when we fall asleep where do we go?

two legs swinging over the edge, water
and fish below.   no line, no hook.

maybe a boat will come.   we’ll fly past
the moon.   scatter some crumbs on cheese.

did we remember to bring the cat?

a calico of unusual residence.

do I dream of poems?   no, more likely
pie.   peach to make a wish.

cross the line.   yawn.   a second time.
write home to mom.   a figure of speech.

the cat is nibbling toes.   no new poem
yet.   I’m late.   and the world goes on.

sleep cares neither.   the world is fine.

wake to write another day.

directions to the beach

wait two billion years for the earth to cool.

wait more for the land to build up and then
relax again.

wait for unending rain.   filling a bathtub is easy.
filling an ocean takes some long intent.

wait for things to grind.
better tell grandma where you’re going today.
wait for the grocery to open.   we need some
bread, beef and cheese for sandwiches.

be sure the tank is filled with gasoline.
clean underwear?   better check.
aim west over the dark towering trees till
there, cultivated rows of artichoke blooms.

notice how the roadside dirt is changing to sand.

then distant lion’s roar morphs into gulls overhead.
we’re here.   there’s grandma in the waves.

Letter to a friend

on the occasion of change.

water falls, becomes a river, then the sky again.

that is the true nature of embrace.

of a Sufi poet a few hundred years ago,

          Unable to perceive the shape of You…
          I find You all around me.

          Your presence fills my eyes with Your love…

          It humbles my heart…
          For You are everywhere.

look into the face of everywhere,
realize that also means every when.

no lie, the light of a star continues
its far flight, visible to patient eyes,

patient hearts.

I have listened to you and hear your
language with her yet resides in present time.

honor that voice.

if life is a question gifted us
then the answer to pain is love.
read footnotes about this poem


the first tattered webs on the garden trees.

fast maple leaves.   ginko coming slow ahead.

snails awake with shallow sails.

intent wandering, bigger than a seed.

she sits beside me here.



I wonder what’s above the ceiling.

let me kiss the ceiling and find out what.

a bit awkward I know but love’s like that.

granted, ceiling is up there, me down here.
I’ll climb on the bed, reach higher on my toes.

there, kiss the ceiling mouth to mouth.

what’s above the ceiling?

kiss and become.

drawing circles, iii

a cat will inscribe a circle before laying down
making the space aligned with themselves.

spiders reveal desire in circles of dew.

the moon is a circle that does shadow plays.
the earth is many many circles.
the universe navigates by casting circles

into every intent.

a pie is a circle that is good to eat.
we love them slice by slice.
anger, hatred, these are circles too,
the far side of an arc moving back

to God awake.

water that falls then goes back to sky.
this is how we answer thirst.
looking eye to eye is a circle we recognize.
your lips your mouth, when we are met

are circles borne into better breath.

draw a circle, ii, what I did today

I did not draw a circle today.

coffee.   I went for coffee.   sat on a bench outdoors.
wasn’t cold but no clouds as usual.   bright early sun
in my face.   could only look at my feet.

went to buy some fish.   sashimi grade.   but that we
didn’t get.   some salmon, some crab & shrimp.

home.   checked my email a second time.   some poems,
some junk.   I am now two days stride behind.
although I never said I would.

didn’t draw a circle then either.   looked at my
two drafty folded poems.   riding in my jacket pocket
just ain’t helping much.

forgot to eat my pizza leftovers.

ate a toasted bagel, cream cheese melting in.

probably dozed off a little.   don’t remember.

scratched my head.   numerous times.

coffee a second time.   sat on the bench, again.
waved to a young boy with his mom.   look, she
said, he’s waving at you.   I replied.

hello to half dozen strangers, then discuss
education with a friend back indoors.

home, cook the salmon.   she did the asparagus.

eat.   find some chocolate.   else be distracted
more than I am.

those two poems aren’t going anywhere tonight.

how did I ever do this before!   a poem for each
April day?   this is how fish feel with a hook
in their mouths.

so here’s this instead.   anything counts.
don’t you agree?   leastwise no stress in
reading, huh!

ways I forget myself

the dirty dishes in my thoughts.

wearing the same shoes each day of the week.

when I don’t chew my words.

banging two rocks together.
thinking more would be better.

memory.   what?

drinking only half a cup.

allowing bare paper to congregate on my desk.

doors I only imagine open.
gloves I lost.

brittle morning air, no pen in hand.

lies.   any lies.

coloring skies when I don’t look.

thinking distance matters.
fingertips when they’re misplaced.

swallowing my breath.
thinking it don’t matter much.

shoes too small.
two feet, confused.

the third I don’t speak about.

standing at the bottom of a thought,
speechless beneath the waterfall.

I am afraid I am all the things I think
I am.   I think.

poem rules

the rules are what I say they are.   for my words, not for yours.

I remember the rules I do, and not the ones I don’t.

the rule that sits beneath everything else is what works is what works.
nothing else matters.

every word makes a difference.   not a rule, but it matters anyway.

punctuation counts.   it is a matter of breathing is why, and we all need to be doing that.   ie. periods, commas, spaces included, those I respect.   however, most capitalization just feels pretentious to me; not fair I know, but so it goes.

a break is something that produces a separation in the flow.   some breaks have intent and purpose to be.   some don’t, they just make things stop.   those are the breaks.

words have meaning.   sometimes we just make them up.   although, never from nothing, always from something.   maybe that don’t seem fair or proper, but really, we all began that way.   words too.

not a rule, but oft I prefer personalizing what normally isn’t.   not “the sky”, but “sky”.   it changes our regard, our relationships.   and for all we really know, perhaps it is more accurate!

free association is fair game, desirable even.   those are threads that go where we don’t see when we begin!

one should always allow room for magic to express itself.   writers and readers, both.      what if a poem was actually for real?

and here’s the secret of the universe.   poems came first, then words.
read footnotes about this poem

draw a circle, i

do it.   do it for real.   both beginning and end.   how does this act invoke both pleasure and surprise?   close your eyes.   repeat.   see how this arc is innate within the world, within your own hands.   notice left.   notice right.   notice looking-up and looking-down.   notice depth, that Renaissance curtain pulled apart.   learn the meaning of trust.

an apple is a circle examining its spirit.   an everlasting christening of circles inside.   as common, as true as the birthing of a sphere.   as every star.

every one.

how do you see filling the space inside the circle?   how about what you see outside of it?   where’d that come from?   above or below your thumb?

read a blank page.   where there is no ink, meanings remain, having been there all along.   read bright light.   you, you are the shadow, not the page.   read it to forget.   read it to remember.   now read another.

now.   breathe.   now.
learn the meaning, trust.
continue.   trust.