Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Fireflies And Crickets

Once upon a time
we kept lightning in a jar
violins inside
the drawer of a matchbox
and awoke to find both graves

Such foolish children
to think by punching air holes
with grass for carpet
that we could perpetuate
an orchestrated light show

Wondrous decades on
summer’s length the container
their distant broadcast
framed by an open window
in a repeat performance

Celestial Murmur

At ninety, her world had shrunk
to the size of an upstairs bedroom with
a bathroom ten steps down the hall.
Her only lifeline to the outside world was
a radio console that glowed
soft as moonlight through the long nights.
At dusk, local stations would
fall silent following the national anthem
as the boundaries of day,
weather permitting, became elongated.
Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver
faded in and out as she methodically
navigated the bandwidth;
sometimes finding herself in Canada
before drifting on to Cincinnati.
Despite a Victorian attitude, baseball
was a passion, and any game
she came upon caught her attention.
Translating balls and strikes
through the crackly hiss of the static,
she intently followed each pitch
as if blessed with a front row seat.
Disembodied in that ether,
the ache of her years disappeared.
And whether it was sports
she found, music, or the day’s news,
sitting there in her tiny room,
comforted by that celestial murmur,
Aunt Minn was never alone.

Cain Isn’t Abel

He cannot bring himself
to obey.
Instead, he conveys the gift
of a marriage
between sun, soil, and water.
A succulent offering
from summer’s abundance.
Cradled in
calloused hands, he presents
fruits plucked
from his cultivated fields.
It is understood
that his younger brother
will arrive
with portions carved from
the firstborn
of his shepherded flock.
As the elder,
a farmer blessed with
such bounty,
how can the Lord reject
his overture?
Cain knows a blood sacrifice
is required.
But then, Cain isn’t Abel.


Is it a victim
or a willing accomplice
when in the wind’s grasp?

Will a breathless cast
encounter a river’s flow
or a whirlpool’s swirl?

Can bird-shaped paper
too delicate for pen’s ink
exhale into song?

Who will give up first,
soaring flight’s magnificence
or gravity’s tug?

Will its fragile ribs
heal when tamed in a drawer
or ache for the sky?

Gift or sacrifice?
When relinquishing the string,
let the gods decide.

Reading The Future

They are surrounding a Ouija board
on a candle-lit patio,
pre-teen girls bravely taking turns as
disembodied spirits possess
their fingers and guide the planchette
in search of an answer.
The first questions are simple ones.

“What number am I thinking of?”
“Which of us is Jewish?”
“Who does Mara have a crush on?”
“Where do we go to school?”
“How many of us are in orchestra?”
Its heart-shaped arrow,
barely touched, correctly replies.

But soon they thirst to know what
the future might reveal.
These young girls seek a prospect
showing distant roads
that have not yet been set in stone.
A destination close enough
to easily reach in their imaginings.

“Will any of us become famous?”
“Are we forever friends?”
“What is my husband’s first name?”
“Do dreams come true?”
“How many children will I have?”
Hurrying Fate’s verdict,
a divining Ouija board decides.

Porch Light Haikus

In my midnight tea
fat free, a splash of moonlight
chalky on the tongue

The wind can’t decide
which scent to put on tonight
so I’m drenched in all

This late in July
resurrecting a sweater
despite sunburnt arms

Alarmed eyes look up
from a lamp-lit page to find
ominous silence

Extending shadows,
trees repopulate with twins
in starlight’s coupling

Drowsy with belief
Heaven’s vast eternity
as my only proof

Venus, morning’s star
a reminder that black tea
will awaken dawn

Piano Teacher

Autumn has arrived and the silence has deepened.
The piano teacher’s windows are now closed.

For months on end, the dusk had been ushered in
by the sound of the only piano to be found
here in the confines of this farming community.

Up the two blocks of Oak Street and down Main,
its reverberation penetrated alleyways
and helped to tuck the children snug in their beds.

His sashes thrown open to catch a dying breeze,
the birds and town fell silent listening
to him play classical pieces no one could name.

How will the children feel safe in their dreams?
What will draw parents to linger outdoors?
Who knows if he’ll bother without an audience?

Autumn has arrived and there will be no encore.
His summer screens are now in the garage.