Poetry Excerpts


                                                               woke up this morning
                          and forgot about 
 the mask           and
                   the second 
                   the recommended
                  who would wear 
the mask
                  who wouldn’t 
                       oh yes
                      the other                         
                 we wear                   
                 to protect 
                 our naked souls

then i remembered them all     
                                                               and was grateful 
     for nothing to do
     but stay home
     with you  

First published in Black Moon Magazine, Issue 3. copyright 2021. all rights reserved.

Pining for Home

Draped over water’s edge at dusk, branches needle
Poquito Bayou. A lonesome stand of Florida pines
faces a deciduous tree line dotted with civilization. 
A bridge span, cell tower, low-rise condos and homes
border the scene. A sunset’s sienna reflections ripple
as mellow waters fade to shadowed charcoal inshore. 

In loblolly shade, two legs dangle from exposed root.
Feet dip into the brackish border of land and water,
like bait on thick fishing line, to snag a lost memory. 
A splash of feet speak: we knew a time before 
the plunder. We never walked today’s agglomeration
of boat-docked, fenced-in, hefty waterfront homes.

The body remembers how we traced sandy trails 
to secret fishing holes and caught unearthly creatures. 
It remembers how we held a bat in knee-deep water,
hit a tennis ball into blue and bolted like barracuda
to imaginary bases. It remembers racing to the island,
lazing on the dock—before Opal washed them away.

The body remembers how dolphins evaded our chase
with out-of-reach breaches and leaps. It remembers
watching walls of wet weather wash in. It remembers
the smell of summer rain. The body remembers handfuls
of goopy, soft, scooped-up and tossed baby jellyfish 
and the fierce sting of grown ones nettled into flesh. 

The body remembers what left; how we moved away:
people, pines, an indigenous playground. In darkness,
legs lift from a root and feet shuffle in salted sand.
In the lonesome, in still waters, in the dusk of life—
memories reside. A soul ponders how pine roots run
so deep in sand, revels in the briny weight of rain.

Isn’t that the way from birth? We feel our way home.

First published in Heartwood Lit Mag copyright 2021. all rights reserved. This version edited in October 2023.

Now Fall

Fall is half over, but winter insisted.

Yesterday was arctic. Jagged clouds 
threw crisp blades across a blue-grey prospect. 
Polar winds crushed ice on my reluctant skin. 
Leaves peeled from trees, exposing 
a season of squirrel havens. 
But that was yesterday. Today….

Today was a lark. Wispy white puffs 
spread smiles across sky-blue shadows. 
Friendly winds melted my cold mood 
with solar wit. Robins rose in sun-kissed air 
as if warm days were forevermore.…

Tomorrow, who knows?  

Cold front, warm stationary—no matter.
Leaves will scatter, birds will sing … and I, 
rising from the other side of night, will wonder 
how a love that warms like a sunny day 
can turn and blow as bitter as winter wind. 

Is this a passing season? 

Maybe Spring will say.  

First published in Ink to Paper, Vol. 5. copyright 2020. all rights reserved.

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