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thru April


Frontiersman       Print this poem only

I try to go back to sleep
after awakening from a dream
from the images of the cloaked visionary
who wanders the inner wilds
where I happily get lost at night.

But your deep calls mine -
not in words - rather in some impulse
to leave the usual wounded landscape of self
to travel and search,
to be the pioneer you made me to be,
the frontiersman - unsettled, itinerant –
a hunter sensing his origin
longing to return to his Source.

And so here I am
leaving darkness
for the gray dawn
quietly revealing itself
behind the dark wintered branches of the elm and the pecan
in the awakening fields,
the fields where you patiently await
the emergence of my sight.

Written 1-16-18


Feline First       Print this poem only

The sun is already warming
the first arousal of morning
but my lover is traveling the hills
and valleys of her dreams still.

Sweetpea knows the sounds
of my awakening and abounds
onto the bed’s corner place
where I read my first daily stirring of grace.

She knows of all the places she could land
it is here she gets the glide of my left hand
my hand across her soft brown coat she is well-versed
for she knows this time of day she is first.

Written 1-29-18

Feline First

Mystery in Waiting       Print this poem only

I remember the loneliness
of looking across Boston harbor
on that cold morning.

It gripped me
an invisible shroud.
It was an insulation
from consolation
and inspiration
without joy.

I remember the feel of the moist wind
sweeping across the waves
passing through me
as if I weren’t there
a ghost lingering alone
not even in the company of
John Adams or Nathaniel Green
or any other revolutionary.

No revolution in me in this illness
not even evolution.
Just stasis

Six weeks if this
quite enough for a lifetime.
I want to forget
but I should remember
remember the lessons
of dependence
being quiet
reading in silence
being still
and at rest.

Since those days
in that weak and lonely haze
I have discovered
a God who needs nothing from me
a faith alive even in dormancy
like the elm in the back yard
stripped of all signs of green life
but standing there in its dark mystery
gnarled branches reaching outward and upward
alive waiting patiently
resting in the sweet prospect
of spring.


Author's Note: The memory of standing at the edge of Boston Harbor looking across the water at the city came out of the blue. But I went with the image and it brought me, as poems will do, to places I had not intended to speak of. But there it is. I was relating to the first stanza of V. Blake's most recent poem and how it described in another way, what I had been feeling during my recent illness. But it is good to be arriving again in the world of "the living."

Written 1-31-18

Mystery in Waiting

Ablaze          Print this poem only

I looked up at night
yearning for the stars
but the man made light
eclipsed the ruby hearts of Antares and Mars.

Red and white pairs of light
move slowly up and down the hill
they fill the orbs of my sight
these lamps of electric human will.

I’ve a longing for the universe out there
for the touch of God’s creative hand
there must be a cellular link with each far flare
flung by some eternal plan.

But maybe the light I seek
is not in the sky
or that of which astronomers speak
or something captured by the eye.

But something of the universe within
scarcely noticed in the rush of my days
something beneath my skin
in stillness, silent, but deeply ablaze.

Written 2/9/18

To Grasp

To Grasp       Print this poem only

To find one human person
who without your erudite
lengthy explanation,
can stand under
your poem or line of words -
said with a mysterious smile -
and simply nod
and with her smile
tells you she knows what it is
you’re trying to express

To find one human person
who is quiet and calm and sad
with you when that tear rolls down your cheek
and you need not say a word of explanation

To find one human person
who knows the love
the affection and respect
contained in a single soft touch on her shoulder…

is an ineffable gift
as rare as a fist-sized diamond
suddenly appearing in a miner’s eyes.
It is a gift so precious you feel humbled, unworthy,
with a gratitude that lies deeper
than you can feel,
much less express.

Author's Note: Author’s Note: I read something profound this morning and I thought to myself: “Oh there is a poem in that, but if I wrote it who would get it, who could stand under it and hold it and appreciate it and know me enough to catch that region within me from whence it came?” Then I remembered one man, a fellow poet, a fellow traveler who could and would. And I felt grateful for him, a man, almost as old as I, with Parkinson’s Disease who has difficulty walking and talking, but who under stands.

