Monday, October 30, 2017


I never did buy a real tuxedo—but created one out of black chino pants, a white shirt, short black jacket, a black bow tie— and a red cummerbund. 
There were two styles—one with tapered pants and a frilly shirt and the other a proper tuxedo. I think I’d have looked rather smart in a proper tuxedo.

I never learned how to sew a button hole, hem a skirt, iron a shirt properly, or replace a zipper. My mother owned a sewing machine, but only did hand stitched hems. She taught me how to do a running stitch. Someday I’ll hem a pair of pants.

Someday I’m going to buy a pair of cowgirl boots with snip toes.
Someday I’m going to wear a Bullhide leather cowgirl hat with brass tone studs, conchos and leather lacing.

Someday I’m going to unspool stories.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Feast for a Bibliophile

What to read next?
A tome that elevates my mind
A memoir that bares the writer’s soul
Perhaps a mystery, but not a cozy
where decorum holds court,
and not a narrative constructed
out of nightmares 
nor a history of a war 
where historians dissect causes,
and display their historiographic mettle
Or shall I reread the classics
or the latest literary fiction
reviewed in the Sunday Times
Or a volume of poetry
where every word must carry its weight
and endings earned
Or a book shepherding souls
through the shoals of life

Monday, October 23, 2017

Upon Reading a Long Book

       “No tea cup is big enough 
        nor book long enough 
        for me to be satisfied.”

                ― C.S. Lewis

Some books
let you drop in
walk the perimeters 
of another place
extend an invitation
to loiter at the edge
to stave off endings
to remain as a guest
as long as you wish
or until the last word

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Man and His Motorcycle

after finishing his burger and soda he returned to his motorcycle, opened up a rucksack and fished out an undershirt, took off his shirt and stood bare chested in the cool air before putting on his first layer of clothing— fished around in the bag for the next layer, then the next until the rucksack collapsed upon itself with a limp bungee card hanging over the side 
he drew cloths out of the bag, draped them over the bike’s handlebars and selected one cloth, folded it edge to edge
then he polished the bike, attending to the chrome with a special cloth while I ate my burger and watched without turning my head too far so i didn’t take on the mantle of eavesdropper of a man in his fifties with tonsured hair rooting around for pieces of his attire and cleaning cloths—then meticulously polishing his motorcycle

his facial expression remained fixed— an avatar performing a  series of tasks, an imitation of someone who had somewhere to go, his aloneness and loneliness seeped through the open car window 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ongunquit Beach

        Poetry is eternal graffiti
       written in the heart of everyone.
              —Lawrence Ferlinghetti

This beach stretches itself
and disappears into a thin line
I walk toward the line and laugh
at the improbability of arriving
I watch waves that started thousands
of miles away fold onto the shore—
and I am replenished

Friday, October 13, 2017

To Read Again

It’s a Mobius
One day you question why Moses
only stood and looked
and never set foot on the land
Then you begin again with the first
words and it’s all new—Bereshit
In the beginning and on until
Devarim and Moses dies
and then you begin again
But always more questions
When Cain told his wife
about killing his brother
the story survived tellings—
one generation to another
Did he also tell her that he
must wander from place to place

Did I ever notice that Lamech’s
wives are named Adah and Zillah
So I begin again

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


remember the time you planted
seeds and waited for the first green
or when you tried to count the stars
or wondered about the size of the moon—
now you remember decades,
a file box of memories classified
within categories—some catalogued
according to ordinary chronology
while others remain outside of linear stops—
my family remains oblivious to calendars
selecting and choosing what to recall—
an arbitrary system with holes and patches

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Reality 2017

What is happening to our country? Innocent people traumatized by police at a traffic stop because they are mistaken for Muslims. Black citizens gunned down. Regulations that protect our environment, health, and the earth secretly shredded. Name calling. Reneging on treaties. Refusal to acknowledge science. Low brow, thin skinned, lacking any empathy for others—describes the man leading this country.

