Tanka 41

I may have already posted this one. Sometimes my record-keeping fails me.

The day has turned hot
ketchup and mustard colors
shimmer in the air
I need a drink of water
to get through the afternoon


Small landscape, 5″ x 7″, acrylics, 2015.

Do the Job With Forethought and Care

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

Do the Job With Forethought and Care

Find the center and draw your circle.
A compass is the tool you need.
Find one with a good sharp point
to anchor you
firmly in the center
so that your circle is not the victim
of your faltering.
Maybe it’s not so easy to find
compass or center but
not impossible. Make it your business.
Then. Take your measurements
carefully. Resist the temptation to

Small landscape, yellow field and pale circle rock, 9/2015, 4" x 6", acrylics on canvas.

Small landscape, yellow field and pale circle rock, 9/2015, 4″ x 6″, acrylics on canvas.

More Than Abandoned

A Twenty Minutes poem.

More Than Abandoned

The moon, the dark sky, the cold
the tree branches that shift and clatter
the sweep of car lights on the dark road
turning into the drive and switching off.
The hard sharp sound of leather heels
on the sidewalk. It may be that
everything is finished all done
the window that glowed with light
now covered with thick drapes and so
no one knows if anyone is ever at home there
or if the key will fit in the door
The plants in their pots on the porch are frozen dead
and no one has bothered to take them away.
It’s not a good sign.

Abandoned shed, California, 2006.

Abandoned shed, California, 2006.

Try Somewhere Else

Another housecleaning poem. I wrote it back when winter was turning to spring. This same location is now a riot of beautiful flowers and colors. It’s still tangled and wild, but somehow at this time of year, it looks free and happy, not sad. That difference is very interesting to me, how that happens, one place changing moods as the year itself does.

Try Somewhere Else

Beyond the shed is a circle-full of stalky brown
dead plants
enclosed by wire fencing three feet high
which is
keeping out
I’d like to know because
who’d want anything to do with that tangled mess
Or keeping in
because those plants are
quite a distance beyond hoping for anything better
and can’t make a move
The whole scene is despair in a chilly spring breeze
under a blue sky
that’s trying to put in a few good words of encouragement
but it’s just wasting its time

Small Landscape #12 6-13 small