Sampling of poems
Poetry not your thing.
You don’t say so but I read
in your eyes the sorry
that you asked
what I do.
I hesitate and then confess:
I write poetry.
I want to tell you
in the silence that follows
poetry’s not my thing either.
It just flows from my pen
in spurts — ink spilled before
I can stop it.
Poetry lets me off the hook
no plot lines, no character arcs.
It peers through beveled windows, overturns
stones, seeks patterns in coffee grounds.
It lives in snapshots
rather than movies.
I want to tell you
poetry sipped is poetry
savored. Espresso with a shot
of Sambuca at a sidewalk cafe.
Try it. You may develop
a taste for it.
But I gulp my coffee
usually while reading something
that’s not poetry. My empty cup
reminds me to notice.
First place winner in the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society 2021 Poetry Contest; publication pending in 2022
I watched cicadas tumble out of trees yesterday
wondered at their public death throes
prayed those hard-back creatures
would fly to camouflage again
like film running in reverse
Summer’s symphony has gone silent
My mind leaps ahead
to leaves turning rust,
stark snow rising to hip height
my body tenses with the dreaded chill
I drag myself from this daydream
return gratefully to August
however still its nights
Published in The Avocet, Summer 2020
A ribbed fabric sky
folds the midday light
into layered stripes,
yellow and dust
accenting new-green fuzz
on old-black branches.
The sun wanders off to watch the show.
Clouds take center stage,
their deep gray pockets filled
The rain they let fall
clings to newborn leaves.
Each drop sparkles with delight
when the sun steps out again
from the rainbowed shadows.
Published in The Weekly Avocet, April 11, 2020
SOMETHING'S NOT RIGHT
Sunshine lights up the bay window,
coaxes Christmas cactus
to bloom white again
halfway to Easter.
Weeping willows awaken,
pale green reflected on the village pond
where mallard pairs swim circles
around clumsy Canada geese,
tickle the waters where turtles sleep.
My brother sends a photo
of cherry blossoms starting in DC
in late February. April tourists
will be disappointed—
if anyone ventures out by then.
Their hands will be chapped
from constant washing.
They will arm themselves
with masks and hand sanitizer,
uneasy at standing up to the virus
that wears a crown.
PRIME REAL ESTATE
Before anyone carves up the moon and sells it
to the highest bidder for condo-ringed golf courses,
fake palms and wrought iron gates,
tell me, please,
will it be the bright one I see poking through the branches
of the majestic maples in my backyard when I draw
the shades before turning in for the night?
Or the huge orange one surprising drivers
rushing toward the Jericho Turnpike horizon?
As that moon rises, the contours of a face emerge,
happy just to be there. Like Humpty, before his famous fall?
I hope they don’t choose the one lighting up
the Long Island Sound on warm summer nights
when fishing boats sidle up to the dock
to unload weary passengers clutching their catch of the day,
poles and tackle boxes perhaps lined with empties
Or the thin crescent of light that floats
effortlessly in a crisp dark sky
after the first snowfall, before the plows arrive.
The moon draws the tides into a dance with life itself,
so, no, my moons over Long Island are not for sale.
Published in Amethyst Review
THE DEATH OF CIVILITY
The glue that binds us
has hardened and
cracked in the cold
war of lies and contempt.
It no longer adheres.
You can peel it off with ease,
roll it between thumb and fingertips
into a handful of dust.
Make a wish and blow it away.
Published in Shot Glass Journal
Outdoors, a chorus
celebrates the morning light.
Songbirds back from winter havens
busy with springtime preparations.
in the silence of halted human activity
as we wait for the Novel virus
to peter out and die,
inflatable dragon punctured
by some invisible lance, we hope.
The birds don’t care
if we are here to notice.
They fetch grass, twigs and debris,
tucked in among branches
that will soon provide cover for their chicks.
They’ll feed the hatchlings,
teach them to forage and fly.
The immatures will build up stamina
for long journeys ahead
when daylight dwindles
and nights grow cold.
At least that much is predictable.
Published in Trees in a Garden of Ashes (print)