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.



.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016



such a beautiful Christmas tree
nearly twenty feet tall
in the neighbors front yard,
been watching it for years;
he's not using it anyway.
our ceiling at home reaches seven,
i only need some off the top.
i'll buy neighbor kids beer
have them cut the top at night
and deny involvement

forget the above. I remembered Gregory
Corso's beat generation poem about
learning to drive and
mowing friends down:
humor from another generation.
unkind doesn't work now
when we need to go easy,
we surly do.
we need kindness, even in humor.



.


practically Christmas
a few days to go
they say it will rain
how can they know?
staying home i'll sing in my head
White Christmas...
"may your days be merry and bright"
at night go to bed



.


shortest day of the year
can you feel it?



.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016



five days before christmas
a mexican food lunch
loosen up




.

Thursday, December 08, 2016




i awaken and look at the news
then i'm sorry i did, for what i read;
for what is said saddens me.
where is the love and the dreams?

softness, it seems, is waylaid by power
and grandeur of prominence.
shall we avoid the sweet scent of flowers?
give mankind gentle notions again.



.

Saturday, November 26, 2016




America has computers.
Pick an issue and a day;
in 24 hours know exactly
what the people say.



.

Friday, November 25, 2016




a lazy gray day watching droplets;
well, first sensing them until
i looked beyond thin curtains
to see silver sprinkles puddle up.

visible from my easy chair,
pearls splatter and shatter softly.
will pour later is the consensus
of weather forecast providers.

i sip coffee to heed what is
given by professionals or,
as in days of old, will dauntlessly
draw my own conclusions.



.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



2016 super moon, bright white
and larger; nearest until 2034.
got up at 2:00 and saw it a minute;
went back to bed. slept through most of it.





.

Sunday, November 13, 2016



you can yell at the dog
he'll feel bad
and not remember
why you're yelling at him.



.

Saturday, November 12, 2016




two horses
in the small corral
stand in extreme opposite corners,
though horses like company.

these two must have been
together long enough;
each knows
what the other has to say.



.

Friday, October 28, 2016

waiting in rome



the function of bureaucracy
is to make you wait
to show who is boss
to keep you little people down,
in place, engaged

there is a seat, take it
it will be a while
take a number
grasp the ticket
no one will look at it
but it gives you
something to hold on to



.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

nothing doing




from fifty yards away, black and white,
serene on the banks of a placid pond.
i watched for fifteen minutes
fifteen geese taking life easy

they sat or stood in the sun,
a few briefly walked a tight circle,
then sat again. content with time off
from what they do when they're busy


.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016



october wind and warm/
still, pancakes for breakfast were just right/
u sure?/
wait...there aren't two voices in a poem./
tell Shakespeare/
his were different/
and yours is the same?/
well, not the same...You know i made your part up, don't you?

Thursday, October 06, 2016



by request -
hey, tomc
okay, hey
it's national poetry day

i'll wait for intergalactic poetry day
and the new planet they found,
where life has just begun
a mega-gazillion miles away/

so after a giga-zillion years
it's not spinning on it's axis/
there it's still ten in the morning - day one/
what fun. spinning takes practice.

went to Oregon
bought marijuana in a store.
smoked a joint. it took three days.
didn't finish it all.
best i felt in years.
$9, it was fine.
couldn't bring any back to Ohio.
come on, America.
the young can bang heads playing football;
we old want to sit in a chair, relax
and feel good.


.

Monday, September 26, 2016




fog in the morning,
we used to say thick as pea soup.
now, perhaps it's broccoli du jour
jesus crimney - i mean it



.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

rain louder than the train




harvest moon so soon it seems,
though it's been a year;
this night i stayed in bed, didn't open the curtain to look.

Then a brilliant flash at three
and i counted the seconds eight, nine, ten, eleven...rumble.
again a flash - i counted to nine that time.
nine miles away.

i imagine the storm diminished
as i slept gain
until rolling thunder when i woke at six.
left to right, across the sky.
and the rain was louder than the train...two trains around seven.
pouring hard on and off this morning.

