Poems: Chapter 2

A Fortunate Man

 Gray foamy rays streamed through the room.

I felt the warmth of the bed and her body next to mine.

A rush of peace, or joy, or deep contentment came over me as I lay still next to her.

Together these eleven years. Yoked together by an easy yoke, a yoke I willingly put on.

And here we are-laying in our bed together in our home we made for ourselves.

I turn my head-I don’t know how to let her know how much I love her.

I am compelled to try or I will burst apart.

Reaching my arm around her waist in the grey light,

Whispering to the back of her head “I love You” –she clasps my hand and softly replies

“I love you too”. Not another word is spoken. The world had just been born again

And I knew I was a fortunate man.


Backyard Bustle

The black- throated woodpecker

Perched at the old wooden birdhouse

Jarring his orange beak into the wood–

Rat-a-tat tatt, twists his yellow neck

To see who might be watching

As two stellar Jays, dark grey in the evening shade

Burst into hot blue flames as they dive

Through rays of sun streaming

Between pine branches drooping down.

Two rabbits nestled together

Catch me standing at my window.

Startled at the sight of me sighting them

They race quickly under the fence

All the while a small girl helps

A headless boy to read as they sit by the pond

Caring not that he has no ears – she is practicing.


Can You Tell ?

For man looks upon the appearance of things, but God looks at the heart….. I Sam. 16:7

Can you tell what is in a man

By looking at his face, the wrinkled brow

And drawn cheeks, round belly

Or by the white hair, balding at the crown?

Can you tell what is in a woman

Whose hips have spread from child-bearing

And breasts sag from nurturing

To contentment our children?

Do you know the teen sitting in a group

Feeling alone and lost as brutal comparisons

Fly Like razor-edged saucers

Wounding and scarring in unseen places.

What is invisible to our eyes

Makes up both heart and soul.

Only compassion and kindness

Can see what is really there.


Fading Winter

This retreating season of night

Has for months been my womb.

Why I prefer winter’s black bleak chill,

Its solstice shadow casting life in shades of grey,

The way sounds muffle and parks are cleared

Of chatting mothers strolling infants while barking dogs chase

Squirrels chasing nuts makes no sense

To normal folk.

While most frolic in the tease of spring,

Who but nocturnals  morn the passing darkness,

The lengthening days announcing the coming noise?

It’s the quiet, the stillness, the music of silence.

I need no other thing.


First Snow

 A snowflake lands on my nose

The weather man is right.

I stop and strike a pose

In the dark this wintry night?


Snowfall like a tea-soaked Madeline

Soaked with glad memories

Loading snow ammo in my den

Poised and waiting on my knees.


Or simply leaning on the window

Watching with wonder the world turn white

Street lights reflect the refulgent snow

Shine on this winter’s night.


Down empty streets home fires burn

As children press their nose

To see each flake in its turn

Fall and strike its pose.


What mystical force gave way to this

Each ones’ geometric shape

Sings of joyous bliss

And a child of an adult it makes.


Love is a Plate of Food

Today Love is a plate of food

Placed before me like the thousand before

Sometimes laid gently down, sometimes

Tossed at me with a hmmph


Rushing in at the end of the workday

Never pausing to remove her coat or shoes

She dives in to the task

Cupboards and drawers thrown open

And digging for the right pot and pan


Still agitated over last night’s disagreement

Yet love or duty take over

And the stove heats up and the chicken simmers

The sweet and sour sauce spits and bubbles


A glass of wine to sip while

Roasting brussel sprouts with garlic.

Chopping celery and carrots

Grating swiss cheese over Romaine lettuce


“Dinner” she calls and I take my place

Once more, like every other evening

Once more, over and over again

Love is a plate of food.



On Hearing Irish Spoken in Dingle

Swirling ,churling, whirling, curling

Around my ears the words split apart

Into flying letters, flashing through and down

Corridors looking for new mates

Like electrons screaming through space

Until crashing into protons creating

this. Letters form syllables – sounds

that rattle and hum Like Bono in Temple Bar

among those gentle folk

That would rather sing than talk. Their syllables

Float from their mouths like music from a plucked string

Seeking an eager ear tired of empty talk.

A simple conversation in Dingle-

A symphony when joined by two or more there I am

In the midst of a moment on fire with beauty

And music and friendliness and yes, Joy.

I long to hear the words of everyday

Surge like Van’s hymn to silence




Today, I resolve to live as a monk;

Stepping softly into my cell, I light the wick-

Watching shadows dance on the walls like gypsy’s lauding the Sun.

Stilling myself, waiting for the light of day-

Standing guard, a sentinel over a sleeping world,

Watching in gentleness, wearing this day loosely.

Letting go of all that is not love

I rise, take up my staff, and walk.

Today, I resolve to live as an artist;

Peering into this moment like a seafarer searching for unknown lands

Or the first man naming what no one has named,

I look for signs, and I wait to see the ancient path

Where word and spirit and earth press together

And present themselves as gifts in my hands

Today, I resolve to live as a mystic;

Where phantom boundaries between you and I

Fall like tattered garments to the ground

And naked truth stands alone

Exposing joint and marrow

Revealing all that binds us together.

I will live as you, and dwell in the hidden ground that is us.



I like to sit alone and watch

With my back to the window.

Watch my neighbors I don’t know

And imagine that I do.

What would I say if I did?

“How are you? What’s going on?”

Or maybe “How’s the chemo going?

Have you found a job yet?

Why do you think she left you?

Do you know where your children are?”

It’s so much easier not knowing

And imagine if I did I would say

All the right things at just the right time.

Suffering hangs in the air around me

A silent cloud waiting to burst

When the wrong question Is asked.

It is so much better not to speak –to stay

In the corner and watch what will happen—

It will happen with or without you.

Like an impotent angel I can only observe

And report—


Hey, you – How long have you just been sitting there

By yourself? How long? Did you know the world is burning down?


As I sit, I observe, and I report.


Crawl Space

The crawl space underneath my home

Must be entered with dreadful care.

Wrapped in cloth I become a pale gnome

No patch of skin left bare.


I hate being deep down here,

The smell of dank damp among the webs.

Oh, it is mostly the webs that I fear

Disturbing the vigilant arachnids in their beds


And piercing through the dingy darkness

My lamp reflects two emerald beads

Staring back at my trembling carcass

Watching me inch around on my knees.


Breathing deep and hard and swift

I finish my task and lunge away

From this tomb my heaving body I lift

And find yet another way to pray.


There are some places in this world

I simply do not fit, ill-suited in every way

So I climb back out into mine

And resolve to enjoy the rest of today.