In the Rain

He smiles
sky tears running the wrinkles in his warm
smiling face
he waits for me to speak
“Old man
why are you out here in the rain?”
He says
“My thoughts were a bit dry
Needed a little watering.”
“Aren’t you guys supposed to wear a pointed hat?”
He says
“I doubt it would do much in this deluge.”
A time passes
He says
“You are walking in a darkness
and though you can’t see it now
You are not alone.”
“Old man
why are you out here in the rain?”
He says
“A dear friend is standing in the rain
and she looks so lost and alone.”
“Maybe your friend is cursed
Has no right to happiness
Has no need for society.”
And he laughs
(might be a cough)
“Not this one, she lives on the edge
She is spirited and gifted
She is a swan raised by ducks. . .
Indignant, resourceless ducks with really bad attitudes
but she is not cursed.”
“Old man
get in out of the rain.”
He says
“I’m am far too old to do as I’m told
Never done it before
Not gonna start now
Gentle one, your soul, your heart are not dead.
Love never dies
Even if you resign
it will not leave you.”
And just like that the old fool starts dancing
Dancing in the rain

The Portable Electric Poet


Your portable cordless electric poet
is made with maximum materials
to the highest specifications of oral hygiene

Please be certain to rinse your poet after every use
to keep your poet fresh and prevent mold

Please be certain to store your electric poet
in a cool dry place when not in use

You can tell all your friends about the way
your electric poet pleases you and helps you smile

With proper care your purchase will give you years of pleasure
and very nice teeth

No Longer Afraid


Having spent a very long and stormy night
losing the ‘what if?’ game
For no reason at all
I decide to play the ‘mindfulness’ game

in the trailing days of a lingering summer swelter
I become – unstuck
Somehow this moment falls away
swirling like that leaf

I reflect on the refractions of Autumn
Autumns past
Autumns to come

Yellow poplar
Scarlet maple
Rust red oak

And look
Pathways in the dancing leaf shadows
Pathways beyond number. . .

The Wizard and the Storm

The harvest moon ascends into a roiling late-summer night
Cloud dragons delight in concealing her dreamy glow
The stars have gone
the sky is darker than a lost lover’s heart

The Wizard sets aside his hat, his coat and vest
Withdraws a wand from his vest
He addresses the darkness

A tone poem builds in his chest
His bare hands reach into the firmament
A sizzling electricity builds in the air

His weathered face does not crack when he smiles
(though there are those who might say it would)
His eyes are closed but there seems a dancing light
flashing behind his lids
He lifts his wand like a conductor
calling an orchestra to order

The howling winds flow through his fingers
Barely contained
Waiting for his domination or a moment’s inattention
Lightning fire fuses water and air
Sonorous thunder
dragon laughter seeks to crush him
His laughter answers

Pelting rain bombards everything
adding staccato to the dark drum thunder-music
He weaves the night into a symphonic poem
All of a piece
A single continuous movement in maelstrom minor
Chords of discord collide and sizzle

Franz Liszt would have been proud

In the center of the tumult
Soaked to the bone
The Wizard cups his hands and gathers the turbulent waters
Lifts to to his lips . . .
Ferocious sable silk, the song of the storm flows
down his throat
Quenching a thirst
centuries old

Shooting Star in Autumn

The cinnamon sky
The gentle brush-stroke, glowing ash clouds
A residuum of a fiery summer sun


A shooting star arching across the wispy vault
Quick, then gone
Was it real?
Did I imagine it?
A traveler moving above the horizon

Does it count double if the meteor cuts the twilight?
Did I even make a wish?

The silence of the coming night
says all that needs to be said
It is enough

Chapter 10 ~ Untitled

The Magician has not left the beach, except to hunt for food. He stands and watches as the tide rises and ebbs. He waits in fear and grief. There are no echoes in the dark chambers of his heart.
There! In the shallows.
She fights for the surface. She fights to clear her lungs.
She bursts into the light, coughing and spitting.
He drags her to the beach. His tears baptize her.
She opens her eyes to a blue-sky world and in his chest, she hears . . .warmth.