Written 2-13-18


Teetering       Print this poem only

Last night sitting on the edge of my bed
a bed that seemed more like a ledge
there with a burden in my head:
Should I look up or just feel the dread?

I sat longer and I think I prayed.
I knew he was a God who cared,
but lately on the verge of afraid,
my faith seemed weak and impaired.

I wondered if they were right
that the short blast of rays
won’t hurt and will kill the blight
the doctors say is in its early phase.

But why pray to a God who seemed unable
to help my aunt who died
from a disease so unstable,
so good at finding places to hide?

So here I was, teetering between trust
and its evil opposite, doubt
doubt he can alter life’s thrust.
Does he have any real clout?

In this dark of mind
I came to see I really don’t know!
So why let my inner skeptic always lurking behind
reign and empower its verdict of no?

Instead I choose to lift my head
from that lonely fretting place
and embrace a Father not gone and dead -
but here, now to create and renew me with grace.


Written 2-26-18

radiation treatment of man.JPG

What is the dogma of a tree?       Print this poem only


It is firmly rooted in earth

adheres there and is bound 

in absolute union from birth

no freedom from ground.


The truth of its life proclaimed

to cardinals, jays and dove

soaked in lore and legacy of rain

given from the sky in love.


What doctrine is professed by a tree

but to adapt, sway and grow

leafy limbs lift, joyous to be free,

faithful juices rise in blessed flow.


If dogmas learned from trees

without stiffness, disdain or conceit

if they too made friends with the breeze

happy with winter cold or summer heat,


if they were as loving as the divine,

courted poets and painters and art

as giving as oak or fir or pine

aroused not only the mind but the heart


and like our fellow creature the tree

if they made oxygen for the air

they would attract poor souls like me

to join other lost souls who care.


Author’s Note:  This poem is partially inspired by a line in Chris Sorrenti’s poem, “Eating pizza with God”  The line is: ”while discussing the stupidity of dogma”  I started thinking about my negative reaction to the word, dogma.  I know that dogma has its place, but I have found that concentrating on it rather than on people and loving relationships pulls me away from God.  I didn’t know how to approach this subject without getting pedantic and then I looked out the window and saw the spring trees moving heartily in the breeze.  By the way, the definition of dogma is: "Something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet." or "A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true."


Written 3-5-18

Dogma of a Tree

Vying       Print this poem only


Sometimes I feel like a steer in a cattle drive

herded with the snap of the whip

hear the calls, gripes, and urgings they contrive! 

“Come on now!  Move it!  yip yip yip!


Or maybe the ache in my foot or back

has captured my focus

or last night’s anxiety attack

or computer glitches and hocus pocus.


A thousand things each day

stab and grab  for my attention

dig, dab and want their way

tighten my gut in a terrible tension.


But all this while in your embrace

your love surrounds my heart

and wraps me in grace

just as it has from the very start.


Written 3 5-18

The Aviator

The Aviator       Print this poem only

Long ago I flew hostile skies

prayed and dodged enemy fire

wiped sweat and fumes from my eyes

tried to climb higher and higher.


But today a neighbor heard about me

and invited me to fly in his acrobat plane

I didn’t take long to agree

Oh to be up there in the blue again!


To see Carolina’s wonders in early spring,

trees and fields - even in bumpy air

crops, trees, gardens - amazing things  

bring reverence for glorious earth down there.


I’m grateful for this short resplendent flight

for this new aviator friend 

for being in air - what a delight

not in war but in love with flying again.


Written 3-6-18


James Brown was in W.W.II as a Navy night-fighter pilot on aircraft carriers. Then as a civilian life insurance salesman between the wars. He was recalled as a night-fighter pilot during Korea when he was in combat again. Returning to civil life he resumed his career in the life insurance business as a CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) while still flying in the Ready Reserve to ultimately become the commanding officer of a jet fighter squadron.