I guess big oil and coal interests, big corporations, and CEOs worth millions aren’t satisfied with their lot. They need more— more drilling, less restrictions on dumping wastes, more money.
Can anyone explain to me why so many folks in power want to deprive women of the right to their bodies, keep wages low for the working poor, cut back on programs designed to help, and chip away at the rights of LGBTQ ?

All the while too many people raise their Bible and use it as a crudgle.

They excuse discrimination of particular groups.

We must be reading different versions or different Bibles. Each day I see the book I read twisted, distorted, and ignored. They must use White-Out to obliterate the passages that don’t fit in with their world view.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Change is in the Air

For the past few years I studiously posted a piece every day— some good, some poignant, some weak, and some irrelevant
Now I look back at my stack of poetry and want to take time to edit, to rewrite, to listen for the music or the lack of, or the words that work, and the words that fail to carry their weight
This means I need to put my effort into digging up the best language for my poetry and that means needing time
I’m not closing down my blog, but I am relaxing my self imposed daily posting
I’ll still post — but more like random posting.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Loving Words

Fill your lungs with language
Colum McCann

In this era who suffers from appetency for cordwainers
—perhaps this isn’t what is meant by filling your lungs with language
— gulp down words, swallow the nuance of language
—eat a dictionary
—never settle for almost

Monday, October 02, 2017


Dylan Thomas said that after the first death there is no other. One person shot with a gun is one too many. When will we see change in the way people view their right to bear arms? No one needs an automatic weapon. No police department needs military equipment.

We’re a broken nation. I read that one of the so called evangelical ministers said that God is punishing this country because we’ve turned away from God, we’re irreverent toward Trump, the flag, and the national anthem. This same minister said that 9/11 happened because of lesbians and gays.

This rhetoric is cruel. The God I worship is wringing her hands.

Sunday, October 01, 2017


Don’t grouse. Change is inevitable. Find the positive— explore the differences. First, I need to identify holy space. What do I mean when I use the phrase? I’ll start with what I don’t mean.

I do not anticipate thunder and lightning, nor do I envision divine intervention or the angels joining the choir. Nor do I believe that every time I enter or visit a particular place I will be drawn into a holy space.

I am not seeking some sort of high— a spiritual nirvana.

In fact if I scout my memory for those moments that I felt that indeed this is a holy place or a holy space —they are almost all outside. The first was an Easter Sunrise Service at Harper’s Ferry where a group of women sang Amazing Grace with only the breeze as accompaniment. Then after a hike up Old Rag Mountain in Virginia four friends rested on the top and read psalms.

When we were at the Grand Canyon, a National Parks ministry group held an outdoor service at the rim of the canyon. I only passed by the group , but felt the spirit of the moment. And there were times when I felt the presence of the holy in the scenery of the Southwest.

While I worship in a building, sing hymns, take communion, listen to a sermon— what I experienced outside was different. it was palpable.

To wend my way back to the beginning. Today the sanctuary of church was different— the pews were gone, the lights were ratcheted up, and everyone was on the same horizontal level. Perhaps there is a raised platform on order?

Change was the itch that hung around. I’m short and I couldn’t see over or around the folks in front. The lights no longer had that soft enveloping feeling. And by removing some elements of the room the acoustics were different. I found it difficult to hear folks on the other side of the sanctuary.

The people were the same, but—for me— it all felt different. Probably folks who were used to gargoyles felt the same way when churches changed their architecture— probably most of those folks were gone by then so the didn’t have to deal with gargoyless churches.

Now I can see the gray roots, the wrinkles around someone’s eyes. Now I will just add to the words I don’t hear and wonder why people mutter.

Yet, I’m certain that with time I will adjust. Fortunately the bulbs have not been amped up in the parlor. So on days that I think that too much has been altered I can go into the parlor, take a book off the shelf and read something holy.

I’ll adjust and maybe someday I will no longer remember the period of discomfort. And when I want to commune with the holy I can go outside and find a pond or lake or ocean. Or I can examine a leaf or draw a tree or sit on a rock and watch the waves repeat their dance.