Friday, June 24, 2016


Richie downstairs honked at me today
for stomping too loud down the staircase.
But he didn't look angry.

He's a weird looking guy.
Eyeballs popping out--a pot smoking wonder.
It's beyond him ever to look angry.

Pot smoke trailed out the door,
as he leaned to snort at me.
We help each other.

Two minutes later Mary chided,
"Why's your car crowding my spot?
Will you park in straight?"

She and husband Dan became friends after the divorce.
She lives alone now. She was generous
to me with spare furniture.

Then the wife called complaining about money.
"Where's my money? I need to know."
Small things make her uneasy.

She was a good wife for 25 years.
I was far away on vacation with my books.
She always kept occupied.

All that happened within five minutes.
Does the universe run by accident?
That makes you think so.

I think after 70 years
not accidental so as to be deadly,
less you're inclined to volunteer,
but ulcers and shortness of breath, sure.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Before the Angst

Before the angst were untangled forests,
clear-water lakes, whose depths
waver and are magnified. The fish swim
in rivers clear enough to drink.

Glorious dawns rise unsmeared
by the detritus at horizon’s edge,
our human contribution to progress,
smoky fires, a-bombs, engine trash.

The forests and plains are rich with meat.
Our wild ponies run straight.
We hunt bravely with strong legs and back.
Our arrows fly true and quick.

Before the angst we learned to walk through
blinding violence to find peace.
We studied deep darkness and bone cold,
and learned to live with solitude.

We make snowshoes by hand with simple tools.
We prepare the animals we hunt
to provide life-giving meat. Our great friend,
the night time sky, inspires us.

We believe in the spirits who speak to us,
"We are with you even after death."
In them we trust like stone and fire;
they lead us to decide.

Before the angst were untangled forests
whose big trees reach heaven.
Brave dapple stallions raced on a plain
of endless horizon and towering sky.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Today I buried my little dog

Today I buried my little dog.
A neighbor’s pit bull ripped her trachea.
I buried her between the garden and the trees.

I wrapped the small Terrier body
in her yellow blanket and dropped her in a ditch.
I’ll find a headstone to etch her name on.

But soon I won’t be living here.
My wife will die and I will die.
Our little dog passed us in time.

She didn’t have a tail so I won’t remember
her wagging it. She didn’t have much hair,
not enough for the wind to catch in.

She used to sleep with us,
and she’d grouch and snarl
let another cat or dog dare join us.

When we got a new puppy,
she played with him unceasingly
but put him in his place.

She was a good loyal dog.
She won’t greet me boisterously any more
or curl up on my lap to snooze.

Time gave her to us to know.
I buried her past the garden
and marked her grave with stones.