Forgotten Possibilities

Who are you?

I know

who you used to be,

and where you

seemed to be heading, but

now I don’t know.


All the reasons

that we changed

are still there,

and the reasons

why you’re unchanging

are there also.


Our static situation

unfolds kinetically

through time,

wisdom forging

our adult eyes

behind wrinkling lids.


You have so much

talent, more than most,

but not as much

as you think.

I still bloom

at your smile.




Does she remember

The sound in her ear

Filling the silence

Comforting the dark?

Remember? Yes.

Painful memory, yes.

How they played, constant companions

In the night

Soft friction measuring the temperature

Their rhythmic calls

Gently easing the darkness


Yes, the memory is there

And more, the confidence

Built of years sheltered from that chasm

Of emptiness, loneliness

Years. Lord, years.

That long? Now again without.

For those companions went away

Harsh voices consuming her ears

Until the frequency faded


Those friends are still there

Delighting younger mistresses

While she sits in silence

For memory

Yes, she has that.



The Playbook

You may be wondering

Why the trail ended

So abruptly.

You said you were

Reading a map

And assumed I was too

Only I knew

There was no map

We were forging new ground

Your map brought you where it was:




The Way to Dream

I struggle to fall asleep

Though it fills me with joy

In sleep, the sun

Warms my spirit, and

Trees shade my vulnerable skin

And you’re there.


Lying in a hammock, or

Walking a trail, or

Walking a city street

In my dreams, you’re there.

I can feel your warmth

If I can get to sleep

I try and try

But wait and wait

And when I stop trying

And just accept it

That I’ll get there

When it comes

Then I arrive

And we lounge in the springtime field

But I haven’t gotten there

Tonight, yet

I will soon.

See you there.



Fate’s Library

Don’t worry

As she stares

Down her bespeckled nose

At you.

She’s not angry,

She’s just –


Absent, but glad,

Because now you’re here – look!

Her lips curve quickly

Upwards, warm,

And welcoming.

Because you’re here, you’ve come,

And she anticipates your joy.

She hands it to you, with a wise nod.

She’s seen inside its pages

And she knows you will enjoy it.




Her hands apply their craft

With such dexterit

Men bend and twist

Their lives

In alignment with her will


So long accustomed

To the tickling of the strings

Are her hands

Textured by the force

Of powerful emotion

Under her control


Threads of creativity

Effortlessly flow into

A tapestry of such beauty

To make a god shudder

With awe at her work




She hasn’t finished her coffee,

Grounds staled by luke-cold water,

And yet, her strict gaze

Assures you she doesn’t need it.


You said something clever,

Trying to evoke

Her needle-sharp wit.

She doesn’t laugh;

Titans don’t laugh.

Yet she’s no glacier,

So she smiles,

And Apollo shines through.


Last night she remained alert,

Despite the full arc

Of the cloud-embalmed moon,

Awake then for to finish her tasks

Later today.

Her stature dwarfed by intellect;

She won’t have trouble.


She dressed up to go out tonight,

Just to the coffee house.

Her fingernails shine

Like justice dispensed

With a gesture of her hand.


How she must surprise her adversaries!

To them she requires coddling,

For they miss the Olympian fire

Roaring from out the dark circles

Mortals call eyes.


Her coffee sits cold by her side,

But she takes another sip—

Tonight she will outsmart herself again.



The Sophists

They paid for tutelage,

because it was the thing to do.

Once the instruction had

begun, they owed

their patrons and teachers

obedience. What a gift

had been bestowed on them!


Then those others

began to expect that obedience.

Ungrateful students

were dismissed.

Only correctly appreciative youth

deserved the education

provided by the great teachers.


This turned the process

into something mechanical:

place student.

Open mind.

Fill with knowledge.

Garnish with skills.


But what of Socrates?

He lived for dialog and

died for freedom. He

cast education as a balanced discussion

of questioned assumptions.

That is the freedom

to learn together. But

such a radical concept

was corrupting,

and deserves death.



The Bell of Amherst

“Hey Alex!” you called, from the corner

By the High Horse sign.

I saw you, but was deep

In distraction, talking to a friend

Who’s still here now.

“Hey mom, look, it’s Ben’s brother!” always came next

Now it won’t.


You died in a car crash, far away.

Surrounded by friends, at least

Doing exciting things

Having adventures.

For you, it seemed joy and wonder

Hid around every corner

Where the faces

Of friends new and old

Waited to be smiled at.


Ripped away.

Torn from the fabric of this place.

Leaving but one question:

Why did I not give your brilliant pattern

More attention in my part of that fabric?


Emulating your warmth

Is not good enough, I

Want to see you walk around that corner again

So I can say “Meagan! Great to see you!

What’s new in your life?”

But I can do what you’d do

And just say that to everyone.

I guess that’s something.

Hope your next adventure

Is just as exciting.

Summer Project (Probably)

I want to build

a platform. Not a deck;

this isn’t attached to the house.

It will be out in the swampy part

of the yard, under the spruces.


Sitting on it in the summer,

the fireflies will blink

silently as the crickets help out

with music for the darkness.


When the water is high,

it will be an island,

strewn with stray leaves

and twigs stripped

off the trees by the wind.


It will be a destination, a retreat

where there was only tangled mire.

The water will still be there,

but with a stationary barge hovering

just above the surface.


This oasis is a mirage,

imagined until the day

that I wrestle it into reality.

That day could be soon.


Today, though, I will sit

on the patio and watch the pines

sway and the clouds

move across the darkening blue

between the trees.

I will build it tomorrow.