During a golden summer like honey dripping from a spoon,
The nectarine tree dropped plump beauties into our hands.
After a long afternoon of swimming, nothing tasted better.

The nectarine tree is gone with disease and rot.
Now avocado and kumquat grow.
While it’s not the same – it’s still good, you know?


In the darkening afternoon a bee alights on a flower,
Little knowing the storm brewing behind her.
In the farmhouse windows are latched down
And valuables secured against future violence.
Their lives are fragile here, and even
The smallest stroke of misfortune may mean
The difference between starving and thriving.

That was the gamble this family made when they came out West,
Little but the clothes on the backs and belongings in their wagon
To keep and maintain them so far from home.
Desperation made them cruel and greedy,
A promise of opportunity sold that might never come to fruition.

When they went out and saw what the storm had done to their crops,
They decided to blame their neighbors.


A susurration of serpentine servants slips
Somewhere betwixt sunset and sunrise,
Assured of surreptitious searching the sanctuaries
For secrets secured against sonorous sorcery
In centuries long since sacked into obscurity.
Should the Saffron Saint sail south with these secrets,
The sacrilege would scandalize both sanguine and cynical.
So their sanctimonious and sincere stand ceremony
To this scabrous safekeeping, supervised by sages.

City Stars

Stars fade into streetlamps as we head home,
Each with a particular nimbus of light.
You can’t get the same quality of night sky
Out in the city with its pollution.
Only a few stars are brave enough
To shine on through the smog and neon glare –
Orion with his sword and belt,
The Great Dipper scooping water,
And every so often a North Star pointing home.

What you lose in stars you gain in people,
The average human crust and grind.
As long as the stars are still out there,
I’m not sure I mind.

An Elegy for a Bee

Picture this: four children on a playground,
Gathered around a freshly discovered corpse.
The bee had buzzed, surely;
Had lived, had laughed, had loved;
And so the only appropriate response was clearly
To bury the creature, fallen leaves for a shroud.

It had not, to our knowledge, stung anyone;
It had not done anything but exist;
That was all required for death to take its own.

Yet that small life had value;
Its existence was enough
To merit the respect of funeral and honor of mourning.

Philosophical Love

Once upon a time, I defined love
As acting in the best interests of the beloved.
While that is still sometimes a thing I can believe,
It is not something I can believe constitutes all of love,
Or even the most meaningful parts –
As if it were possible to always know the best interests of someone else!

Love is a chemical reaction,
As much emotion as proaction.
We shape the quality of our relationships
With the material we bring to them –
Brick and mortar, wood and straw.
It is the invisible elixir of personality interplay,
The love you give and the love that is given.

Love is a thing you do, not a thing you are or say.

Mind Palace

The boat is rocking in a lullaby motion,
The wind the only ruffle on the still small lake.
Above, the night sky is freckled with stars,
Each a distant thought to be discovered.

Down in the depths of the lake murkier things fonder,
Subconscious morass of mud and algae,
Emotions deeper than waking knowledge.

I sleep to the gentle rocking of my craft upon the waters.

From A Fairytale Narrator

Magic creeps in where it shouldn’t be.
That’s what it delights in –
The unexpected turn, the misspoken word,
The mischief to be made and gift to be given.
Magic will turn the world upside down, if you let it.

Sometimes that’s what the world needs –
A good shaking up so it can crash down.
Some windows deserve to be broken.
Some peasants are better as king.

And sometimes that’s what makes the world hurt –
Not all good things need to be destroyed.
Some old ladies deserve soft places to land.
Some heroes should never be heard of again.

Still, that’s life, or what we make of it.
You want a different story – tell it yourself!

The Land Knows You

The land knows you, even when you are lost.
It does not forget, and neither does it forgive.
Do not abandon it, even at great cost.

When winter comes with brutal frost
You are challenged to persevere and survive.
The land knows you, even when you are lost.

And when spring arrives, great rivers to be crossed,
The land will give what it has to give.
Do not abandon it, even at great cost.

But summer – summer! with banners embossed
That rambles and provides for all things festive –
The land knows you, even when you are lost.

Autumn, of the harvest, demands you accost
All that’s held you back and kept you passive.
Do not abandon it, even at great cost.

Do not believe that the land will never exhaust.
It knows how much it takes to live.
The land knows you, even when you are lost.
Do not abandon it, even at great cost.

Candle’s End

One small light in a dirty, dingy world.
Does it make a difference?

When the power goes out on a winter’s night
And the crackle of fire and scratch of wool
Are all that keeps cold out and warmth in,
The light of a candle is a small bright thing
And, besides, good company.