Monday, June 26, 2017

it touches my heart

summer warms, inevitably; and charms.
sitting here while spinning june in real time
our mountain cabin came to mind, i smile.
oh the pleasure to have lived then ...
the primitive log house we loved.
we kept it and it kept us.

in oak and pines, manzanita and the animal brothers.
sixty-four hundred and some odd feet in the Sierra.
with cat,dog and friends, in that order, mostly.
my heart delights to revisit the memory ...

so much goodness could burst my heart to recall
our fun times; although time rolls and we did too ...
unaware at the time how days do get along.
ah, the fun ... and that is the joy;
use days as they roll in ...
be careful ... be kind ... and enjoy.


bend time

to take different pills
twice a day, long enough
and time blends
the best of systems

take pills different
enough, twice a daylong
and blends time
best the systems

to take pills different
twice, and along
enough blends time
the best of systems

to pills different
enough a long day
twice time blends
test the system


Friday, June 23, 2017


image isn't everything,
but it is a good beginning.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

on the outback ... i call it that ...
you can drive for miles and rarely see traffic.
our favorite is a straight line south thirty miles
to shop the Mennonite store in Shiloh.
a pleasant ride with practically no one on the road.
it's quiet ... by farms, and woods and open fields.
some days we pass only two or three cars
or a black, horse-drawn buggy or two.
we wave at them. they wave at us.
that's Ohio. when you look around
you'll find ... it has something.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

dancing in the moonlight
should be my theme instead of
looking at the clock ... counting
three hours until extraction.

are you kidding me?
another dental thing to do.

he's good, i tell myself.
my tooth isn't, evidently.
waltzing to another extraction, i am.
the phone rings, he's ready what?

i go in three hours early
no time to think about it.
he needles me twice, i wait.
he x-rays, 15 minutes later he

takes my tooth away ... can't say
pulled ... he slipped it gone ...
so long forever, tooth.
oh, brother ... another ... withdrawn.

he's so slick
i can hardly bitch.


Monday, June 19, 2017

it can be destabilizing for me
to attempt to write poetry
of birds singing
and homemade pie cooling on the window sill
when out there governments say this country
does not get along with that country
and lockheed martin is selling
four hundred forty F-35 fighter jets
to eleven nations.
why don't they all take a breath
and cool their pies instead.


very early this morning they wouldn't let
my raccoon on the airplane
to come home again;
that's when i woke up.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

i can hear you

while i'm sleeping
dreaming hard.
quiet nights
by the open window
until dawn
i sleep and talk some
caught in visions
in the darkness
time slips on

there are people
a few at a time, so no confusion,
time consuming, saying hello, they are welcome
because they show up - in night's dream;
every night it seems, i dream - almost ...
hello again, i say again and mean the best
to you, thank you, it seems good to see you
again, i'm dreaming


Saturday, June 10, 2017

by drove

drove by a nuclear power plant
in Ohio, didn't plan on it or like it.
i'm afraid, but the road took us there.
alongside the giant

with dark smoke belching out
as we drove by so close a baseball player
could have hit it with a
fly ball if ... if a lot of things

... I don't know why a base
ball player would want to
hit a ball against the side of
a nuclear power plant. another thing

we were doing sixty on a curve
with the windows closed.
there's no room in the
back seat to swing a bat


Friday, June 09, 2017



an eagle
sees eight times better
than a human, how'd scientists ask him?
they didn't ask. they took a dead eagles eye
ball and held it up and said he could see
about like that.
we saw a big one, could have
photoed him .. my camera was not ready.
it takes time to set it up and it's
handy in my phone. good quality
and since i did no photo, i'll tell you
and you will feel the eagle in your heart
as i did,
as you think it should be because it's
such a large bird, and strong, and the stories
about them, and it's the usa official country bird,
like that; and there it was and it flew
over the car practically. it should be in
your heart now too, practically.


