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

Monday, June 18, 2018

Who are you rural SC ?

(while driving to Green wood through rural South Carolina)

White sandy drives edged in brown
disappearing into piney woods
leading to a hidden house.
Houses acres apart
surrounded by expansive grass
bordered neatly by fences.
Both shielded shelters
in their way.

Big fancy ones or
little neglected little ones
framed, yet uninviting.
I can imagine a smart TV
in each of them;
I can imagine a rifle
or three in most of them.

No row houses,
no stacked apartments,
no neighbor upon neighbor
with a driveway for a side yard --
what luxury

and yet,
isolated, in permanent retreat,
these are the homes of my human
sisters and brothers.

Did your eyes grow smaller
to see only your reflection
as mine grew larger
to encompass strangers?

Saturday, June 2, 2018

To Kathleen

(my friend who carries all the wishes of the Buddha flags in her heart)

swim Kathleen, stay afloat
float Kathleen, rest

run Kathleen, run away
away in your mind

spin Kathleen, spin a web
a web of armor to protect your heart

breathe Kathleen, breathe
deeply all the air you can

cry Kathleen, cry out
a river pain and fear

and know, Kathleen
that we are here

Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth.

Biking and observing

My grandson and I flew down West Coast Ave
to the sailing dock to catch the sunset with our eyes
and take pictures with our cell phone cameras.
He shot panoramas and spheres of the skies.
I shot one vertical and was satisfied.

He processed a whole Planet on his own
before we zigzagged back in the dusky night air
onto Ontario, heading back on Headlands
and changing our outlook on Outlook
returning to Union with sister and brother and mamas.