Garbage Day

Chicken bones amble in the garbage
Hope after Friday night.

Over due or under done
Protein for nobody.

Where does my neighbor’s garbage go when the wind blows?
In my yard.

Art, a rambling euphemism
Of originality.

Someone should have invented it by now.


Cicadas in July/8 Prompts

Dormant for years
Emerging to harmonize
Clicking, whirring, trilling
Through summer fragrance

Tree crickets congregating
For traditional tea
Hidden pests in the shallow
Of an oak tree


Dog-day harvest fly
Veiny winged pest prepares a
Buzz saw symphony




Rough Draft

Hidden in this desk
Hidden in the drawer of this desk
Hidden in Ulysses
Hidden in a folder,
because I was told to back up my “hidden”
Hidden in the cloud,
seemingly irretrievable, but that’s for another time

is a rough draft.

This draft will stay
In the desk
In the drawer
In Ulysses
In a folder
In the cloud

until I find the courage
hidden in me.



A narrow slate sidewalk
covered in pine needles
led to the side door of my grandmother’s house.

Old house, old neighborhood
wrapped in misshapen sidewalk heaved from frost
still with a few iron horse hitching posts.

There was a smell at the side door
pervasive, persistant, earthy
lingering wordless in the shade.

Purple lilacs in the spring
pale blue iris in June
English ivy up the house

Periwinkle, leaves so dark they looked black
grape vines for birds to pluck fruit in the fall
summer window box of red and white petunias

The smell was none of these
no lilacs or iris or petunias ever
smelled this old.

the month of the damned
in western New York.

I couldn’t stand it any longer
the unending gloom must have forced me to ask
what is that smell?

What is that smell under this tree that surely lost needles and cones far exceeding the rate it could replace them, next to the wrought iron fence, between the houses, in perpetual shade among all the old that I had the capacity to imagine.

My mother said


Soil/1 haiku

Boys play, tilling dark
Summer eyes hoping for stars
No matter the soil



Fledgling left the nest
Searching for greener grasses
Restless for rainbows

Summer shower
Wet umbrella
Fading rainbow



Kitchen/4 haiku

No grit, grime or grease
Organized and sanitized
Bugs invade the flour

Kitchen sink bubbles
Swirling, soapy dinner dreams
Cuts grease, soft on hands

Living alone brings
Dishes for eternity
Stacks of stale crackers

No mail dares loiter
Lists, coupons and recipes
Evaporate, too



First 7 Prompts/Atlanta Airport

Passengers scamper
Dash from T to B to D
Sail America
Pluck a ticket tethered by
Gravity and a tired quill


Poetry for Sparrows

Reading poetry
On a sunny afternoon
Over my shoulder
Sparrows, cute and curious
Admire Charles Simic’s words, too


1 haiku/1 tanka/illusion

Run before sunrise
No neighbors, no illusion
Cultivated calm

Farmer’s market prize
Get there early or they’re gone
Black and purple gifts
Seedy, juicy illusion
Summer will last forever