summer night

night settles like a cooling ember—-
the lingering heat & humidity
hosting fireflies & the chips
of crickets

the sky is still blue,
but in moments, it’ll be dark
& the porch lights will come on,
ushering those who linger indoors



                         If the monkey’s here, who’s in the coffin?

Apparently some Irish Setter
dug a mediocre hole out back.
En voila: the chewed up pelt
and well knawed little primate’s
bones are spread out
on the parquet floor,
a late beloved pet.

Strychnine’s what it was
that done the other victim in,
the late regrettable wife.


My Garden, My Altar 

Lead me, my mother, my soil,

my sun. Lead me to my forever 

home, soil beneath my feet.

You tempt me, mother, before I labor.  

I live to worship you in the cool

of the morning, before the leaves wilt. 


C in Country 18

Ever had a day that didn’t go well?

Country music is there for you even then–
especially then. The whole world could be
on fire, but some country musician had it
worse and they’re there to commiserate, to let you
cry hot mad tears or to drive another nail
in your coffin or to walk the floors 
back and forth. Country music says,
let the hurt out and come back singing
just a little bit later on. You’ll manage.

And it’s true. It’s not going to rain forever. 
Sometimes things just feel that way.


blue and yellow

Friday evening and Miles Davis kind of blue
wind is blowing as if there might be a storm
summer is offering her entirety
even though she won’t officially arrive until Sunday
I’m thankful, for once, for what lies ahead
the sun shining, through a tree, is the biggest promise of all
why don’t we say, “I’m yellow”, like we refer to being blue? 
happy but for a moment before the world unforgivingly switches the color scheme again


Next Time

I’m sitting in my car,
all dressed up,
waiting for friends 
that will never come.

The excitement over it all
feels so far away now-
almost as if it wasn’t even real.

The new outfit I bought
just for this
doesn’t feel nearly as cute
as it once did.

I check my watch again,
take one last glance 
just to see if it was all a trick,
just in case someone showed up.

But it’s still just me,
so I sigh and turn around,
thinking to myself
“Maybe next time,”
even though I already know
how next time will go.


Summer Haiku

suspended ivy
spills over onto white brick
fiery lillies sprout



I like
the sound
as in

cadge     badge     pledge     ledge      fudge     smudge
hodgepodge     and     digeridoo.

Don’t you?   



(inspired by the “Every Monday” exercise in Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing Down the Bones”)

I am a friend to
every fridge cleaned and in need of cleaning,
every hour, every day of the week, every month,
(word nerds, curd nerds, out-the-boxers), named with all their deific power

I am a friend to
constellations and galaxies: sub/cultures
astrologers and artists: white (noise) space
writers and intuitives: between the lines
crystal and coin collectors: chrono/logic

Once a time I was a friend to
outcasts on principle: This no longer stands.

I am a friend to
role players and cosplayers
musicians and makers
dreamers of dreams
planners and historians
lifecoaches and chefs

Once a time I was a friend to
anyone, at first:
but we all only have so wide of a good side.

I am a friend to
those on the grind and those off grid
campers and hikers and timekeepers
rope jumpers and homeschoolers
farmers, folklorists, librarians, teachers
plant tenders and poem crafters

Once was a time I made too many exceptions.

I am a friend to
the pots and pans and roads that lead to Castlewood Canyon
the Rocky Mountains and aspen, the blue spruce, the bur oak, and the arboretums
thrift stores and friends to go along, art galleries at home and formal, and clever messes and clever organization
Appalachia and the shady understory of every lucky trail and hardy forest
red rocks and waterfalls and myself and the shores I’ll come to know– the water nymphs therein — each footprint that can not long stand


Young blond on Byrd road

Wind tossed her long blond hair
as she walked uphill toward the overpass.
When I drove even with her,
she stopped and tried to look like she was
not going to the lake.

In this poem,
I beg to differ with her.
Black straps above her strapless top
and the bottom of her white short
shorts, exposing her skin tight
one piece suit,
made me want to be carefree again.

She was,
in this poet’s summation,
better suited
for a two-piece bikini
on a blanket near a beach
far removed from Dale Hollow Lake.