Kitty didn’t like the ‘plat du jour’
I served to her this morning
I looked straight into her eyes
And I gave her fair warning!

You’re not the only cat around
I must feed others too
So eat what’s put in front of you
She looked at me – said “mew”

I presented a different kind
(sometimes she gets her way)
Another kitty ate the first
An’ we’ve gone about out day.



                 –a found poem

Today my university sent an email to students
to assure them that every fall class will include an understudy
in case the faculty member of record grows sick or dies.


Nightfall in Lexington

Anger crackles,
sizzles in bright
pops and flashes, 
illuminates downtown,
an anti-parade
featuring our failings.

I close my eyes and 
the traffic noises
of Alumni Drive sound
almost peaceful,
waves but not waves, 
irregular and imperfect,
and therefore manmade.


a poem about Star Wars 3 (or “Maybe It’s Easier with a Lightsaber”)

sometimes you just gotta ask yourself, ‘What would Luke Skywalker do?’

would he

               dig his heels into Dagobah to heed the dead impasse of a Jedi’s heart

               in contemplation and condemnation

               of impulse and indignation,

               the Jedi’s code that took his father’s life but left his limbs for lightsabers,

               that said, ‘You belong to a thing and an idea and never to yourself,’

or would he

               descend into the womb of war and deception on Bespin in the spinning warp and weave of a galaxy long ago and faraway and today and here the same

               just to get his right hand cut off in a laser knife fight facing the right hand of fascism

                              (who cannot be forgiven and dies to become something worth forgiving)
                                             (and dies to become himself and not the idea and not the thing)

               but doing it

               out of compassion and callow wishing

               that things will work out

               instead of splashing like X-wing shrapnel on star-ringed backgrounds.


SPF Motherhood

“Side! Side!” she shouts,
One cherub finger pointing toward the door,
Waiting not so patiently for me to get the message.
(If only she could always be so clear.)

Before I can fully acquiesce, she has to allow me
The honor of smothering her inch-to-inch in the
Sticky, liquid, goo that comes
In a fluorescent yellow tube
Called sunscreen.

SPF 50.
Clean, phthalate free, paraben free,
Cruelty free, no added fragrance.
Protects against broad spectrum UVA/UVB.
Protects against sunburn.
Protects against damage to sensitive skin.
Protects against knee scrapes and bruises.
Protects against splinters and pinched fingers.
Protects against all future heartaches and lost friends.
Protects against watching the world seemingly shatter,
When she is not old enough to understand,
And furthermore,
Protects against any and all ill will.

Okay, so maybe sunscreen only protects against the sun.
I mean, I guess it is in the name, but that’s okay.
I’ll be there to protect against the rest.


All Letters are Love Letters

“… and I realized,
I’m not afraid of what you’d
think of what I say,
but of how you’d treat it.”


Neighborhood Bird Detective

My beat, these streets.
I walk and walk, but make no mistake – 
Mother Nature 
rules and reigns.

Two-faced, heartless and cold,
She smiles with ruby lips of velvety rose
while sending a hard frost to choke the irises.
Shall I spill her sinister secrets?
Do I dare divulge her dastardly doings?

It began in March, when I spotted during my rounds
evidence of Entering and Breaking,
a classic case, really.
Eggshells, pale blue and broken,
Littered the pavement soaked in early moning dew.
I turned to a robin hopping nearby and shrugged.
“Circle of life,” I said.
It hopped away.

April ushered in Nature’s darker side,
As I discovered when I heard the squawks of baby bird,
Helpless, trapped beneath its nest
Blown out of a small magnolia during a thunderstorm.
I watched its downy gray feathers shudder
as it cried out in confusion, perhaps even pain,
and I sighed.
“There’s nothing I can do for you,” I whispered.
I ran away.

Then Nature cast aside all pretense in May,
when I stumbled upon the scene of a vicious attack.
I slowed my run when I spotted a feather – 
giant, gorgeous, imposing.
A hawk’s striped feather lay ominously 
beside another empty nest,
tossed violently to the ground.
The remains of a baby bird lay lifeless in the front yard.
I looked away.

“Cruel mistress,” I cursed Mother Nature.
She cackled and strolled off,
Leaving a trail of pink peonies behind her.


Country Currency

A bag of fish food for two caught catfish
A batch of cookies for cabbage and kale
A dozen double-yolk eggs that will never make it to market for a chance at a five-pointer
A gallon of blueberries, ten ears of corn, fresh baked bread, and warm peach cobbler for a day of tilling and a repaired tractor
Ledger entries for transactions made with country currency


Not One Poem

I got nothin’.
The world has sucked the
Words right outta me. Slurp.



what I think matters none
interests affect our evidence
will mislead you into drawing
false conclusions
skewed world view

Filling the sponge
with facts and acceptance and understanding
identifying everyone in family photos daily
every plant with their glorious colorations
functions of the mundane

He hangs on my words
as he hangs on my neck
safe in my arms
as the world is described
one feature at a time

His babbles
joined with smiling nods
that love is