Goldfish and Sinusitis

Belly up
is not how it’s supposed to look,
is it?  Eyes glazed, sightless…
What will I tell her?

That nothing is permanent,
that life brings disappointments
even when a goldfish
is the object of affection?

Sparkles has lost his sheen.
Already those opalescent scales
have dulled pale and pasty;
even the special light bulb

cannot make it right.
I will not tell her, not yet.
Instead I make the rounds…
19 pet stores in a 30 mile radius;

surely one will have a double.
Yes!  Sparkles  lives  again.
After all, it is Spring,
a time for miracles
and sinusitis.

The Rose and the Wall

“The Rose that blooms along the wall is a miracle” Thích Nhất Hạnh


The wall is old and crumbling,
Soft loden moss holds it together
but the cracks grow larger,
Soon it will fall.


The season’s last snow
sprinkles white on the moss covered wall
that stands as it’s stood for a hundred years;
it does not rely on my faith to endure.


My face wears the traces
of many frowns, Self-centered
and drowning in sorrow,
I am blind to the sun on the wall.


Just six weeks since snow fell
in April, The earth is splashed
with the sparkle of June, The rose
that blooms along the wall is a miracle.


To Bryant’s Fountain

“…shall the veins that feed thy constant stream  be choked in middle earth, and flow no more forever, that the water-plants along thy channel perish, and the bird in vain alight to drink?”  (from The Fountain by William Cullen Bryant)

What feelings has a fountain stilled
by overgrowth of moss and twigs?
Your silenced waters trod to dust
by the endless marching years.

The twisting thicket pushes hard
against your stony face; leafy
lances penetrate your walls. Wrens
pass without a pause to rest.

What history lies sleeping, deep
within your heart…unreachable
through the thorns and tangled ivy?
What native brave slaked his thirst

with your elixir, ere it turned
red with conquered’s blood or stain
of  autumn rust? But you, storm splashed
soon washed crystal clear again.

For years wheat fields stood by your side
and children tossed their pennies in
to make a wish come true, ruddy cheeks
glistening with sun and youth.

Then, when the farmer’s time was done,
the sportsman hunted and wandered
through September’s noon, but even
hunters hang up their muskets.

The brave surrendered native land;
the child has grown into a man
and all the men have been called home.
Now you alone remain here.

We pass by and pause to wonder
what dreams hide in a fountain’s heart
when the water has departed
and the ancient tears have dried.

Welcoming the Equinox

Alight, sweet Spring and warm the stone cold fields,
Touch these barren limbs with your sable brush,
Set free the butterflies that winter sealed
in dark cocoons that wait your fevered blush.

Send greening vines to sweep up to the door
like guests kept waiting too long in the cold
of tides that ebbed while waiting for the shore,
direction bent and faith fast growing old.

Turn loose a lemon moon to light the sky
in brotherhood with the constellations.
Don’t timid come nor make your presence shy
but boldly paint the canvas of creation.

Once ice-bound voices sing their song again,
now tendered with the gentle touch of Spring.