Friday, December 16, 2011

Season's Greeting

O Mannequin, o Mannequin,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Mut und Kraft zu jeder Zeit!
O Mannequin , o Mannequin ,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kitchen Porch Repairs

[Norma photo]

Replacing purlins, posts,
Where rot appears most,
One climbs onto a house's
Heart from here with tools
And tapes, embraced
Finally by weathered bones
Where the world chews.
One reviews foxing soffits,
Neglect and all distraction
From its purpose --
To protect, to protect
Where life goes.
It holds onto one until
The job is done.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Random Effect

After showering, I
Put on clean underpants
And found one of
Her socks inside them.
Chance, yes, a random
Effect of tumble-dry,
Yet, after forty-one
Years, it still
Makes me happy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Don't Look Up

[Norma photo]
It's not only signs
And portents; we
Need to know when
Something, even
Something remarkable,
Means nothing.
Recovery is not always
Restoring what one has been.
It is always discovery
Of what one can be.
Heavens may open,
Angels flock clouds and
Armageddon ring.
Leave me alone, I'm
Fixing something.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Genie's Curriculum

[NASA photo]
Incomplete training,
So we don't live in
A silver lamp, but
It's been a good
Weekend --friendly
Arms stirring
Gasses into stars.
It, unrolled in roaring
Night, includes us.
For this we
Need a lamp?

Monday, September 19, 2011


[Norma photo]
We are here--
avô, ông nội--
Sharing beer
Where you fall
Asleep on your
First birthday.
We stay in that
Place defined in
Twilight or dawn
Behind you as
Life goes on.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

M For Memory

[Daughter photo: our back porch]

Grampa's pistola, Alfred's
Watch --gold-- a
Folding brass rule
In a dimming past,
A netting shuttle I
Saw whittled out of
Shingle under shady
Trees sees me, and
There's sissors stabbed
Into Portuguese cork
And a box of pins,
This is how settlement
Begins: someone
Builds a shadow,
A shadowbox, and under
Glass each soul looks
Out, out of the past.
Only in reflection do
They see outlines
Of things to be --
Like us, like
You and me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Re: Russia claims US interconti​nental military tunnel complex hit by series of secret nuclear explosions

I have listened to
The strange noises
Recorded in this report
And they are the same
Sound my bathroom makes
Late at night because
There is a moose in it.
It is a very friendly
Moose but still, I'm
Beginning to regret
I ever let it in.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Impossible inventing
The possible resists
Translation --new,
Inchoate, stunned.
Can we create in all
This sanitation?
What's to be done--
Regal diadem or muzzle?
We have problems
To puzzle out.
I have some faith
In authority but much
More faith in doubt.
Cavewall icons, scrawled
In hunger, sufficed
When we were younger,
But we age; this
Is a larger cage.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The King's Mansion

[Daughter photo: Tell Noitce?]

Uncertain, caught
In a murky curtain,
Consuming its own
Remoteness, a
Process by which
Probability changes.
Temporal inversion,
Once occurred,
Never happened.
Another blessing in
Disguise: kings 'til
Proven otherwise.

Friday, July 29, 2011

No Doubt

[Norma photo, 41st anniversary, March '11]

Questions que je me
pose ne représentent
pas une stratégie sémantique.
Je suis vraiment ignorants.
Ici nous sommes
dans ce moment
C'est toujours
la réponse.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Breakers, Eons

Trough, crest,
Surf and sand,
Headland worn
By waves to stack
And arches, eons--
Storied orbit
Of the moon--
Subsides into
Tombolo, lagoon,
Eons and finally
Saline lake amid
Dunes where seas
Slipped away.
How long, How
Long it takes!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Atomic Storm In Parenthesis

[Daughter photo, Arena, Wis.]

Night seemed dazed.
A window rattled
Madly in wind
(Am I to be
Tossed into wild
Sky and end up
High above this valley,
Lost and crazed?
Do I dare rehearse
Such outrage in
My mind?
In reverse, much
Imagination seems
Unkind, dazed in
Night) and I am
At a loss to
Set it right.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shoeing A Chimp

[photo:Henry Smith Williams, 1910]

Quelle sorte de l'emploi
millions d'années

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


[Brian photo: House On The Rock, Wis.]

