The Measure of a Minute

I borrow this moment,
not the mark on the face
of the clock, but the memory
of it. It has started and will end
and the next one will begin,
but it is this one that I want.

The one where no thunder
is booming, no tv is on
to speak of the unending guns.
I can’t think of anything noteworthy
except that every minute is unique.
I choose to keep this one, this memory

because there will never be
another  like it.

February Rising

After three months without sun
(that’s how it seems)
a sky free of clouds
is a poem
that can only be written by itself.

A tablet sits on the sill
waiting, hopeful
that Sol will understand
how much damage winter can do
to a pen.

Ah, sweet noon,
The sky is a dome
that spills its gold on the page.
Even at a slant, with most of its heat
missing, the sun is a song.

Only God can make a tree *
and only the sun
can make a poem
that turns frozen ground
into a garden.


  • thank you, James Joyce

Continually New

Oh those brilliant days,
promised and soon here,
as soon as the polar vortex
has done its thing and gone.

How predictable the unpredictable;
the cold has chastised one and all.
Snow is on the way again, too soon
to hope it is the last one of the season.

January’s icy fingers have grown
gaunt and mean, even the gentlest breeze
is a sharp retort. Just seems there is
a lot of spleen to vent.

Take heart, my friend,
this winter is wicked, it’s true,
but the earth is turning its face toward spring
and the sun is continually new.

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will never grow outdated.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.

Hearth Fires

Gabled roof faded red to gray,
tiled moss curled
against a century of winds
whistling to get in..  Thyme
and vines compete to claim their space.
Trod bare from barn to kitchen door
the yard wears its foot print paths
like welcome mats.

My mother’s grandmother
once tended wood-fed fires
that warmed this hearth and hearts
for miles around. I take a faded apron down
from hand hewn wooden hook, begin again
to knead the dough, to bake the bread,
to tend the fires that light our lives
and make this house a home.