Manure’s slick scent rises
like temple incense and fills the stable, wafting
airs of fertility up our young nostrils. Hers
heave harder and faster than mine.
How aren’t these scattered straws
strewn sloppy from their store sprouting
wheat sheaves in such enriched earthen
floors? The stalls of splintered, make-shift planks
(poor oak pairings, peeling from lack of varnish)
reek with life, threatening like the contracting
wife of my youth at any moment to give
up something, begging to burst out
newborn being from fertile, fuming,
furious weight. Only, I know wood well,
and this coming child isn’t mine.



[5/22/14 – inspired by Marianne Moore’s “What Are Years?”]


They tell us of complex emotions without

explaining systematically, not structuring symmetrically,

our logically impossible heart-pulsations.

The desire of mankind is a whimsy, laughable

thing to see, for I cannot know it, shape it, see it, say it


well at all –– the articulacy of my valiant endeavors

stutters and wanes and spitters into

a weary-eyed query to my father the architect:

how do these unforeseen contours evoke

such contradictory phenomena of feeling?


Silence, my initial feedback ––

some unmeasured, unremembered time afterwards

surfaces and floats a whisper as answer:

Orient your curiosity to the pure circular luminosity of the full moon

on a weary-eyed night such as this –– let it purge you, hear yourself think. . .


When the summertime has tumbled its circuit through ––

perhaps then I shall grasp the reasons for my contours

and make sense of cycling out the cardiac tension of my present meditations.

Reaching forth and digging heels with equal intensity is

a mystery unraveled only bathing in moonlight and listening

Revitalizing tradition

meant bare, sticky deltoids

sunburnt and adhering

to each other in


despite the pestering

drawn out by crammed

backseats and time

together as a family after

who knows how long



this and the source

of those sticky shoulders

(our best-kept secret

beach, closed to all

save those who know

the magic name

of Caroline Erett)

and overweight electric

bikes redefined vacation

this weekend


The ordered structure crumbled ever so little

from its lighthouse-lookout perch jutting lakeward

with the brash delighted confidence edified upon

its five hundred ancient sisters encircling Lake Ohrid.


Kaneo eased down into its lavish garden

whose warm wall gently raised itself up to me,

an offering, a peaceful perch of solitude given

for weary sojourners to ease heart and legs––infinite

Sole Shield of Geats

Ever since the fortieth winter

the wind bit sharper, like splinters

from sea vessels’ weather-hulls

that bristle and peel with the gathered salt

of many storm-waved sojourns.


Each winter that passed, the thunderheads

that drift away above sent colder rains

on my unhelmed, uncrowned brow.

The rain rolled down my beard and splashed

on my mailshirt’s silver rings––froze

the worn, wearing flesh that clothes

the burning blood paths by the bone-lappings.

Blizzards bout the mead hall again and again

but my hearth fire blazes, warm, still.


Until: blaze broke stillness when the sky-spit molten fires fell:

thanes’ scorched shields crashed, shredded by the ring-hoarder, the worm dreaded

who spat his scouring breath on our roofs –– scorned my fifty winters and the peace I built.

I, ring-giver, peace-winner, will be dragon-slayer.


There is little wind at the modest pinnacle.

Clouds shield segments of sun sometimes,

but the air is bright.

The world is still.

Vegetated mountainside slopes

then falls

away into sheer naked stones,

vertical, rugged. The lake,

a flawless teal glass, is a long way down.

Just above the cliffs, where grass still hairs

the little, elongated peak,

a traveler stands, surveying the glass from the mountain trail.

first wake-up haikus

2/2/15 [the first of these haikus can be read on its own or all can be read together]


Reality is

A live coal transplanted from

Furnace to ice drifts


This first of real weeks

Cries with frozen echoes crisp

Ghosts of final terms


A trial by fire

Most smoothly, suitably shapes

Apt initiates