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Dear Students

Dear Students,
We, your teachers, are running
in busy virtual circles. Picture us
snapping our fingers inches from
your faces. Picture us–if you picture us at all–
waving to get your attention.

Some of you wave back. Some of you
crave connection. Some want to learn
what we still know how to teach.
For you, I post Daily Assignments from far away
Read this. Think about that.
Compare. Contrast.
Compose a song or a portrait.
Conduct an experiment within
this experiment we’re living through.
Cite your sources.

Those of you who won’t wave back
or who can’t wave back
I am setting you down, gently,
in the place you like best
whether that is a beach, a forest,
your grandmother’s backyard,
your friend’s kitchen table
or in front of a game on a screen.

Because above all I want,
I want you to be comforted
so play the game that comforts you
Then get dressed. Go outside.
Write a letter or a poem
and send it to someone.
Send it to me
I’m here.

March 27th

sleepy with the spring
quiet plants, quiet people
breathing in and out

from above, this world
looks gray–but our roots deepen
long before we bloom

Twenty Minutes Later

twenty minutes later
it’s daytime sky, washed blue
not deep violet
not indigo hush
not what was here, before

the sky is on the list now,
added to this daily tally
of ordinary things
were used to
but now
are going,

When Winter Grows Bored, She Costumes the Trees

on the road, weather

drapes disguises over trees

tricks our hurried eyes


drive east with the storm

passing miles of white birches

look back on striped rows


and the costumes fade

into rows of dark brown trunks 

snow-spackled maples


February 24

dinner with you, old friend

astounding we still have so much 

to say to each other–

and so much still to learn–


tonight we wander through our shared childhood,

the neighborhood of memory we built.

We keep stopping each other here,

side by side on my couch


Really? we say

That’s how it seemed to you?


we lean closer, fascinated

comparing the different pasts we’ve constructed

as if putting together two jigsaw puzzles

from the same shapes


This Winter

There’s a list of things 

about this winter,

all that cracked open

this frozen shell 


Here, for example–

the cows on my morning commute.

sweet-faced and calm

no longer looking like dinner


Then there’s the news every day,

full of creatures less lucky than cows

When I can’t take in any more bad news

I listen to lectures on astrophysics.

A smart man talks with enthusiasm

about the nature of time and space

I drive through the comfort of

tiny particle physics

and let all the words I don’t understand

drift on a wave out the car window 

towards the cow barn.

Let ‘s see what they make of it


February bird

in the apple tree
one bird sings a two-note song
to the winter air


The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook


Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry