Today is the birthday
of my grandmother,
Anne Gilmore Stewart.
Born in 1910, she would have been
108 years old today!

To me, fair friend, you can never be old,

For as you were when first your eye I ey'd,
Such seems your beauty still.

(from Shakespeare, sonnet 104)


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!