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Blind To Beauty

Yesterday was eight years since I posted my first poem here. I’ve missed several of these anniversaries, blinded by hurry, distracted by life. This year I remembered. No great epiphany, no poem resonating inside me. But at least I noticed. At least I was awake enough to my life to notice. And that, always, is the whole point of these poems. To mark a moment, to notice the life I’m living. Even when that life feels like a long, noisy, gray subway ride instead of a walk through the glorious autumn hills.

leaf peak arrived and left
on cloudy days, with fog
and more rain. Red, gold,
green fell and withered
while we–
chipmunk, squirrel, human
Scurried and gathered
easily distracted
and blind to beauty

Landscape Fancywork

as leaf glitter falls away
dark green threads of pine trees
reveal how the mountains
are stitched to the earth

If Autumn Is A Writing Prompt

Yesterday’s walk through autumn hills–
One maple, any color, is pretty.
Spectacular is hill after rolling hill
red, yellow, orange sprinkled with forest firs
above a still bright green field.
Halfway up, one tree is
deep maroon, nearly purple

We could paint this view, one of us says
But our schedules don’t match
I could do it alone, one of us says
But I won’t

Here, friends, a gift–
this could become a poem about
being better together, whether friends or trees,
or it might become an ode to maroon or maples
a singularity
or a rift on leaves and calendar pages
both shaken free, drifting on a caught breeze
It could turn into a poem
about words and leaves changing,
turning themselves and turning how we see
You decide–and let it be beautiful

Breakfast Pears

breakfast–
pears from the tree in your new yard
ground-picked, ripened
under the feet of insects, your cat, and
whoever else wanders by
while you sleep in your new house.

Last night, I dreamed of a bear who,
happy to see me,
wanted to climb into my car
Maybe he too walked
through the grass selecting pears
close enough to perfect

Impossible Schools: Another Teacher

“I’m not gonna lie,”
she says
all the time
and then does.

Hurtling Through The Unknown

On the news today I learn about
the Kessler syndrome, though it’s over forty years
old–a scientist named Doug said
that right about now
Now
we’ve filled space with too much junk from
space missions and satellites that keep slamming
into each other and breaking into smaller and smaller
pieces. Doug says a paint fleck, or a piece of metal the size of a grain of sand can destroy a satellite or space station and that soon this will make space unusable.
Huh.
I sip around the cracked rim of my coffee cup
chipped from my hasty dishwashing
and discover a poem from Macedonia
Martin, the poet, writes that the city is following us
and says the moon glimpsed between
skyscrapers from a cab to the airport
Will be the thing that stays the same.
So
Before I even finish my morning coffee
I contemplate beautiful words from far away
and destruction brewing in the sky
I must conclude that you and I
ought to stop hunching our shoulders
stop cowering before the unknowns and
Their Inevitable Arrival —showering us
With killing trash and transporting poetry

crickets still sing in the garden
not knowing (do they?)
that there’s a cold snap coming tomorrow
which will stop all songs beneath the hydrangeas
For a long, dark time. But they or
their descendents will (probably)
begin to sing again
next spring

Farmstand Art Installation

My favorite isn’t the new one painted red to resemble a barn,filled with bins of vegetables and miles of imported mums. I pass it by for the one small as an afterthought
On a working farm. One open roofed shed
faded to soft unpainted gray
A few shelves and a locked aluminum cash box but
Out front the father tipped a hay bale on its side painted it orange
with a jack o lantern face on one round edge
A long open cart roadside holds a few dozen mums grown behind the barns. The busy mom who teaches elementary school alternates colors while her 7th grade daughter prefers rows, a swath of yellow, then white, then deep red, then purple, orange, yellow again
The grandma is head of this artistic clan
her art installation pleases me every year
When she places the smallest pumpkins
miniature plump and orange
one on top of every fence post
where they’ll stay
till winter brushes them away

Pandemic Autumn

Amid such worries, this–
sunshiney weekend
hammock, book
Every so often a rest from reading
by filling up with maple trees
who shine and spangle in the breeze
Inventing the dappled light
here we were, for hours, full and green

Nineteen Years

breathing here
for far less than 19 years,
our masked students
return Not yet singing
but nervous, flippant,
sleepy, smiling, tense,
chattering, brittle,
brave but
not yet boisterous
Not yet.

In the newly quiet house
far older than 19 years,
the walls remember

On the table
the Japanese lanterns
glow orange in their vase
even in the dark

First Day

After all the years
of new shoes and lunch boxes
and pictures I took in our front yard
of her smiling and hopeful and ready for school
now it’s me with first day jitters
And she remembers,
and texts me good luck
which all by itself
fills me up with four leaf clovers
green luck and gratefulness
flourish in the first day air

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook

MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME

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 and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry