Poems

Shelter at Home

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

[for ourĀ  53rd anniversary]

In the living room within these walls
Snug we sit on the softened sofa
And watch the dance of pixels on the screen
Replacing our extinguished hearth.

I recall the cozy chesterfield
Where we cuddled in front of the fire
While the storm roared in the hollow,
Our future but a threatening swirl.

Could we then have seen ahead
Our joy and comfort half a century hence,
Before the plague began to rage,
That moment might have lost its treasured worth

Like this perilous time’s, when every minute counts
When 25 million precious minutes since
Cannot be taken from us
By whatever now our future holds in store.

 

Albert Drive

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

The mockingbird returned
on Spring’s first day
filling the silence
left by students
gone on break.
Its bebop warbles
replaced their hiphop grunts
with a memory of hope.

Verandah

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Yesterday’s elegy dispatched me
on a search for “waggle dance.”
By URL I found it out on YouTube:
the manic moves of worker bees
that vector angle and distance
of nectar to their sisters.
On the drive home last night from sangha,
a podcast announced that science now
can eavesdrop on those numbers.
Coincidences abound
in reunion’s aftermath.
The hive is a web.
The end of the road
Leads back to corners.

Daybreak at Paradise Beach, Thanksgiving Week

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

The night surf’s whoosh and rumble
Gives way to dawn.
Pelicans glide in line,
Skirt the crests,
Thread through spray, and wheel.
Way out there, the gray surface
Explodes in a flash of foam
Seizing light.

Grandson and pal
Lie inert in the sand
Fourteen hours now,
Growing cells, storing fuel
For the day’s unceasing patter–
Adolescent giants
Nearing boyhood’s end.

He turned fifteen two days ago
Weeping in the station house,
Caught stealing once again
From those who raised him
To whom he’s offered much occasion
For exercise of generosity.

But on this camping trip
To a place I’ve longed for
To return ten years,
He gave some sweeter recompense:
“Grandpa, we’ll run back down the beach
And carry your pack with ours.”
“We’ll pitch your tent.”
“This food tastes great.”

I stand at the edge of the sea
And watch each wave take form and break,
There a million microseconds
Grinding mountains into dust.
I feel my shrunken spine, my eyelids’ droop.

Behind me on the beach, I hear a laugh
And turn toward arms and fingers
Stretching in the sun.

see: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smarx/albums/72157675418113981/show