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Category: Nature

POEM: the ruby and the river


the ruby and the river

she dropped her ruby into the slow-moving river
it flowed downstream a bit then settled quickly
grabbed by the silted bottom like an eager lover
afternoons she’d strip off her clothes, dive in
swim down to see her ruby glint in the muddy light
each day it became a little harder to see
the riverbed slowly claiming it for its own
until finally one day she jumped from the shore
split the surface of the water with two pointed hands
felt the water take hold of her body, welcome her
she swam down but couldn’t find the ruby
just the stoic riverbed, waiting but offering nothing

/ / /

4 March 2014
State College, PA

image source

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POEM: weather report


weather report

yesterday it was fifty degrees
today there is snow on the ground

yesterday we stepped wide around mud puddles
today I’ll step gingerly around ice

yesterday in the quiet I could hear rain drops
today the world is muffled in its white blanket

yesterday we walked without jackets
today I’ll walk with a scarf

yesterday I moved with the easy bounce of spring
today I’m reminded of the slower pace of winter

yesterday it was fifty degrees
today there is snow on the ground

yesterday I loved you
today I do, too

/ / /

3 February 2014
Oak Street

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POEM: biology



I will never write
a more beautiful poem
than the one created
by your DNA

/ / /

29 January 2014
Oak Street

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POEM: four pounds of pressure


four pounds of pressure

he’s in the living room, can of beer
in one meaty, sweating hand
seemed like some harmless fun
they took a couple rifles up the elk range
watched the huge bulls tramp down the frozen grass
he remembers sighting along the barrel
seeing the rack like the leafless
branches of a winter-struck oak
even now, after a day has passed
he’s not sure what made him shoot
the clickbang of the rifle followed
a split-second later by the imagined sound
of splintering bone as the big bull dropped
its herd mates scattering into the trees
his buddies clapping him on the back
full of liquid courage and testosterone
now he waits for the knock on the door
the series of sharp raps that mean jail
he imagines the faces of his elderly parents
the murmurs and sideways glances of neighbors
his life forever changed by four pounds of pressure

8 January 2014
State College, PA

/ / /

This poem was inspired by this story.

Image by Carol Mulvilhill.

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POEM: Sunday rain


Sunday rain

awoke to the sound
of the rain on the roof
I turned to put my arm
around you
but you aren’t here

29 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: birds unknown kind


birds unknown kind

A dozen birds — unknown kind,
beaks into the December wind —
cut through the pinkening sky
like ink spots on a silk sheet.
A full morning moon shines
in the ice patches on the sidewalk,
sharing a laugh with Jupiter.

19 December 2013
State College, PA

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POEM: saturday evening vignette


saturday evening vignette

the teacups washed, dried, put away
all the chopsticks in the same direction
bottoms up in a plastic cup
the counter cleaned, bare, promising
a mug of hot chocolate cooling on the desk
outside, the distinct lines of cars blurring
under the snow that’s been falling since morning
inside, the radiators wash the room with warmth
enough so that I’m in a short-sleeved shirt
unshowered, glasses on, pausing between words
as I try to capture some small piece of this day
before placing it gently on a shelf with its siblings

14 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: in the parking lot of Kildare’s

in the parking lot of Kildare’s

a light snow was falling
as the music ended

just enough that we
spent a few extra minutes

seeing each breath
as we brushed off our cars

and although I complain
about the ice and the cold

I was conceived in the heart
of a New England winter

and first fell in love as the snow
piled in mighty drifts high

on the southern shore of Lake Ontario
all those many years ago

11 December 2013
Oak Street

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haiku: 18 November 2013

more birds than I’ve ever seen at once
flying in a great horde above Atherton Street
off to conquer a warmer kingdom

18 November 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: daylight savings time

daylight savings time

we change the clocks for the farmers
even though we barely have farmers anymore
but at least when I walk to work each morning
the sun is rising over the valley
so I guess it was all worth it

15 November 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: snapshot


cold morning rain gives way
to an uncommonly warm November day
my windows are open to let in the songs
of the birds who haven’t left yet

2 November 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: a rose by any other name


a rose by any other name

shield bug on the door
seeks shelter from the autumn chill
she and her scent aren’t welcome

18 October 2013
Oak Street

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