This night i slept well,
wrapped in good thoughts and dream.
how about you...how'd it seem?



.

Sunday, September 11, 2016



that place without time

where i go in dreams
is all...it seems/

boundless, sweet love



.

Thursday, September 08, 2016




Went to the grocery store
bought a ham sandwich.
At home she cut it in two.
I asked which half was mine.

While cleaning up the last of the mustard she blew all over the floor
she zeroed right on it when she said,
"Take the half that doesn't have a bite out of it."

There wasn't any mustard on it either.


.

Saturday, September 03, 2016



Old friends are special;
if you can deal with old coots.







.



i hear the softest melody
when i think of you.






.

Sunday, August 28, 2016



My, it's hot. even
inside air conditioned;
dampness creeps the walls
and clings to you.

Not a day to stroll shady woods.
skip that. they say it'll be cooler tomorrow.
why not sit down, relax;
sip green tea.



.

Friday, August 26, 2016



when it's warm out
and work is done
i'll sit quietly
and wonder.


.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016




The whistle seemed a good idea
lets people know a train is coming.
First a guy invented the whistle,
Another said, "I can make it louder."

We live a half mile away,
over the hill and down a bit.
every morning after the train runs through town
I have to straighten the pictures on the wall.

addendum

Someday they'll find
those early morning,
ultra blasting train whistles
blew America's mind.

Thursday, August 11, 2016



already summer is moving on
don't have a final tally
the garden's given many veggies
now, it's yours to rally

took the wire from the garden,
come on, boy, don't chu dally
we win, we do; and you do too
we'll call it bunny valley












.

Monday, August 08, 2016

geeze cake


Seek and enjoy.
when you find, and we found
a breakfast spot, another
not a big corporate job...
a little ma an' pa,
and this one had cheesecake.

ok, not your usual breakfast fare but, how about it...
four different kinds, brought from Cleveland.
cherries, blue berries, straw berry and another..
call it a wonder berry...I can't remember.
oh, yes, to look at them is fattening. What a way to go.
I tried a piece...no, not tried, I ate a piece.
As good as I imagined...as good as you can imagine.
hmmmmmm...cheesecake.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

spinning




two eggs, two pancakes, i ordered.
the chubby waitress, embarrassed
about her glasses; still cute and kind.
and the world goes on spinning;

sipped coffee by the window.
i see giant nimbus clouds roll by.
geeze, big as old sailing ships.
thought of mocking-birds, used to hear them.
Uncle Clifford's hand pump well,
and fresh, clean, country water splashing.

then outside, a drunk on a bicycle stops traffic.
he's old enough to know better.
and the world goes on spinning.
i'm glad there is nothing for me to hang on to
or i'd write the same poem every day.

Friday, August 05, 2016

nowsville


Oh, welcome thee of the illerati
now chillax.
click-bait and pocket monsters
sort them out; it will be.
i went dark yesterday, no one noticed
OMG, your guyliner is smudged

Thursday, August 04, 2016

early mornig train


slid the window open after three
dreamed clouds again until five-thirty
when, from long beyond
i heard the name say - i am train

calling low in light rain,
sweet voice, milk and thunder
clawing on wings of steel,
lonely is the night, strong, sure

swinging through, blasting,
rolling heavy on quick-wheel feet
powering around, long through, then out of town,
murmur lonely; cutting night stillness, like a blade on ice

iron maiden go, into first morning light
familiar friend, shaking windows with your power,
i smiled, low in bed, covered my head
slept another hour.



redone 7 17

Sunday, July 31, 2016

wen fer


wen fer lunch,
place 20, count 'em 20
miles, long down on the straightaway.

going and coming back, also,
cause they more to dis story..
musta ha'seen over four...call 'em
five, cars on the road.

I'm tellin' ya...somethin' goin' on
right hereabouts in Ohio.
i'm happy as darn about it.
Eat chur corn, Roy.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

eyebrows are


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

Monday, July 25, 2016



the antique clocks run a week;
how often i must wind them.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

booming


95 and humid a third day.
clouds belly down and booming
at noon, drop a fortune of water;
gardens are not opposed.

