Der Urselbach

The forest path leads slantwise to the mill
through ancient pines thin-clinging to the hill,
and once a village throve here by the stream
that turned the wheel; thus for a time life teemed
with shouts and laughter, work and loves—now still.

Those lives long gone, what purpose did they fill?
Their words are lost, just tracings of their skills
remain. So life will pass for me, a dream
of forest path slow-winding past the mill

where water, just like time, unhindered spills.
Yet past its spilling, hear a distant trill
of bird, or dog-bark. See the sun’s late gleam
as beauty; worry less on how things seem
or what they mean. Another breath: distill
this forest path far-winding past the mill.


A rondeau for Yeah Write’s May poetry slam. 

French City Mystery (a fragment)

Colored by rain one morning
depending on sadness
sighing high houses in the mist
bridges piled on the river
(everything yellow
and falling


We’re here! NaPoWriMo Day 30, prompt is poems in translation. Many years since I studied (not learned) French, but I had fun with the two or three words I recognized in the early stanzas of Charles Baudelaire’s “Les Sept Vieillards.”


Like a mythic island
rising from the mist
for just one moment
on waking I saw
the stone high towers
of a castle, my tall window
framing that heart-familiar view
before mystic shapes resolved
into these quotidian
dawn-lit trees


Making this little poem claim to work hard for Day 24. NaPoWriMo prompt: mix and match high-flown and mundane language;  Poetic Asides prompt: lost and found.

Your present question marks

are going to succeed. A lover
of words will write a book; bread
today is better than cake tomorrow

Like dreams of rose petals or earth
to flying birds, an upward movement
counteracts fate and fortune will descend

You will witness a miracle. Someday
everything will make perfect sense;
your shoes will make you happy


Another found poem for NaPoWriMo Day 13, this one made of fortune cookie sayings found here

Poetry Terms

Sometimes the perfect word
drops in like annunciation, powerful
unplanned: this is called Speaking in Tongues

Sometimes the words flow unhindered
meandering like a river and with a river’s music
until a dropped pebble shows no ripple
recognizable: this is called Dream-write
(also called a Draft)

Usually the words are dug dry like rocks
from the ground, shallow or deep
the best ones mostly buried and bigger
than you think; they are absently dusted
and put in the bag, or rejected and tossed
or maybe turned over and over, scrutinized
for the one hidden vein of beauty:
and this is called A Good Day’s Work


Off-prompt, NaPoWriMo Day 10, for Jenifer.

The labyrinth is safe but endless

You think you stroll
a straightforward path
bits of thread-meaning only
someone has been before
(you) until at dead-center
end and broken
in the circle of dreams
the third fox appears

you begin to imagine
messages, force weary words

O Sly One, what problem
must I solve, task
perform to win
the prize, or
merely live?


Title from W. H. Auden’s poem “Casino.”


She will chain the moon, pull it out
of season. Ice-shadows splinter
with green-breath promise to end drought.
She will chain the moon, pull it out,
strip autumn’s flaming throne to flout
nature’s sleep, hushed healing winter.
She will chain the moon, pull it. Out
of season, ice-shadows splinter…

A painting-inspired triolet for Jane’s weekly challenge.