To Bed — Hour 13

I slowly crawl into bed

hold my breath

position myself on the diagonal

stretch the spine

rolling to the side

groan escaping

pain/relief of pain

it’s all one

the sighing

the grousing

the feeling both things at once is


the word is


Into the Breach — Hour 12

Slow season got slower

a visitor named covid was

lurking unwanted

tourists were denied

they might be enablers of the dread


the humpbacks

on their own annual tour

dined on Alaskan krill

far from their winter playground

and were missed

a whale statue




stood in Wailea


unadorned except for bird waste

and thus the man with the powerwasher

adorned as he was in body suit

and full-time job

powered the blue metal clean




as if paid by the hour


for whose benefit I could not say

the whale perhaps a talisman of commerce

of things past and hopes of profit returning

a rabbit’s foot of faith

Leviathans that bring foot traffic are always welcome



The Crow’s Nest — Hour 11

It would require a contraption I would build

a see-saw like structure

very long on one end and very short and adjustably heavy on the other

after dark I would mount the swivel seat at the long end

and turn on the water valve

filling the stubby end with water

slowly slowly

my seat would rise

lift above the house

above the streetlights and treetops

towering above all notice

into to the high-up dark of night

where I could sit and dangle

recline under the stars

count moonbeams

visit with nightbirds

be king in

my own kingdom for a time



until I tug the string and pull the plug tiny

let the water escape the assemblage slowly

channel happiness to the garden

water unwasted


restored to new purpose

as old as old bones

and I touch down

as a visitor to earth

don’t call me crazy

I will do it

I’m doing it now


My Mom — Hour 10

She wondered at baby birds

She recognized Nature as the source

knew the value of soil

and bugs

of picnics

and pussywillows

and gloried that bright summer night

to read the newspaper outside by

the light of the moon

1962 — Hour 9

It had waxed prosperous in 1842

what remained were Savannah brick chimney stacks

erect even now

masked by wisteria, soon kudzu

August heat bore down

the only light from lethargic fireflies

zooming their own strange code

a white boy passing by in a car from the north




Whatever This Is — Hour 8

O, Captain, my Captain!

Our scream wave half ship left tended

blow tornado blow! half ship entropy metal partay

right soon half ship anchor ear-bell prithee

hear-bell thy kit-kat chorus

dash dash lookie half ship equals for sooth

duh face on guard


Season of the Pandemic — Hour 7

down wash in lysol

distance hands by all means

touch don’t mask subsection

do not panic at least

disinfect lock latex

instructions follow 20 seconds

paragraph 6 glove apart

don’t cough

inject home social feet pump

stay covid gas home soap isolate

quarantine your face whenever possible

furthermore cover your sanitizer

aforementioned workers

19 essential glove distance cart

insta-curfew if need be


vaccine pump face


is that clear?

Best Job Ever, 1972 — Hour 6

summer sun on bare shoulders

rowboat on glassy reservoir

surrounded by woods

fat blue crystals of copper sulfate

dangled overboard in a burlap sack


row back and forth


over and over

oars pumping

forward movement

creates the only breeze

sweat tingles

sun burns

transistor plays Brandy

over and over

Feeding Cats — Hour 5

They gather after midnight

just beyond the fence line

my tongue clicking as loud as can be

is the signal

They try to be patient

but are hungry and they squabble

momentarily as I divvy dry food

and canned onto paper dish and

heart-shaped leaves picked for the occasion

I spread what banquet there is before them

In the dark I hear the crunching noises

the small grunts of satisfaction

the quiet scraping of paper plate against pavement

I do what I can for my friends

I lean my bare arms against the gate

white painted metal cool to skin

surrender some of my weight to it

and take in the dark sky

This is all I need

this ritual this mystery

this communion

To someone we are unwanted


we are cats

refugees all