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Songs Before Dawn

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birds begin before
dawn. Whether this
is biology or metaphor
or some different
braided reality
it is still and always
a song in the dark


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If it’s one of those days
When your whole self is
Turned off, unwilling
To catch the scent
Of the green world

If it’s one of those days
When your mind busily
catalogs losses, unable
To stop counting
Long enough to breathe

Let your body take you
Out of your mind
Out of your box
Out of all the doors

Here, it’s garish gold forsythia
And everycolor tulip
When your mind catches up
Winded and smiling
Mind might just remember
To say thank you

Rumors Of Springtime Turn Out To Be True

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behind the restaurant
the inconvenient cherry tree
blooms beside the dumpster
A breeze, then flowers cover everything—
the alley, the garbage,
and the boy with chapped hands
who steals a moment away from
dish-washing to light a cigarette
He leans against the brick wall,
staring up at nothing
until even his thoughts
are clouded by

Miracle Poetry Pill

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Miracle pill from the miracle dispensary
A miracle that such a thing exists
Taken on a rainy morning
When the heart is waterlogged and heavy
When the day ahead is full of tasks you’d
Prefer not to and too long. Take one
This capsule of paper encases one
Perfect poem of sharp edged words
Soft round vowels. It is possible
It is, to become your own pharmacist
In the university of poetry
Where experience and luck
Lead you by the hand to poets you need.
After years of this you’ll know
Exactly what a gray morning calls for:
(and another minor miracle,
Push these tiny keys to dispense a poem
Instead of walking driving searching old libraries
Or the shelves of bookstores to find the slip of paper
That contains the exact poem)
A quiet Neruda, no shouting or waving arms
And ecstatic Whitman bounding over the land
A magical Willard answering questions
Or today a Miracle Fair
Go read it now. I’ll wait.

Pocket Reminder

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working in the world
we forget the simplest songs
so I search for reminders

Look—this bowl of stones
carried home one by one when
shape or color or scar mark
speaks first, a firm greeting
an invitation to travel together
as all time with us is brief
in the life of a stone

Back in the kitchen
writing love songs to stones in my head
words lined up as if building a stone road but
remember to mind the time
dawn almost done
and don’t be late to work
over a stone poem

The moon, huge and stony
shines through the kitchen window
whether today there’s a poem or not
whether I am late or not
it glows
another stone for another pocket

Losing My Place In The Morning

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dropped the book of poems lost
my place in the pages
looked up as the eastern sky opened
dark to deepest blue
an outlined edge along the rooftops
not quite yellow not quite white
not peach but almost
from the window on the west
it is still night one full moon
glows above the white church steeple

Springtime Reality Check From Your Vision

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Yes, blue jays robins blackbirds
graze across the rainy morning.
But what you imagined was
the world’s biggest cardinal?
Half-deflated football
faded by a long winter
in the neighbor’s yard

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 Poetry Practice

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry