Bells at Galveston

At Galveston,
off to the side I sat
watching four children
holding hands
in a clockwise circle
of song, steeped
to their thighs
in undulations

while their mother and father giggled
plumb to their nipples
in the lap
of its lick,–

all the while I was dumbed
with the way those charming bells
chant in the distance, –
rise with the waves, –

then stop.

Fluttering Breeze

a muezzin cries
over the roofs of the waking,
impaling a blood-colored dawn
with the spire of his minaret, while three silhouettes
rise from Irish ash
to ask what form was gained
by hands that laid down beads. Bells
impel a flock of sheep
to gather in the river,
whence John springs appealingly,
a man with eyes inside himself
wrings his hair of Ganges
and dances with Shiva on the back of a white cow
while a ram’s horn resounds
the birth rites of Tishri. And I?
I sit on a log
in a clearing of this wood
reading books about photosynthesis
and Campanulales,
and watching the breeze
flutter leafy
pink and purple whorls.

Let’s Walk Together

Old friend,
it has been forever
since I’ve seen you.

Let me wipe
the sleep
from your eyes,

and you in turn
so I can see.

at the spray
of hydrangea

smudging the tangle
of ivy.

Where have we been?

Let’s walk to the river
saying nothing, – only listening
to the sound
of our steps.

Moments Being

It’s 10 of 2
in the morning. All day
I spent in doing
all the busy little things
I was certain
must be done. Dusted
the grand piano, polished
the face of each
& every clock in every room, knocked
cobwebs from the corners, swept
the porch & patio, said
“Good day” to the neighbors
shuttling their kids to band
practice soccer Spanish horseback
riding, etc., etc.,… shined
my Florsheim
hard-leather oxbloods, ironed
my pleats, mowed
the lawn. It had grown
so much in three weeks time.
the wooden ceiling fan
hovering just above my bed
groans as it slowly churns…. As it slowly churns
I lie here realizing
that roses are the moments being
in the gaps between its slicing blades.
That a poem
is the smell of her hair, the sound
of rain, a watermelon
on the vine.

Shopping Alone

The supermarket
was crowded tonight,
Brightly lit
(as usual), and Muzac
lingering softly
in the background.
I meandered the accustomed
aisles, lifted from the orderly rows
one by one
each familiar item
from my list – lingenberry jam;
red pepper jelly; figs; strawberries;
apricots; pears; brie;
bottled rose water; honey;
Swedish rye; plums; peaches;
shallots; shrimp; and halibut.

I browsed much longer
than was necessary,

reading labels, gauging fruit.
As an afterthought
bought an hibiscus
in a black, plastic pot.
Crossing the dim-lit parking lot
I glanced a stranger’s face, caught
a hesitant eye,
and smiled softly, –
a tenuous boundary breeched
on a frigid December night.

Waiting in the Rain

Waiting on the 2:30 Duval
to Stassney, bus pass
in front pocket, sitting on
iron-slat bench reading
Time, insurgent
IED kills 2.
Beside me
fuschia highlights and black
bitten fingernails texting…


first drop of 20% chance
stains the surge,

boots and sneakers scurry
as the sky’s
bladder bursts, one
yellow umbrella
shelters a frizzy head, there’s
nowhere to hide, –
or maybe so, – I
unzip my bag,
lift a fat cube of orange cantaloupe to my lips,
open wide,

it’s so sweet
and juicy… slowly

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