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I write poems occasionally. I'm an amateur at it.

Late March at Lost Lake

The frogs lured me to the bench to listen.

They're probably really small, but they sounded serious. And earnest.

And happy to have been released from suspended animation.

Do they perceive it as reincarnation? Another chance for Progress?

For just a hair's-breadth of a moment, I know I've lived as a male Bufflehead duck.

I feel the fierce urge to own my mate and drive off interlopers -- to the point of buffeting them with my wings in the sky.

Oh, the sky -- that was where the magic was. It was monochrome grey, but the crows made me cry.

That was a first.

First there were nine of them circling lazily, then I counted 15, then 21, then 30. Then more poured in, and they put on an impromptu thermal ballet.

It was elegant dance of the highest order. Some went clockwise, others counter-clockwise. Some swooped up, some down,

all floating without flapping, simply enjoying the

communal upliftment.




We wander the prairie in late August and early September

Soaking up the yellow; storing it away like squirrels.

It’s embodied – that radiant yellow, ready for slow release.

As needed over the long winter, a vibrating string or two make their way to the fore

For a sudden dollop of joy on a grumpy grey February day;

Or a warm rush around the heart when my

Sweetie comes in

Sweating from shoveling snow.


Young Scarlet Oak


She is yet young

Tall and thin, already bent over a bit

Still she strives for the heights.

When the time is just right,

When the sun is just right,

When those above her move aside and allow her light,

She is luminous and glows with red passion.


Hibernation’s End


That optimist, that survivor who has hunkered down all winter is

Attuned to the feel of the air today

And the look of the light

And the sound of the birds

And the movement afoot.


Throwing caution and common sense (and heat) to the wind

The optimist cranks the window down, wide open.


Breathing deeply, she drives, arriving at the office a bit disheveled.


Emerging from this mobile den, she is famished.


Of Chains and Broken Chains


Chicken carcasses slowly take over the freezer.

Ziplocs filled with ends of onions, carrot nubs and celery tops fall onto the floor

when I open the door.


We are well-fed and secure. The specter of hunger is not on the horizon.


My Yankee mother saved bones and bits, scraps and ends, transforming them into aromatic, mouth-watering sustenance.

She loved us with her alchemy.


Her mother, our Mimi, shook the milk bottle to mix the cream in before pouring.

My mother pinched the top shut and shook the milk carton.

I shake the plastic gallon of low-fat milk, occasionally registering that homogenization has rendered the action superfluous.


Is it muscle memory, persisting through generations?


Mimi fell and broke her hip after too much wine.

My mother fell and broke her nose; fell and cracked her ribs; fell and blackened an eye; after too much wine.


They were petite, poised women of degrees.

Me, I don’t fall from alcohol.

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