This month of your birth
has crept in upon me again,
slipped over the window sill
and into the corner of my room
where a perfect square of moonlight
seems to have up taken residence
and, outside, where the birds,
a whole choir of them, whose names
you never bothered to learn even when
mother recited them over and over again
as she pointed to the secret places
she thought they were hiding
under eaves or in the tangled branches,
are singing their hearts out
as she would always say then
and where now the boisterous cicadas
are joining in that twilight overture
This month of your birth
on the pinnacles
they take flight from high perches
and catch currents
scanning for carrion
She’s tethered to me, I’m lashed to you,
you’re snapped onto him, and he’s
gone, all gone.
I suppose we’re all goners
in the Let’s-Make-An-Us game,
no longer able to start a match anew,
toting our baggage along—
or unreal ideals that we steal
from the stories we hear.
The need to pair starts at the atom.
We’re just adhering to nature—
free-radical reactions taking what we need
from what we next rub up against,
I do not know how it is possible
not to pause, to stop, to listen
when a single bird’s first notes
suddenly rise above the subtle hum
of the city’s opening or to ignore
the wonder when one spring day
descends unexpectedly to revive
this town in the midst of winter.
I do not know how to sing praises
as wholeheartedly as the throng
of crows gathered at the crown
of a leaf-barren tree whose cants
seem like cacophony to me
but must be the joyful noises
that they were made to sing.
I do not know how.Read more "How"
Though he’s male
they call for a female officer
who pulls him from his car
seat then lays him
on a steel table
and opens his blanket
unzips his onesie
with the lions and giraffes
slips the undershirt over his head
tears open the Velcro straps
removes his diaper
lifts his body up
with gloved hands
holds him in the air
like a wet cat
Once only I use this word –
as winter white cedes
its clutch on deepest cold
to end-of-day, sun down
low with bare trees
that hold up clouds.
You never know people
till they die
you gingerly page
through their privacy
Those fresh, fateful photos:
mothers in mauve miniskirts,
fathers frying hash browns, wearing floppy hats
After there is nothing at stake,
you find out all that you could have given
and the casket cream white,
done off-white with pink
roses, and her face
in the casket
with pink lips.
one of those griefs
where the people are quiet,
except for her sister,
once, sobbed like a saw
through the service,
pulling lumber to pieces,
sending birds out of trees,
knocking down toilet seats
in all nearby houses.
The moon is a scrap of paper in a leftover sky.
Trees drip the dawn in a lachrymose morning.
Little winged seeds stagger, wind-driven,
as the last of love disappears.
Crisis lowers itself on its belly.
Vineyards are burning. Children
are dazed with hunger. Tragedy
waltzes in, turns into tango.
Clutching threadbare sweaters,
the populace huddles indoors.
They eat the last of the rice for dinner.
The sun never rose today,
and the voices of the crickets are stilled.
Fortitude and forgiveness are tested equally.
Skin, breath and heartbeat drop away
as the landlords arrive for the rent.
you will pay for your coffee
no hat is right for every occasion
when you hear a bird call, give it a name
cows kills more people each year than sharks do
few can name the sixty-some English names for pink
death does not rhyme with health, but wealth rhymes with stealth
many writers composed their best work during pandemics
when your read a poem, your audience may think bear foot when you say barefoot
one of the greatest poets wrote an ode to salt
the world’s largest salt mine is 1,800 feet under Lake Huron
tears evaporate unless you catch them
when praise is needed, do not hesitate
embrace yourself as both title and footnote
learn from the wind’s scansion of a noble fir in a squall