Forest Song

I’ve come to love the silence. (You will come

to love it too.) Slip into the forest, hush,

and listen, away from the brook’s mindless

chatter. The world is loud, your thoughts

are loud; your love, your pain, your dreams

are loud. Put them aside and listen. Come

deeper in, all moth-wings and moon-dark

and I shall not speak, but hold you. This tight-

strung thrumming below blood-beat (feel

it) is your food and clothing and shelter. Sink

and be still, feel this earth-skin turning

with arms of leaves to enfold you. Hush

and hear the spider-silk weaving

(listen to love it too).


5 pm, Tuscan-dreaming

I yawn like a cat in balcony sun

or like the old lady I resemble

with my scarf-swathed head,

gold-buttoned sweater

humming to myself

after rain

I think I am almost ready

to claim these years that gather

on my hands, streak like morning

clouds through my hair

after all

I’m taking tea on a tray

(with almonds), talking to roses

(because they know how to answer),

learning to appreciate low speed

and elegance, medieval church bells,

shawl-draped sunning as a genuine

pastime, perfection of a light breeze

down-mountain when the last page

is turned, the next book

beyond fetching

To My Father

By the wayside goes Tennyson’s Idylls—
the best of knights laid to rest
among constellations, comets, nebulae
and any splendor spared from sunset

My unpacking is eternal
Roman ruins, crumbled castles
Stonehenge, Starnbergersee

I used to think that too much poetry
caused my worship of starship captains

You, pipe-smoking Sherlock
were the silent-gunned cowboy
singing Simon and Garfunkel
reading books about dragons

Lifelong Texan, I dream you
in New England rain
Welsh hill-mist

My hero ageless in black socks
mowing grass, drinking tea
(sometimes whiskey)
pitching horseshoes

There is a heart to this–


I will avoid tints of sentimental;

if there is one thing we both hate

it is someone telling us how we should

feel. I will only say thanks

for allowing me to mother you

through trial

and error.


I will not say go forth and conquer,

but I will say continue and become

in every hue even when you don’t

believe any action or non-action

is of consequence.

It is: every shadow,

every glint.


Tree Dreams

The distant hills are age-old forested in greenish black-

birds singing wind blowing at all points and one baby

inconsolably crying a dozen shades of green in the garden

leaves reaching to the open song-filled sky roses blown

and fading (beauty, too, in fading) and the garden needs

no consolation

                                I dreamed I was a hundred-rooted plant

deep-spreading in earth magnificent sidewalk-breaking

strength like next-door cherry fruiting bright red and blood-

red under cloud-bowed sky sheltering the blackbirds shading

the inconsolable

Alternate Trains

A long look

down short

track or short

glance down

long track

looking longingly

for one train

out of town

curving sharp

around farmland

having tunneled

through hard hills…

The empty car

is better seat-

silence sun

slanting against

glass so you see

not only waving

grain in fields

(broad flat-

horizoned view)

but your own

reflection heavy-

eyed age-lined…

No. You want

the fast train

to the city

at night lights

dim beyond

drinks car

view starry


open like

a dream


in the rhythmic

bump of tracks

someone’s sleep-

deep breathing

and slowly



that sings

your future


Great Depression Love Story

Everything dust but his cool words

in the diner, that just-different drawl

that marked him as from not-around-here.

A tall drink of water, hair dark beneath hat

and if his frame was rail-lean yet the sinew

was tough and railroad work demanded

muscle. He talked to you (he loved to talk),

charm reinforced by the monotonous

backdrop: bleached-dry tumbleweed

ranchland, scraggled ranks of prickly pear.

Your courting not about picture shows,

fast cars, stolen touches; only coffee

and maybe pie, sweet talk and dreams

of a lush green future, anywhere else.


Inspired by this dVerse Poets Pub prompt, writing about family history.