Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Childhood Home

I remember the wide steps
And the cold, lead railing
Of an indeterminate gray,
And blue painted walls that never peeled.
Many nights now I climb the stairs,
Alone in the dusk
Of the quiet house.
Walking the stairs
I am neither the child
Nor who I now claim to be.
Suspended always in mid flight,
With the threshold of my bedroom
Just around the corner
It is now time to get up for work.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Morning

On browned wax paper warm granola crackles
With a scent of chai cupped in my hands
And the feeling of ease I could grow into,
Waking up late
With the full light of day as my only alarm,
Abetted by two taps from a gray paw.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fallen Leaves

If I were to close my eyes,
I would see the leaves of autumn,
Upright on their stems and side by side
Like a phalanx of fallen heroes.
Myrmidons of the season,
You appeared,
Or so it seemed,
One morning when I was not looking,
Fringing the limbs of the maple
Like the rime of an old man's beard.
When I finally took notice,
There you were at my feet
In the darkness of an afternoon
When squirrels scratched their way home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ode to a Clementine

I take a clementine in my hand
From its place in the mesh bag with the others.

How many times in past Novembers
In the first chill with the few leaves remaining on the neighbor's maple,
Have I marveled anew
At the first clementine in my hand?

Its porous skin
Gliding through my fingers
As peel falls away
And the fragrance of sun and orchards
Stays for the moment in my kitchen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Hiawatha

Squat and fleeting farmhouses
Across the window of a moving train.
They are markers of a bygone era,
Of a past that was not mine.
In a depot of a town
Between the city I live in and another,
Molded wood of a stationhouse
Has given way to masonry
And effacing in my mind
Urban legends of molded wood.
In the ensuing hour,
When sights and anticipation meet
In the Quiet Car of the train,
I pass the sedge of wind-blown pastures,
Then well-tended lawns in late November.
Soon, rusted factories
In an unscrubbed part of the city
Come into view with its
Imagined smell of smoke.
I rub my eyes of sleep,
Looking up into the gleam of glass
And its reflection below
In the river of life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Neighbor's Tree

How ageless you are,
Your limbs in four seasons
I see ever tireless,
Whether well-dressed
In a dappling of green,
Or more often than not,
Half-doffed and proud.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


A flutter of green.
Faded, single leaf
Then spray of gold,
Carried on a wind,
Skimming my hair.
The morning has gone,
And with it
Those patients
Who one by one
Have sat in the evened-out light
Of my examining room.
A chart has closed,
And plan of action
Made official
In bold typescript.
Now in the open
Of a midday walk,
I can see the words
Already spoken
Between us,
My patient and me.
My words removed
His bated breath.
In a hushed corner,
Surety was tendered,
An occasion
Rare enough
In the well-lit room.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seventeen Years Later

Hours passed
Into teacups.
The flecked foam
From our chai
Lapped and ebbed
In oversized cups.
I have not seen my friend
For many years,
A realization
Felt more than thought
At a corner table,
In a press
Of coats and bags.
Intervening years
Stacked like books,
And the glancing thoughts
Of those past times
I had scribbled down
On sheets now crumpled
To slide between
Thick leather tomes.
I retrieved notes
That were not forgotten,
Our chuckles ringing
Over drained cups
Of the too sweet chai.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dream About Tea II

Two cacti stand sentry,
Spines gently bristling
Along hazy windows.

The sunlight is in our eyes,
And in the leaves
That dance and skim
On a square table between us.

Green tea leaves
In my glass mug
Unfurl like
So many sails
On the calm
Of an open sea.

Sniffles, congestion
Of yet another fall cold
Are easily forgotten
In the ample sunlight
Of Dream About Tea.