Friday, September 21, 2018

Waiting for Florence

(a pantoum)

I opened the closet door
and the boxes fell into my arms -- before
landing on my chest and on down to the floor
spilling pencils, pens, paper, and more

needed things, useful things -- to store.                 
I opened the balcony door
and let the outside in,
the quiet of peaceful abandonment.

Inside being in order and by plan:
needed things, useful things -- what for?
Outside windy impulses span
time and I let the outside inside me roar:

needed things, useful things -- restore
landing on my chest and on down to the floor
to let the outside inside me for more,
I open the all the doors.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


My dearest squirrel,

I remember you first scurrying
about at Marion Square.
Who knew then how contagious
was your energy;

how witty and forthright,
your exclamations;
how wicked you would
become with a pickaxe?

who knew that
you embrace challenges
with an inspiring fervor,
headlong, come what may.

Who knew these things
and did not fall involve with you?

Fall in the lowcountry

Bushy plumps of
pampus grasses
dense river currents
crashing frothy waves
on tired sand
sun bright and low,
clouds dark and high
breeze at your back
bugs at bay
fall in the low country

Nicole and Steve moved away

I took the dog for a walk last night
out the pedestrian gate,
down the sidewalk
to the marina.
I looked up,
4015’s lights were on.
3003’s lights were on.
I turned towards the docks --
your lights were not on.
Stupid going awayness.

One life to live

There is a little tan and brown house          
in the city on a narrow one-way street street
with grass and dirt and weeds all around
and narrow vertical blinds faintly glowing.

There is evidence of life inside: 
myriad toys fling themselves from the closet,
squeals and shouts flee from airing windows,
crowd noises erupt from a flick’ring TV        

Boom, and boom, and boom, from the boom box
the grill burns on, children scatter in and out
little dogs barking on Sunday afternoon --
you can’t beat that, no, you can’t beat that.

These are the means two use to survive
two jobs, six days a week, fifty weeks a year
with four kids and ’ absentee landlord --
living life in a little tan and brown house      

in the city on a narrow one-way street,
accepting and loving and good;
six lives share one goal and one soul
blesses with so few opportunities.

Visiting your grown up daughters is hard

They are not who they used to be.
They are not children or girlfriends
predictable and unwieldy.

One is curt with me, ever assuming
I’m up to no good.
Oh, and I know nothing.

And the other is happy living in chaos.
A chaos I find difficult to inhabit.
Oh, and I know everything.

Neither is a safe haven in a storm.
Both are inundated by the demands family life.
Both worry about me which is ludicrous

and I love them far too much.

Charleston to Greenwood