Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Home Again

From the way the pine needles
quake and sputter
I see the wind that will march across the lake
tomorrow or the day after
fluttering my back
as if I were still among the Colonials
and the deflated Santas of the day after
wandering in the music of the past
listening for the beat of tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tea Leaves

The afternoon comes on this side of town
with its desultory sounds of distant motors.
Their unseen contrails
leave me behind
to wonder over each cup of tea
if you too see the same tea leaves.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I seem to forget
the touch I have come to know
learning its impress all over again
telling myself this time
I will remember.

Place de la Concorde

The fountain looms against the background of the unconscious.  A lone streetlamp reflects darkness in streaks, illumines the expanse of snow, and stands apart from the tenebrous interior.

Georges-Pierre Seurat's Place de la Concorde, Winter  ca. 1882-83, currently on exhibit at the MAM.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Online Shopping

The season addles
with pixelated smiles
and whirring screens mirror
my restive brain cells.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tea and Transtromer

Tired of all who come with words, words but no language
I went to the snow-covered island.
The wild does not have words.
The unwritten pages spread themselves out in all directions!
I come across the marks of roe-deer's hooves in the snow.
Language but no words.

-Tomas Transtromer's From March '79

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My cat glowers softly
transmuting instincts
-there is that slow-lidded gaze again-
under the touch
a hand could give.

A law of nature
he sleeps
paw to paw.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Reply

In the wisp of a word
in a tone
whose outlines are grey
shuffling the calm between us
it will be noticed
if ever
at a time
when it is too late to reply.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Landscape in Drenthe

The brown hues stand in contrast to the other Van Goghs in the room.  The lone figure on horseback moves across a sere earth, the sodden ruts.  Above, the sky emits a light -preternaturally radiant- not reaching the bowed human figure.

Landscape in Drenthe, 1883
(on exhibit at the MAM this season)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Moments

I drink matcha from an earthen bowl.   Slowly, a familiar warmth suffuses me.  Clarity emerges.  The senses enliven.  I call a friend.  Later, more tea; this time, an oolong I share with E.
The day ripens, and the moments connect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Her Words

It was the intimacy, a sort of spiritual suppleness, when mind prints upon mind indelibly.

-Virginia Woolf from Jacob's Room

I am still reeling from her words.  They speak of a moment in which sympathies are shared and to acknowledge it with words would be superfluous.

Like a plant arching its stems of leaves towards the sun, the two minds incline trophically -mind printing upon mind.  The moment passes, leaving an indelible echo.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Funeral

In an unexpected way that never fails to jar 
it comes through with an immediacy:
a photo of faces still known to me
cousins now grown with their children
on a grainy surface of  facebook pixels
a head caught averted in a procession of black
my father making the trip over in time
placing a bough for his brother.

In memory of Bac Hung

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Leaves

The leaves creak in gentle spasms
remaining pendant
while shot through
by the haze of an early afternoon.
Somewhere in these movements
is the unarticulated.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Before Sunrise

In the shadows of the real
and of the unimagined
I walk beneath weeping willows
on the unswept stretch of fallen leaves
the crash of the lake coming closer
my steps retracing what was not seen

moving on through the shadows
of dewdrops, the crackle of frost
the suffused light of a new day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Is it the same
by the window
beside the repose of fur
the birch whitened in its season
of lost leaves, of our reflected years

the wind coming through the night
sweeping away the leaves
leaving behind the first frost
we returning to our breath.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Green Chaos

John Fowles, in his essayistic gem, The Tree, touches on the unconscious as a wellspring of creativity.  He uses the woods as a metaphor, calling it a green chaos.

We venture into the green chaos with trepidation and exhilaration, not quite sure of what we will find there.

Likewise, each night we dream, plunged into our individual unconscious -our chaos- to be imbued with images that linger with us well into our waking hours.  These images provoke associations, and we follow them on a journey where the destination is only revealed upon our reaching it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


They move upstream
fins flailing

while a light rain falls
on the crunch of leaves
underfoot as we hurry
through woods and water

pausing to watch
the arc of gray
silver-flashing while airborne
then a flop into silence.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Guess

In my dream water respires
on waves heaving and tumbling
down the gray-sheeted walls

to scatter foam
to find the shallows only guessed at.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


If you want to write, keep cats.

- Aldous Huxley

Indian Summer

I will write down a few words
while the trees continue their murmur
and the skein from one spider
runs and shimmers in the light.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Father

He left his country behind without much of a choice
and for thirty plus years from a new homeland
he hears of the new order
of the youth in jeans giddy with something
he would not call freedom.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Remembering Charlotte

At noon the church bells peal
their hymns into the trees
whose leaves are of a harvest softness.

This is a season when loss is remembered
in those who are still present
and your lope at once
and knowing
(through and through Cat)
I now see with a pang.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


How is it that I have become
a morning person
who no longer waits for reveille and light
awakening instead to the pliant
to the dark that becomes day.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


After tea I wait
in flickering light
in the drone of what had been cicadas.

