Spring wins

I’ve been down in the dumps, per winter, and now the earth’s movement is waking me.


the earth keeps shifting
inch by inch 

and here 
sun floods 

stubborn roots
loosens dirt

air and sap

wakes bulbs 
that thrust shoots 

through winter’s 


reasserts itself
despite us


A Blessing
        -- James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness   
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.   
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.   
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me   
And nuzzled my left hand.   
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.


If I Stepped Out of My Body

I might not break
into blossom

though I am waiting     now
for the tulip tree

outside this window
to burst free 

from its suffocating bark
and scream

petals pink as 
the meat 

inside a woman's 
bound body --

I hope I shatter instead
into mist

heady cumulous clouds
in air fresh 

as salt and

with starlings

as spring

Suggested soundtrack: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, read by Samuel Jackson

April again …

It’s that time of the year again — time to think about poetry, about writing poetry, and then time to stop thinking and start doing.

Once again, I plan to write a poem a day. In the effort to keep myself from wandering off into the late fifties weeds, I’m probably going to come up with an overarching structure to my challenge. Since I think that poetry is a conversation with the world (at least one small part of it for each poem), and with other poets, poems, writers, novels, characters, artists, art works, musicians, songs, pundits, politicians, fake news, speeches, watchers, listeners, readers, doers, etcetera, I plan — at this moment — to write each of my poems in response to someone or something, beginning with poems.

Just to spice things up, I’m going to include a photo with each post and a suggested soundtrack.

Wow. I’ve just larded up my self assignment with crunchy details.

Suggested soundtrack: Vampire Weekend, “Oxford Comma”

Day 30 (the last day)

Challenge: For this last poem, end on a note of hope.

A Taste

The cedar dances again
waking the maple 
whose leaves give off 
an invisible hiss 

breaking free
from winter’s bare skin in
red tufts that unfurl
at the speed of light

while pregnant clouds
hang over
promising baptism
and the grass
beautiful uncut hair

lies lush and waiting
for mounds of tight 
daffodil to add yellow glee
to the scene

now a rabbit leaps in 
to nibble the stumps 
of stubborn bushes
and I tap this out

in the same spirit 
of natural joy 
capturing a taste 
of renewal

feeling myself melt 
just a bit
into the earth’s yearning 
its delicious hope

Day 24

Challenge: Find solace in nature.

The Dance

Gray Sunday but 
the shaggy cedar rides
the wind, 

bowing and flaring,
bending against our
sagging wires, 

just rubbing into
the budding maple. 
It’s a dance, 

how the two trees
sway and tremble, 
shiver and

lean together,

singing over grass
grown, in a night,
a magical green.