Category Archives: Musings

Mind Reader

Where are you
you absent one
who knows
that now is when
I need something
large and warm
to crawl into
something like
an old quilt
with lots of color
and comfort
something marsupial
with a heartbeat
something easy
to get out of
when I’m weak
with uncertainty
and no sense
of direction
where are you
when I am lost
in dysfunction
no one can see—
where is the question
I need you to ask:
Are you okay?
And I won’t even
need to say no.








“Woman with Red Umbrella” By T.C. Steele

The Dawn of Man

The stick.

How long did it lie on the ground
before some freshly-human being
picked it up and reached into the tree
with an astonishing new arm—
straight and long with an accurate aim?

The fruit fell down.

How long before it caught on—
until everyone else saw the sense in it?
The way it made life a little easier
and a little more fun.

Was it unintentional,
that first violent contact?
The stick coming down accidentally
on the head of a brother—
the fruit rolling away
from the splatter of blood.

Such an event
must have ignited some pre-fire temper
that swelled into an agonizing grunt—
and though there were no words yet for apologies,
it was clear what kind of pain was possible
with this new tool.

Imagine, now, the others—
open mouthed, slowly backing away
from the one who made the accidental blow.
And when his reason told him to show them the culprit,
the perpetrator raised his stick above his head.

When they shrank to the ground
and covered their heads,
he felt a rush of control
and was the first to realize,
before language could explain it,
that fear was a kind of power
which would never be improved.









Waiting for the Wildflowers

All winter
we wait for them—
for the surprise
of blue
or yellow or white
and we take
their picture as if
they were babies
we want to show off
to our friends!
Soon they will
become confetti
for the celebration
of spring—
a reward
for enduring
that colorless season,
which will wait its turn
to come again
while summer
flaunts its green
and autumn leaves
cover the woods
in a blanket of orange—
but today, the
Harbinger of Spring
is stirring
and whispering
wake up
to the snow trillium
and bluebells
and yellow buttercups
that will fill the air
with a fragrance
so sweet
we might forget
what trouble
grows inside the houses
we left behind
to spend a few hours
through this carnival
of hope and rebirth.





In a Nutshell


Your photos
your smile
my poems
your river
your activism
my admiration
my daydreams
my curiosity
your wildflowers
your tulip tree
your birds
our hiking
our laughing
your butternut squash
the snow
the silence
the sharing
the listening
your curiosity
your daydreams
our fire
our clothes off
our skin touching
our love
our adventures
our sycamore
our secrets
our lies
our hope
our limited time
your blackberry jam
your broken bone
my sympathy
your patience
my patience
my wish
became our wish
and somehow
it’s coming  true.





Yes.  I know this is a really shitty experimental poem.  Thanks for hanging in there till the end.

Blank Spaces

It’s so easy
to love you
what I know
what I don’t
doesn’t matter
but it will
one day
I realize you
really like
the way
I _____
and I find
I can’t really
I could live
and we don’t
the way I thought
we would
and you
feel _____
because I _____
and maybe
we will
all those
blank spaces
we packed
with our
didn’t match
the truth
that filled
them in.





Wolf Park, Circa 1996

Maybe you’re wrong
about everything
the way you were wrong
about the wolves
behind bars all those years ago—
you were sure they’d recognize you
as something wild like them
when you stepped closer
to let them look into your heart—
but they weren’t interested
in your brand of captivity
and saw no sameness in your soul.
They knew you were bullshit
before you did, and made sure
you went home doubting
that there was some kind of
transcendent spirit world
connecting everything to you—
So yes, you’re probably wrong
about almost everything—
but remembering the surprising
disapproval in those golden eyes
reminds you not to make such
sweeping and blind assumptions—
even when it comes to being wrong.






Just Another Night


It used to bother you
that he stopped
coming to bed
before midnight—
and you knew
what he was doing
down there
without you
and it hurt your
self-esteem more
than your feelings—
and if it only happened
now and then
you might be able
to chalk it up to
a natural fascination
with beauty
and overlook this common
weakness you’re told
that all men share—
but when you wake up
alone at 4 a.m.
and again at 5
when he crawls into bed
smelling like a fire
has been lit to lift him
as high and far away
as he can get,
you begin to wish
he’d stay up there
in the stratosphere
because he’s never
been satisfied
with how earth bound
you are—
or understood why
you prefer to feel
all those things
he tries to simulate
or numb.






“Barracoon” Andrew Wyeth, 1976, Drybrush and Watercolor, from The Helga Pictures