Monday, December 9, 2013


Just past the Daphne Lodge 
an armadillo half crossed and then 
stopped in the middle of the road.
Good timing was not his forte.

Things might have gone differently 
if he had not so proudly stood, 
and squinted back our way. 
Of course he could have just been 
as his mother always said, 
"too tall for his own good".

Most likely he'll be missed 
and then toasted to, I'm sad to say, 
at his family's sullen reunion.
I can imagine the softly spoken eulogy 
and the nodding armadillo heads,
a throng of small armored claws
holding their tiny glasses high
for a second or two that day.

I had steered to straddle him with
perfection but it was not to be.
If only he'd read the Dodge emblem 
upon our van and quickly tried to do so,
our meeting could have been more brief
and not ended so bumpily.

Small Sky


Surrounded by a small deep-blue sky 

at the bottom of the well

there is a boy that looks back at me.

He lives down there in the deep coolness 

framed in darkened moss,

a small swimming frog wrinkles his face.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Roll the dice

Before dashing to 

grab the newspaper

I sized things up

and would have bet 

it hadn't rained last night.

My wet socks laugh

and tell me otherwise.

Luckily the wager was

they would return still dry

- craps again.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Un-safety Pin

Being a paper clip, not unlike others of my kind,
life started for me in a box. Not always seen as 
the brightest, I tended to drift. Eventually 
I cleaved to the familiar and hung around 
in plastic cubes only to be over-looked 
or used and then carelessly tossed 
aside. One day, I spied, hidden 
in amongst our brood, what
I imagined was the love 
child of an ill-fated   
tryst with perhaps 
scorpion. Such
a poor, tense 
and angry

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hot Mess

The warm garden-hose water smacks 
of vinyl and barely cuts my thirst. 
On my cupped drinking hand I can smell 
the lemony velvet of August tomato vines. 
I think it's been summer forever.

A pair of grasshoppers launch themselves buzzing 
through the air, thirsty for the gathering 
thunderstorm. The rain will stifle this Texas 
heat for a minute or two, then turn and curse 
us all with a tidal wave of humidity.

Flashed concussions release the gush of rain 
that ends in the drip-dripping pause of stillness;
my slowing heartbeat relives the show. Black
clouds blow on past and pull the heavy air 
back over us, the sun now hotter than before-

My eyes and ears rest while streets full of guttered 
torrents drain away, but not their smell. 
That flinty wet concrete air wafts up rising 
like the smoke of burnt gunpowder draped above 
a lovers' quarrel gone terribly wrong.

Thunder and lightning? They just don't pay off 
the way you'd think. It's sweat, not rain, darkening 
the salty stains on your hat. That pair loves 
to mark you with a wet streak down your shirt
and then bet you'll be back for more.

Fans? They don't do much but stir this 
hot mess around.

Conjuring Mom

After peeling the hardboiled egg,
I cradle it in the palm of my hand,
and cut 3 thick slices from top to bottom 
then turn it and cut the slices twice more.
I finish with those 9 white towers of
egg white waving hello to me.

As I finish dicing them, I remember 

the knife always beckons Mom
to come watch me perform this ritual.

Its call is beyond my ear

but far away she looks up 
from reading her book and smiles. 
I carry her in my heart and my hands
and the strings I pluck are hers.