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red candy heart

red candy heart
on the sidewalk
outside school
waited all day
melting in spring sun
until just now,
after football practice,
stepped on
accidentally broken
by some oblivious
anonymous boy’s foot


Stuck in traffic
which, here,
means on a country road
behind the farm tiller–
twenty miles per hour
Time enough
to notice
after this hard winter
last year’s leaves
tissue paper gold
on the lowest branches

your birthday

your birthday–
can you see us today
filled as we are
with buying strawberries
answering emails, going to jobs
and playing with puppies.
Anna said she bought
goldfish and ate them
in memory of you and
it took a full minute
to figure out she meant
Goldfish crackers–
Do you remember
that’s how things go here
so busy
it takes a minute
to see the point?

spring signs

long-hair man, bandana
few teeth
many tattoos, builds a
new wooden deck
on the ice cream stand

outside the farm market
stacked pallets of mulch
and a sign that reads,
this is a sign

roadside trailer’s front yard–
truck tire planter
spray-painted blue
holds forsythia in full bloom

Between Seasons

furnace rumbles on
because I left our front door
to catch bird songs
in the still dark morning
sit down with this
frisky ball of puppy
One of us trolls through
Big Thoughts
about life,
about time and change
and loss
One of us quiets
and falls asleep with a sigh
while inside and outside
birds and furnace
continue their songs
Again and again
Someone hands me
a silver tray
heavy with gifts
and the clearest message–
Go ahead
make a poem
of all this

April 12

rain fell hard all night
her funeral
two thousand miles
picture she painted
just for me
long ago
has followed me
home to home
for decades
follows still
carries its bottomless basket
of sweet memories
keeping company
on this long day
when I should be
two thousand miles away

Mustard Bottle, Pepper Jar, Olive Jar, Vase

though I’ll never be ready
be ready
vacations end
move again through scheduled air
arranged but not by me
All these outside forces from weather
to my children
from work and students to
the size of a puppy’s bladder
or rain when we wanted to hike in sunlight
Instead, a vase for the tulips and bright
branches of forsythia
wild and lovely, breathing
in the outside world
But in a glass bottle or an old jar
on the coffee table
transformed to a tender startle

white paper bag

Yesterday I gave this puppy
a white paper bakery bag
to play with what did I
Something a cat would do–
chase it or crawl inside headfirst.
walked away with it pleasantly
House grew quiet
until I remembered
you are not a
and I learned that “horrified laughter”
is not an exclusively
literary expression
but a real sound that I
know how to make

April 9

we saw the sun rise
red fading to pink today
scent of the morning

puppy beside me
we read about Paris while
I wait for your call

Springtime Reminder, Before the Farm Market Opens and I Buy a Bazillion Flowers for the Garden. Again.

two blocks away
rundown house
with no garden at all
raggedy yard
scatter of random purple
crocus and small white
flowering somethings

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.