To an Oak

Wind-shook, gnarled tree,
bastion of Earth’s slow breath
and Spring’s sap rising,
you are brave
and I, at best, am brief.
There are no such things
as small deaths. Dreams
die hard; wisdom
is a slow learning.
Having long since flown
the nest, I return at last
to embrace these roots.

Reaching for the Moon

Something inside me
wants to touch the moon,
to walk past the million stars
that guard entry from the earth.

I want to clear the shadows
that trail across its face and wake
renewed, before the flood, before
the tree. I want to float free

of everything, especially gravity;
I want to dance with a moonbeam.
Instead, I sit with my back to the wall
and dream.

Setting Dreams Afloat

So many years ago
we set paper boats afloat
without a care

We were unaware
how fragile they were
or how precious their cargo

Maybe we had an inkling
when you held the seashell
to my ear

and whispered softly
Listen to the sea
it will tell you its secrets

I pull the box down
from my closet shelf
lift the shell to my ear

and listen again
to the secrets
of the sea

I think the voice
is meant only for children
and dreamers

I hear it clearly

We cannot turn the tide…

leafy limbs emboss
a blue sky – August
keeps April’s promises

some things
like poems and old dreams
return to us in sunsets

tides, oblivious
to our whims, take direction
only from the moon

almost adept at walking upright
and using tools, we’ve been known
to stumble or bruise a thumb

wind tossed
we wander, sometimes
fingertips touch

 

Sunrise by the Sea

Where rolling surf laces the sand with foam
and emerald seas sit calm beneath dawn’s sky,
dolphins roam the range from shore to depths
spied only by the blest; or by the wise
who rise and shine with the morning sun.

Beyond the sidewalks, beyond the boardwalk,
far beyond the antlike industry of man,
When Nature talks waves crash, not markets,
The bombing here is done by gulls and terns;
they need no war to make them free.

Stay the hawking vendors from this temple,
a garden paradise fit for the likes of Eve or Guinevere,
Apples here don’t bear the bite of asp,
Where sun and shore share sanctity
the signs are of the seasons, not neon.
.
Rapt in the peace of the new horizon,
lulled by soft sonatas written in those holy times
when man and elements blend in harmony,
meager mortals
touch eternity.

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.