Twilight Tree       Print this poem only 

In the coolness of a waning winter
spring waiting in the wings
here you are you beauty
in your dark magnificence
you stand quietly without pomp
your silhouette a public secret
unassuming and unnoticed
reaching out to the fading light
as if to say “I belong here
so nice of you to visit.”
I belong here too.

And in this now
I feel a harmony of being
in our moment of silent union.

My eyes and my mind
are drawn upward
as if in a Gothic cathedral
and its pointed arches
but here you are gesturing
in all directions
with your thousand fingers
serene in your eastward lean
a perfect prayer of earth
to the beyond.


Written 3-17-18

Twilight Tree
God Depressed

God's Depressed      Print this poem only 

It’s a cloudy day today
forecast predicts lots of wind
my mood’s a darker shade of gray
than it has lately been

dissonant as the music playing
today as out of sync
as my heart is staying -
feeling on the brink

of I don’t know what
like the weather - wanting spring
for this winter’s tightened my gut -
wondering what the news will bring.

Reading poetry and seeing art
makes me believe God’s within -
as co-creators not wholly apart
even in our darkest sin

but sometimes faith’s leap
seems too long
the chasm between us too deep.
If in weakness I’m made strong

maybe this day I’ll find the strength
find the art of which I’m possessed
discover the joy to jump that length
through the dark that says God’s depressed.


Author's Note: Author’s note: Yesterday (3-22-18) I discovered my heart is again in AFIB (atrial fibrillation – arrhythmia). It temporarily threw me into feelings of disappointment and discouragement. But the feelings passed soon even though the national news seemed particularly bad. I don’t know what is next for me or the nation, but I am buoyed by the knowledge that I am in God’s embrace – that at least HE’S not depressed.

Written 3-23-18


In Custody      Print this poem only 


I sit here on a metal chair
hunched over, my head in my hands
I feel incredulous unable to wrap my mind
around being in this chamber of fools
with the others who came here as slaves
of a monster master.

But each of us came with a captor within
who led us here in chains.

So here I am hiding my head
under a hood of shame.
I gave up my freedom
with each seemingly harmless fix
and step by step I led myself into the custody
of this man across from me.
Just this little bit won’t hurt,
I told myself.

And before long that trickle
became a roaring ravine -
me in the middle desperate
to keep my head above water.

The counselor sat there silently
with a look on his face that said
“Man, this is serious as a heart attack.”

But I’m not a heroin addict like the rest of these guys,
I thought to myself.
I shouldn’t be here.

And still he sat there, silent,
watching me cry, sniveling like a baby.
This is not me
I thought
but here I am in my body
without the comfort or warmth
of a caring arm around my shoulders.

Author’s Note: This is from a dream, but it felt so real and the images and feelings still are with me. And still I am a food and sugar addict, soon to go in to the hospital for yet another heart procedure.


Written 3-27-18

In Custody

On a Ledge Stuck to You      Print this poem only 

a ledge
with nothing there
to grasp - on edge.
The height has me scared
all alone on this wall.
Can’t find the person I am
not ready to let go and fall
into the deep black below this dam
I’m not connected to future or past.

But it’s not a time for lamentation
it is time to glide to climb boldly
for clear clean air of creation
reach beyond like you told me.
What am I hiding behind
looking all around?
My mind’s not mine
up or down
stuck to

This is a revision of a previous poem, “Stuck to You.” The first stanza comes from a nightmare I had this morning. The poem is also my attempt to write a poem using a form new to me. It is called an Etheree Poem. The rhyme scheme is my own and the Etheree form does not specify whether it needs to rhyme or not. It was fun writing it. Also, the way I wrote this is actually a Double Etheree. I have discovered from another website and a friend the following: The poetry form, Etheree, consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Or you can get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, following suit with an inverted syllable count. Reversed Etheree: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Double Etheree: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...Triple Etheree, Quadruple Etheree, and so on.
Based on info from Elizabeth Squires and

Written 3-30-18

On a Ledge
dawn in mountains.jpg

Risings       Print this poem only


Say no to arrogance and power
no to being totally devoured
by ego, division and separation
no to hurt and alienation.


