Barking Dogs

We are surrounded by
multiple barking dogs
two are standard poodles with
the worst one
a former champion.
I suppose
we are all
a bit beneath them
in the hierarchy
of the world.

We have had
worse dog neighbors
like the three pit bulls
who would bark
if we moved around
within our house and
once got
into our backyard
and trashed it.
We have a photo
of the three of them
on a roof.

Sam the champion
will sit regally
in the back
ever alert
like a motion sensitive light
to start his vocalizations
with any change in
his environment
His family has given up
on training him
and merely yells
at hime to stop.

We, our car, and our house
are not part of his family
and he will foam
at the mouth
racing every which
way to inform
the world of
his displeasure with us.

Treats don’t work
Singing we love the daffodils
doesn’t work
Seductive musk
doesn’t work and
raising myself
to my full nine foot height
and roaring loudly
doesn’t work.

Basho wrote
long ago:
It is deep autumn
my neighbor
how does he live, I wonder

Time Travel

The good old days
have vague dates but
are very definite
about how things were,
always binary
black or white
no in-between
no blending
no color TV,
no color photographs,
no sepia snapshots.
everything felt right
Everything was perfect
like just before the big bang


I don’t go to school reunions.

I prefer one on one encounters
to large gathering of classmates

mirroring the society of high school
which I could do without.

After the latest school shooting,
I have been thinking of classmates

I haven’t seen in over 50 years
and realizing how little

I knew about their lives
during the long years

of our shared desks
lined up in rows

front to back and
side to side

with some extraordinary
teachers that unknowingly

pointed the way for me
during that time of my coming of age.

This need to reach out to
strangers who appear familiar

and who I remember
few stories of that time

is perplexing and
will pass with time.

How do I piece together
how I got to where I am now?

I don’t go to school reunions

Another Lifetime

Time is an enormous long river Utah Phillips – song Bridges

I would like to believe in the multiverse theory of the universe
Each night after finishing cooking and the dishes

I could go into my home holo-suite and
watch another version of how my life came and went

and which decisions were important and
which were not and I could create a whole

system of evaluation and reduce these alternate
lives to numbers or letters or symbolic notations or

even 3-4 minute video clips of particular moments
that I could revisit from time to time

Perhaps after the first 20 or 30 versions of my life
I might get too wrought up or even bored

and I would choose to return
to watching star trek reruns instead.

Play time

In this country children are encouraged to play sports
to help prepare them for wars to come

The cheerleading, the fierce mascots, the school spirit
the speeches, the bullying, the fight songs
the sacrifices, the demonization of opponents

In this country football is supreme
as a game of trench warfare in militaristic uniforms

The insatiable sports audience often in a coliseum look alike
feeds on the violence and the trauma of the game

Guns and God / God and Guns
Children in this country are encouraged to play sports

In this country football is supreme
but do not look at the crippled players with mangled bodies and brains
as there are plenty of young and upcoming gladiators for cannon fodder

Moloch is a demanding god and children
must be sacrificed to placate the greed.

Letters after Alejandra Pizarnik

I ask questions that go forward and backward to help
to describe what our five senses fail to give me
about the disquiet this place exudes as I write
from left to right ignoring the white spaces between words
as if seeing the black letters in their asymmetry is the key element on
this page and not the colorless absences of negative space this
typing threads throughout which stops not for day or night
and a Kabbalist might better describe as black fire on white fire in
a talmudic answer to a query that was not being asked by this
poem but might lead to a wisdom of this world

A Question after Cecilia Meireles

How do we find the balance of words between I
we and they so we are able to hear
all of the vowels and consonants the
voices vying for our attention in this world
are making to keep us from sobbing
in despair so we can ground ourselves like
an ancient bristlecone pine rooted in a
hostile environment that seems foreign
and yet is embedded in our own language


We are speeding
toward a space
of disaster
white knuckled
with our genetics
longing for a
moment’s rest
to catch a breath
to sit under
an oak tree
with a satchel of
hardbacks describing
with some cheddar cheese
wine and perhaps
some roasted sunflower seeds
to heal
to rejuvenate
to calm our
excited state
of worry
as we are pushed along
from one convulsion
after another

Wooden Desk in The Woods

It must have happened long ago
when the wooden desk and wooden chair
were taken outside
Perhaps it was an eviction and
after all of the people had left and
the house was no more and
the land and the made things in the land
were forgotten
a sanctuary of memory
grew and grew and grew
and the atoms began to link up
in familiar ways
untroubled by the interlude
known as the age of
the anthropocene and
the world was on its
way to a new balance and
a new phase

Unified Field Theory of Pandemics















1 2 3 8