Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An Editor’s Pick On Wordpress Discover

A pleasant surprise: “My Father Walking, and Twenty-Four Other Things,” a poem, remembrance, and drawing of mine featured several weeks ago at Creative Thresholds, has been selected as one of the Editors’ Picks at Discover, a space highlighting the best content shared on the Wordpress blogging platform. My thanks again to Melissa D. Johnston for her wonderful presentation. Thanks also to Krista, the Wordpress editor who found our offering worthy of passing along. We are grateful indeed, and very pleased.

Canvas 653

Canvas 653

March 29, 2016

Morning thoughts

The adversarial, confrontational habit — do they not see how, beyond the shallow notion of win and loss, all parties are damaged thereby, through hardened egos, resentment, and pride?

(said the sun to the flower, the wind to the tide)

And were I the one buried, here where you lie, I swear I would love you, and in love would I bide.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


How a mother scrubs her little children with infinite care,
the fading scars where their wings once were,
I see this morning, and do declare.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


Do you know what it is to yield, to be grateful for the many or few of your possessions without being possessed by them, without being possessed at all, without being mad or angry or outraged, without the need or desire to control, without the need to be right, or the need to be wrong, or ugly, or beautiful, or happy, or sad, or to identity with your self-designed load? You smile. I bow —


Just as the flower
was confessing its faith
to the bee, it was claimed
by a gardener’s shear.

“How lovely.”

(This little poem, “Faith,” is part of my Songs and Letters, and was written July 10, 2008. The question leading up to it, your imagined reaction, and then mine — well, I feel like a flower this morning, that’s all, a flower willing to bloom, or go.)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Shall I tell you of my former life?

Shall I tell you of my former life? It happens in the strangest way,
today, not yesterday, before tomorrow begins, and where my new life ends,
over, and yet over, again. Like smoke, it rides the wind, and as it leaves,
so it patiently remains. Newton laughed about it when it landed
on his head, just as Galileo wrote his daughter,
I think, I think, I think, I understand.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

should I not suppose

snowflakes, cherry blossoms, a sudden flourish
that might be a crow . . .

should I not suppose you know,
all that comes must go

like verse . . .

and should I not suppose you know,
what I behold in morning robe before all else . . .

that love is . . . a window?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Canvas 648

Canvas 648

March 16, 2016

Distorted? Yes, perhaps, but there is not a one among us who doesn’t care.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Canvas 645

Canvas 645

March 12, 2016

There were characters in my childhood countryside, Ellis Island gods they were, as yet unblended and untamed, escaped from slaughter and apt to sing, at dusk easily taken for rugged muscat vines, haunted, gentle, and insane, troubled saints and strange, and in their presence I was claimed, and later named, “He Who Remembers Them and Who Yet Embraces Change.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

Canvas 644

Canvas 644

March 11, 2016

And then, when you turn the page, there’s the sound memory makes when it suddenly flutters off into space.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Canvas 643

Canvas 643

March 10, 2016

For some reason, this drawing reminds me of the time I walked into a liquor store at a country crossing to buy beer. I was seventeen at the time. The owner smiled and said, “I know why you’re here and you can just turn around and leave.” Smiling in return, I said, “Okay.” I figured then, and I still do, that it must have been the hat.


What makes reading, writing, and observing daily life so joyful and necessary is that it simultaneously can, does, and will end in the very act. For me in my sixtieth year, there is no better definition of beauty than knowing my days are numbered, and that each of them is timeless and infinite. “I am here” and “I am not here” make up the sweet science of gratitude and vulnerability that make this life, whether or not or however truly, whimsically, or importantly it exists, the tender, worthwhile, instructive, baffling thing it is. How wonderful, this being a child in the face of monstrous concerns, to greet the weary tyrants of this world and invite them in to play. How wonderful, to play jacks with politicians, and to remind them of the art of make-believe.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Dark Horse

Yesterday afternoon was nice and wet and dark, and so I cleaned the old work desk. In the process, while listening to George Harrison’s Dark Horse album, sixty books were carefully dusted and moved, as well as my father’s old glass ashtray, his Hamilton wristwatch, my uncle’s pipe, and my stained glass dragonfly lamp. I had a wonderful time. This morning it’s still wet out, and even darker in. I took a picture, but the only thing that really showed in the dim natural light was the photograph of a very old Walt Whitman that graces my computer screen. You’ve seen the picture, I’m sure. And if you haven’t, it’s easy enough to find. I don’t mean online. I mean in your mind, in your mind, in your mind.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Maybe on a Summer Day

Maybe on a summer day
I will bring you roses
while you look up at me in bed,
smiling at the stranger
who used to be your son.

Each one will make a bright bouquet,
with thorns that sing the blood
of unremembered deeds and roads.

Maybe on a summer day
I will find you standing in the rain,
melting like brown sugar
into girlhood again.

And the rain will be warm,
an urge without an explanation,
sweet beyond reproach,
gently healing fingers.

Red for love, pink for shy belief,
yellow for the sun, a rainbow-ribbon
of light upon your hair, whispers
like the breath of dawn.

Maybe on a summer day
I will take you home again,
a caravan of one along
the narrow country roads
where eucalyptus grows
and the dry grass lies sleeping,
ever sleeping.

(From Songs and Letters, December 29, 2005, subsequently published in The Painting of You, Author’s Press Series, 2009 — a book that still makes me weep — but with joy, with joy.)