Beggars and Kings

We serve up words;
sometimes slow and bumbling,
they plod along
or quick and sharp
they fly,

Not ready to wait
they snap out as if  propelled
by an elastic band. Bouncing back
they return to be eaten
with an acrid taste of regret.

Sometimes a bird on wing
or a lover bent in quick kiss,
then off again.  A sword
turned ploughshare – a whisper
so soft we lean forward to catch it.

Some words wear magic
borne by the moon while we wait sleepless
in a metaphor of dream, and then
there are those that are hurled like stones,
a wonder the walls don’t crack.

We serve up words
and in turn devour them,
Beggars waiting
for meal or morsel, sated
we are monarchs.


A Taste of Honey

(with thanks to Herb Alpert for the title)

The language of sweet clover,
of honeysuckle’s nectar,
the bloom of flowers
from the meadow,

Honey surpasses
this dull pen.
It is treasure stashed
in a labyrinth of cells,
Unlike the catacombs

honeycomb is a haven
lush with luxury,
a latticed bliss
of Nature’s gifts.

O! Honey, you are poetry.

Some Things Should Never Be Unlearned

…like how to be still
in a field of crimson clover
so chipmunks will seek the comfort
of your heartbeat, and honeybees
will gladly share a stem with no sting

or how to paint your lips ruby hued
with raspberries big as your thumb
while saving enough to fill the bucket
that takes the makings of a cobbler

When shadows visit earlier
each day, pray memory keeps
a fond recall of summer
even as pied leaves
begin their fall.

Before Sleep

There is much to do before sleep,
more than the miles to go
or the bucket list made just for fun.

There are flowers to tend,
oceans to swim
and projects to bring to fruition.

There are things that need remembering:
guitars and bonfires, full moons as yet unseen
and sunsets that steal the breath away.

There are seasons to attend, prayers
to amend, and truths to consider,
a blending of fact and dream.

A gentling at summer’s end when leaves
begin to fall. They must be raked you know
Before sleep.


Scrapes and bruises bandaged,
they sit waiting as the water rises.
Underground, the air grows thin;
eyes are clouded but joy resounds.
Eight boys brought to safety, leaving
four more and the coach. Soccer
never taught such faith.

Few things in history
have so united the world, bridging
politics, religion, race and all
the petty differences. We are
as one — waiting, hoping,
bound and bruised, kneeling
in shared prayer.