The Wind Keeps its Secrets


His sable brush gave birth to a blue
so blue it was almost bruised,
and there an iv’ry, there a white,
He saw with just one ear but all his soul.

Come summer irises bloomed, Poplars
swayed and van Gogh captured the splendor,
He painted wind, turning
its force to vision, art’s epiphany.

His Poplars kept vigil through other
summers, the bearded irises reigned
regal in their plot. Who
knows the how or the why? It had  to be.

Spring breezes whisper ‘his torment’s end’,
Summer thunder booms ‘a childish prank’;
By whose hands was it done?
Some say that genius is always weak,

Some say he found his peace.

(van Gogh died on July 29, 1890/  It has always been assumed that he shot himself in the chest, wishing to end his life. However, his biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith argue that van Gogh did not commit suicide  but was shot accidentally by a boy he knew who had “a malfunctioning gun”. I read that a group of boys were heckling Van Gogh, as was their usual sport, and their intent was not to harm him but just to scare him.  It is claimed he exonerated them before his death, verifying that the gun had misfired.)

Going Home to a Quiet Town

Harbor mist circles the Methodist spire
as if seeking salvation,
then slowly drifts downward
lending a sheen to streets
cobbled in continuous mosaic.

Quiet meets the eye, the ear.
Time, passing without a sound,
weaves sentences out of silence.
Sea salt carries them out
with a kiss.

Meekly the paint curls
on white clapboards accepting
their fate. If this is punishment
for living too long, how gracefully
they age.

Hydrangeas soften the impact
of echoes. Memories merge
in the whispering breeze. Lore has it
that if you linger too long in this peace
you become one with the mist.

Light Seasoning

In the Spring
when flowers bloomed,
I gave no thought to seasons,
It was Spring,
I had no reason.

Then Summer
wore blazing sun,
days of light and days of fun,
but Summer
spent its passion.

Bless Autumn
with its pied ruse,
tangled vines, and vibrant hues,
O! Autumn,
I would stay with you

But Winter
came and claimed my
hand, lined my face, stole the sun,
O! Winter
cold, what have you done?

A Simple Formula

A =  w  X  h
The area of a rectangle
equals its width times its height.

My universe is as wide as my eyes can see
but twice as high.  It soars over mountains
and reaches upward to the heavens.

It stretches all the way to the oak tree that,
when viewed from a distance, seems to grow
across the road.

At the other side the width of my universe
is bounded by river.  It is a quiet biosphere,
peaceful and unhurried.

No one is hungry, tortured or enslaved.
War has never touched these shores
in my time.

Just for tonight
I will not read the paper.

A Private Conversation

                                                 (on any war torn street)

      in your absence, Peace,
we walk the streets
collecting loose scraps –

pieces that we hope
 will solve the puzzle,
some secret understanding
that will make it conceivable

to go on living…
some moment that will hasten
your slow homecoming.
Until you arrive,

we build on sand, our tears
a rising tide but these damned spots
don’t wash out.

Console me.
War is such an ache
and time is only an estimate.
The echo never ends.

For the poets who ply their pen for peace

Gentle poet, purveyor of peace,
what sorrows slip unnoticed
by crass crowds; what thirst
thrives unquenched within your soul?
What dreams lie quietly but
will not die? Your page is dressed
with tranquil metaphor, with grandeur
of the bards of old,
while I, mere mortal with a love of word
drink of your wine as warrior
takes to sword, like seedling set
where soon a flower grows,
or a single drop of dew
seeks out its rose.