My dead parents live
in my heart, as I in theirs
before I was born

Without Dog

Without the white dog,
whose leg is injured, I walk,
tentative orphan

Bright Peeps

Bright peeps of bird song
lift a canopy of fog –
forest floor’s greening


Year’s a quarter gone
as small turtles sun themselves
on an old gray log

Last Fire

Last fire of the year,
saying goodbye to a friend
never without cheer

Spring Snow

First azalea
had opened one yellow bloom
before the snow came


You can come as close
as you want, now that you’re gone –
there’s nothing to fear

Garbage Dump

Crows, seagulls, black, white,
both know heaven’s scent still lurks
in a garbage dump


Even when we think
we’re settled, we’re still nomads
in memory’s dunes

Spring Cleaning

At 3AM we hear
mice stirring in the walls – can
it be spring cleaning?

Robin And Squirrel

Robin and squirrel
meet in a flowering plum,
then each one takes flight

Bloom And Blush

Now’s season of bloom
and blush, colors delicate
before summer heat

At Anchor

The weeping cherry’s
pink petals ride at anchor
on drooping branches

Two Lips

Forever, never
are the two lips together
that pronounce, kiss “now”

Least Monotony

Over and over,
spring happens, untroubled by
least monotony


Ash is soft, soothing
to worn hands, as if, transformed,
lost trees still sheltered

Softness Of Sleep

The softness of sleep
conceals the cunning of dream,
elegant as fox

Up, Up

Mourning dove twitters
up, up and away – I stay
behind in thought’s shade


Geese on still water
commune with their reflections
even as I do


On the forest floor,
tiniest white eyes are open,
stare up at blue sky

Shad Tree

The shad tree flowers
schools of snowflakes racing to
climb back up the sky


My head aches with grief
and something else I can’t name,
what it is to be

Tiny Day

The sky is as blue
as a cap of robin’s egg
that holds tiny day


A person planted
in memory makes blossoms
pink as a cherry’s

Morning Walk

Morning walk takes me
through many decades in bloom
all at once this spring

Yellow Swallowtails

Yellow swallowtails –
spring morning surprise after
last night’s thunderstorms


Purple trilium
is blooming, royal color
on the forest floor


On this cloudy day
the question mark cat is slow
until she pounces


Teak chair in the woods
is empty since I ‘m not there –
or could it be I am?


The death of a friend
is coming – I’m as prepared
as I’ll ever be


I talk with myself,
not excessively impressed
with what I’m hearing

Rain With Salt

Tears are rain with salt
and they wash the deep canyons
of hurt – sting, sing, soothe

