Can't Put the Pen Down

just as if I was in my write mind…

Wherein I Try to Piece My Life Together Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Start with edges, straight lines of reason
terminating in sharp, 90 degree corners.
But there are too many corners, the edges blur,
and the scene shifts from white clouds on pale blue to stars on velvet indigo.

Pieces of life can be treacherous.
They do not interlock securely.
Knobs wear down, pockets grow holes,
and the shiny, thin veneer lifts at the edges, exposes the dull grey beneath.

The original box is long gone and with it the picture
of what  this life should look like.
Only fragmentary hints of overlapping true colours, larger truths,
and persistent trial and error will ever get this thing finished.

And what then?  A window? A mirror?
A slowing fading postcard crying “Wish you were here” ?
I think I shall spend less time straining to find the big picture,
and more time enjoying the  potential of the little pieces.

Poem for Moonlit Night

The moon shone bright
in the middle of the night,
rolling ‘round a starry sky,
brushing her hand
‘cross a snowy, sleeping land
she heaved a jaded sigh.

“There’s no one
to play with and have fun
since the water froze below.
And the only sparks
I can kindle in the dark
are the pale ones on the snow.”

Then peering ‘round
a window ledge she found
a dark cascade of prisms.
A beam she cast
sparked a rainbow, and she laughed
as the colours gleamed and glistened.

She played all night
with the prisms and the light
and she never once suspected
that a wakeful eye
was a witness to the sight
and bathed in the light reflected.

The Awakening

It begins with a brief awakening;
an unguarded moment when the scales slip sideways
and the light reaches into your soul.
The glint from a glimpse of possible paths is in your eyes
and in blindness you can see
that no matter how tightly the scales slide back into place
you will never be complete until you shed them forever.

My Headache is a Madman

My headache is a madman tidying up my brain,

insanely sweeping up random thoughts and ideas with a snow shovel,

the one with the sharp, pitted edge.

He tosses them into a shredder

that growls and whines them into crosscut confetti and then

he tosses them into the air where they vie for importance,

first one image, then the next; manic flash cards daring me

to understand their origins and meanings.

The madman is dusting now, poking at cobwebs with a cactus branch.

Scaring the spiders that weave my thoughts, chasing them,

stomping rhythmically until all but one is left

who spins out an SOS, a thought of taking a pill or two or three.

I rise, shake out the extra strength, rinse them down

my throat with water, and wait for the blessings to rise,

the confetti to settle, the spiders to come out of hiding.

The madman is dead.



* Is there anything quite so lonely as waking up in the middle of the night with a raging headache? Well, happy to say I finally got rid of it. Then I thought – may as well make the best of it and at least get a poem out of the experience. To everyone out there with a headache right now – take a pill! This too shall pass…

The Scathing Nausic Lingle – the complete version

I’ve posted parts of this poem before, but finally decided I should finish it.

With extreme apologies to Lewis Carroll – I give you the completed poem of the scathing nausic lingle.


Punce a time whilst scambling
along a wendling way,
warbling nausic lingles
To parse the rhyme of day

I slivvied in a squishel
emprattling my pride
while splatlets on my nattiness
bumbled up my stride.

My peekers angled sighways
“Who bungled me?” I bay.
“Who skid this risky squishel
along my wendling way?”

T’was sillig for a second
then a brachy voice interth
“Your nausic lingles scathe me
gerroff and wendle firth.”

“Who peaches me” I gargle
“Who pratts my nausic lingles?”
but never nother slight is slewn
Twixt bramblers and bingles.

I finched the bramblers all aside,
for days I piltched the bingles
to cassigate the brachy voice
that peached my nausic lingles

“I’ll show him scathing” I decarte
“I’ll nimby up his yard”
“No scarcher slyths my warbling
and sconders very far.”

And gleering down I peer it
a simble squelchy splucker
splatted from the paddy paws
of a squelchy squishel hucker

“Come firth, you bonk” I gargled
“Come, peach me in the jowl.”
But all that driffs the sillig
is a far to farther growl.

I girt my sissels joculent
I wendle on my way
“I’ll find you, hucker mucker,
If it takes all bastic day!”

That was many gleams ago
And now my paddies ache
with every ratched bumble
they wendlingly make.

Forjesting all my prosted tarsks
I’ve spent my days bemooned
glimpsing for the mucker till,
Unsquiffed and  all untuned,

I cast upon the grasting sand
and tumbly to my nees
I keen the glint of splishy warbs
and of a subley see

That since I took to wendling
abarft brambler and bingle
I’d not worbled one slight note
Of my lubbly nausic lingle.

The hucker mucker long was gone
And I was daft and loneing
And lost my lingle to empty pratts
And pridding self bemoaning.

But the Hucker Mucker far ablout
Had scathings of his own
For the nausic lingle lingers now
Inside his ratching dome

Wormed in his unconsequents
It scathes him every day
And leaves him parching greevly
Mungst the squishels long the way.


Squirrel – a haiku

Insane squeaky toy

Ceaseless spasms on my roof

For God’s sake, Shut UP!



Yellow Clouds

The clouds have a yellow cast today,
smoke ridden and heavy
with ominous shade.
Pervasive, cloying,
reminding all who breathe
how precious the air,
how fragile our tenuous grip
on “the way things are”.
Like the day when everything seemed more real,
like the dream where you ran with legs of stone,
the yellow clouds remember the fire
and speak to us of the now.



(forest fire season)

Sweet Clover Year

“It’s a sweet clover year” he said
and I thought of you again
in that other sweet clover year when you came to visit.
My best friend thirty years and three thousand miles ago.
A smile, a hug, and the years dropped away
and we walked by the creek looking for fossils.

The sweet clover was in bloom
and you stroked the mustard yellow blossoms,
collected some to dry,
said they were good for something or other,
some sort of homeopathic remedy.
And then you were gone.

And the years flowed by
but the sweet clover never seemed to bloom so profusely.
Never sent its scent into my open window.
I called, sent a letter, but somehow
I lost you again.

Then one day I typed your name into a search engine
and there you were,
smiling from your obituary page.
Seems you died of cancer not long after our visit.
Did you know?
I think you did.
Thank you for the moments you shared.
It’s a sweet clover year again
and I think of you.

If a Tree Falls Down

If a tree falls down
and it hits the ground
does it make a sound
when I’m not around?

The woods are filled with many trees
young and supple  gnarled and old.
Their leaves all rustle in the breeze
even if I stay at home.

If a tree falls down
and it hits the ground
does it make a sound
when I’m not around?

And when the snow lies all around
winter winds make branches moan.
They crack with a most alarming sound
even if I stay at home.

If a tree falls down
and it hits the ground
does it make a sound
when I’m not around?

I know that trees still make a noise,
caring not who’s there to hear.
Though I may not have heard their voice
I’m not the only one with ears

If a tree falls down
and it hits the ground
does it make a sound
when I’m not around?

The bugs in the loam,
the coyotes that roam
all told me so
and they ought to know.




It’s Green Again

It’s green again
and the grey thicket springs to life.
Tall spear shafts that rattled to Winter’s keening
festoon themselves with garlands of green
as they quiver and applaud Spring’s every whisper.

It’s green again
and the parched hard ground thaws.
Icy paving that Winter licked and polished
melts to mould that slakes its thirst with dying snow,
and woos Spring with a flower for every tear shed.

It’s green again
and the longing heart beats faster.
Dark days of Winter’s bullying and blustering
recede into green shivers and the scent of leaf mould,
drown in the sigh of Spring’s embrace.

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