Two cats
and their cadence of grooming
lapsing into a brindled sleep

while I wait porous
for what was already there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The words of jargon spool

without cease

thickening the air with a might
that only words could
until one of us ends the noise
with simple unhappiness.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Monkey Mind

I have yet to learn the tricks
for taming the mind
where unruly thoughts grazed by a breeze
then are routed

and I scurry to catch the one or two
I can still remember.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


In you, implicit
in the pronoun vous
or preferably tu
I am here
beside you lighted in flesh
or in a nebula of the mind

we cut across the sky
fleet with the weight of air
looking down at what we left behind.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Her Words

I sit down to write but realize that what I really want is to distill a thought, a feeling, into its most crystalline form.  So instead, I return to her words.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aging Smokey

He does not know his age
speckled with light by the window
arranging those paws that have held
more than my hand
in the slot of a moment
that is outside of time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Words

I guard myself against
a solipsistic madness
revelling in the plangent
parting with reluctance.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Like the pith of an oak
that is unseen in a steadfast way
against the rushes of a nighttime wind
we have alone and with one another
in laughter, in conversation
our own pith despite time
returning to ourselves again and again.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fall in Late Summer

It is inevitable
this fall of the season
the rite of descending from my bike
the startled midair flight
then gazing into my neighbor's face
her concerned smile
from a yellow Beetle
and us crossing paths
lamenting over the brevity of a season.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Being Back

In the fold again
with the awkward how you dos
and shifting glances of reacquaintance
settling one by one
like the down of feathers.

We clear the silence with our reinventions
through the thicket of words and bed
of constancy
remembering now to part again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Late August

Willows of late summer when you
start to shed your turned colors
I remember already
the light soaked rooms
and windows flung open
where Prajna sprawls on her well-warmed paws.

Last night I heard an owl hoot.
With certainty I pulled out his threnody
from the drone of cicadas
and broken ripple of crickets
while we sat around the bonfire
S'mores held aloft in the cool grove of evergreens
with the light and smoke in our eyes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lemon Verbena

I harvested the leaves of our lemon verbena plant to make a tisane.  E expressed some reservation with the idea, when rubbing a leaf of the plant between two fingers he pronounced the scent emitted to be that of Lemon Pledge.

I plucked ten hardy leaves, downy with gentle serrations, placed them in a glass teapot, and waited for the water to boil.

Would it taste like an antiseptic cleanser or would I be transported to a grove of lemon saplings where summer never fades?

I watched a lone leaf pirouette in midair before its final descent while I sipped the liquor of honey and limes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Time Between

Out of season the maple leaves fall
feathered with a blight that spares
green everlasting over the white picket fence:

Time between
the now of pain that comes thunderclap
amidst birdcalls, breezes
and the moment when it will
drift on three mindful breaths.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

West Facing Windows

Ample, silent the light shifts
through the west facing windows
mosaics of shadows
and late summer leaves
porous to my unconscious.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August Shower

I wander in the flickers of light
remembering what you said
it will not rain
in the woods
and fields of asters
a single reed bowed by a cricket
a signal a start a long sigh
of rushing water and sound.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back Home

The rain has cleared
and the weighed air of cicadas
return with but a wisp
of movement in its timbre

ushering me to my seat by the window
where the daylilies falter in sunlight
and my pen runs sinuous in words.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rock Island

Leaving behind the slap
of plump biting flies
drone of a lighthouse docent
I enter the forest primeval
of ferns and shadows
split-opened tree trunks
their scalloped lichens.

On this island
of New Icelandia
the runes are etched
in virgin wood repeating
the lore of a lost world.

Now as before
the water slaps shimmery
in the stone pressed cove.

Ephraim in August

Over the remembered fence
the vines of midsummer drape
their leaves pocked with
a gentle blight
hinting at the time of the season.

I am back in the bower
where the light shifts
and we hear our voices
over the endless cups of tea.

We do not see last year's sparrows
kicking up sand
in the shade where
a bug skitters down my arm.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Before Vacation

On the eve the rustle
of breezes cicadas
drawn out in the light soaked leaves
our house inhabited
I remember
for tomorrow

A birdsong I have not
heard in awhile
although I am sure it has been there all along

A truth I am skirting around
a cat and his noontime nap.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


If only we were like the daylilies
awakened one summer morning
to sun orange petals
revelling in our being
not needing to show
some floral piece of cleverness.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

At the Window

Within one moment is contained
wholly a tasselled cord swaying
in a dapple of green
shimmering day-lilies
the invisible crickets
never far away
and the moment is gone.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

These Days

These days in August have come
with their layer of crickets
droning forever
in a way that is like silence
of a temporary bereavement.

An overhead fan
whirs like a Calypso in the breeze
while Smokey tempers
my skin with the brine of his warm licks

relieving the days
of wait moving on
as they will
to the returning sound of crickets.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This Afternoon

Lim dim: my slow blink
mirroring yours
each one fading
into the silence
of late bird calls.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Me, you, and the words
bridge a self-perceived chasm
on Cerberus's day off.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I come back to dark wood
to the books
and the occasional yield of stray words
returning to the point
that has moved but little
in inches, in words, in states of mind
in the days that are out of time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Stray Thought

It is beside the point what I write
when I am propelled
into words, by words
and the idle thought towards perfection.

An Afternoon with Ruth Grotenrath and Schomer Lichtner

Out of your daily
cups and bowls
cows, apples,
a flowering bulb
you create in bold
your lives together.

Violet sunset, paper lantern
luminous in your hands.

Inspired by the exhibit at the MWA

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Eating an Apple

It is not the touch of roundness
nor its supple skin
falling away
in spirals.

No, I expect the familiar
yield of the sweet
and the unavoidable grimace
before I find the core.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


At the roundtable of the unknighted
solace is found
when the inchoate blossoms in daylight
and what once was felt in solitude
in the quietude of the mind
now flows down one river
through a mangle of thorns and rocks.

A single body keeps its course
Atlas unshrugged in his purpose
enfolding us in supple arms.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Field

As yet undyed the lily petals meet
somewhere in a pool of ether
rapt to understand
what is hidden
stamens unverifiable
to the eyes.

They partly emerge:
rainbow splashed.