Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Drift Alone

I drift alone upon a cold grey sea

Without a star to pierce the hanging dark

Or cleave the clouds that gather over me

Or show a mirrored path to guide my bark.

Smooth silks and riches rare are in my hold;

Fine pearls and perfumes fill the chests I bear,

But treasures fall to ashes without hope

Of passage through this wash of cold despair.

Full weight of fortune drags my vessel low,

Slows transit of my ship among the waves,

Means nothing to the creatures far below

Who wait their time to mark my watery grave.

Oh Zephyr, sail me safe through this dark night

And set me on the path to summer light.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Dark

Two children,
who should have
been in bed already,
strain to know
what darkness
lies beyond
the open door.

Still whole,
they push
toward the sight,
while their mother's
stalwart body
shields them
for a moment
from the night.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In My School

In my school

the boys slick

back their hair

with grease that

streaks down necks

on sweaty August days,

flash f-e-a-r

on every knuckle,

dots from pins

and blue-black ink;

Teacher sprays

the room with

blue Evening in Paris

against the heat

and stink of boys.

In my school

the girls go in twos,

hold hands, skip

down the path,

except on winter days,

when we never

feel the need

to go at all.

Those days,

we peel off

crusty mittens,

extra socks, wet scarves

that hiss and steam

on radiators blasting heat.

Janie’s tights are red

and mine are black,

and we learn

the words that we

must never say,

the vocabulary

of crime and punishment


In my school

we read in groups,

learn county seats,

sing patriotic songs,

chew pencils that

record our dreams

in speckled books

with sewn down pages,

tearfully recite

our tables, hoping for

another chance when

we forget our nines.

In my school

we line for sugar cubes,

pink saviors

Mr. Sabin sent too late

for poor Christine.

In spring,

the rest of us

skate red dog lines

on green tile floors,

wash dusty boards,

bang chalk clouds in the air,

chase tiny frogs

that jump from

scummy science jars.

At lunch, we munch

thick meat sandwiches,

crunchy pickles,

sticky cakes,

drink milk with

bendy straws;

at the end

of every month

we feast on

thick commodity bread,

big chunks of creamy cheese,

and soupy beans.

In my school

we are six grades

three rooms

three teachers --


and we never know,

we never know as kids

we’re not the world;

we never know that

there is any other way.

Thanks to bluesugarpoet for inspiring this poem with her "Your School vs. My School."

Saturday, February 7, 2009


In a heartbeat

on a moment

in a flash

on a dime

in a jiffy

in an instant

in the twinkling of an eye

like nobody's business

a bat out of hell, a bull at the gate

at the drop of a hat

like quicksand





Monday, February 2, 2009


In the white
cotton quiet
amid the ragged
and fall,
rise and fall,
your fingers write
on counterpanes
in disappearing