The First Line

A few words
caught in the white
of the screen
a trailing thought
“The winnowing whistle
of the winter of the wind”
or “Light licks it’s way
up the wall, spilled liquid”
phrases that tickle
or itch like a feather
poking through the down
warmth of a comforter.

Population — On Oregon Stand Off

320 million lonely sparks of light
shine for each other and sometimes
by themselves, without an audience
All moving, mostly circumscribed
though some go astray, some falter
some spin off, colliding with others
destroying along their broken path
some take, also breaking the calm,
unto themselves what is not theirs
some simply benignly sink or fade
while others burst froth great gouts
of explosive heat in a last dying gasp
to be something bigger than designed
to be something grander than planned
to be something other than another
in a big crowd, all too homogeneous
all so the same, and all too proscribed.

Log Jam

Days flow down and away
river jammed packed with logs
groaning together on the raging
waters from head of the flume
to the gated and closed bottom
groaning under pent up pressure
as if influenced by their own desire
to be free of the muddy slippery banks
and confines from shore to distant shore
to sail alone, with time to stretch, peacefully,
one at a time like a swimmer bobbing along
on the changing whim of the comforting current
finally being pushed downstream through the delta
into a the wide open raging sea to be confined no more
by shores but left to wander on one wave after another

On Writing Drafts of Poetry

A few words caught
in the gossamer net of thought
On constant replay,
“The winnowing whistle of the wind”
or “Light licks it’s way up the wall”
tickle like a feather
poking through a down comforter,
emerging, trying to be born
by archaically setting them to paper
or virtually speaking, typed to screen
prompt more words like water on seeds
a growth of lines, organic and fragile
stretch out in all directions,
needing to be trained, like grapevines
stretching along a post,
massaged into place on the page
so they present the best stanzas,
the choicest and fullest fruit
to take to market and sell.


a glade of used water glasses

surround Burrito bit blanketed dinner plates

dirty from last night last minute TV time feeding

flanked by a large blue bowl – one of set — redolent

of her meal — dehydrated snakelike raman noodles

and Monday’s night’s frying pan, flecks of cheese fried on

from homemade quesadilla night, quick easy meal

tonight, sushi, no clean up


the soft lick of breeze
on sun slapped cheek
like the touch of down
upon cold bared skin
Or like slivered sun
barely breaking dark
though closed blinds
with chance of change
or the fast fleeting flash
into something greater
something that is more