Tag Archives: poetry


April 29, 2012
From the Sunday Scribblings

Now, the storm has passed,
or at least blown away for as long as
a afternoon nap lasts,

and I have a moment
to think uninterrupted thoughts,
write one or two of them down.

How many poems have been
derailed by a whoop,
a whine, a scream,
between brain and pen?

The clouds loom
dark and cold as my
forgotten coffee, set down during the
last storm,
the cream separated and
drifting among the darkening clouds,
ready to be knocked to the floor,
spilled like so many gathering thoughts.

Biashara Street

Biashara Street
February 5, 2012
From WeekendWordsmith.com

Step away from the
odour of bodies and exhaust into a

chutney of cardamom

Sacks of
cashews overflow onto
floors covered with boxes,
and more heaps of
burlap bags
full of jasmine rice,
basmati rice,
long brain brown rice
from exotic places I
dream of going, some day.

In this quarter mile of
dusty street
are gathered all the spices of the world,

from Sri Lanka,
and far-away San Francisco.

Tea, coffee and
cocoa pods
lend their aroma to the
general cacophony of smells,
discordant, but, somehow

a symphony in a thousand voices.

Knowing that school uniforms
are only a street or two over,

I stand and breathe deeply
of the cloves,
curry powder,
and saffron.

For the Weekend Wordsmith – Chutney


November 26, 2011

He already doesn’t watch the road,
handlebars weaving about as his eyes are
but in front.
Now he wants a speedometer
to gauge the break-neck speed
as he hurtles about
intent on breaking

Every father’s dilemma:
kill the joy,
or the son?


It’s been a long time since I’ve written something for the Three Word Wednesday site. I’m sitting in Bluegrass Airport, STILL waiting for my flight to Tek11.


May 24, 2011

Out in the waiting area,
my flight delayed yet another two hours,
the television tells us,
of a mother accused of killing her
angelic daughter.

She stands under the barrage of accusations,
and the hateful stares of a hundred million watchers,
as her stupidity is framed as malice,
and her malice framed as tragic mistakes.

Too much tragedy.

A beautiful girl,
the same age as the long-gone victim,
cavorts among the chairs
shrieking gleefully.

Three boys,
just boys,
can’t be more than 15 – although I suppose
they must be, since they carry
camo bags with their name on them
and combat boots and official-looking envelopes –
sit hunched quietly in their seats,
stoically staring into their
all-too-certain future.

In the bar,
the only drama is the unexpected
upset of John Isner
and, more immediately,
what flavor I’ll choose for my chicken wings.

Back at the gate,
the trial continues.
The young former mother stands,
endures the caustic words,
her attorney sacrifices her dignity
in exchange for her freedom,
saying, yes, she’s a terrible mother
but not a

The tears roll
down her cheeks.

The press calls her a crocodile
and practically glows with excitement
at her tragedy.



Mt. Longonot, 1987

Pebbles, clattering
into the crater.
We, laughing, sliding,
generating avalanches
beyond our ken,
beyond our influence.

We had climbed all morning,
now were running ahead,
our friends taking the more leisurely
way around
watching the clouds from above.

Not for us, this introspection.
We dashed on
leaving the rockslides
to do what they would.

(For the weekend wordsmith.)



From the pair of socks —

every boy must some time succumb
to the need to run barefoot,
sink his toes in the mud and feel the grass
tickle his toes —

to the small toy gun, slightly chewed —

some lego hero, in his last throes,
squeezed off a last round before being eaten
by the alien invaders
come to enforce their new tyrannic rule —

there’s a map of the weekend in his pockets.

A stub of pencil,
number 2, Ticonderoga,
sharpened all the way down to the eraser,
no doubt in preparation for writing
the great novel to displace Harry and Percy
in the hearts of millions.

A rubber band, a flashlight, and a keyring,
part of elaborate plan lacking only dynamite
and a fishhook
and perhaps a few small bits of string
for the construction of the doomsday machine.

And a misshapen blob of beeswax,
a tribute to hours spent listening to theological proclamations
less interesting than candles.

Assorted other nicknacks,
a carabiner, a small canvas strap,
a bottle cap, a length of chain,
several scraps of paper and plastic,
paint a picture much more vivid
and active than he tells himself.

What did you do this weekend?


Don’t Postpone Joy

For several weeks before Elise was born, I had been writing her short letters, and compiling them in a book for her to have when she is old enough to appreciate it. This one is a response to the Sunday Scribblings post from a few weeks, ago, “Mantra”.

Letters to Elise

June 12, 2010

XV. Don’t Postpone Joy
(“Mantra” – SundayScribblings.blogspot.com)

Your great aunt,
for whom you were named,
my beloved daisy,
adjured us daily
by her actions and her smile:
Don’t postpone joy.

And so I pass on to you
this wisdom,
and will show you every day:
Don’t postpone joy.

There is joy in everything,
if you just look, expecting to find.
Not that we close our eyes
to suffering and sorrow,
but that even there, we search
for the joy.