From Redirection, published in 2017.


If only she could get over
that ill-advised attachment
forget it
throw it into the back of the drawer
that holds all the things
that need to stay forgotten
with what enjoyment
could she throw herself
into this life she occupies
Wealthy and waited on
Amiable relations and friends
very pleasant company
here to visit any time
Chocolate cake every day if she liked
and no need to make her own bed. Ever.
If only she could let go
of her attachment to
that ill-advised attachment
where there is no need to suffer
suffering is precious
It goes in the other drawer
where the cherished things are kept.




From the collection published in 2017, Redirection.


Spewing its demented jingly music
the ice-cream truck speeds by our house
too fast no kid could flag it down
but no kids outside
so who cares
just the guy mowing the grass
over at the high school
he didn’t hear it
and me
I did
Always gave me the creeps
to hear that music
I never was the kid chasing the truck
but the kid
hanging back
somehow. Now
Let me turn on the vacuum
let the pleasant screech soothe me
let the fist of that everyday hard-working motor
overtake and smash
that jingly
ice cream truck


Approaching and Arriving Storm

From the collection published in 2017, Redirection.

Approaching and Arriving Storm

Black birds risen in a fright
power line swinging
Thunder shook them off.
Sweating in the kitchen
My eye on a blurred gray sky
Take the clothes off the line?

Power line left slack
emptied of birds
and now
shining black
in the rain.


One Year’s Work

Published in Redirection, 2017.

One Year’s Work

from the
leaves spattered with rain
the sap through veins
the thoughts of a passerby sheltering

the every bit of energy
the sun gives
all summer

to form seeds
on a still day
to let them drop to the ground
to hand them over to a stray gust

on the banks of the creek
where home is
the gray sky your stripped branches scratch at
in the winter wind.


Put Pen to Paper Marathon 2019 Week 33

The Marathon journey is in its third year. Put Pen to Paper is the current incarnation.

Poetry Marathon session this week is once again broken into sections. I worked on setting up the next print book I want to publish (Little Vines #3) at home on August 14. Then for a change of scenery, I stopped at the Glenside Library to drop off my books, pick up new ones, and work on Little Vines (for Little Vines Book #4, I guess!)



On August 15, I went to Montco’s library. I haven’t been there in some weeks. With surprise I realize school will be starting very soon.

Construction work is still going on in the science building, but in the library, all is calm.

I mentioned some weeks ago I’d been thinking about a long term poetry-writing project involving portraits of people – my vague plan was to do one a day. I tried it for a while. I like the subject, but I’ve realized I don’t need to set up another deadline to meet.

I decided to work on the poems already written and add them to my current book. And I resolved to keep the concept of portraiture in words at the front of my mind, so that when I encounter an interesting person, I’ll write about it.

I’ll tell you why – I did like how vividly the poems I did write reminded me of that particular day or incident. It’s so easy to lose the “unimportant” past if there is no reminder. And when it’s gone, so is some of your life. I’m not a diary keeping kind of person, so maybe poetry is my method of preserving my story.

Something to think about.

All right. At lunchtime I came home and finished up working on Little Vines. Here are some shots from at home. We remodeled some of our flowerpots as the summer flowers were spent. And along the walk, black-eyed Susans are out, a sure sign of approaching fall.


A couple of views from/of our front yard. We have many plantings because we are so close to the road in the front. I like the way the walks curve and the plants enclose us.


All right. Back to writing. Here are some selections from today’s work.

I saw this scene at Montco one time when I was there on a weekend.

with the trombone
sitting on a park bench
she plays warm-up scales
into the afternoon

This portrait is of one of my neighbors.

Out early before it gets too hot
the neighbor two houses down
stands in his shady driveway
unhurried and methodical
he wipes a sudsy white terry rag
across the driver door
of his sister’s blue Mercedes
the running hose in his other hand
dousing his sneakers

I saw this man at Montco.

Seven-thirty summer morning
sweating and rumpled
the red-faced man
struggles up the sidewalk
two boxes stacked up
his arms splayed wide to hold them
he goes stutter-stepping swaybacked
radiating the kind of cheerful
where carrying too-heavy boxes
on a sultry morning
is just a minor inconvenience

Little Vines.

night sky please do not
the echoes of what I should not have said

with a mean streak
laughing in your face

There are so many sizes.
Be more specific.
I think we should talk about this in private.

A cat.
A week of non-stop mouse-chasing.
Next question.

a couple of skinny-dippers
completely harmless
except for the gurgle they make in the pipes

my new country, insomnia
I bought some land
built a house and moved right in

snapshot of you
in the purple light
of an insomnia-dulled existence

six months since I last saw you
an army of gray hairs
has set up camp on your head

flipping the pages of the calendar
that is how
Father Time and Mother Nature enforce our curfew

you know what
it’s not indestructible
this warm glow I feel for you

count the black sheep
short-circuiting the electric fence
jumping over and swaggering away

I dream of
yellow roses blooming again
and a happy ending for us all

unlimited hurt feelings
non-stop umbrage-taking
a monologue of disappointment

time running out on the clock
the trellis of pink roses
losing their blooms in the cold

bluegrass folk musician
singing a song about real life
complete with squeaking hinges

in ten minutes maybe less
the entire client list was a line of ants
marching off to a new nest

needle and thread and taking up a hem
the luxury of the old-fashioned sugar cube
the fountain pen in the desk drawer writes a thank-you note
to memories

nine different sketches
the whole spectrum of blame
in a cheap notebook


Thank you for reading!



His wife made his lunch
She had a careless hand
hundreds of pills later
the symptoms were very apparent
See here
You haven’t answered my questions
said the police detective
What more is there to explain
she said.
Our family doctor
prescribed all manner of noxious supplements
to help get rid of the extra pounds
of husband. Which it did. A tremendous piece of luck.
She clapped her hands on a mosquito.