The Night Fire

living buried

under great ash heaps

restless quiet

almost forgotten

she thundered spouted buried

steam ashes


night fire

in time

steep and thick

craggy wild fire


casts out

cinders crushed

stiff ashes rise to far countries





Dear Holly (To Him),

Dear Holly (To Holly@15),

I thought you were so cute

You thought he was so cute

Standing there in your Levis 501s

Standing there in his Levis 501s

Your brown eyes melted inside me

His brown eyes melted inside you

Then you gave me your Golden Gloves jacket

Then he gave you his Golden Gloves jacket

And I knew I loved you.

And you thought you loved him.

My mom didn’t like you—

My mom didn’t like him—

With good reason; he was kind of a jerk.

Which made me love you even more

Which made you lust after him even more

I imagined our future together

You imagined your future together

But not in a realistic way

People need jobs, cars, and money

Then you found someone new

Then he found someone new;

Thank God he did!

You should see his profile picture on Facebook.

He has not aged well.

And asked for your Golden Gloves jacket back.

And he asked for his Golden Gloves jacket back.

Don’t give it back. You deserve something from him.

You broke my heart

He broke your heart.

And walked away.

And walked away.

You still looked fine in those Levis.

He’s probably still wearing that same pair of Levis.


Night in the Garden

Moonbeam dreams

Serenade the night creatures;

Mermaids play

In the hush of darkness;

Fireflies in disguise

Flutter through the misty fog;

Forest fairies carry

Soft whispers of mystery;

Garden statues choose

Their façade of concrete;

Nocturnal critters flitter

And flock across the shelf

On the garden wall.

The Feather Thief

A peculiar heist,

Not diamonds, or money,

But a feather tryst.


Ornithological sabotage,

Born from a feather obsession.

Crime scene in Tring

from the Natural History Museum.


Feathers from specimens

Centuries old;

Species from long ago




Stuffed into a bag,

No reverence

For the history

Or the species.


Ornate, rare feathers,


For fishing

Has become an art.

Fly-tiers’ lips

Are sealed

About the crime.

“You don’t want to piss us off.”

Seventh Grade

I despise cranberry sauce,

Stand-up comedy, black licorice,

Jazz with words, and whistling.


I love Ink joy gel pens,

scary stories, children’s books,

And sea turtles.


I think all of these qualify me as a perfect seventh grade teacher.


My memory

Fans the instant pictures

As the images develop . . .

Hayrack rides, teen lines,

Walking beans, riding ten-speeds

Cornfields, Westroads mall

The noon whistle

Friendship beads and



That day

Baby Girl was brave

Across the giant pit of balls,

Over the plastic, rugged stone wall,

My baby girl was going to climb to the top.

Up the stairs, over the net, she brought her best.

Until she dared to reach the summit, The Mouse Hole.

She made it to the top, but that tower was where her courage stopped.

“Mama, help me,” she cried. “I can’t get down.”

Mama, to the rescue; I was pinnacle-bound.

Over the plastic, rugged stone wall,

Up the stairs, over the net,

I brought my best.

I rescued



Then she wanted to climb it again!

In His Hand

As we walked towards the milky sun,

He told me They were One.

I studied Them in CCD,

But I never understood the Holy Trinity.

In His hand, he held a blade of grass.

“What do you see?” He asked;

I gazed at the grass for just a while

Before He told me to look outside;

He stretched His hand across the lawn

And again, asked what I saw.

A single blade in His hand,

Several blades across His land.

One, yet more than one.

He was the Spirit, the Father, and the Son.

One, yet Three.

The Holy Trinity.

Island Dreams

Dreams of Aloha

lull me to sleep,

Palm fronds sway to the rhythm

Of the Kona wind;

The ephemeral aroma of

Plumeria and tuberose

Float across the shadows

Of the night sky;

Ocean waves whisper

As a canopy of stars

Light my way

Back to the island.

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