The poem below, The Sage That Thyme Forgot, was the first of my poems to appear in an anthology, Collected Whispers, published in 2008 by the International Library of Poetry. The next eight poems (for a total of nine), like the first, all found their way into compilations published by Eber and Wein of Pennsylvania as a result of national poetry contests conducted by the publisher. The poem Four Months earned third place in 2013. I thought you, the viewer, would be interested in what I chose to submit over the years.
Other poems of mine will appear in this section as whimsy dictates, including more recent efforts. I'm always going to be interested in viewer response so let me hear from you
The Sage That Thyme Forgot
The herbs are doing well on the small patch
of earth’s cultivated floor we call a kitchen garden
close by our side door.
Upright oregano remains bold refusing to give way
to marjoram’s ground-hogging play.
Dark green and gracefully slender,
the chives hold their own in prominent display,
at once close, alive and tender.
The recently planted parsley, yet no bounding mister,
is of little threat as it struggles to keep up with cilantro,
its thriving kid sister.
When Ink is Made of Tears
when we sign our names,
the ink is made of tears.
the sympathy cards
against death’s demanding
and the heart-searing
It takes two to tango, to trip the fandango,
two lips to wrangle, to kiss and tangle,
and hips, two pairs, to jostle and bango
to the tinkly ankle bells’ jingle and jangle,
the vase of spent-bent tulips, the six red
lips of each, unfurling, breaking free,
dropping languidly, their soft descent
a counterpoint to the dancers’ feverish,
staccato moves, the slow unveiling just
enough for the pair at dance to glance,
Slick Chrome seats, vinyl cushioned in black,
line the airport’s waiting room at Gate B,
the black and gray carpet and wide space
between rows inviting momentary rest
from the anxious hustle of passengers
trailing wheeled luggage
to and from their flights.
How surprising to see,
at the end of one chrome row,
a solitary wooden rocker, painted red
with slatted seat,
facing the large, floor-to-ceiling window,
as if watching the busy tarmac below.
Four Months Now
Four months now.
The nights are thick with absence, dense with truancy,
every now and then a break,
blurred vision dried, driven by nature’s call,
she’s sitting in her familiar chair
sharing a laugh and then as quickly
the empty fog pulling in after her,
the trailing silence crying for a sound, a voice
to soften reality’s harsh claim,
but the only voice he hears is the sound of tears
making their way down his cheeks
into his gray beard.
The pin oak stood tall and wide, its strong, thick arms extended
a little more each year, some of them on the south side
reaching for the widower’s house, intending, no doubt,
to tap its shoulder for next year’s spring dance.
Or so the old guy reflected, looking out the window from inside and thinking of his own dance of late, some steps
more difficult to learn than others, the samba and salsa
most of all, shaking him loose from the moorings of a long
and happy marriage, the quick-stepping jitterbug (east coast swing they called it now) of the widower’s younger years coming
On a beautiful fall morning, the words of Sunday’s
anthem leaped, live and full-born,
from the mouths of the small choir.
“Holy, holy, holy” the twelve voices sang, clear and
the harmony close and true,
lifting the worshipper to a huge, sparkling place
he’d never been before,
a vast upper region under high, lofty arches,
the music holding him there
in comfort, without fear, without thought,
until the anthem slowly subsided
and he was, once again, seated quietly in the pew,
Driving along Skagit City Road early on a sunny saturday
morning, the world was alive with late February gladness,
green plants in the fields had already broken the muddy
surface with their linear look, small gaggles of trumpeter
swans were digging their bills deep for food, crooking their
long necks, and waddling along, paying little attention
to the trumpeters leading the way. Red-tailed hawks
and white-headed eagles positioned on bare-limbed trees
above the road, kept track of the proceedings as fleets
of low-flying birds, dark and fast, swooped and swirled
Seldom does he, does anyone, have the chance
to move through their closing days in such lively, bright
company, to dance
in step to music that only a lifetime of dark and light
one shorn of lullabies to be sure, no hymns either
to offer thanksgiving or praise
in her early days,
only the daily, tuneless beat of survival
mixed now, in the last decade
with high-stepping, inspiring stuff, a revival
that puts her past on its heels
and lets her toes tap themselves
to a new, love-driven place.