First Day

First Day


sun on the water

brown with sand

churned up from some distant storm

these lakes

this lake

is vast and long

joined to the eastern sea

through trails of shining water

she rests on layers

and layers of sand



carried from the north

in chunks of ice

over time as vast

and long

as the distance

to walk and paddle

to the eastern sea






Together Alone Now

Together Alone Now

we sit alone
or together
maybe unknown

we laugh and we cry
we wonder
we worry

someone familiar passes by
takes us from
our solitary shadows
to the fresh moment

a smile appears from within
as the steam rises
from the coffee
warming our weary hands
and heart



there are moments





there are moments





there are moments





there are moments




Breath of Air

Breath of Air

walking outside

in search of fresh air

healthy exercise

along the street

by all of the houses

birds sing

squirrels stand munching on acorns


a lungful of chemicals hangs in the air

fertilizer, pest control, herbicides

one tiny sign

“stay off the grass”


what about the dogs

the cats and birds


those worms that live under there

are we still to believe

that something with a smell so pungent

is fine to breathe

is fine to water down into our wells

is fine for our children and pets to crawl upon

but then

kids don’t play outside anymore


we are told to stay inside

out of the sun

away from those mosquitoes and ticks

off of the dirt

soiling our clothes

and making us clean our floors

more than we want to


a breath of fresh air

sun on my skin

soil between my toes

on my hands

drinking water from a hose

lying upon the lawn

a breath of fresh air



Oh, Great Aunt Mae –


Private spaces

Christmas towels on the rail

Plastic poinsettias

Cards sent to you with love


I feel like an Angel

Or a Spirit

Gazing on your last days of life

Cut short

I don’t know why…

Life was just carrying on

At 96


I’m sorry to pry

As we settle your affairs



Hopefully, I hope

You have settled


With your long lost love





It has come to this…


Far away from the quiet, green hills

that cast the golden sun in shades of warm

whispers and howls of wind in the pines

the land heaving at the sight of spring

silent bitter winter nights bright with stars

wet green mossy places in the shade

and on giant boulders

still ponds and rising steam

fog that hangs along the rivers between

signs of moose, bear

and scratching turkeys on cold dark mornings

winding roads and hidden trails

where the deer wander

and stout raccoons amble

voices of ravens

ripples of fish on the water

delicate strands of spiders

illuminated in the early morning sun

the joy of hearing spring peepers

and the first silent snowfall.


Now, here

I have fallen in love with

the new dishwasher

and its calming, soothing

gentle sounds

like water running along a tiny stream

rhythmic and not quite regular

just enough whisper to take me away

from the howling toll road

glaring lights of the mall

another busy road

these make up the boundaries

of my place here

pissing off everyone in their path

as I drive

glazed and crusty looks

as I try to remember how to smile

and offer kind words to fellow humans in my path

their constant impatience makes me wonder

what’s the rush?

why speed from here to there

because I don’t see what’s so precious

or worth getting to

perhaps it’s an attempt to become lost

in the movement of self

redirecting the anger and the lack of joy

toward another

and still another

on their way.



I struggle to find my self

how can I once again be full

and revel in the sights, sounds, smells

of such  beautiful life

tangled up in the glare, the noise, the traffic, the shopping

searching for something

that stirs something inside

that resembles something




like the endless colors of the lake

that moves and shivers in the wind

and heaves itself up on the delicate sandy shore

vast forest floors covered with acorns and pointed oaken leaves

or the giant cottonwoods that pierce the sky.