Twist That Dial

From Spring Cleaning, published in 2015.

Twist That Dial

It’s just possible
that time travel to the past
isn’t achievable after all and I can’t
go back to the moment
where things went off the rails
if I could even find it.
But I have continued to operate as if
I could
find it and return to it
and
it has occurred to me my efforts
would be better turned to
focusing on time travel in the other direction
which is occurring without any effort on my part
and could get me somewhere
so much more easily and quickly.

Tying Up the Raveled Ends

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

Tying Up the Raveled Ends

The wear and tear of life
apparent
in the seams. The stress of movement
between this and that balanced against
holding it all together
frays pretty much everything
but
somehow it mostly ends up
that things stay in one piece. A little hope
goes a long way
A robin sitting in
a tree just budding out in March
for an example
if you can’t think of one yourself.
The memory of those tiny green leaves
just big enough to wave in the breeze
repeats itself
in the fluttering reflection of green leaves
in a window
a year later
They are two aspects of the same. You see the robin and
You look for
what threads
hold it all together.

3/15/16 for 3/14/16

Haiku 60-64

Haiku from a long time ago. Numbers 60 and 61 refer to our cat Fred Sherman, who died in 2001.

60.
Before we knew it
Our old friend had said good-bye-
Too quick for our tears.
3/13/01

61.
I thought I saw you
Skitter around the corner
To greet me – but no.
3/14/01

62.
Oak leaves falling down
Acorns scattered on the ground
Feet form autumn sounds
9/5/01

63.
This world’s no rest stop.
So get a thicker skin, girl.
Or else, what? Move out?
3/17/05

64.
I’ve only known them
Three winters, those trees, that’s all –
But I respect them.
11/23/05

Passing Out of View

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

 

Passing Out of View

Things are
curled up peeling away
everything standing on the paper-thin edge of
on what used to be and still
the bright sun shines down same as always.
Spray-painted black graffiti covers the notice
hung on the fence that used to tell us
something but now only two letters remain
to be read
out of thirty or forty
down the street from
a white stove that sat
in a kitchen for who knows how many meals
doesn’t matter where it used to be because
now because the stove
is strapped to the back of a junk truck
resting on the open tailgate
its back turned to the pile of other castoffs in the truck bed
like it doesn’t want to know
it could peel away
any minute and drop into traffic where
it sure doesn’t belong
while still the bright sun shines down
while the sign hung on the chain link fence
mumbles its garbled
curled up message
while things that used to be
aren’t now.

 

3/10/16 for 3/7/16

 Range and Scope

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

 Range and Scope

Yellow insect
uninterested in my examination
of your identifying marks. You trundle yourself along
under the sky
I watch and you don’t care.
You don’t notice
you don’t pay a bit of attention
you go on your own way.
I admire your focus
your single-mindedness
as you travel under the holly bush and disappear.
I imagine your sense of direction
a tiny compass lying on a desk in the library of your mind
you having pulled out a map
plotted your course
consulted the red needle and the direction line
and set off.
I am out of your sight but
that fact is irrelevant to you. I was not
a landmark on your journey.

3/4/16 for 3/2/16

 

 

Claim Check

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

 

 

Claim Check

The claim check lay on the sidewalk
plastered into the concrete
soft and flat in the rain. I bent to retrieve it but
my fingers could not pry it up
without tearing it. I left off trying.
I was just curious. The rain fell. I waited
for the traffic light to change
watching car after car
make a right turn on red
in front of the
no right turn on red
sign. I didn’t have much interest
in the law-breaking but it was
something to look at. I thought about
paper in the rain.
Paper in all the notebooks I have filled
in my lifetime. I thought about
some person some time
cracking open one of these notebooks
in the rain
catching sight of the scrawled words
slamming it shut
but not before a rain drop or two
rolled down the pages to the spine
wetting the ink and softening my words
so that they couldn’t be picked up
and claimed.

2/29/16 for 2/25/16

Temporary Clarity

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

 

Temporary Clarity

This moment when you are seeing right through
the disarray
the noise
the distractions
You look straight through today and into beyond
Nothing stops your eye. Your ideas are cut apart
and distinct. There is
no ambiguity about them.
They are hard. They fit together.
They stand clear of each other.
The corners turn smoothly and flow into the straight.
The clock has stopped.

The clock ticks.
The paper crumples. The water spills.
The road bends.
The clothes wrinkle.
Disorder springs forward and leaps up
and so you iron faster. You press the clothes and you
look for the ideas in the steam rising from the clothes
You’re not giving up.

2/23/16 for 2/18/16