Friday, July 22, 2016

heat



the extreme heat of this afternoon
creeps inside where it's cooler
and gets me sleepy
at least for a nap's worth

Sunday, July 17, 2016

cell phone dilemma




major red alert,
cell phone is missing -
the pulse of my life line.
gone but not forgotten.

went back where i had coffee.
questioned everyone repeatedly.
most seemed honest in their replies.
evidently i didn’t leave my phone there.

staggered home dejected.
instead of crying right away,
dumped big trash can in the drive.
two cops driving by stopped to watch.

i put it all back,
took a half hour,
searching the sticky mess
a piece at a time.

then brilliant idea
struck like lightening. wow.
i asked the cops to call my cell number
and put it on speakers in their car.

if the rat face sleaze at the coffee place answers
i’ll recognize his wheezy, whiny voice.
from the squad car they let me dial,
misdialed my cell number several times.

chatted with interesting people,
talked longer with the nice ones
a few wrong numbers were angry,
cops were growing impatient.

i suggested, “Lend me a dollar, i’ll call
for a medium pizza, split it three ways,
if you drive us to pick it up.”
cops were unhappy.

head down, i kept dialing.
finally got the right number.
two seconds later
my pocket rang.

Monday, July 11, 2016


a.

tumble and never fall
clouds do

b.

i hate cloud poems
with the word fluffy in



.

Monday, June 27, 2016


1.

if cows
can talk



2.

if cows could talk to me
that would be interesting
don't have one
haven't seen one face to face for a while

just thinking of the eyes, one eye on a side
big and brown, looking
nearly thinking of something, the cow
calm, for the most part, depends, mostly

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

wellington


Wellington, a forgotten town
a line drive 22 miles east of Norwhere
where 18 crosses 58...
the heart of nothing special but goodness.
an old, tin-pressed ceiling cafe is large, welcoming.
no music, no TV, the hum is locals talking quietly.
cheery Karen from the other day seats us.
glassed in, on the corner over coffee we view
big-rig, cross-town traffic,
the action at the center of the berg.
sipping, we decide how to take two eggs
with two pancakes...too early
for too many decisions; no rush,
all is well...in Wellington

Monday, June 13, 2016

every 17 years


near Shiloh
The other day we heard them...
like crickets, over the hill somewhere.
I pointed so she would know
what hill they were over.

M said,"Those are locusts. They live in the
ground and come out every seventeen years."

I really glared at her. "I know that...
do you think I'm stupid?"

She paused, looked toward the hill,
then said, "That's a dumb question."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

open window


slept by an open window,
dreamed poetry
until sunshine ran over it
and left me plowed.

good day, some say, sometime;
sunshine, here's to you
from the bottom
of my heart.

Friday, April 29, 2016

dream from where


often i have dreamed poetry,
a few words, an idea.
when writing poetry every day
my dreams were poetry ideas,

then in the morning
i'd write from those ideas.
last night i dreamed mdf: 236748,
mdf: 566924, mfg: 73479

there was a paragraph space
then another series of letters and numbers.
i had a page of these letters and numbers
all single spaced and

still sleeping i noticed what i was reading.
it was a print out i had been reading;
after a bit of time i was still sleeping when
i noticed what i was reading/dreaming

don't know what it was
but when i woke i remembered
this strange dream
and wrote it down.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

the cart


Walking into Walmart
I put my cane aside when
a mysterious voice said,
"Use the cart, Luke...use the cart."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

dandelions are


dandelions are
good; so very, very good.
good wine, they're edible,
bright in spring, rich in
vitamins A, C, iron and calcium,
health benefits include
relief from liver disorders, diabetes,
urinary disorders, acne, jaundice,
cancer and anemia; also for
maintaining bone health, skin care
and as a benefit in weight loss;
they're cheery to look at,
and naturally, people want to kill them
so double-damn bad.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

a half hour down to Shiloh


M was inside getting plants
i was standing by the car
an old man in jeans, jacket and straw hat came out.
we talked a few minutes about
the good spring weather finally here,
the noisy storm we had last night.
i told him we lived in noralk, in town,
about here to that buggy behind the fire department.

he went on down to his buggy
an old woman wearing a long dress and bonnet
came out and joined him.
they turned the fine horse around
and began to leave.
as they passed by,
he and i wished each other a good day,
and they rode away.

