Hidden in the Calligraphy

Yielding more

than simple correspondences,

or letters marked in a ledger,

words bend fields

through which we see

distortions and clarities

reflected like sunlight

in a waterfall’s spume.

they reveal and cloak

certainties in our unease

with what we should believe

as true, and what we know

to be a lie as we speak.

(July 29, 2019)

The Taming Power of the Great

from “Renditions of Change” a work in progress

I read,


and teach


thirty years

passed so


(March 5, 2019)

Treading (Conduct)

from “Change,” a work in progress


In my oafish way,

I step quite softly—

Wary as I write,

I set myself aside,

and then laugh.

(January 25, 2019)

Waiting (nourishment)

from “Change” a work in progress

Too often, when I find time

to write, the clamor of the day

staggers about drunkenly,

muddling my thoughts. So,

I wait, go for a walk, cook.

Eventually all the falderal

falls away to silence;

and, I write again.

(January 22, 2019)

Chromosome Damage (work in progress, part 3)


The sideways shift and snip

Clatters across the sand.

It’s easier to move out of the way—

Trouble passes, one remains

To proceed with plodding step

Along one’s path.


Time’s slow arc


All the variables led here

As inevitable as this morning’s

Sun striking the sycamore’s white

Bark; no god laughs as our choices.


A left, a right, a yes, a no:

Life’s crushed to binary.


I close an eye

To see the obvious

Connection: the moment.


I stumble step across a bridge

Swinging above a crevasse.


No saints guide us home,

Nor care how far we fall.

The emptiness opens

Like an aura.


This morning everyone sleeps in

As fog drifts between the trees

Near the creek and the gray sky.

The last brown leaf has fallen

From the sycamore; the solstice

Passed under a full moon.


Dusk and dawn, progressive

And simultaneous, flow through

The landscape. Yet, we think

Our futile actions have consequence.


Like you,

Light bends

Along each wave’s edge

Into separate

And singular parts.

A Present Absence

As if braille,

I cannot be traced

Without a quick

Flutter of fingers

Across the page.

Even as I hide

Within words,

My handwriting,

Like kudzu, disguises

My intent.

I don metaphor

And stand still

To cloak certainty

In comfortable 


My whispers are

My camouflage—

Hints and misdirection

Like bells nearby 

In the dark.

(December 3, 2018)

eye of the storm


in this vacuous world the air is pulled

from these lungs like a scream on a string

a whirlygig’s motion without purpose

other than to click and clack in the wind


as winter branches break against branches

with a self-flagellating destruction

my words flail against themselves in anger

searching for a simplicity not there


I’ve desired to speak since I was a child

but have been hesitant to raise my voice

above the churning storm outside the door


the constant turmoil conspires to control

like a hand at my throat each syllable

until all I could say is ground to dust


(September 26, 2018)

exposition’s unnecessary




the complex’s too lauded

to be explained:

see—here, and here, and—


the simple’s too simple

to be explained:

see—here, and here, and—


now’s too fleeting

to be explained:

see—here, and here, and—



(September 25, 2018)


Three Haiku



The cat sleeps nearby;

I ma cold and need a nap:

the day fills with tasks.




Snow on bare branches

melts as fresh green buds beckon

after the sun’s light.




Light rain saturates

the garden after a grey week,

I write listlessly.


(September 15, 2018)





Morning light’s enough,

As my students quietly write—

How we change our world.


Young trees grow to provide shade,

As the old begin to fade.


(September 14,2018)