The Polished Dance Floor

Hardy and Herrick,

poets of the dance of time

in times trans-shifting,

I call on you midst

laptops and hunched citizens

of now, you call me,

an old man smiling

to himself, to join you on

the polished dance floor.







The baker who brings

me hot bread sings as she whips

butter and honey.

I’m still cold, the wind

almost kept me from meeting

you wherever you

are.  Have some hot bread

slathered with honey butter.

We’re but rags and bones.

Saying No

Mt. Hood can’t be seen

this gray January day.

I face its snowy

top.  I take a break

from the news, uniformly

bad, of our tyrant.

People look at me,

doubting.  Just a few minutes

to say no in peace


Grand Central

This place a bird cage

today. The coffee alone

seeks the silence with-

in. The voices blur

into one blur. The coffee’s


releases the birds.

Now a new poem can breathe

its own-most silence.

Tears, Idle Tears

The bush pokes out of

the snow — it’s a rose!– not here,

back in New England.

Midflight over the

dark Atlantic, refugees

learn the news: once there

our homegrown tyrant

will return them to their own

tyrant, just because.

I sip English Break-

fast tea. I thaw. Tears begin

to flow more freely



The more precious

in the dewy boxwood, song,

nothing to speak of,

sparrow all alone,

when you flit off you’re too quick

for the following

eye.  The ear remains

open but it avails not.

Praise is in order.




A whiff of garlic

from the mud in the gutter

communicates hope.

The body tenses

for Spring. Goodbye gnostic double,

other, body bag,

(thank you Charles Wright).

This old skin breathes the language

of the human nose.

A Gift to Go With

As the paths soften,

lime-green through the fog, I

second-guess myself–

no bottom to that.

Oh yes, bottomless bottom,

nothing to push off

from, something to let

be, a beginning of ends,

a gift to go with.

Just One of Those Things

Sam Hamill, who knows,

apropos of Basho’s old

pond says some poems

open as they end.

I think about that walking,

waking up, going

to bed.  Maybe life

itself’s ‘open/shut/open’–

just one of those things.



At a Loss

January fog,

the touch of the sun burning

through, an opening

about to close. I

have read the mystics on love.

It is just like that.

We imitate it

at our peril, we poets,

at a loss for words.