Monthly Archives: August 2013

Last night I dreamt a duck

ate a dog – one bite –

swallowed him up.


We tried, my child and I, to reason

with the duck, but his beak

snapped shut and we couldn’t squeeze him.


The poor pup struggled, stuck

in that duck, and my baby boy

cried, but we had no luck.


I remember sitting smoking, incense
Rising, you smiling as we watched tendrils
Weave like dragon tails through summer evening sun
To disperse amongst prayer flags. Listening
To an album burned on vinyl CD until the boy
Started strumming his guitar.
You smiled that secret you’d whispered to me of him
And we three sat pow-wow on the same small mattress.
I set my crush aside, watched smile and eyes grow wide
Into that musical improvisation.
You were hooked.

Early mornings at the Smiler with two grumpy gruff boys
Tired from late nights, but you kept us on our feet.
Chopping onions with scuba masks to stave
Off tears you seemed immune to. Your smile again.
Laughing silent at the rings around our faces.
Pushing through for a pumpkin quesadilla
Despite the bickering. True now as he said it then,
“I got nothin but love for ya, Natanya.”
What a team.

Bright Eyes at the Showbox. Just you and me
This time. Chinese food and gin obscure
What I wish I remembered better.
Crammed in a photo booth for the best
Shoot of my life. Though we could cut and paste
The best face from each and have a nice pic,
I prefer the silly smiling memories.

Grasping for clarity from fuzzy memories.
A night of too much indulgence. My birthday?
You over did it and paled,
Turned as white as it. Despite it
And our addled minds we jumped
Up speeding to the hospital.
First time you had me worried, realizing
We must be careful.
Can’t be reckless.

Years pass and we lose touch.
Whispered warnings and words misunderstood
Hint at a picture fading. Floundering while I’m
Wishing for more island time and some new memories.
Missing friends and wanting more adventures,
One last chance to climb in that one working window
To sputter to the bluff in a bleak Volvo.

A gathering of friends and familiar faces.
Somber reason but elated spirit. Your smile
The same despite the pain in evidence. Happy to see
Everyone gathered there to celebrate for you.
Relieving my missing feeling.
The last time I saw you.

(Playing around with rhyming haiku (Rhaiku?) for fun and challenges!)

Value wings swift-flown
and dappled things like Hopkins
from God’s heart intoned.

On Ross Lake’s green shores
Nathan holds his wizard staff –
leaves work to others.

A butterfly lands
to stare at Dave’s bushy beard
while perched on his hand.

Ninety minutes down
the lake, cutting through white caps
to bring Kyle around.

They portaged their boat
down a steep mile of hiking
trail, now it won’t float.

Black kestrel swoops from
sky to circle us around,
hoping to catch some
fish. We watch as words
from poems – just read aloud –
stir into real birds.

Bonus: Double Dactyl!
(Inspired by camping in the shadow of Desolation Peak where Kerouac spent the Summer of 1956 watching for wildfires. Next time we will hike the trail to the lookout.)

Jiggery Pokery
Writer Jack Kerouac
Camped as a fire lookout
Feeling distraught;

Sixty-three days of this
Sitting in solitude
Taught him the plot.

The hollering shook Frank straight outta sleep.
“Why you treat me like that?” she warbled. A green-haired troll doll bounced rhythmically
against his leg from a string out her purse, punctuating the end of his nap. “I thought
you was choosing me this time.” Dark cheeks puffed
red like dry spilled wine as she sprinkled her pain
into the telephone. She wiped her eyes to hide the tide
threatening to erode her anger. “I knew you was playing me, you…” Frank drifts off
until the flip-snap of the phone slammed shut jolts him back;
he sees her there, staring past to the Jesus-man evangelizing
at the bus stop under the neon drug store sign. Her wet-puffed eyes glimmer wise
as she twinkles up at him: “Sorry, hun. That wasn’t your argument.”

Every morning – 7:40 – the hydraulic hiss and beep as the bus arrives.
John greets the driver, muffles ‘Morning’ as he swipes his card, turns
and sees her there. Always alone and facing her phone: his bus-buddy girl.
Sunken-eyed but bright as the dusty glare
reflecting from the window through her dark hair. They share seats – not every day –
but always in silence. Sometimes they smile; sometimes their eyes meet,
but they never speak. Next week he’s moving
and he’ll never ride this route again, never learn her name,
never even say hello. He walks by and sits sideways in the articulating accordion section,
imagining his hellos into the deep quiet of commuters isolated in headphones.
It’s better this way. Strangers shouldn’t grow too comfortable.

When dawn cuts deep to pierce the dreamy haze,

grown-old boy still wishes he was wiser,

and Tuscan bells ring echoing the day.


A lark and robin chorus wait to play

shrill chirp songs to mark the moments after

another dawn to melt the dreamy haze.


The doe stands timid – knows she cannot stay –

flicks out tongue to taste the dew drops faster,

and Tuscan bells ring echoing the day.


In these same hills da Vinci’s childhood lay.

These grape-olive fields urged that creator

to flee the dawn that woke his dreams from haze,


and share his bright illuminating way.

He sees Beauty here, but Truth outlasts her,

and Tuscan bells ring echoing each day.


He smiles and takes the sight, then walks away;

Swift-steps echo soundless through the clamor,

as hungry dawn devours his dreamer’s daze,

and Tuscan bells ring greeting him today.