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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


Mindfulness in Practice

buried beneath magazines and mail
book I meant to read
lost for days
poems about kindness
and attention



I come back to the Berkshires
seeking transformation
While I wait for it to find me
(impatient, as always)
the mountains remembered they were there
dark gray against a lighter gray sky
Next pink unfurls through long cotton clouds
The sky is not going to shout the message.
Sky’s not much for words, believing in the power
of show, don’t tell
Sky pales to daylight,
ready to illuminate this world again today
and again, tomorrow
Transformation is ordinary
It happens every day
You do not need to go searching for it in the mountains
Just remember to look up on a regular basis

Wrapping Day

as I switch on lamps
in dark rooms
Sun streaks the eastern sky
with wide pink ribbons
the world and I
wrapping in bright color
the gifts
we can give

Purring Bird

Above me,
black bird
crow or raven
some everyday bird
the kind with
a startling loud call
if he wanted to
which he didn’t want today
Instead, soft craaawh
A purr in the air

List: Reasons We Are Friends


This past July, I had the pleasure of studying creative writing for a week with the awesome Heather Sellers. One of a boatload of ideas she shared was modeled on The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, a 10th-century book of observations by a lady-in-waiting to the Japanese empress. The book is a great read, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitingly critical, always entertaining. And the list-making is habit forming. Go ahead, you try it too! Here’s one I keep adding to:

Reasons We Are Friends

1. The time you broke your toe in the fancy pedicure salon
2. Such long history
3. We can listen without laughing, and nod encouragingly, as one of us describes our latest exercise or weight loss or weight acceptance strategy.
4. Because when I described the package, you looked confused too—Why would there be a glue tray in the bottom of a no-kill mouse trap? How, you asked, would somebody ever get the mouse’s little feet unstuck?
5. Kayaking, mangroves
6. Because we’ve all seen naked yearning and envy on each other’s faces, wishing for something one of us, each of us, has—financial security, oceans of personal freedom, actual oceans outside our door, a beautiful garden, a fantastic vacation, a creative talent, robust health, successful children, happy children, or the Jackpot—happy, successful children.
And when we see that yearning in each other’s eyes, we do not pretend. And we do not apologize for our luck and our gifts. We hug each other, offer a cookie or a cocktail, and continue our decades-long conversation.


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