Category Archives: poetry

From up here

The rugged air

like a country road

in a farmer’s pickup

kicking up red dust


Or in a boat

skimming on the tops

of chops

in the waves


The plane

also skipping


on airy speed bumps


I’ve the sense

that I’m not flying

until I swallow

and the roar deepens


Down there

first the black snake

of a river

headless, tailess


Then the blanket

of bluish-white covering

and sailing

a cloudy sea


My Talented Ears

While reading a poem


on an airplane


on the ground



flight attendant’s


hurried instructions




that really don’t need saying



and a guy


in front of me


leaving a business message


by phone



in that abnormal voice


we all use


when not speaking


to any real people


except who really is listening



but that’s the point


that I’m listening


to my poet


not with ears


I should read poetry every day

it should inspire me to write

about little things I notice

or else unnoticed they would remain



and upon assigning words

they would become big and seen

like the little bird sitting on the railing

along a sidewalk, a railing of pipes



too big for his tiny feet to grasp

and mostly his body rested there

and as I approached, he did not fly

His black back so black it was steel blue



like a handgun or Superman’s hair

when he was in comic books

he flitted his wings as if jittering at my presence

but never set himself to flight



only the next day, there he sat again

and I wondered if perhaps he was hurt

and unable to escape, in case I was his predator

and if so, at whose mercy was he?


Good Friday

Poor Jesus.
He’s dead.
We brood, as if to endure the commemoration of it.
Can’t wait till Resurrection Sunday morning.
Death by death is destroyed
by remaining dead.
It can take life but once and no more.
Death is negated by itself,
and death is quiet because it’s dead.
There was a serenity in the quietness of his tomb that night.
The writhing approach of death arrived
and with it came quiet.
And it’s still quiet in there,
because what’s dead is dead,
including my right to myself.
The death I died with Jesus is forever
to whatever it was he died;
And the life he lives in me is forever
to whom he lives.
That me is unanimated, and can remain so.
His new life has a body to live in,
A dead one, animated only by what raised his.


redemption’s groan

I feel as the tree, the lion, the bird;

I groan for redemption, of this I have heard

in Romans; uniting all creatures in one,

at last to be freed by God’s only Son.


The tree waves and bends, but rooted it stays,

The lion sends out roars, not only for prey,

The bird chants its song, no words to declare

what all of us want, to see our God there.


trees and me

I, walking

seeing in trees

a balancing randomness

and symmetrically situated


They, standing

animating in breeze

a living orderliness

and commensurably exhilarated


We, living

bowing the knees

a joining devotedness

and perpetually interrelated


scurrying squirrels

I saw a squirrel

scurrying as squirrels do;

This time across a street, just in front of a Chevy.


I wondered if squirrels

ever did much scurrying

before Chevy’s became their natural predator?


Only predators, by definition, eat what they kill,

immediately after killing it, or, in some cases

while it is still alive.


But then what do Chevy’s kill,

but by brute force?

And should they, if not to eat?


I saw a squirrel

climbing where perhaps a forest used to be,

where now is a towering and randomly-shaped concrete wilderness.


Unclimbable, this, without the fences,

over which he and his mate scaled,

having determined to rummage through a cleverly-painted dumpster.


Thinking of foraging on our discarded and forgotten morsels,

not for oaken acorns, the ancient, twisting figures long since hewed

into showy dining tables on hardwood shiny floors,


Oaken altars where we feast on what we do not kill,

and sometimes we kill, by other predaceous words,

what we do not eat.


I saw a squirrel

and I thought of how nimbly and quickly

they indeed avoid by their sedulous scurrying.