We are made of
Force fallen from
Stars, its course
Laid through darkness,
Swells, tunnels
Out to carousels.
We worked, played,
Remained hopeful--
Lenses trained across
Time, focused farther
And farther on--
That starlight lives,
Receives, gives
And thrives in
Cosmic dawn.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Aerodynamics Of Rapture

[Norma photo: same doves again, with mother]

Life is a moment
To moment proposition.
Even infant doves
Look lived-in by and by.
Rapture is, for me,
Deferred by imperfection,
But doves, doves
Can fly! I walk
In late spring heat.
Shoes, feeling rather
Full of feet, are
Left on lawn.
I have not gone,
Ascended, only forgotten.
Watch the doves,
And could you bring
My shoes in?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Losing Self-Evidence

[Norma Photo]

There is a geometry
To everything we see,
Which --if we solve for
Angles and drift--
Slides, shifts, dissolves,
Is lost to eucalyptus,
Roofs, orchards and
Sunny yellow fields
Before we wake in what
Our calculations yield.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Aerodynamics Of Mothers

[Norma photo:infant doves]

Red-tailed hawk cleaves
A cyclone of swallows,
Climbs, reading the
Ripples of her shadow.
Bushtits snap in thickets.
Mocker recites its
Catalogue of crows, cats,
Crickets, for all who need
Know and, below in ivy,
A gray dove sits
For her photograph.
Fear though, when the
Camera nears, sends her
Clear of the nest
To land nearby.
"Here am I," she
Says silently.
"Leave them, chase me."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Portable Parabolic

[Norma photo]

Not so much memory
Or destination or
Station stagnant
In a poem --what
Is home but finding
Our place in
The journey?
Moved among moving
Stars, a trajectory,
We become.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Il est bon de sortir
De ma propre
Langue, agenouillez à un
Perspective imparfaite
Grâce à un trou de serrure.
Dans sa minuscule laiton liés
Lumière je etude devenir
Un imbécile.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shower O Joyous Spring!

First raindrops
Spread upon pavement,
Meet, flow, swirl in
Gutters to gurgling grates
Where heat goes, trapped,
And something underneath
Waits as steam in
Darkened air
Revolves and glistens.
Something quite impossible,
Balled in fear,
Listens to what it
Can't understand in
A world it doesn't know,
Then sleeps.
With monsters it is
Always so: we form
Deep beneath the light,
Then grow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Scene From La Belle Dame Sans Merci Cafe

Je t'aime.
J'aime tout au sujet de vous,
Même votre rejet de moi.
Nous sommes parfaitement assortis.
Au revoir!
La femme inspecte la chaise,
Maintenant vide:
Serveur, un autre!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back Porch Wall

There is an outline,
An old sill, defined
Inside --which I
Ignore-- sealed under
Paint and plaster.
Some imagine old
Disaster deep behind
A disused door.
I don't bother
Any more, not at all.
Let children guess
What grand
Distress went on
Inside the wall.
Back porches change
Year to year,
Rearrange, crowd
And clear.
Doors shift by
necessity but children
Need a mystery.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's Visitor

[photo credit: Norma]

Through a black
Cat-shaped hole
In the universe
Disappear and
Distant lights

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Planetary Fouette

[photo credit: Daughter]

What we gain at
Sunset, and
Daybreak forget
Again --our
Shadow cast over
The curve of
Earth-- there
We perfect, in
Night when shadow
Is everywhere,
Our daily birth,
Our own light.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No Mystery

I did not
Make the rain!
No sneering dowager.
No randy gardener.
No butler who
Never did it.
No old diseased
Colonel creeping
Round in the sun.
No mystery:
A leak and
Caulking gun
Suspended between
Heaven and earth.
No mystery,
Only me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Convective Refraction

Where voices of stars
Catch on water,
Ripples spread and,
Depending on
What is said,
Collide or replay
Yet always go
Quietly away.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Government is within,
So is church.
No need to join
Under thunderheads
One builds in --
Something special.
This is what one is.
It is also what two
Is, and keep your
Heads protected.
Brains are trying
To live in there.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Triple Word Score

Space between
Galaxies and space
Between neurons
Is the same space.
An idea addressed
Among cells is
Heard also
Among stars.
The reverse
Is true too.
I believe that
Is you.