Sharing Secrets

Sharing Secrets

Is it ever wise
to relive a behavior
a mistake
a sin
and share it
with a lover?

a foul dragon
one’s kept hidden
in a mountain cave
for years
seems unwise.

It may well
burn and devour

The Jersey Angel

The Jersey Angel

It lives near tidal estuaries
near rich salt-marsh earth
in touch with wind and cedar creeks
where skimmers and sanderlings feed.

Near rich salt-marsh earth
with its currents, crabs, and minnows
skimmers and sanderlings feed
in touch with wind and cedar creeks.

With its currents, crabs, and minnows
a regenerative pineland thrives
in touch with wind and cedar creeks
and lighting and fire

a regenerative pineland thrives
then dies then lives again
because of lighting and fire.
It lives near tidal estuaries.

Only 16

At midnight, ‘neath the night sky’s glorious
canopy, the banana moon shown down
upon our town’s polluted lake. My spare
frame lay uncomfortably upon her
breastbone as we reclined in the backseat
of her 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
She said, “Don’t panic. I know
this is going to be your first time.”

watering fig trees: a haibun

Horticulture takes time—and water—and sun. Each spring and summer gardeners inspect their fig trees: some grow in full sun; others in partial sun; still others in shade. Each one has an intimate relationship with its caregiver. But only one group bears fruit.

watering fig trees
sandy soil, warm sunshine—
leaves with firm handshakes


I remember when I left you.
Both of us, angry, frustrated.
Neither of us at fault.

I went away to college.
You stayed.
You stayed.

Four years with few words.
Then six more with fewer.
Still more years.

You understood why.
You were unselfish.
I was not.

One day I called you.
Your tone of voice: shattered.
I listened intently.

We reconnected.
Had lunch.

We traveled overseas together,
During winter.

You returned home.
Fell ill — again.
Passed on.

Still on the road.

Ode to Key West

Sunsets on sailboats
Cuban coffee at ten
Roosters on dirt roads
Fantasy friends

Lemon-lime houses
Back-yard palm trees
Forever turtle races
Colorful blouses

Scubas and snorkels
Lobster Benedict breakfasts
Movie-star cats
Neighbors with smiles

He Writes with His Actions

He writes with his actions
rising from his bed each morning
grabbing his coffee before he
confronts his computer screen

Rising from his bed each morning
he remembers a fragment of a dream
confronts his computer screen
and begins typing his intuition

He remembers a fragment of his dream
because it wakes him up abruptly
and makes him type his intuition
so he does not forget to follow it.

He writes with his actions.

Watching Her

Each day she rises early
puts on her yoga outfit
and bikes to the community gym.

I don’t see her
for another two hours.

When she returns home we have
breakfast together. I prepare
cereal for her, bacon and eggs for me.

Both of us look younger
than we are, although I
do not dye my hair.

I silently calculate the
number of years we each have left together,
knowing she’ll outlive me by several.

Only the good die young?
I think not.

10 and Ten Minus 8

Just back from Germany.
I already miss King Ludwig,
His castle imagination,
His operatic grotto,
His mountainous solitude.
History tell us
he was as tall as an aspen,
as rich as Walt Disney,
as modern as electricity.
He walked among the common people,
yet ate alone. Who wouldn’t want to live
with one’s head in the clouds?