Thursday, June 08, 2017

new fire station

the local fire department is
a couple years and a few million
into plans for a new station ...
it'll be a hundred yards from our house.
the old small station was built in 1912
they can't get new trucks until
they have a station with doors large enough
to get the trucks inside.

chief john is hands on everything
selling details to the city
and will work it to completion.
Brett made some fresh coffee;
john showed me the building plans,
i sipped and asked questions.
firefighters do a most valuable job.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

there she is now.
worn rag dress and funky shoes,
bobbling to her car, up and down;
look at her go. like the same
i seen when i was a kid,

only i'm worn now too.
near older'n she is
and i can hardly walk ...
but still go along
better than - Lord help her -
better'n that sack o'bones.

holy smoke, she stays on her feet
like a cork in a puddle
after a sudden hard rain.
i'd wave if she looked my way.
don't want to whistle, might mess her up.


poetry is pages
in the book of life


Monday, June 05, 2017

ants in a crack where stones met
on the walk near the door ... back
there ... i'm pointing
a pile of sand, an enlarging crack

i set my foot ready
to sweep the sand pile
into the growing hole
"what are you doing?"\

her tone stopped me cold
"I was ... uh ..."
enough said by me, evidently

"they're working there."
i looked again and it seemed so.
ants have things as we do ... to do.
let them.


Friday, June 02, 2017

while i'm sleeping
dreaming hard.
on a quiet night
by the open window,

until dawn
i sleep and talk some
while i dream
and time slips on


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

breakfast complications

M opened and closed her hand.
"What's that?" i asked.
she open and closed her hand again.
"What do you want? i repeated.

"Pancake syrup." she replied in
her make-believe monster voice.
i raised my eyes and thought a millisecond
"Put your shoes on, let's go."

for the car she bought Sirius .
select one of 222 channels and you're in business
"Oh, let me choose,"pleaded,
and slowly she nodded.
"How much time to i have?"

"Until we turn off the radio."
Sunday breakfast at Dimitri's
a radio playing in the kitchen
can be heard out front when
customer talk is softer

waiting for our order sitting there,
for ten minutes m read aloud
the names of every tree in Ohio.
after one hundred i fell asleep,
but looked like i was paying attention.

i asked waitress Karin how many regulars
come to this restaurant?
i saw her think a flash and "Many" is what she said.
we settled on a guess number - around 200.

i told her, "Say hi to Meegan" who
just had knee surgery on her ankle, more or less.
"but she doesn't know my name."
"That's okay ... we have nicknames for everybody."
I looked deep into my pancake
and didn't ask her for clarification.

changing the subject i told her i can't read
the dials on the clock, i pointed to the one
on the wall above the cash register.
she said, "other customers say the same"
"Gotcha." M turned to look at the clock.

when leaving the restaurant a truck did an illegal turn,
nearly hit our car and blocked our way.
the driver tried to look both apologetic and friendly..
the look came off as stupid;
i gave the humbled lad the finger in my mind.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

a skill of the elderly -
putting on socks
while sitting on the bed
and not falling to the floor.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

golden gate

when friends came to see san francisco
i'd take 'em to the view no one sees everyday;
and feel proud to point and say ...
there ... that's the golden gate

professional photographer Doug Fairbairn took a wonderful picture from the hill on the Marin County side looking through the waterway and the bridge that is The Golden Gate.

Friday, May 19, 2017

face it

wind blows light steady on
the wall clock says near eleven,
but it's only nine.
the clock stopped some yesterday.

i have a new book to read, a couple ... three.
we go to the town old place for breakfast;
not a century old, but what they've got.
the old regulars show up, usually.

no coffee for me this morning.
gary a questionable walks in, walks out.
no old guys at their table,
mr. becker died.

his funeral is this morning.
we live in the building that was
his potato-chip factory.
and the clock keeps spinning

Sunday, May 07, 2017

eyebrows are so
you can look startled
curious, interested,
or angry

eyelids are for winking
and closing out light
the part of the night
when you're sleeping

crying is for babies
and feeling better, after


while watering
i saw the large, fuzzy baby bird,
looking better today.
he was there below the
spot on the fence where i saw him yesterday.
looking fit. i could identify him;
of course he's grey, not an owl.
he's a pigeon, comfortable now
in the garden.

