as ivy grows, so grows my heart…

beside the far green forest…

as ivy grows,
so grows my heart:
around the grounds
nobody stalks

as dead, deserted
empty shells
of autumn hopes
and summer walks

beside the far green forest where
the days of old were still newborn;
the scent of honey in the air
past city eyes that scoff and scorn

but only in the passing there
did i behold that distant fire
that speaks of rusted innocence
and wisps of smoke
that e’er go

8 Portraits, #4

Early in our marriage. I’m leaving for a trip.

My last few things I’m packing up,
A week I will be gone;
And still she will not look at me,
Her eyes, they linger on

Some unknown person far away.
I ask if she’s okay —
She mumbles something at me, but
Just what, I couldn’t say

I sit down on the bed by her,
And look into her eyes,
And say I’ll call her every night,
When much to my surprise

She suddenly holds on to me
For everything she’s worth;
As though we two were all there are,
The last people on earth

She isn’t angry, not at all,
She knows I have to go;
But I wish I could stay with her
And so I tell her so

And hours later, on a plane
Whose take off is past due,
I get a text from her that says

“Have fun sweetheart I love you”

I hear the ocean call in fall –
For others, it’s a summer thing –
But me, it’s water that I seek,
And not merely the sunshine

Another sort of teeming world
That comes to life again in fall,
The way that I do, every year,
When all the swelter’s passed

I’ll head out to the beach again,
The lonely now, neglected beach,
With others watching football in
Their jerseys and their sweaters

A thing, too, that I will do soon,
But not right now, not on this day:
I hear the ocean call in fall,
And I can’t stay


Never / Tuscany

Never have I been Tuscany, except for books and movies.
Still, I have an image of it, bright within my mind —
Beautiful, with long and shapely trees, out in the fields and vineyards,
Distants hills and waiting meals of succulence and wine —

Never have I been to Italy, at all, to any region,
Still, I have a picture of it, as though I had been —
Beautiful forgotten summer, traveling as though in wonder,
What my heart as seen, my eyes could only see


Journal 2018-04-03

5:17am EDST

I kissed you goodbye;
You smiled although
You didn’t wake —
That will have to be enough.

7:51am EDST

Nothing is more shared
Than the annoyances of airports,
And few places do people feel
More personally aggrieved.

9:14am EDST

Patience is a virtue — so they say.
Here’s a chance for merit, at this gate,
To prove my worthiness, and calmly wait.
For after all, it still is early day,
And within a few hours, miles away,
I’ll see my mom, from whom many a trait
I gained. And so: anxiety abate!
I needs keep ire and peevishness at bay.

For our misdeeds, our parents may feel blame,
And for our petty rancors, feel remorse;
For we are of one tree, both root and stem.
Heredity – environment – the same:
For each, our parents were the likely source,
And so see what is bad in us as them.

9:44am EDST

And so the takeoff soon awaits,
And I will either think of death,
Or else forget, and read a book,
And barely notice anything.

Our deepest thoughts lie side-by-side
With those mundane and commonplace;
The way we read Aeschylus,
Then play Nintendo Switch.

9:56am EDST

There was a young lady from Schmeager
Who only liked music by Reger,
She said, “People joke,
If I was more like folk,
Then I might hum along with Pete Seeger.”

10:30am EDST

Within a world of colored-water
She was wont to swim,
And artistry was effortless,
Like tumbling in a gym.

In tumbling and in swimming, she
Spent forty days and nights,
Then turned that into gold when she
Just up and sold the rights.

She up and sold the rights to all
Her visions and her prayers,
Then used the money heedlessly
On vodka and repairs.

To fix what all the vodka broke,
She had to get a lawyer;
She wrecked more than a howitzer,
Six tanks, and a destroyer.

Destroyers are not pretty things:
They tend to lead to slaughter,
But that’s what comes from swimming long,
In all that colored

1:28pm EDST

if you see
no worth in your heart,
then who will?

that may seem to be
a knot that
can not be untied,

but know this:
you are worthy of
the best things —

truth, love, joy, peace, and
for who you’ve been,
and are

1:44pm EDST

tiny eyes
need shielding from glare
on bright days

2:00pm EDST

I’m worried what I’ll find;
I’m worried how she’ll be.
Her body’s shutting down,
And so’s her memory.

We live so far away;
Our lives are wholly other —
But still, I hope, and pray
For mercy for
My mother

11:45am MST (2:45pm EDST)

my son just called
he is going back into
either rehab or the hospital

life is always too much
and hardly ever enough

4:03pm MST (7:03 EDST)

Her Parkinson’s is worse, but somehow
She seems better. Ready to get out and go
Is more like I’d always known my mom to be;
Last time, she never wanted to leave
The facility. Soon, I’ll drive back over there
From this hotel, and take her and her guy out to eat…

… which seems pretty sweet.

7:16pm MST (10:16pm EDST)

Much I do not understand
The world is fuller than I know
So much I cannot understand
It’s all too much, and even so,
I do not even understand
The shadows unfamiliar —

And I don’t really understand

This room is creepy dark and


This Sting We Feel

This sting we feel’s because we’re new,
We’ve never felt this way before;
The billions who have known of grief
Aren’t useful for this, any more
Than anyone who might not know

Because we’re lone, our sorrow’s lone.
We want to share, but don’t know how;
The burden shames us, weighs us down,
Fills up the endless present now
No matter where we go

And though we fly or walk or drive
Across the hills or valleys green,
Distractions vernal all around,
It’s only dolor that we’ve seen:
Our mortal lives around us show,
And ever so,