Hour 12 – in place of the truth

Erasure poem, using the book Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier



in place of the truth


Harnessed to a

load of stones,

he seemed not to care


She breathed, again,

then took a handful

of mane

and pulled


That’s exactly the thing we need,

she said






Hour 11 – Graduation Card To Me at Seventeen

Graduation Card To Me at Seventeen


Dear One –

I know you still carry

the deep sadness

within you.


On this night, as your graduate high school –

please know there is

an outstanding life

ahead of you.

Please know, I understand that your

heart has been cracked wide open

with grief.


But, oh – lovely you at 17 – it has been opened to welcome

new love. New experiences.

You can’t see it yet – but you have already

become a warrior woman. A woman who

knows her own strength.


On this warm, June night

I embrace you. Hold you

tight, for just a moment.

Here is a card, I slip

into your hand. Suggest

you read it later.


Today may be that day.

Hour 10 – Hush



We finally put in a new dock last year.

It took the last of my mother’s

savings, but she would likely prefer

I keep that hush-hush.


This is no longer the fir-built style, my

dad designed so long ago.

There is now a concrete base for the approach, but

the entire structure is some form of

recycled, man-made, moonbeam material.


Morning coffee is carried out

to the far end of the dock. It looks like

we’re sitting on a shelf, just a few feet

above the dark water.

If the sun comes up, early and hot, we’ll jump in



I actually don’t give a damn if the lake is barely warm enough.

The cold explosion lifts the sleepy fog from

my brain. The shock squeezes my muscles into strange

contortions, reminding me of the old canteens from my

brother’s scouting adventures.


We finally put in a new dock last year.

But now the cabin is slowly sinking, into

the seasonal creek.

The savings are gone.

But don’t tell Mom.


Hour 9 – People of the Book

People of the Book


You may believe.

Or not.


You may find

your own truth. In books.

At the water’s edge.

In the hand of your beloved.


You may tear down

the walls that surrounded

you. You may build

a new structure. Or-

travel as a pilgrim, accepting

all stories as the Great Story.


You may find a book

to call your own. You may

read to the children, and

learn to laugh once again.


You may believe.

And, so, it shall be.


Hour 8 Form: Sevenling

I will only tell you this:

I go to sleep early. Dream deeply.

Make large quantities of vegetable soup.


In the morning, make me strong tea.

Don’t skimp on

the milk or the honey.


Leave the news reports until later.






Hour 7 – Pretenses



If you believe in

resurrection –

may it take you

gently down some

country road – with

a song about life

that will still allow you

to shed a tear


If you believe in

forgiveness –

may you line up

like stubborn boys,

who once lived

across the road –

and wash your simple

sorrows in the well.


If we live this life

with intent –

and leave this life

with no regret –

may we follow love

to the shadowy Willow

by the pond.


May we drop our

clothes, like old

pretenses –

and ease our scarred bellies

into a resurrection of mystery

and magic.

Hour 6 – Rough Landing

Rough Landing


Late Night.

The pilot touches

his small plane down

onto the runway.


Six or eight passengers

disembark, find

their way across the

rough field that serves

as a parking lot. I

make a quick stop inside

the small building to use

a much-needed toilet, before

my drive home across the island.


I see the last of the car taillights

wind down the road, and the airport

lights go out as I reach my

not-so-trusty Toyota.


My Summer job at the salmon cannery

starts early in the morning.

Much needed sleep, and lack of groceries

are on my mind.

What I am missing, I realize in a panic –

are my car keys!


Hour 5 – Report



Our small town newspaper

did not choose to report this.

But I was there. Witnessed

an event I never dreamed

could happen.


Let me mention that, it all

turned out well. Yet . . .

I can not forget the moment

(Name Withheld) tossed the

baby from the City Dock, across

the water, and into the waiting

arms of a tall man, believed to

be the grandfather.


I was there. Observing.



As I write this –

days later –

I see the woman

hoist the child

high above her head.

What joy! And, then,

What terror!


And, then – a strange calm

surrounded everyone, like

a sudden mist upon the bay.

It seemed as if no one else

had seen this unthinkable act.

Only me.

And I shall never tell . . . .



Hour 4 – Delight



Has this nectar

been left for me?

Or – have I accidentally

landed upon

the sweet and glorious

knowledge I was forbidden

to discover?


Have I traveled so far

that slices of fragrant fruit

seduce me, with no thought

of caution?


Let me dance upon this feast,

and sample with my

feet, before dipping

fully into the orange delights –

my one true love.


Hour 3 – Welcome



One day into Summer

and the spinach is bolting,

the peony in the courtyard

has one last, brave blossom

and the bird neighbors and I

race to see who will find the

hidden, ripe strawberries

in the damp clumps of greenery.


Solstice moment was 8:54am,

Friday morning.

How did the Day Lily’s know?

And, did the Raspberries receive

a secret message to fully express

their ripened majesty?


One day into Summer.

The Tomato plants have flowered.

Summer Squash is spreading.

Cilanto is hanging in there, pungent

assistant –beloved and detested.


Solstice moment was 8:54am.

Welcome, Hydrangea.

Old friend. Periwinkle companion.