Leaflings and Breath

I’m watching the mulberry tree
exhale puffs of pollen
slowly, rhythmically
like a sleeping person pushes breath
through semi-closed lips
heavy and warm
unselfconsciously audible.

I didn’t plant it there
it just grew
strewn by the birds
perfectly poised against the fence
to block the blight next door
and lend foothold
to the invasively sweet honeysuckle.

Its leaves are ordinary
modest in the autumn
they brown, curl
fall without colorful fanfare
no blossoms in the spring
just pale green
leaflings and puffs of pollen.

Just existing here in my corner,
both of us rooted.
It indifferent to me,
and me watching it breathe.

– April 29, 2019




It never occurred to me to grieve
the bricks, painted frames, moulding anno long ago
a crackling crushed white shell bicycle path
where fenced-in deer ate from our hands
Irrationally picturesque but real and still

Inconsequential but then looming hill on de Molenweg
conquering of which was once a triumph
my kid bike a boldly boyish green
our soapbox a plywood death trap
We courted danger with our legs outstretched
screaming like banshees
If you could find the pedals to brake in time
before soaring into two-lane traffic on de Eemnesserweg
Then you won

I didn’t know it was a severing
of roots and my umbilical cord anno a decade prior
just a Transatlantic bungee pulled taut
We flouted community with our arms outstretched
screaming like banshees
Intent to return with a new language and stories
of imposing sounding but kind of sickly Washington DC
We thought then

Here now, home in the dark
when the leaves smell wet and autumnal
Loss and detachment lightly sear
yearn for undoing, for pre-jump ignorance
of the disappointments yet to come

My small village an illusory womb
forever in tact because I left
prematurely and politely

January 10, 2019



I vacuum and blanket
the seats in the car
He says it’s germs
but maybe just a test
I don’t care much, I’ll do it
How often do I mop though?
His socks are dirty
I have a lot of pets
so I’ll mop again

Can I make an experiment?
Can I help you bake?
Do you want to sit next to me?
Yes I do

I’ll bend backwards for you
It’s a good thing I yoga though
With that strong spine
I step up
and step up and up and up
to some platform
built not by me
that is somewhat solitary
Stand there in case I’m needed
Sit back down when I’m not

– January 4, 2019



Don’t forget
in the succinct blue bubble
exclamation mark at the end
to signal cheer
takes thought and effort

When days take flight
January dove snow weighted
a dusting really
but cold and long the night
draws lines beneath
my eyes

March forward though
as seasons require
we’re grown
and days stopped waiting
for what we carry
long ago

Slung and knotted
heavy on a daylight budget
winter demands
we answer in sleep
but no time for that
little dove

-January 6, 2018


Holy Days

A dusting
Fingers knotted twine
and beads
A feather here and there
catching dreams for Christmas
A place of honor
for the old train
he brought home history
Snowflake prints
left by boots along the path
to colors in the woods
Someone carried ornaments
for us all to find
Holy days

– December 10, 2017


Storm Season

Beaten sturdy little sloop

Weathered vessel body

Solid planks and braided ropes

Frayed a little salt rubbed

Storm hewn etchings

Aging her ribcage hull

Sighing tides expand contract

Siren songs of seasons past

Not so distant harbored that

The melancholy doesn’t call

When Summer sails to Fall

– September 13, 2017

Salt and Dragons

Weekly I drive the raised highway

past the city where salt peaks

lie like Western mountains of grit

along Baltimore harbor old and infused

with spoiled evidence of a town’s history

recently spit-shined to make anew

Mountains like week old snow

admired pristine then sooted and smeared

I like my treasures tarnished

rust where hinges were bent

and I don’t want any polish

for old carved runes in journals

bound by locks that take a little smashing

One day we’ll get tired and maybe

you won’t bend under my furrowed brow

and I won’t break under yours

We’ll churn now and then

bubble like discarded Chesapeake foam

that collects in dock corners offensive

to visitors who look past pointing

paddling fast and traveling slow

colorful dragon little boaties

But your beast rose from the stone

of this town and mine rolled in with the fog

Unharnessed and prehistoric

– August 14, 2017

Found Pieces

Broken pencils and found pieces
of water balloons blue
I weeded and you mowed
the lawn we trippingly traipse through
nights soft smoke and fairy lights
stones crumble from the fire
pit dusk moves and we still sit
fingernail moon climbs higher
I breathe the bees and fireflies’
soft song and show that’s owed
for stolen years from me and you
here grinning crinkled creases

⁃ June 27, 2017


I dreamed that we careened
over the edge to mortal prayers
when you didn’t listen to me then
or ever about the ending road

We spiraled into the valley
buckled in waiting for a crash
that didn’t come instead a slowing
skid into a new scene and I spit
out all my stifled rage at you
who shrugged like always
in your tunnel vision blurred

I howled my last plea
for consideration of me
and then woke up

You someone else’s anchor
and me hugged like a little sail
by breeze and his strong spine

– June 25, 2017


You built me a little dream
from wooden pins and wire
Here in my corner 
faith grows like snow peas 
Mist turned to drizzle 
this morning suddenly
You said you like seeing
our clothes intermingle
On the line still damp 
as I pulled them in 
Back out tonight when the air dries
and I don’t mind
I smell the breeze on your cotton
later to smell like you 
I will wrap myself in it
a little present from me
Spinner of gossamer wishes
to you builder of dreams

– June 7, 2017