Lily tanka


sharp flat blades spring up
spreading across the garden
in still-cool breezes—
the arrogance of lilies
makes even us seem gentle

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For the Last Thirty Years

What have I to give you? Only this:
A word soft-forged in love from my own heart,
A long embrace at end of day, a kiss
That’s had our long love in it from the start.
A painted bowl, a song, a plate of food –
All these the best I know how to create –
Are they enough for showing love or should
I seek another means to compensate
You for your constancy, your loving heart
That shelters me from all distress, all fears,
The safety of your arms at end or start
Of every day, for thirty happy years?
But it’s your deep appreciation of
The little I can give that I best love.

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Singing Up the Sun

Crack this seed of day between your teeth
And roll the golden light across your tongue;
Taste as freshening breeze, now here beneath,
Blows colors from their birthplace in the sun.
Join the nondescript in lovely chorus
Whose dullest feathers house the brightest song,
Who every morning, singing light up for us,
Remind us joy is waiting all day long.
Hard business of the day that must be ours
Will soon eclipse the softness of the night,
So taste dawn’s freshness now before the hours
Dilute the shimmer of this morning’s light,
And, with the birds, sing morning into day;
Then filled with all they gave you, go your way.

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Fallow Ground

With mind now fallow as the frozen soil,
I look for solitude’s own recompense
As breathing matches breezes, human foil
To Nature as her seasons are to sense.
Ideas rot from too extended waiting
As fast as seeds in frigid soil do;
Blank pages mirror minds anticipating
Imagination’s warmth and Summer’s, too.
Absence of words and images’ returning
Extending into long-delaying Spring
Leaves only hope perennial concerning
Fresh growth of song, stem, fruit— every good thing.
So may this singer’s history and song
Grow once again as late Spring sings along.

Posted in Gardening, Patience, Poetry, Songs, Sonnet, Spring, Uncategorized, Winter | Leave a comment


An open mirror to the sky
her sudden scudding clouds—
A lake rippled by gusts
of breathless fascination—
I am all surface:
depths of old days
foundations for wavelets
expressing breezes
exhaled by a loving Earth.

Spring has wandered
into another time.
We wait, scarcely breathing.
Even the daffodils
small carvings from greenwood.

Winter’s the time for meditation,
but Earth’s wisdom this year
makes space for more—
a platform for careful connecting
of mind and heart.
Attacked by greed,
by worshippers of the golden god,
Earth still spreads out her heart,
wraps us all in promised Beauty,
in gold of daffodils,
in sure visions of bounties to come.

She is strong.
Ignorance will not destroy her.
She will continue
without us if necessary
but full of hot Life
and Beauty unperceived.

Posted in Free verse, joy, Meditation, Patience, Philosophy, Poetry, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized, Winter | Leave a comment

Sonnet for Muddy Spring

The waking season stretches tentative
Green fingers to the sun from seas of mud,
While finches shed their greys and browns to give
The coming gold its place, and tulips bud.
I moved a heavy pot to keep away
Our labrador’s wide feet from being filled
With mud, unwelcome in the house, to stay
Him from his common path until
Thin grasses thicken. But as I disturbed
The mud’s top layer with the pot I slid,
One iridescent earthworm was disturbed,
The first of all that icy winter hid.
Now once again the mud and rot give birth
To all the beauties of this Life and Earth.

Posted in Birds and Other Joys, Dogs, Dogs, Birds and Other Joys, Gardening, Gardening, Usually Organic, joy, Poetry, Sonnet, Spring, Uncategorized, Winter | Leave a comment

Sonnet for the Journey South

French fields this Spring in shades of green and brown
Flash past, beginning Life now Winter’s flown
As windmills gather power from the sun,
New morning now in valley towns begun.
The city was exhausting-fast and filled;
This emptiness, even the still-brown field,
Gives heart some space and mind some room to move
Away from strangers’ eyes and traffic’s shove.
Here Spirit lightens with the skies, and we
Will find friends and even new family
When this journey ends in old Marseille,
A city, too, but feeling worlds away.
Bright Paris is important, fierce and fast,
But in Marseille, there’s time to breathe at last.

Posted in French, Poetry, Sonnet, Spring, Uncategorized | Leave a comment