Category Archives: Moments

Paper thin

In the small hours
I listen to the busy
comings and goings
of ambulances

swapping stories
from behind
the paper thin facade
of everyday


Cotswold Graveyard

Grey stones
under a grey Cotswold sky:

fading letters
summing up faded lives;

and the roofs
beyond the graveyard:

grey stone
under a grey Cotswold sky.


Grizzly bears and other surprises

The massive grizzly
is feeding placidly
on crimson huckleberries.
We click away.

The sudden hot stink
of putrid breath –
the crunch of jaws
on cranial bone –

unthinkable.
This is a family holiday;
The grizzly is still feeding;
we click away.


In the Still of the Night

I wake in the still of the night
and scribble a note in the dark.

I wake at dawn; in the half-light
puzzle over the hieroglyphs

whose meaning I cannot now
make out – and suddenly

catch a glimpse of my father’s life
at eighty-six,

half-waking
on his side of a half empty bed

to a semblance of light, a mockery
of consciousness,

lost in time, groping for things,
words, explanations,

anything to hold on to,
no matter how silly it sounds

to those who cannot understand
that figures on invoices

forever refuse
to add up, buttons on dishwashers

wander, and the phone
only connects you to strangers.


November Recipe

Take a pinch of autumn wood
a tablespoon of dew
an ounce of silver birchtree bark
a spiderweb or two.

Add the taste of morning mist
a crystal cloud of moss
the sodden smell of fallen leaves
one sadness, half a loss.

Blend with a rustling underfoot
a blackbird’s yellow bill
the browns of pinecones on the ground
the distant grey of hills.

Warm with that ray of sinking sun
stir with the twilight breeze –
and drink before the thrush’s song
fades from the winter trees.


Transcendence in the RV Park

In the cool
after-dawn quiet
outside the becalmed
450-hp, 10-cylinder, 30-foot behemoth
dwarfed by two thousand years of redwood tree

paring my fingernails feels an uplifting, almost
spiritual experience. You have to wonder
what’s wrong with us
humans – or
right.


Prague awakening

A blackbird binds the fragments of dreams
with the twine of his song;
a scattered archipelago of reality
emerges from the night:

clang of dawn deliveries; rumble
of dustmen’s carts on cobblestones;
the dragging steps of the Golem
after a night’s watch over his precarious city.