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June 21

blue green early sky
awake for hours
awake even before
the puppy. trucks rumble
beneath bird song.
almost
ready for
what happens next

short leash

rain
soft enough
to not disturb
morning’s singing birds

puppy stirs, not yet
ready to wake and
the part of me I’ve been
Training to Stay On Schedule
(guarded by my mind,
old task master who frowns
and taps his wristwatch)

Sometimes, I turn away
sit in the grass, even in rain
look around—sky, trees,
wet glisten of flowering sage
who went full-bloom while
I was busy elsewhere. Another
reason we love dogs
Mine, sweet person-pleaser
sometimes sits down in the grass
nose to the breeze
and won’t budge. Sometimes
I only pet his soft fur and murmur,
Good job. Good dog.

maple key

baby maple trees
everywhere lately
nostalgia-laden
search for their roots
Just this weekend,
bright green seedpod
appeared in the middle
of the living room floor
Was it tricked by swirls
in the laminate, fooled
into believing this was
hardwood, a distant relative?

The very next day
an older seedpod,
dried out dark green
hid in the empty drawer
of a wood file cabinet
I bought at a yard sale.
Real wood, this time,
so the mistake is understandable.

small spider, apple bowl

small spider in the apple bowl
at ten, you would have named it
at ten, I would have screamed
for someone to kill it

Now, I take a different apple
drape a paper towel
over the smooth edge
of my grandmother’s bowl
and——where I would have ended
this poem, sudden spider !!!

!!!

crawls up and across
the laptop screen
Spider who travelled
table length of apple bowl, tomato basket,
yesterday’s mail, bakery bag of orange scones,
to participate in creating this poem
only interrupted by departure of one of
the co-authors, moving fast
over that same paper towel to celebrate
or escape
carried onto backyard’s green weeds

dash of black cat

from the road look
across the open field
to the edge of the woods—
wild phlox, purple, white
blooms in deep green shadows
under the trees
Quiet
then fast between trees and road
a tiny dash of black cat

Double Yellow Line

Every spring, the same direction:
Slow down. Look around
at this world. Open
Wide
Or at least
Wider than this stare
straight ahead at the long highway
hands clenched on the wheel
eyes in a permanent squint
to see the double yellow lines
through rain
and dark
drifts of brown leaves
drifts of snow
occasional scurry of opossum
fox
or something unfamiliar, swift and dark
The squint against bright headlights
in the opposite lane
Look
heavy yellow lines turn to
Dashes
to dots, then spirals then
Disappear. You and I
Can pass into
another lane can breathe, slow
down and look at the close roadside
trees, sirens, high-rises, deserts
Neon all-night diner.
We can stop, you and I
We can get out of our cars
And go on foot

in common

Across the street, kitten
in the window and
over here, puppy
and me, two ends
of the leash
all three of us
Captured
rapt attention
on the robins
low and clumsy
and the other
nameless
birds
soaring high
swooping onto
maple tree crowns

At the corner of Prospect and Dove

At the corner of Prospect and Dove
they put down their bags.
I think I can breathe here, she said
and took a deep breath to prove it.
That was good enough for him.

So they settled in
dog
kids
vegetable garden
piano music through the open
window daisies and
forget-me-nots in a wide row.
Years went by and when
kids were grown and gone
forget-me-nots still bloomed
amid the daisies and she said,
Sell the house to someone who
plays piano because the whole
street is used to it now.

Awake Is Another Country

“For most of us, awake isn’t even a quality we look for. We are busy with earning a living, getting good grades, anticipating spring break. Awake is another country.” Natalie Goldberg, The True Secret of Writing, pg. 113

all of us are natives
coming home once and again
wondering why we don’t
visit more often when we
love it so, scent of honeysuckle,
the wide porches, fireflies
lighting the evening air

Nobody lives here year-round,
though small children, animals,
a few old monks linger
after the season ends

There are other tourists,
but it never feels crowded
since most visits are brief,
there and back,
there and gone again

spending

People were frugal
back then, she said
as we walked her rows
of potted saplings, shrubs,
fruit trees.

Now it’s all, Throw a granite
countertop on it. Back then, they
made do with what they had, she said
as she rang up my purchase,
last of her redbud trees,
$129.95
plus tax

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

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 Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

Leaf & Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.