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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
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.
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.
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

Beneath the Basil

summer is leaving
whether you say goodbye or not

So stop pretending you haven’t noticed.
Remember good manners
Write a thank you note
For all of June, July, August
And whatever marvelous gifts
or gardens or warm nights
you received. Tuck your note
into tall grass, or under the swing,
or beneath the basil in its bright blue pot
Snail trails and mud and crickets
will track and chew and dampen
your words will sink into the ground
carrying memories you want to hold
and all you’d just as soon forget
Summer reads them all,
and writes back promises to return

Look Up

World woke sky changed

while I fretted over it on paper

and missed the showiest part of sunrise

another signal, another sign

from this world that keeps unfurling

exploding and dancing and cooking

breakfast and growing peaches

while I scramble its jigsaw pieces

head down and searching for

the answers. Stop. Just stop.

this world will not be solved

by diligence.
Look up

August 20

She says, Would you like some hydrangeas?
Cuts branch after branch of huge white blossoms
says, I’ve been meaning to prune them back.
A sweet and possibly invented excuse.
But who can tell, busy as you are,
cradling what she hands you?
Armfuls of blossoms
and blossoms and branches of blossoms

Shooting Star

outdoors, early
I watch for signs in the heavens
on what might or might not
be the last night of the Perseids

trying to be noisy enough
to scare off yard-wandering
opossums, skunks, bears, bats, bugs

trying to be quiet enough
to not wake the neighbors

One more in a long string of balancing acts

the sky opaque and speckled
to my kitchen light dazzled eyes

like in all the best stories, where what you seek
arrives just before you give up
One star, bright tail of light shoots overhead

a Sign, I decide, that we’ll all be Okay.
a word whose definition is as fuzzy
as the fixed stars fading from this lightening sky

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 Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry