Getting it Done

February’s last hurrah —
wind rattles through bare limbs.
Birds fluff their feathers
and sing a glad song.

Spring is on its way…
Mother Nature seems to be saying,
Stop labeling me!

There are no compartments
to contain me, not even
on calendar pages

In a monologue
without fences
she blows cold breath.
The meadow waits for April,

Bees wait for flowers,
Back streets bask in neon.
Fake mystics practice levitation
without success

and then there’s poets,
pen in hand they whistle
and write the sun.


Rooster of Renown



Handsome bird,
alarm clock that needs no winding
except for some corn and grain,
a plump hen for amoré
and maybe a bit of competition
to keep you sharp,

Your morning greeting is welcome
in my world, far less jarring
than the windup kind
even if it is a bit soon, especially
now,  when the sun is slow
to rise atop these hills.

I can tell by looking
that your manners are impeccable,
No pun intended, feathered friend.
You are quite the farmyard swain
with that fancy comb, jaunty
and alluring,

O noble bird,
protector of the flock, may you have
a long and happy reign over your harem
and when future holidays demand a dinner
that is fit for a king, may time and fate conspire
to make you too tough for the table.

The Trouble with Success

Sometimes you can’t trust anything,
They promised a sunny day
but the weatherman was wrong again.
Standing here, dodging raindrops
in late winter’s half-thawed field
on a farm partitioned off for profit,
we disagree on religion, politics, cuisine.

Still, I seek him out
at the family gathering –
more brother than cousin,
always bossing me –
but this is not the time for whining.

There is something honest
about flip flops and Bermuda shorts,
something that’s lost Monday through Friday
in a three piece suit. This field is up for sale.
Buy it, I urge, urgently, turn it into a farm again,
but even as I say it, it’s plain to see
he has forgotten the taste of rain.

The Clock

If you don’t want to hear it chime,  don’t pull its chain.  Smzang

It stands
has stood for years
in the corner of the parlor
the room updated now
to something less formal
a rumpus room, a den
call it what you will

the clock is there
standing as if that corner
were its birthright
imperial, impervious
and we fear it

the clock is not a god
it is not even a demon
though that
is harder to remember

tick, tock
is not a language
the mainspring
is not a brain
it is a mechanism

it needs no food
no vintage libation
some linseed oil will keep it
from cracking

an occasional pull
of its weighted chain
will keep it chiming
don’t mistake this constancy
for loyalty

nor its accuracy
for devotion — it is a product
of its making
it controls time
no more than a yardstick
controls distance

if the clock were gone
the corner would be empty
but time would not stop
still there are times
I’d like to hold its hands


There is instinct
and reason, and then
there is graffiti,

a combination of anger
and wisdom, the raisin
simmering in the sun.

He, who writes his last will
and testament on a wall
signs his own fate

and yet, it is incomplete
as if he didn’t run out of words,
just out of paint.