This moment, coffee
in my cup,
cut melon
in my bowl,
cranberry scones, fresh-baked,
on my plate,
the morning sun still hidden
by green trees,
new-laid eggs
in a basket,
the first cucmbers
on the counter,
golden squash
heaped in a bucket.

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Streams on Dry Ground

Another hot day,

This is the day that the Lord hath made,

the kind that makes men drink too much

and women short-tempered,

where meals are cold sandwiches

and drinks are iced,

the dogs growl at each other

and find separate places in the shade to sleep.

The sun comes up white-hot

and too early.

Its rising is from one end of the heavens,

And its circuit to the other end of them; and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

It’s the kind of heat where cats watch

the chipmunk hurry from garden to stump

and make no move except their eyes

watch, calculate the distance,

the effort, the heat; decide

the chipmunk is not worth the trouble.

It’s the kind of day where chickens

huddle in the shade, mouths gapped open,


I mix blood meal, bone meal, ash

remember, Man that thou art dust

wipe sweat from my brow,

You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, 

spread the bucket of death’s leavings on my garden,

And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it,

look to the clouds for relief,

For I will pour out water on the thirsty land,and streams on the dry ground,

seek solace in the petals of the rose.

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Too hot to think, to write, to sleep,  to talk.

The dog sleeps under the porch ceiling fan,

the brown thrasher pants atop the apple tree;

too hot for the dogs to chase rabbits,

for the birds to chase bugs.

Just too hot.


Even the sun, white-hot in a brassy sky,

looks like molten wax.

I sip chill white wine with ice,

try to cool off in my summer sundress,

but I feel like a red-hot mama,



Just too hot to bother

doing much except

watch the sun sink slowly westward,

the ice melt in my glass,

this day drip second by second

into past tense.



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The Morning News


The whippoorwill is back, just outside my window at six a.m.,

telling me to get up, get out and listen.

I find my robe, socks, slippers, slide open the door,

sink onto the porch swing.

He’s right to call me from my sleep—

the air is full of music, the birds waking as the sun

slips pale light slowly down from the top of the tallest trees on the ridge,

down the side of the hill, across the hollow and finally to my front yard.

As light travels, so too does birdsong, louder and louder until

I am immersed, unable to sort one call from another.


Somewhere  above the clouds, a jet mumbles,

filled with travelers on the early flight to Chicago, perhaps, or Boston.

A car crunches gravel on the ridge, a neighbor

off to work this morning and I wonder,

did they stop beside their car, lunch box and keys in hand,

listen and regret the need

that drives them away each day?


A crow adds raucous bass notes, out of tune, like a man

who had too much to drink and is singing along anyway

although no one wants him in their chorus.

Deep in the hollow, the barn owl’s hoot echoes, eerie,

Bouncing from hill to hill, a reminder that in some places

Darkness holds its grasp.

Pink pales the sky with gentle strokes, deepening

to flamingo at the horizon; Sol will soon show his ruddy face,

predicting rain.

ombre clouds gather in the west, adding weight to his opinion

but the birds pay no attention;

they sing despite the warning

of weather soon to come.

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The Heretic’s Stash

When our bridges are burned, when our world is but ash

And we stand like statues in the noise of the crash,


Will we rebel, will we cry foul!? Will we lash

Out in fury, our screams a knife’s gash


That cuts to the quick, leaves wounds raw and fresh?

In a litter of nothing, a heretic’s stash


Will I rise up alone and alone raise my glass

To drink of the blood, the wine a pure wash?


Will I stumble out in wild frenzied dash,

Storm against evil, with dripping sword clash,


Call out to the enemy, “Here! Let me pass!”

And blindly then burn, and turn into the ash?


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Virgin-white blooms beseech light

Slender stems of blood

Suck sustenance from darkness

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On The Table

The jam pot from Japan,
a banana dish made in 1899,
a basket of red-handled flatware and cloth napkins,
salt and pepper shakers shaped like little ducks,
checkered pottery tray with two small syrup dispensers–
one for honey, one for maple syrup–
and a green glass vase of daffodils.
You picked them for me yesterday
when you thought the cold would kill them.
You carried them in,
cradled in your rough bricklayer’s hands,
chose the pretty vase,
put them on the table,
and turned to watch
the pleasure light my eyes.

with thanks to Virginia DeBolt for the prompt

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