Along the Mohawk Trail

I wish I could show you
what I saw today--
a modest and orderly orchard,
trees planted like gravestones
on a lazy slope
behind a roadside apple stand,
perfect spring blossoms
glistening in the stately slant
of dinnertime sun
as if to say here’s how to stand
when it’s your turn to go
to seed

edited by Jane Yolen and published by Straw Dog Writers Guild.


Eating Crow

A protest of crows
met at the Sunoco
sending contingents
across Armory Street
in Springfield
American crows
in a tumult
cawing news
of fumbled rebellion
more ignominy than murder
more sorrow than resistance

edited by Jane Yolen and published by Straw Dog Writers Guild.


Daybreak Over Chicopee

Hope wears an itchy sweater
with holes in the elbows,
rinses returnable bottles,
finds comfort in the rhythm
of the clothes dryer.
Hope belts out its plea,
hitting the high notes
rounding the Chicopee bend
on 91 South.
Hope turns on a dime
or the ten bucks it thought
was stashed in its wallet.
Hope sighs and slouches,
gives trigger warnings,
sits out arguments.
Hope pretends.


Compass Roads

Friends, I’m thrilled and honored to tell you that several of my poems are included in this special anthology of poems about the place where I live, Compass Roads: Poems About the Pioneer Valley, edited by the truly amazing Jane Yolen and published by Straw Dog Writers Guild. I was able to read at the Compass Roads book launch in Florence, MA last month, and tonight with a group of featured poets at the Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley, MA. Wonderful!

I’ll share my poems from the book over the next few days. Here’s the shortest of mine, called “Instant.” Its location is the Oxbow in the Connecticut River not too far from our house. 
Early autumn
in a perfect wash
of Polaroid-light
over the Oxbow,
warm and developed.



Because the path is rocky
and complicated
Because it’s hard
to keep flowers alive
let alone children
Because I cannot
tell the difference
between well-intentioned
but bumbling
and counterfeit
Because I was taught
to care for myself
and injury
takes its natural course
unless diverted
I rest by this river
tending young shoots
making friends
with my ambivalence


Fiddling While Something Burns

wondering if ever
chills may cease
  feverish spiraling
relaxed as chaos
          plays out
before weary eyes
fore out
    plays chaos
          as relaxed
cease may chills
         if won


Palindromes today in the Imaginary Garden!


Last Friday in April

Funny how
I write about the same things
at this time every year
showers and flowers
dark moods  
Pretty sure
to start many
a bleak topical verse
I’ve used funny how
and I always listen to Morphine
on rainy days


Slow Down

     Eight years
     meanders like riverbends
     then soars
     ever cloudward
     peeking shoulderwise

     Everyone blinks how
     we arrived at this place
     damply imagining
     what lofty follies might follow
     at such heights

The Runaway Sentence is eight years old today! Happy Birthday, Girl!

Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden, where many friends are writing a poem each day in April to celebrate poetry month. I’ve been a little sad about not being up to the challenge this year, finding my time spent almost entirely in the work and family realms. But that’s okay. My kids are growing up fast, like this here little blog. Time flies even when it crawls.


Too Many Slides

I’ve been invited
to describe myself
in a five-minute presentation
PowerPoint optional
or in a four-letter initialism
(ENFP of course)
or in a few lines of verse
for each of my many sides

Today is only
the fourth day of April
National Poetry Month
and I regret to inform you
that given the above realities
this not-very-subtle reflection
will have to substitute
for metaphor

Not sure this is responsive to Brendan’s Transformations prompt in the Imaginary Garden, but I think (hope!) maybe in April the rules are loosened up a bit.


A Case of the Fly-Aways

I wish I could grow
long grey sideburns
like wings
of pigeons
seemingly socialized
living as they do
so close to us
but careful
honing in
will cause angry scattering
I should let my hair go grey
and fly away

Day 3 of National Poetry Month! Sharing on the Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden


Second Sight

I’d like to see you
in the first light
in the last light
in the dim light
washed in sunlight

We can try to
turn back the hour hand
turn back this month’s page
turn into someone else’s
sit in the back seat

Let’s try to make it
all go away
make it magnificent
make it to Friday
make it to second base
if we can make it home

So much I want to
see you brand new
want to see you as though
even with all we know
I know that I’d choose
old you in the new-now

Day two! For Karin’s April SECOND prompt in the Imaginary Garden.


Remembering How It Felt on Spring Days at Eleven

wondering whether
anyone will notice her gone
whether she should go home or maybe
    just disappear

Kicking off National Poetry Month in the Imaginary Garden!


Untitled 3-11-18

When memory’s but a whirl
in the always-roulette twirl
you’re a woman not a girl
begetting life in this world

When forever feels the wait
to live dreams amongst a spate
of unresolved ugly aches
with you I commiserate

When even luck is rotten
and besieged with ill-trodden
dreams frightening and sodden
let it all be forgotten

Whew! Trying out the tanaga form in the Imaginary Garden today. It is difficult, yikes.


When Stars Collide

Recall me as when we first met
cheek at your cheek, friend of a friend,
ill-conceived but not to forget

words upon words to conscious end
of day, then nights, as transit moon
for Venus strayed, could not pretend

to love her less or leave me soon.
Sputtered protestations blustered,
tuckered out, tossing my fortune

in fortune’s lap having mustered
little strength to orbit, this bond
now thrives despite the frustrated

circumstances of its birth--gone
beyond chance collision to love on.

The Toads are trying out the TERZA RIMA form in the Imaginary Garden. This draft is less than stellar but am currently all wound up in the weird rhymes and have lost track of what I’m trying to say. Yikes!


Some Advice For Living in the New Normal

Don’t think too long
about what might be laying eggs
in your breakfast cereal
or nesting in your walls
there’s enough to worry about
in plain sight

It’s easy to lose focus
with headlines pummeling
like heavy rain
and the never-ending parade
of household tasks and advocacy
that add up to an adult life

We see your exhaustion
but we need your good faith
for the revolution
and we need your blessed children
to want something greater
than rank survival

So don’t think too long
about the half life of stink bugs
the detritus of everyday
lift yourself up and the rest of us
in dreamy solidarity
will follow you to higher ground

It’s Wednesday night but I’m sharing this on The Tuesday Platform in the Imaginary Garden


Wish Upon a Scar

Find a way to stanch the slow
flow-wound of sorry
worry from your open pores
worn as though a mask
has morbidly attached itself there
Wary of siblings
living with lies
Try to ignore the well-deep itch
which scabs over and scars
far from Earth-truth
smooth across your nose
supposing this fabrication might fly
heard in the balls of God’s ears

Practicing chained rhyme in the Imaginary Garden!


I Was Just Trying to Find a Seat With a View of the Stage

Although I wore a crown
I found myself
crouched in a kiddie pool
in a country club dining room
craning my neck
to observe children
performing A Christmas Carol
trying not to get soaked
as the upper-crusters
surrounding me
avoided eye contact and whispered

Finally a kindly elder
perched on a throne-like chair
pointed out that the kitchen
had erred
in serving dessert
as the fanciful spiders
adorning her pastries
were each a different color
Rising and dripping still I said
they are different species
I think the spiders were real

Responding to Kerry’s prompt in the Imaginary Garden: CAMERA FLASH!


If Only All We Need Were

How woefully wrong
every single thing is now
with Brat Boys of America
running all the shows

It’s amazing how quickly
respect turns to regret
in higher-circus atmosphere

We are endlessly capable
of scudding what’s right for us

But for love’s indefatigability