Just Below the Surface

The earth is still brown, the ground dull and bleak.
Leaves of brittle rust, crumpled and curled in upon themselves.
Evergreen needles even a muted hue.

But the air is different.
A hawk cries out as it soars above the seemingly dormant trees.
The deer move, the squirrels feed.

The snow looks sad in its blankets now softened around the edges.



Piles of sand seal the seams of the roads.

Nature’s energy vibrates just below the surface.
All of creation holds its breath.
Breathe deep and release it.

In my Resting, In my Rising

I chase down cures in my dreams,
seeking the open office door,
the present practicioner,
but they’re never there, never open.

Test after trial, trial after tribulation
No solution in sight.
Tablet, pill, capsule.
Needle, scale, survey.

No magic bullet.

There are symptoms, there are diagnoses,
but no cure.
No point of origin to return to and restart.

I want someone to fill this hollow inside –
but the only cure is in there as well.
It lies at the core of me,
but I am so very tired . . .
and cannot wake from this nightmare.

Driving in the rain

Drops of rain accumulate on the windshield
A beautiful bubbled constellation
Slowly covering the world in a mist
Obscuring even the fog outside
Yet letting in the light
A shimmering shield
The refreshing whoosh of air overhead.

Spring Thaw

How satisfying to see a path carved into ice
by a tiny stream of water


Jennifer Butler Basile

A tunnel with curved sides,
etched in glass
so solid, yet ephemeral

A rivulet running through the sandy shoal of a street

Sheets cascading around and about our feet

Miniature ice floes to our giant selves
Undermined and fragile at the edges
if dense and sturdy at the center

Inert AM

A pair of disapproving elderly librarians
judging my three-time renewal of books

But I got special permission from the head librarian

A fleece-clad stranger cuddled in,
stealing blankets and real estate

But she’s asleep, so we’re asleep

The intermittent voices of a tin-can radio man
interrupted by the ever-increasing beeps of the alarm clock

Up and at the absurd


As I Once

In the parking lot of a Burger King on the Canadian border

On the bluestone terrace of a bed and breakfast in Vermont

By the cobwebbed window of a general store in the Redwoods

A quiet side street, a rushing river, an elegant table for two:
These are the places I go without going anywhere.

The places I’ve been in past lives,

The places I’d go if unencumbered

by lack of freedom and finances,

responsibility and restrictive routines.

But one blip on the timeline,
they come back to me

as I once went to them.

Dark Matter

Where does a backpack go
confined inside four walls?
Does it sprout legs
and walk off?
Will the underlord of the couch
reveal his hostage?

Where can a blank book hide
from prying eyes?
Filled with private words,
its thick cover is not enough
to disguise it from vengeful fingers and pens.

An errant sock, a puzzle piece, a lego gone astray –
inanimate things seem to take on a life of their own
when children roam the home.

image by Terry Broder

image by Terry Border

In the Time it Takes the Kettle to Sing

I want to knit
I want to write
I want to teach
I want to paint
I want to clean, throw out, dismantle
I want to build, create, assemble
I want to sleep
I want to go out
I want to feel beautiful
I want to wallow in warm, cozy sweatpants

I want
to have the mental energy to do


The days are chock full
but I’m not doing anything.

The pages of the calendar fly by
and yet I’m still waiting.

I’m floating, dragging
running, sleepwalking

There is gratitude

I’ve only to reach out my hand and touch it

But I’m paralyzed.

Sing Low

Though my preschooler isn’t here,
I’m tempted to sing nursery rhymes.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

But even if the sun blared bright through my windows,
I would be low.



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