Monday, April 25, 2016

big maket


m went into the store,
i waited in the car, reading, window open.
many people walking in the lot,
heard this constant, serious, deep-voiced, hushed monotone.
an older guy a short distance away,
standing between two dark cars,
ball cap on, talking, shoulder up,
neck angled, holding something to his ear,
speaking into this brown,fuzzy thing,
like a cover so i couldn't see the phone,
his eyes darted ahead and around.
an undercover job going down?
heard his voice, couldn't make out the words,.
waited for the swat team to drop from the sky.
after ten minutes nothing happened.
then i saw ball cap guy is holding
a small, fuzzy dog to his ear,
and never shut up.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

safety first


they have barricades on bridges
high enough so driving over
you won't look at the water
and drive into the river

so why not up and down the streets of towns
don't they erect walls on each side
so bright colors on fancy-dressed manikins with new shoes
won't cause you to make a right turn
and drive over parked cars, through the store windows?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Paul Simon


Paul Simon you wrote the
words and melodies for so many;
and today I woke with one your songs
dancing in my head, smiling inside me

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Cleveland Orchestra


The New York Times declared
"America's most brilliant orchestra"
in Oberlin's Finney Memorial Chapel
the most extraordinary
Cleveland Orchestra

filled us with music;
sweet, clear and precise.
we gave them attention,
they gave to our hearts.

Friday, April 15, 2016

code red


how many passwords
are in my head?
keep scrambling
code master

Monday, April 04, 2016

uncertain


here is april in ohio
when alternate days of snow and rain do bring
weather still uncertain
if it's winter or it's spring

Sunday, April 03, 2016

sometime skys are like that


look at them, rolling rain-heavy dark clouds,
a giant, scattered stripe in the east
across a blue sky background.

she wanted to take a picture
was driving, so she pointed instead.
i looked and remembered.

low sun, long fields
a wow to see
this good Ohio morning.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

coffee and i see


coffee and i see
the day before yesterday's snow out the window.
silent as all get out;
a nothing special morning...
that's what makes it special.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

winter lake walk



beige lake, movement in gray
sparkling streaks on surface,
few white gulls, under wing makings dark blue ,
held on the wind, banking, dipping like kites.

winds hum...a hollow sound
over golden fields, under azure sky
tops of passing cars are seen beyond fields
low clouds trimmed in gray, follow in a line like a train

small voice of child passing, marching behind dad
infrequent words spoken - sunny, cool
few blowing leaves, short cropped fields
thin woods, brown trees, little shade

Sunday, January 31, 2016

still, cold


still, cold,
third day in ohio
january ending
expecting weather like winter

three minutes in the store
in shiloh, m shops
i'm waiting in the car, making notes
shopped a swiss mocha to drink

cool out, do doubt
morning on a bright sun saturday
what a day - so clear
between snows

Monday, January 11, 2016

birds


among my favorite life forms
are birds - in an out, on their way;
no time for exchange with me.

they have agendas that can be
loosely categorized as seasonal behaviors:
young meet, maybe dance a bit,
never socialize with in-laws, mate, build nests
keep the eggs warm, bring food for the kids
instruct them on living; to hunt and peck,
gather food and head south for the winter.

when I'm around they land on the fence
check me out, then go,
not a deep relationship to build on.

to their credit: you know, they
never, ever, have a worried expression on their face;
no lips could be the reason.

eyes are open (have three eye lids)
blink fast and do their things.
their big plus is: wings -
they sure can fly.