The Oblivion of a Blizzard

We take the risk of being overwhelmed
to step one boot into the pristine squall.
Illusions, spells, fantasies; a million
shattered blisses can’t prepare us for the loss
of equilibrium when the swell of blizzard
wraps around us.

One dies many deaths when drowning answerless
in a drift that misdirects the feet. Fragments
of debris, the only proof of our existence.
Such is our meager  monument,
a tiny blip on the timeline
of to be.

Neither fog nor smoke — the clouded mind
nor the clever tongue — can find the truth
or hide it
when the wind is at the door
and the blizzard is building.  The skyline,
ever changing, fades like history rewritten.

Slants of the Slanting Snow

December frost bows to January’s ice,
the gentle chill now swallowed by a wind
with whistle turned to roar.  Blue skies
have grown cynical.
This valley world has morphed
to manacled prisoner;
some wry alchemy has brutalized the air.
Bone crunching cold knows no mercy.

Ballet Blanc moves to a different drum.
Soft landing turns to slam dance and yet
the choreography still astounds.
Cold darkness
holds a new glow. The child inside awakens
with delight. Thoughts of back break shoveling
disappear as heart assumes control of the cranial.
It is time to make a snow angel.

A Hunger for Music and Light

“Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon, 
The maker’s rage to order words of the sea, 
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred, 
And of ourselves and of our origins, 
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.” 
Wallace Stevens in Idea of Order


Ramon Fernandez crept into my dreams,
a go between for the city and the sea.
I looked to him to explain the pull
from neon lights to moonlight
and back again, mindless
like moth to flame
or surf to sand.

Stevens knew him
as he knew the sea,
knew it was the voice we heard
beyond reason and understanding,
into believing,
Ramon Fernandez
how could you be mere phantom?

Out of the chaotic philosophy
of man, you found a door
that lets us in to the wind and the sea,
yet keeps us from it, a motherhood
of memory and music, a metaphoric union
between heaven and earth, poem and poet
in ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds…

Pale Ramon,
as we stand on the banks of the Atlantic,
we are one with the sea, yet separate.
The blinding light and the fear of drowning
cause the meek to settle for searching,
and thus this hunger
that sustains us.


“in ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds…Pale Ramon,*
quoted from Idea of Order by Wallace Stevens

Generation Gap

She claims a yard of sunset
for her skirt, a gallon of ocean
pale in the morning light
for her ruffled shirt
and there, dangling at her throat,
the moon hangs on a string
glad for its station.

A swarm of stars sparkles
in her hair, a drop of dew glistens
at each ear.  When she opens up
her mouth to sing, we learn
a nightingale is living there,
but in her eye a hint of tear
because time just moves too slow
for one with things to do, places to go.

From my eye a splash of tear
for how time flies and where.
I want her first white shoes
to fit again.  Turn back time
to those days when life
was one big lollipop poem.
Bring back the goldfish
from that final flush.

Put the training wheels
back on her bike,
Take the clock in hand.
slow it down
slow it down

People Do ~ for Langston Hughes*

dreams don’t dry up
people do
and yes, raisins too.
(grapes left too long in the sun
are often known to come undone)

if dreams are not realized
it doesn’t mean they have to die
or stink and ooze
like bunions
and old boils

as we walk that going road
deferred dreams
do not explode,
but sometimes
people do

and those that don’t
though much abused,
does that not speak
that they are gentle,
mild and meek?

The Bible’s holy word:
(it is not new
so I’m sure you’ve heard)
the meek
will inherit the earth

*after reading “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes


Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 5 reads: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Definition of the word meek: … Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.

Back to the Wall

Winter is never inconsequential.
Even a light snow has its beauty
and its cold.  God forbid
we get caught in a blizzard.

Weary travelers stranded —
vacant faces bare as the fields
except for traces of desperation.
No choice is the only freedom.

This separation from civilization
enforced by the limited lifetime
of an overused cell phone
and a flashlight growing dim.

It is January; this is more
than just a bad dream.
Picture yourself in the midst
of the storm.

Here, at the edge
of the snow covered road,
come face to face
with the man in the mirror.


Grandma’s Lullabies

Some say  her old rocker
had an aura, a sort of halo.
Others know it was the many coats
of lacquer rubbed to mirror finish
by my grandfather
that gave the chair its light.

Lullabies rose up
from somewhere deep inside her;
perfume of new spring lilacs
drifted through the window.
The passing of so many years
has not dulled my senses.

I know that room
like the back of my hand —
feel its pulse as my own.
The cabbage rose wall paper
will never grow outdated. It ages
as she did, gracefully into fade.