Southern Illinois Spring

The pond I fish
holds an offering of sky within
the water. I cast into clouds —
draw them close on the
ripple of a wave.

Geese warble
silently past my boat as
they fly at the waterline.
In the depths fish lurk, hidden
by a thunderhead — their darkness
masked by the gray, moving
forms rolling, building above.

Water spiders dance upon the
mirror surface flecked with dust
of protozoa. A breeze kicks up.
I pull on the oars, slicing
through steely sky. I draw
to shore as the rain begins.

Millions of ripples intersect
each other, unbroken as they
expand, dividing the sky among
themselves until the choppy water
arises in petulant waves. Fish
surrender to the moment
of anarchy, thrashing, striking
wildly at the line I cast again
and again. The sky takes
back itself and returns


I’m not sure how many years ago I wrote this, but it’s in one of my chapbooks.

In Battle

If I sit small and still enough,
beneath the realm of unaided sight
I may drop among the atoms,
dance between energy and mass
searching for the days behind me.

Tip back, fall into the water

I’d even relive the worst of times
to see  familiar faces,
though we’d know the sorrow
once again of growing old,
lost in different hallways.

Tip back, fall into the water

sit small and still enough
beneath the shock and roar
of battle weary soldiers
til the terror bleeds away.

I will never reach their young hands

Rise, thrash and gasp for air
frantic enough not to care
if the bullet finds me

I will never find their frail hands
even if I sit small and still enough

a dream, a mocking laugh
filters down upon me

tip back, fall into the water

I’d Chance a Fin Before a Fist

A fish in murky depths
tickles Ptolemy’s ear.
Being marble,
Ptolemy doesn’t twitch.

He keeps his dignity,
considering he lost his base
and wound up on his back
at the bottom of the sea.

One of a tide of fifteen Ptolemys,
which he is remains unclear,
his cartouche partly covered
by an acorn barnacle.

Today Ptolemy’s being raised
by ropes and block and tackle
onto a barge, then carted
to a museum

where he’ll remain
a respected has been
until our world is bathed
again in anarchy.

He’ll maintain impassive calm
even when shattered
along his every vein
by the roaring mob.


This is for dVerse Open Link Night. Still not sure about the title, or anything else.

From Heaven

Rain gathers at the lowest point
and rises to meet its level.
All the old scars are hidden,
some carved deeper, while others
fill with rich deposits
from far distant loss.

O swirling calm, placid roar,
a drink and a drowning in one,
meet me halfway, we pray,
yet we receive
what heaven sends
regardless of words we say.

Drink to the depths, then rest
as bleached and broken bones.


He walked out from shore,
water lapping
at his ankles, and remained
far out to sea,
a speck missed
among the waves.

He still stands:
one small miracle,

No one breaks bread
and thinks of him.

The man knows nothing
but wind and sun,
the spray of water,
raw current
coursing through his veins
in every storm.

A seagull
sometimes perches
on his head.
For dVerse Open Link Night

At Lafayette Square

Wren stands
on the round
stainless steel table top,

feet tread a burnished surface
which shimmers as water,
even in shade.

She looks up at me
expecting food
but I am behind glass.

After a moment, she hops
to the chair back
and flies.

The tables there are round now. LOL.
Loosely following the dVerse poem prompt.