Blackbird’s Patience

Time has not passed for me
in years or even seasons, moonrise
or sunset, river flood or ice-sharp howl
To wait as I have is only suspension
of wing-beat, heartsong—in my dreams
I walk the earth but my voice is gone

Wizard still strings his words in dullness
Crone sits staring, opens blue jar and sniffs
My girl will come back—To have her back!
But I’ve seen her across unbridged river
settled for what humans call love, forgetting
bright belief like autumn’s rotted leaves


It was only a step into the forest
to the river running fast and clear
and I knew that summer trick
of spinning strong rope
from paper and heart-strings
twirling it high and far
to snag lightning-split oak
where wizard-words swarmed
like bees, spilled like blackberries
to fill mouth, pockets, buckets

It was only a step from the forest
to where the crone sold heartsease
for desire, a mere bucketful of words
and a spinning strong rope

Winter Travel

So you are here, too, Orion

aiming straight

at the sky’s height

but drifting

on a winter’s night

full moon at your head

snow-gleam silent

mountains at your back

(the first stars I knew

and the mountains

I only imagined)

Day 2 prompt for NaPoWriMo is a poem about stars. I’ve been fiddling with this one since a New Year’s trip to the French Alps.


You wrote

me notes, folded

as precise as your mind

laced with wild whiffs of hope, mown grass

spring sun


(Youth claims

those joys looking

forward—oh, uncertain—

the lemonade kiss of maybes

to come)


You wrote

Te quiero and

I translated loosely

too late (nothing preserves love but)

these words


This is my attempt at 3 linked cinquains for the March poetry slam at yeah write. And hey, this is my 150th poem on this blog!

about grandpas, and

sometimes you see a face
and it reminds you
of another face
(you can’t quite place it)
and it bothers you, niggling
those misfiring synapses
of memory and just so I was
driving a German highway
and saw, in the back window
of the car in front of me
a row of hats
and it took me a minute
(but I had many minutes)
to discover it was my grandpa
who carried his hats like this
in the back window of a car
driving country Texas highways
and I saw him again
dark-haired, lanky, all
kindness to granddaughters
(letting us drive the golf cart
keeping Cokes in the garage)
and it wouldn’t be the first time
life had so surprised me
in the midst of ordinariness
with the beauty of crossed paths
connections passing

Number Three

Delivering laundry, I pause at the door

of your room, survey this soft stuff of life:

a week’s worth of clothes on the floor,

dresser candy-littered with hairbands,

loom bracelets, a jewelry stand.

Your shelves full with trip souvenirs,

cute animal books, silk-flower fairies

forlorn in fine dust. On your desk,

a sheet of paper covered in schoolgirl’s best

writing: lyrics of a boy-band song. Against the wall,

the fashion doll, wigless, in her Barbie-house bed;

her friends in a box (farewells left unsaid?).

I glance up at the skylight, festooned with scarves

and framed by December frost. I sigh for all

that is gained and lost in a year’s time.

You haven’t asked for toys this Christmas.


Inspired by Red Wolf Poems’ We Wordle 32. With the words fly, dust, song, puff, toy, frost, soft, fairies, lost, life, door, the poem pretty well wrote itself.