Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Stranger’s Gift

She called me over, actually,
interrupted my walk, and asked,
“do you see it? do you see it?”
I squeezed my vision
through spaces in tangled vines,
and around a few die-hard flags of Fall;
there on a limb not ten feet away—
the closest I’ve ever been, a Red Tail Hawk.
The lady didn’t know me, nor I her,
but what a gift to give a stranger.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Single Words

She told me I always
have to have the last word.
To that I replied,
“somebody does…”

She says I never listen
to a single word she says.
I said I try, but the multitude
of words she surrounds it with
make it impossible to hear.

(The first verse I'm guilty of. The second even I'm not that stupid)

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Class Acts

He jumped from behind a bush,
not in Australia,
one he was holding on a sidewalk
in front of the Wharf in San Francisco.
He used it as a carpenter does
a hammer, a saw, a square:
scared the passers by, and once
they wiggled free of embarassment,
put money in his bucket.
I went, and bought a basket of crabs,
sat on the finger of a pier, and watched.
After an hour he leaned his tool against a pole,
and headed back toward the vendors.
As he passed in front of me, he looked down—
I think he noticed I’d been watching,
we both smiled, then laughed.
He disappeared around a corner,
I cleaned up my mess of shells and paper towels,
and moved on to a pair of gold and silver mimes.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Water Or Stone?

Do water and stones speak
with different, discernable tongues?
The one must be tremulously whiny,
because its skin is see-through thin;
the other, a deep, bass vibrato,
it has no lips to articulate speech.
I walked to the edge of the lake
picked up a smooth flat stone,
gave it a flick of the wrist,
splash splash splash splash splash
Was it water, or stone
that had the last word?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Leaf-Fish (Saturday's poem early)

Are falling leaves an airborne species of fish?
An absurd question, I agree. But, one
hitherto never explored, and
henceforth not to be ignored.

Do they have gills? Certainly not!
Scales covering flakey flesh on bone?
Of course, we all know the answer to that.

But, they do swim in currents of air,
like fish in currents of water. They both
provide nutrients to higher forms of life.
Is the question becoming less weird?

Leaves don’t have fins and tails,
nor eyeballs on each side of their form,
but both have veins, and skin,
and a skeletal structure of sorts.

Color is paramount on both lists of best traits,
sizes and shapes equally diverse, and
each gather in numbers impossible to count.
I ask, is the answer more confusing than clear?

This question won’t be debated
by modern minds of good reason
(similar minds once thought the world was flat).
So, it falls to the poet to espouse some absurdity,
in the reality of everything we see.

Tis The Season

Thanksgiving Friday
parking blues
Wal*Mart Xmas

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stocking Up

Military cargo planes,
designated C-something,
flew tail to nose, tail to nose,
like prop-plodding mules
over a blue-desert sky;
engine wash, like agitated dust,
covered everything with noise.
The horizon pulled the belly packed beasts
closer to their point of deposit;
wood songs resumed in rustling leaves,
squirrels stocking up on Winter stores.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Change Of Address

I tossed my thoughts
in a copse of bare trees
to let them network
with filigree shadows,
and chip-chirp-chatter;
they needed the graphics
of sky and earth,
a change of address
from Windows and screens.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New World Table

Had lunch with an old friend today.
The tiny café table didn’t have enough room
to spread out thirty years, but
art, poetry and The Isle of Skye
fit nicely between her plate
of falafel and my gyro sandwich.
She’s going to buy a house,
and live in a town named
for an Indian chief, or his wife,
pronounced “seh-noy” not “seh-noy-yuh”
as outsider-eyes would fool one into thinking.
I’m going to buy a boat,
and sail from “bis-troh” to “peet-suh-ree-uh”
in search of a table
large enough for a long visit.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Bypass construction,
six lanes to two,
artery clogs

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What We Hear

I asked my cat
if I’d fed the fish.
She replied, no
I hadn’t fed her a fish.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Something Old, Something New

I had my hand on the inside of her thigh,
nothing special or unusual about that,
except it was my hand on her thigh;
the girl every guy in high school fantasized about
while embarrassing his mother’s sheets.
We were friends back then, but our words
always met on the outside of our mouths.
Now, many years later, and
more than milk money in my pocket,
we whirled dreams around our tongues,
mine was old, hers new.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

“Into Each Life…”

God washed his birds yesterday,
mail boxes and dead leaves too;

rivers in gutters fell over the edges
of a waterfall system of drains.