I’m grateful to all those who day upon days
in a thousand little ways
say yes and rise from the dark
who strike the stone to make a spark.


I am grateful for the Great Mystery
that fills my personal history
that wakes me in ways surprising
with a thousand moments of rising.


Author's Note: Written Easter Sunday, 2018. 

Written 4-1-18


Morning Encounter      Print this poem only 

In the morning coolness
just after dawn
such sweetness
settles upon me
in these few moments with you
alone in this sacred space.

Here You gently filter
your peace and love
into me
before this day’s stream rushes upon me
with its swift flow
and turbulence.

Here for now it is just you and I
in this silent colloquy
in this exquisite intimacy.

I rest unperturbed
and blameless
in the presence
of your quiet majesty
and forgiveness,
nestled comfortably
in your warm embrace.

This precious moment
of trust envelops my heart
protects it from all harm
says good morning
to my soul.


Author's Note: Written this morning while journaling in our garden room.

Written 4-2-18

Morning Encounter
twinkle in the eye.JPG

Who do you know with a twinkle in the eye?        Print this poem only

A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart
someone who’s set apart
who loves being alive
with a mind in drive. 

The Proverb’s truth set me thinking 
of who I know with that twinkling
and it took me a while
to think of one with eyes that smile.

I then considered the heart of joy
and remembered the little boy
who learned to play the chord of C
to sing with glee in a major key.

But it happens a boy becomes a man
and sadness, hurt, and error span
years of breakups and loves in the dust
vanished dreams, promises and trust.

Still his soul stays open and awake
and he learns to forgive mistakes,
to forge new ties to fall but rise
and again that twinkle dwells in his eyes.


Author's Note: Author’s Note: My reflection on Proverbs 15:30 “A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.”



Quiltmaker            Print this poem only


Every evening when day is done

my body tired from an active day

you cover me and ready me to come

into an orbit far away.


A place native peoples reside

where Kokopelli wanders and plays 

and eagles ride the winds, glide

and rejoice in setting sun’s golden rays. 


I fly into a patchwork sky

where I am stitched together,

comforted, protected under your watchful eye

where hawks soar and tickle with feathers.


I visit frightful places 

hear horrible screams

see angry and twisted faces

feel my fears in my teary dreams.


I am grateful for these flights

for the certain and steady care

that covers me on cold and windy nights

for this Quiltmaker beyond compare.


Dedicated to my sister-in-law, Virginia Hilton whose love and dedication are sewn into the magnificent quilt she fashioned and created for me with blood, sweat, and tears, who came to our aid and was there for me for so many years.

Written 4-3-18


In Your Arms this Night

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In this softness of evening

I rest easy in your arms

it is here free

from distractions of day

I fall into your embrace

and know the comfort

of being lost in your warmth

lost in the incredible orb of your love

love so abundant it humbles me,

not as a child who takes it for granted

but as a man, seasoned and smoked

soaked in burdens

bumped, knocked, and pushed

by broken and bruised fellow travelers.


I cannot fathom the depth of your love

in spite of my leavings

beyond my grieving

the losses

vain and hollow



And when I dive into the beautiful brown eyes

of my lover I know acceptance

I know the fullness of this life

and I am made ready for the next.


Written 4-25-18

bird perched.JPG

To tired to write?            Print this poem only


I’m tired

my body seems to be telling me

to go to bed and sleep

but I know I couldn’t,

for this poem is lurking inside

and won’t be denied

as much as I try.


Can poems be found in the tired

in the brain of one who’s wired

to look here and there and everywhere

like the bird perched atop the chair

in the backyard, its head swiveling to and fro

watching for cats or humans or hawks flying low?


I guess I shall see if there is a poem taking flight

here and now teasing twilight

will it swoop and settle in my mind

will my muse becomes archly inclined?

Or maybe I’ll dwell on that attentive bird

and in that dwelling find the words

and take a lesson from the throat of its being

breaking forth in its flight or its singing.


