Fox Grape and Candlelight

Gulls are coming inland,
a sure sign a storm brews
on the bay.

We tie the vines tight
to the arbor and pray
for our neighbors.

Bay folk wear watermarks well,
Sandbags and faith
make a strong foundation.

Candlelight softens the dark.
I think of the grape Vitis labrusco,
‘Fox grape’

It slips out of its skin
with a squeeze,
its heart barely bruised.

Ecclesiastical approbation
at home on table or altar,
sweet on the lips.

Nature gives
and she takes . The wind
has begun to throw stones.


I was five hundred miles away from family and friends when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast in 2011. While waiting to hear they were okay (they were,) I wrote this poem.

 Fox grape is a sweet grape often used in altar wines as well as in table wines and grape jelly. The Vitis labrusco vine is the source of the Concord (a fox grape) which is the grape most commonly found in that area.

Echoes of Ripples and Waves

The wind did not sleep last night,
It blew the sun from the sky by five.
There’s something about moonlight
on snow that makes me remember
the sound of your song.
Shirts without collars were never your thing,
Concerts and fire escapes, fingers that bleed
ink for the cause,
Sometimes a tempest,
sometimes a breeze, you gathered no moss.
Silk thread and twine — Brother of Mariah,
Every star is a distant sun.
No secrets, no symbols, no dark corners,
the sky is an endless sea.
Funny the things that run through the mind
when night is rippled with wind.

Faith Is a Warm Sweater

Wind danced through the arbor,
Rumbles of thunder spoke of spring.
Even the snowflakes looked dazed
caught up in a frenetic fall from heaven —
ambiguous weather for the height of winter.
Shivers rippled sweaters
that were donned this morning
as if warm days would last forever,
and now, half-way through the afternoon
the sun smiles down, validating patience
and the predilection for angora.