Once again, many thanks to editor Corey Cook for publishing “Things I Keep From My Wife” in Red Eft Review. I am honored to be part of this fine journal.
You came to me in a dream,
as the dead sometimes do,
and my joy rushed out to meet you.
I remember how your brown eyes held me
while, finally have the chance,
I said what I needed to say.
I must have looked away,
given you just enough time
to leave me.
I knew that you had died again
and that the cost was fair.
Many thanks to editor Alisa Golden for publishing “A Christmas Poem” in the new issue of Star 82 Review.
“Star 82 Review is an independent art and literature, online and print magazine that highlights words and images in gemlike forms. Each issue features flash fiction, creative nonfiction, erasure texts, narrative art, postcard lit and poetic storytelling featuring subtle humor, humility and humanity, the strange and the familiar, and hope.”
Write a letter to your younger self,
they urge: It’s cathartic.
Be kind, be supportive,
guide her gently toward better choices.
Fat chance she’d listen.
Pearls of wisdom, cautionary tales–she heard them all.
And what, precisely, to offer?
Don’t settle? Don’t worry? Stay out of the sun?
I wouldn’t listen to me either.
If I took another tack,
told her she was strong
and worthy, capable of anything,
she’d only shrug and look away.
Not for a minute would she have imagined
a soft landing in her sixties,
four-bed/two bath, a steadfast spouse.
In any case, who am I to interfere–
she got me this far, didn’t she?
Better to leave her hurtling
into plight and fervor and folly
so that she can show up here
and astonish me.
“See?” she would have said.
Bonded to a boulder,
living on air and random rain,
a forty-year-old lichen
claims a thumbprint of space.
Centuries from now it will be
the size of a dinner plate,
will still be young
when the millennium turns–
not that age applies
to a thing designed to override death.
Maybe this doesn’t sound
like much of a life:
stuck on stone, nothing to do
but make more crust.
Or maybe it’s a thrill a minute,
living up to all that potential.
I would like to find out,
to lie on a sun-warmed rock
and give myself up,
to become with steady assurance
all I was ever meant to be.
Ospreys carrying dinner.
Fried shrimp picnics on the banks of a bayou.
Box turtles crossing the yard.
Tree frogs on the window pane.
Corn snakes in the squash.
The size of grasshoppers.
How tall my basil grows.
The end of summer.
And the Make America Green Again
bumper sticker I saw yesterday
on a car whose driver I’d pay to meet.
I wish to thank D. Ellis Phelps, editor of the new anthology Purifying Wind, “an anthology of poetry to honor the vulture, many species of which are declining or in danger. Book represents the work of forty-three poets from six countries, many of whom are prize winning and Pushcart nominees. Poems enter the realm of many subjects including wonder, desire, love, aging, memoir, death and birth, and the natural world, to name a few. ”
I am delighted to have my poem “The Natural Order” included in this inspiring collection. Here is a video of me reading the poem. You may watch others authors reading their work on the Purifying Wind page on Amazon.