It Might Be Otherwise

Last year’s maple leaf

half-stuck in the gutter drain

flickers in the wind.

I slow down to look.

There’s no clear path to the one

God. Such clarity

as this March morning

grants the irreducibly


communicates by

its otherness the wonder

that we are at all.

My Neighbor’s Topiary

Do these words copy

in their reverberations


“the gift of the world

the undecided” (Burnside)?

Gratuitous is

the play of sunshine

in aspired topiary,

the original

safe in its reserve

from the artistic power

tools of my neighbor.

That Knowledge

We elderly rise

early, sit in the cafe

and wait patiently

for our drinks. The young

arrive, armed with smart laptops.

By then we’ll have had

our fill. Not so much

conversation– a few nods;

mostly we just watch

each other’s faces

for the blush of that knowledge

we share so freely.

State of the Union

The people’s tyrant

doubles the people’s hatred;

his will to power

the people’s triumph.

Easy to say, but something

has been lost in surd

self-circling. Recall

the silence through which the name-

less one reaches us.



my daily portion, flaneur

of neat gardens and

miles of chain-linked fence.

I pass the occasional

black who waves back to

the white guy who walks

everywhere.  If, as I believe,

flesh is the threshold

of wording, we are

already about to speak.

And sometimes we do.

A Political Poem

On a cold bright day

in Spring it doesn’t take much

to let hope take root

in my mind such is

its appetite for the good.

Which is not to say

the new Tyrant has

not already claimed Spring one

of his new reforms.

To do my part I

will let hope become a poem

charged with indifference.