rest here forever more,
facing the dusty window sill

and the yellow lights outside
running a bent line up the hill until

I find a way to survive.
There is a silence to tell.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer, Alive

A jack rabbit, startled,
flies at the barbed-wire fence,

over the dense weeds,
towards the sun, which is rising in the East.

A boar picks acorns
one hundred yards away.

A gray cat stalks by,
feral and stray.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Sunday Girl on the radio
cold as ice cream but still as sweet.

Who's the movie star you'd most like to meet?
Walking down the street to the beat

of high school drummers across Market
from the Apple Store -- tell me

whom do you want more:  Dennis Quaid
from "Dreamscape" or that sailor

we just saw who's here for fleet week?
Tell me and I promise to keep your secret,

my graceful as a dancer friend --
friends until the end and through summer again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stonyford 2015

Coyote yelp:
a throat-caught call
from hills
half a mile East.

Man as beast:
pelts clipped to a wire.
Water and ash
in a barrel four feet deep.

Soap hung on a fence
keeps the sheep safe.
Cows low, upset --
they are separated from their calves.  Seek

not so much to be understood
as to understand.
Here is a sandstone mortar and pestle
used to grind acorns in the past.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Daisies in May
faces bob and sway.

Yellow, white:
he loves me,

he loves me not.
Kiss the spot

under your chin,
then run away.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Controlled Burn

Prescribed by the forestry,
hundreds of square acres

__________The smoke
rises and drifts to the South.
Sweat on his brow,

a man bows to the ditch
before him.
_____Flames, orange and wild,

lick the brush.
__________He feels a rush
of blood to his head.

His partner stares,
_____fixed on a dead

squirrel not five yards
_____The men stay

at a temporary camp.
Tonight they will rest,
but for now the sun

sparks in the sky,
_____a white-hot
__________arc lamp.

Black scraps run up --
_____ashes of burnt prayers --
__________to heaven.