photo by swb
Decades before
I knew
to name poetica -
or myself poet -
I swooned
countless hours
in birch shade

in perfumed sweetness
from modest blooms
arced over me -
moss-cushioned, prone -
to slight breeze
as, it seemed, 
to me

their dizzying scent
the young air of spring
transports me back
to childhood,  
an ease
I now know
to name

swb 5.23


‘New Birth’ courtesy LondonRowFineArt

There are times when a confluence of events, feelings, opportunity and phrases conspire to connect, perhaps in conversation to create an entirely new form of expression or possibility. This has happened to me while working with a piece of stone. It has happened when a poem comes full-blown to the page. And sometimes, as recently, it happens unbidden. Starts as a niggle at the edge of consciousness. Morphs about inside, noting and absorbing layers and dimensions. Spillls onto the page this way, then that. Finally challenges me to approach it intentionally. As, in the case of the brief poem below, even experimentally.

I welcome your comments and observations, curious what you glean from the words, their arrangement, any possible resonance for you personally. And thank you for reading.

                        AT THE NEW MOON
                            for DC

              This harbinger			
			this black zero of beginning
               releases hope				
			hollow, hungering
        to expand, to deepen
			to become full. The new wanting
      to bid old ways goodbye
			beckons to push through
      a second chance to fill
			this opening.

        Start close up, sense
			the gift of a new phase
         a whisper undiscerned
			on the dawn’s breeze,
                 a seed in you
			waiting to spread against a future sky
become visible while carrying
			the light within
          your gift to others
			It is early, and about to grow.

This is my first experiment with a double-poem-that-makes-a-third. 'At the New Moon' is 'found' from Marge Piercy's ‘Head of the Year.' 'Rebirth' celebrates a turning in DC's life.

late season blues


The morning, chill and gray,
turned me inward seeking warmth,
some reassurance that winter
is still a few months at bay.

After the requisite morning walk,
my pup settled on the deck
for breakfast and bunny-watch,
my eyes wandered beyond the railing

to see three tall hydrangea blooms
in full autumn blaze – every shade
of deep purple, lavender, violet -
the dark to light blues of an entire summer

rising tall above the bush’s rough-edged
green leaves marooning already 
in the cooling nights of just-October.
As is my custom to keep fresh flowers

on the table, I harvested these
late season blues bringing all their hues
of experience and hope to my view
within, up close and reassuring.

new england fall

How we all love to pick apples,

sink expectant teeth into unsuspecting flesh

that spews sweet spray onto one another’s faces


the crunch a clarion call - and come they do!

How my boy, not yet two, would grab and gnaw

his little white teeth across the red surface,


sink slowly into the sweetness hiding there

to his eye-widening delight; and how I imagine

him slinging his own baby boy across his slim back


reaching the same long arms for one, then another,

testing four teeth against the slippery skin

and likely dropping it before he gains traction enough


for a true taste. What is it about fall

that brings a grown daughter home every year

to climb a tree, snap a few selfies


and slide more than a few luscious bites

of Macintosh, Macoun and Cortland into her

waiting mouth? To the other, I mail packages


packed with care to preserve a pair of Mac’s

and a jar of jam. Already I have stewed and frozen

vats of Macinsauce, simmered pints of golden brown


apple butter, baked muffins and pie and crisp

and crumble, all this New England fare of yore

begging for more. How grateful I for the crunch


of each fall afresh with plucking and picking up

what fell from weight or wind, as I fall

into delirium with each delicious bite.


Photos by Jim Hester, Fall 1990. Both are slides; the second is a phone capture from slide - clumsy technology but a favorite shot.

harvest moon rise

photo courtesy of lovethesepics.com

Risen already, her pink orb
lifting through baby blue,
watery train not yet visible
in the still-waning light.

Incoming surf seeking to bring
along her offshore shimmer
just emerging between
rock outcrop and shore.

The western sky phasing
into slow haze, stubbornly
pale as if in deference
to this harvest moon’s

regal rise, her steady climb
and steadfast reliability a comfort
in our increasingly erratic