Is there a verse down there I’ve been saving

while the sapling Tallow is waving

saying goodbye to the dying day

dancing the wind in lusty ballet.

Is there a line

in the recesses of time

between vital concerns

and issues that burn?


I hear the cello’s refrain

playing nearby in mournful bane

it takes me back to practicing Strauss

on the piano, filling our house

with dissonance and verve

getting on my mom’s last nerve.

But oh how music flourished and reigned -

the joy in my soul could not be contained.


Thinking of what music has meant to me

and composed in me a sweet symphony

brings me alive here in this sacred space

replaces fatigue with energy and grace.

I stayed here long enough to find

these wisps of memory and rhyme

that so often provide the spark

to lift and fly me out of the dark.


Written 4-28-18

Bemused            Print this poem only


I read something on a bumper

and it’s captured my wonder

still thinking it through

can’t decide if it’s true:

“If you don’t lose yourself

you can’t find yourself.”


Oh I’ve been lost many times

admitted my crimes
confessed my sins

more losses than wins

can’t do it alone

still searching for home.


But is this self I must lose

a thing I can choose

seems it was cast

from the stuff of the past

by my mama’s abuse

or is that an excuse?


Is there even a self who’s me?

Today the me that I see

differs from me as a child

my twenties so wild

I’m amazed I’m still here -

did that me disappear?


Is self and ego the same

this guy with his daddy’s name

with a history so prideful

the moments of spiteful

but then I think if I had no ego

I couldn’t let me go.


This bumper sticker

has made me want liquor

it’s made me confused

it’s got me bemused

I seem all out of sync

so what do YOU think?


Written 4-29-18













Lizzie’s Flowers            Print this poem only

One flower after another

too much glory to extract

like the glint in the eyes of mother

more poetry than fact.


How do you feel seeing a flower

surprise, delight, hunger for more

thanks to your higher power

a wish to praise or to adore?


There is nothing to describe that feeling

when hibiscus, azalea or basket of gold

thrust you, send you reeling

such beauty cannot be told.


Lizzie sends pictures of blooms

matched only by her brightness

they remove my moments of doom

and raise the spirit with lightness.


Written 4-30-18










Four guys             Print this poem only


Four guys sitting around

each with a life of crosses

sharing their ups and their downs

jobs and families, wins and losses.


What James asked our church to weigh:

would the rich man be highly seated

but the poor one out of the way

and how would each be greeted -


with a smile or with a frown?

Which one catches our eye

the shabby one looking down -

which do we want to sit by?


Out on the street would we give to a guy who begs?

or would we focus on the issue of trust

what about the guy with no legs

or a chap in a pickup scarred with rust?


Each of the guys sitting around

had a different answer to James.

Each from different backgrounds

but all with similar aims.


One is a hospital man

another in the field of oil

the third from a media brand

the fourth seems of the soil.


Each of the three guys is wise with love

each familiar with sacrifice

but the fourth seemed strangely above

known in their hearts as the Christ.


Author’s Note:  I was in a small men’s group at church today studying James 2:1-13.  I was so impressed with these guys to whom I dedicate this poem: Barry, Steve, and Ernie.  And of course, Jesus who is always there with us on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays when we meet.  

Written 3-25-18

Three Guys-.JPG

Yeast            Print this poem only


I feel you rising you yeast 

you’ve brought your land inside

and increased - wonder if my

death’s at hand.


Or is this just a taste of heaven 

calling like groom to bride

kneading in me your leaven

is it you exploding inside?


It seems this you I recognize as if you

and I've been here before yet this

you in me’s a surprise this rising

I can't ignore.


I've asked for you in prayer and song 

and here you are in me expanding

my soul - this can't be wrong its all

beyond understanding.


I'd rather not leave this earth

just yet if its ok with you

but keep on with this

rebirth keep on coming – it feels true.


Wherever you want me I'll go

deeper, farther, west or east

if you say come I’ll follow for I

know it’s you my Yeast.


Written 2-7-18

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