Before Cicadas

Before cicadas,
the lilies of the valley
bloom in still white bells


I’m an illusion,
a stitch in a tapestry
that lasts an instant

Puffs Of Wind

When I’m gone, I hope
that you’ll find something once me
in these puffs of wind

Deepest Memory

Smell of you haunts me
as sometimes it comes from me,
deepest memory

In Flower

Under elms I grew,
moved later to oaks, these now
in flower with me

Old Pink Dogwood

The old pink dogwood
is dying and still in bloom –
dogwood to the last

Each Second

Each second holds more
than I dare assimilate –
minute’s infinite


Explosion from earth
is programmed in cicadas,
then light, music, mate

Old Tow Mule

Like an old tow mule,
I’m hauling the past forward
into the future

Jacob’s Ladder

How white are the blooms,
the rungs of Jacob’s ladder
the bees are climbing

Smell Of Chives

After lawn mowing –
scent of chives spreading upwards
through April twilight

Love Poem

Can a love poem
be as short as this – of course,
since our lives are, too


The peony buds
are dilated now, so white
can be seen – bloom soon

Hands Off

Death and life just can’t
keep their hands off each other,
mingle in the wind


My babble’s fluent
held by what banks I don’t know,
nor where lies the sea

Snowing Cherry

Breezy afternoon
snowing cherry petals in
the old still courtyard

From Eden

A breeze from Eden
touches my cheek at twilight
and goes on its way

Snow Mountain

That snow mountain
is the tree peony burst
into lavish bloom

Cobra Lily

The cobra lily
has a throat of gold flame
hidden in the shade


Of scraps of myself,
I make a notebook, which then
starts to sing and dance

Heron In Mist

That great blue heron’s
a note of dusk’s saxophone
suspended in mist

Marvel Of Mourning

Marvel of mourning –
how it enriches green leaves –
lives, breaths in the grass


Morel, dark cortex
crenulated on white stem,
beautiful as brain

Gold Peonies

Lions who open
their eyes lazily to see –
those gold peonies

White Mist

This morning’s white mist
reminds me of my mother
who has disappeared

You (For Joan, May 9, 2004)

Ordinary day,
this one both golden and green
is rooted in you

Oak Flowers

White dog’s fluffy tail
is full of long oak flowers,
so her wag’s golden

Legs Loaded

Legs loaded with gold,
bumblebee’s a treasure ship
in white peony

Time’s Everything

Time’s everything
and all around, illusion
of all illusions


Night is falling on
this perfumed day of mid-May,
swift ripening spring

Air Is

Ordinary air’s
unimaginably free –
it can simply be


In a white blizzard
an inchworm drops on my neck
from the wild cherry

Green God

The green god lives now
in each and every tree,
stirs with the least breeze

Nothing (Cambridge, May, 2004)

Nothing has happened
but life since I left these streets
forty years ago

Brood X

Brood X cicadas
are starting to get it on,
high electric hum

Each Leaf

Each leaf is a dish
aimed at the sun, receiving
on the life channel

Single Center

No single center
imagines how small or great
its own circle is

Fading Light

Evening’s fading light,
melancholy remembrance,

Steel Band

Cicadas throbbing
like a steel band of the air
after the rainstorm

Sixth Sense

My mortality
is a sixth sense that defies
both beauty and truth


These false strawberries
are true rubies glowing now
in the grass I mow

White As Stars

As white as stars,
tiny clovers lift their heads
from a sky of green


Beneath cicadas’
racket, May rhododendrons
bloom pink and serene


A doe, listening
like me to the insistent
din of cicadas

Onion Domes

Chives make a city
of graceful onion domes on
slender green towers

Red – Eyed Cicadas

Red eyed cicadas,
ruby false strawberries mixed
in emerald lawn

When Print Fights

I’m moved when print fights
to get free of the page, run
the huge risk of life

Two Suomos

Grief and I wrestle
like two Suomos only I’m
the one always thrown


In the dust of books,
where you hid from life, I track
you now that you’re gone


Cicadas’ red eyes
are like sparks that have become
an insect’s headlights

Tent Of Light

Morning’s tent of light
is pitched beneath a sky
blue as any sea

First Birds

The first birds calling
slashes of color on night
before sun’s first light

Blood Tinged

Mourning doves cooing –
white heads of clover on green –
dawn sky tinged with blood

Dun Does

Dun does are dancers
leaping through these spring pine woods,
showing snow white tails

Tethered Butterflies

Tethered butterflies,
lilies adore the hot sun
near summer solstice

White Horse

Dream brings my father,
ancient, cantering a horse
that’s as white as now

Cat Mint

The cat’s in the mint,
then rolling on her black back,

How Deep

No easy mission,
to survive simply, to feel
how deep the wounds go

Real Arrows

It’s a paradox
that when words relax, they come
taut, launch real arrows

Spring Rain

A sudden spring rain
soaks the white dog and me, too –
we both look sheepish

Darting Dragonfly

Darting dragonfly,
threadless needle sewing air,
the fabric of light

Half Afraid

Thunder scared the dog,
so she looked up at me, saw
I was half afraid

These Lures

Father, you’ve vanished,
no trace left behind, except
for these lines, these lures


Cicadas – many
compared to us, yet so few
matched with molecules

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