7 may, a robin on the fence
with a mouth full of sticks,
you know what he is doing.
i waited ... then went inside
and looked out the curtain.
robin went above the rose bush,
below the eves, out of sight.
M will say if the spot if good.
right now it doesn't matter...
robin has building on his mind.


a fine quiet early evening, i stepped out on the porch.
sat on the bench ... watched as a wren flew off
a large fuzzy baby bird ... pigeon or what...gray,
stayed on the post on the fence
shaking a small amount, feathers messed in places,
like he fell out of the nest a day early
seemed lost. i watched a while.

went in, rewrote some lines,
took a breath , right there after the comma.
saw the sky almost had a rose color in it, and blue.
then came back out.

jacket weather cool at seven'
glanced quickly and couldn't find the bird. hoped he found
a leafy spot to hide in the garden somewhere.
i didn't look that hard. tomorrow i'll think of him
and watch for him.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

beige lake, a graying strait/
white gulls with blue markings zip overhead,
banking, dipping fast like kites on fire/
a hum, hollow sound/
can't say from where.
gold fields, azure sky, woods beyond/
powder white clouds trimmed in gray/
i hear distant trains/
dogs on leashes excite a small boy/
in a child's voice he asks dad ... who knows what/
tops of cars pass beyond far fields/
near flashing ripples sparkle water/
gulls held aloft by the wind/
some tree shade


Sunday, March 12, 2017

spring ahead, fall back
who was the knucklehead's wife that came up with that one?
and other countries followed the lead?
can't we leave nature alone?
it's how the planet works ...
can't we live with it?


Thursday, March 02, 2017

it looked like a patch of snow in the field
got closer, it was the sun reflecting in mud


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

first thing in the morning
count your lucky stars;
figure if you awaken
you're riding a 4lucky steak


Monday, February 27, 2017

lost my pen
checked my pockets
pulled out fuzz
nothing hatched

went to the doctor
that's where I've been
took me a pen,
can write notes again.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

can a car be in river
water to the windows
and still work?
Before the Internet
you had to write a newspaper
to the column Ask Mechanic Bob,
or some one like that
who might answer your question
and were really five guys
working i an office
eating donuts.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

sometimes i work harder and sleep longer,
or drink more coffee and think of days
spent far away - other places, other times,
i'll take my pick, depending on the weather,
how the sun is shining, how the wind blows.

now where i'm sitting the sun is in my eyes;
but isn't it grand...because that's the same sun
you're looking at; amazing.
that's how it functions...
world without end.

you know, when i used to make a camp fire
wood would burn down and there'd be no fire.
the sun has been burning since before we were,
so how does it do that and not turn to ashes?
who's adding fuel to the fire?


Saturday, February 18, 2017

just read February has been the warmest on record.
they say it will be 65 Fahrenheit today here in Ohio;
meanwhile Trump is complaining about the news media.
i'm glad there is something to read with coffee in the morning.

well, where is the snow?
it's the dead of winter...time for blizzards.
so where did it go?
certainly not as i remember.

kids have to play, you know...days off school.
while old people watch white pouring down,
thick on the ground, all around, packing us in.
this year i never had to look for my boots.


chi gung

fingers on the collar bones,
rotate the head around, slowly.
both directions. my neck pops
like i'm wringing a stalk of celery


Wednesday, January 18, 2017


she has gone now.
got word this morning;
alberto called. before he said
i heard the message in his voice

she...a few words yesterday,
wanting to say to me...
then dropped the phone.
i know you friend, maria.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

to creeks jumped
and those fallen into.
to bridges crossed,
those ducked under.

to all frogs and fish,
birds and the clouds,
rain in the forest,
over brambles, through fields,

and down long highways.
in sun, snow and quiet nights,
flowers, weeds and vegetables included;
a salute to the finish and new beginning.


Monday, December 26, 2016

waiting for james.
he stopped by a month ago,
oregon to ohio,
to Boston, to Rome.
back with his brother
52 and 50,
the drummer and the unpredictable,
nicest guys i could know.
known 'em grow.
said he'd be here last week
that was the plan
now short hours away,
ahead of the snow.
he and Alex heading to Portland
and adventure.
while i read...check out the window,
waiting for james


Saturday, December 24, 2016

had coffee...
tapped my spoon on the table,
no sugar for me,
ate enough cookies this week.
gazed out the window
saw more parking spaces than usual,
and fewer birds; seems they all
flew home for the holidays..
gazed more... thought
of warm water swimming,
took just one last cookie
for dipping.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

the olives can go in the refrigerator
is what she said to me
can they now? that got my attention,
i squinted at her

didn’t believe her, not then.
that was absolutely not true.
those olives can’t go anywhere,
watch them; even if they tried.

i know for a fact, no doubt about it.
take a load off, olives,
you can put the load right on me.
your going days are over.