Streets bathed, but not behind the curbs,
led home, and away, and back again;

God washed his birds yesterday,
a Sparrow fell from its perch.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Creepy Crawlies

She didn’t leave
with the guitar player
who winked at her,
picked love songs like roses,
and laid them at her feet;
it was the construction guy,
who didn’t buy her a drink, and
whose eyes crawled
in and out of her blouse like spiders.
He did leave a tip.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two Point Two Belly Flop

We’ve all known a man, or a woman,
that the only thing that springs
from the diving board of their tongue,

is a whine, a complaint, a curse,
a double somersault negative
with a back stabbing twist.

Immediately, you want to grab the words,
like splashed globules of
mangled, water-puzzle-pieces,

and put them back behind their lips.
But, the ears have already been soaked
with a two point two end of dive belly flop.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Physics At Four A.M.

My eyes opened to physics at four a.m.,
the big bang and falling apples,
relativity, black holes eating the apples
disappearing into a theory of everything;
particles vibrating off strings, one to five;
a membrane transcending dimensions,
three to eleven, and then back again
to what caused the bang…oh! and
chalk calculations that easily erase.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Off The Wall

A shadow on the wall
talked to a curious dog on the sidewalk,
what they said was without sound,
what was understood not known.
The dog eventually moved on, the wall
waited for the next shadow.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Weather Report

Fog hangs like viscera
from a disemboweled morning sky,
a tragic event of water saturated air.

A male dog hikes-up in sympathy
on the feet of commiserating trees,
mallards paddle in a mourning line,

squirrels chatter eulogies limb to limb,
the lake holds a moment of silence,
all respects paid, the afternoon looks good.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Dinner Plans

An old frog
croaks for his supper
in the crater
of a mud-puddle moon;  
a black snake slithers
from the hollow of a log,
a red tail hawk circles overhead.  

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not So Secret An Admirer

A friend of mine introduced me
to the words of Mary Oliver,
another Mary with words of her own.

They’re some of the greenest I’ve ever read,
like new born twigs with soft velvet leaves,
suckling on raindrops, nuzzling breasts of sun.

A pond is not just an ole fishin’ hole,
nor dogwood blooms a fancy Easter dress; they're
quaint little notes, left, by not so secret an admirer.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

From A Distance

When I was an adolescent
I wanted a pair of penny loafers—
Bass Weejuns,
the expensive, popular ones;
the kind Burlington Gold Toe socks
were matching partners
with the in-step of the shoe.
I did eventually get a pair,
not Weejuns, but
from a distance they looked cool.
The humpback cracks in the sidewalk,
linoleum tiles buffed by a janitor
that always looked down, and never smiled,
didn’t know my feet were scuffing a scam;
I knew the ones I wanted to impress knew,
but from a distance I did look cool.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mud Everywhere

Oh! Mr. Cardinal
you have your feet in the mud,
you’ll track it everywhere
from bird feeder perches
to rain scoured clean limbs.

I know you were taught better
than to trail mess behind mess;
I reckon appetite takes precedence
over all good rearing. I thought,
only, politicians acted like that.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

On The Menu

I looked into the black face
of my first cup of coffee,
studied the steam
rising over nervous bubbles, and
up the turret sides of ceramic walls.
It was time for this rumination
to be taken to a post of sorts,
and executed as an offender of habit.
With each taste it died without whimper,
sip and slurp by whip of lips and tongue.
The ham and swiss for lunch
will be tooth decay for lions.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Gasping Breaths

Gasping breaths,
falling life,
eerie wind,

red truck rusting,
rubber flat feet,
cold leaves huddle,

Fall moon silent,
dark thoughts rustle,
lone dog howls.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Between The Lines Passé

I read a poem, sometime back,
about words behind words,
like a pack of wild teenagers
playing hide and seek,
these were very well hidden.
I can’t remember the author, but
it was published in “...Review”
(bag lady of notoriety sporting
an old hat with new paper flowers
For instance, “it’s a cold, but beautiful morning”,
would have dry-eyed witch laughing
curled up inside the last “u”—
who would think to look there?
Certainly makes me wonder
what’s hiding in “see Dick run”?

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Cleaning Help

The wind isn’t
very good yard help,
she sweeps the leaves there,
and then here, and then there.
Most days she works hard
but never cleans a damn thing;
I’d hire the moon, but
he only does windows.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006


I dog-eared the page,
broke the continuity of forests
cut, logged and pressed.

Everything read before
bled through the cracks,
flowing onto what I’ll read next.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wherever, Wherever Is

A private jet just flew over
whooshing away to wherever.
I don’t wish I was going there,
wherever, wherever is.
Like a bullet they pierced
the belly of a cloud,
I heard it scream,
watched it roll, and turn inside out;
silence caressed it
like a body bag zipped,
then drifted off
to a graveyard of dreams.

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