Tanka 67 and 68

Dishwasher scrubs spoons
engrossed in boosting a shine.
Dinner plates rattle
Attention here, we insist.
Rid us of dried-on peas. Now.

a contented pair
sugar bowl and cream pitcher
settled on their tray
rims touching handles nested
leaning into each other.


Straightforward Contentment

From the collection Autumn Opens a Door, 2015.

Straightforward Contentment

There is something just delightful
about going into the grocery store
about spotting something nice for dinner
about thinking how to cook it and
about eating it with pleasure and contentment
instead of just filling
your stomach.

Clay tile – animal with empty stomachs, 2013.

Today in the Pattern of Days

From the collection published in 2015, Autumn Opens a Door.

Today in the Pattern of Days

The man hurried along the sidewalk
the day mild for October so he was comfortable
in shirtsleeves and light slacks
and the wind blew just a little but enough to be
folding over the paper he held in his hand
so that he could not read it. He stopped and
smoothed it out on the concrete wall
of the train overpass.
The menu from the restaurant down the road
and he has only thirty minutes for lunch
and he’d better get a move on. That’s what he is
thinking. I can read it just
as easily as he reads the menu
gripping it with both hands now
to make his selection
ham or turkey, tomatoes or slaw
or maybe he decides
once again
he didn’t need the menu after all because he wants
The usual, please.

Wyncote, PA, December, 2015.

Strange Planet

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

Strange Planet

The meteorite
a silver ball of shiny foil squeezed up tight
crinkled where it’s not cratered
lands on the dark surface of the planet
and rolls. The ranks of
impassive identical observers
take note of its unique skipping motion
as the meteorite bumps along.

So what
they think
in unison.
We’ve got stacks and stacks
of round things that rolled.
When they came to a halt
We piled them up behind the garage.
So what.

The meteorite tumbles on
its journey not over
until it decides
it’s over.
The stacks
behind the garage
in envy.


Faraway Chorus; The Seasons Change

From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.

Note: I wrote a poem that covered all three photos; I struggled. Finally I realized it wanted to be split into two. All right, I said. I can change the project rules if I want to. So, here are fraternal twin poems, the photos divided between them.

Faraway Chorus

Summer and
people go to the swimming pool.
The lifeguards whistle out
the teenagers doing splashy cannonballs
off the diving board
spraying the old ladies sitting in strappy chairs
who complain
that the water spots their playing cards
and makes it hard to shuffle.
The kids run on the pool deck
getting sunburns
their bathing suits bleaching out day by day
combination of chlorine and sunshine.
The water settles into itself
at night. The first swimmer dives in
each morning
cutting through the solid blue
to release the mist
that rises above the water
Every day in summer.

The Seasons Change

The house is sold
after the owner dies.
The orange bottle cap
lies in the gutter
waiting for the next rainstorm
to sweep it into the drain.


Snippets with a Line Down the Side

You know, I make snippets on ATC sized cards. Sometimes I grab what I’ve got lying around and then other times I’ve painted cards especially for the purpose of being a snippet background.

Lots of times I group snippets and other small poems by their themes. This time I’m going to do it by card appearance. Let’s see if the snippet serendipity team can pull a theme together, or can you?

These snippets are from June, 2017.