Odyssey Declined

the lights never dimmed
only his recollections
deeper in the woods

hermitage has its rewards
deeper in the woods
he saw he saw more clearly

deeper in the woods
one can find refuge from light
gain enlightenment

She tells him about her niece, visiting a museum and floating away, ecstatic, wandering around coatless in the mid-winter solarium, inhaling imported blossoms and listening to her children do their best to imitate the birdsong so long ago vanished from their now-white front lawn, buried in a foot-and-a-half of new snow and awaiting the thirty-below-zero wind chill predicted for Thursday, the day before their return to Suburbia.

He tries to explain to her his reticence about undertaking such a sojourn himself, his reluctance to even accompany her should she decide to do so. He hates his resistance, knows he’d been far more adventurous in most of his previous lives, but the being he currently inhabits automatically rebels at the thought of even considering such an odyssey.

hermitage winter
spreads across all four seasons
solitude prevails

Tuesday Twiglet #310
~ dimmed lights ~



It’s Haibun Monday again, and American Haikai Master Frank J Tassone asks us to join him at the dVerse Poets Pub and create/share a Haibun (prose/haiku combo) incorporating some “Heart” imagery…



Some babies are deformed at birth. Some don’t get to be born at all. Sometimes, when she’s found wandering around aimlessly downtown, Grammy might have to spend hours (or even days) in the Emergency Room’s waiting area while the police try to find out who to call to come get her. Not everybody pulls over to let the ambulance pass by. Surgeons do their best to exude confidence, even when they aren’t.

Not all news is good.
It’s not just the cardiacs
that have broken hearts.


(I know; I know: technically it’s a senryu closer, not a haiku, but…)

dVerse Poets Pub
Haibun Monday
~ Heart ~


On Tour…Again

An ages-old poem (well, decade-and-a-half anyway), which I’m reposting here for the Go Dog Go Café’s Promote Yourself Monday.

>> Originally written on 1/30/2008 & published (online) in October 2008 at The (now defunct) Orange Room Review.

Read the original here


On Tour with the Percussives

Every nook held its gong, its cowbell
tabla, tamboura, tom-tom, conga, guiro
and that was all we ever knew
except for how the landscape scrolled
past the tinted windows, lights
in little houses in tiny towns
well before dawn on the fringe
of the city, no one up but us,
not even the paperboys. We’d
hear the rev-down, feel the bus
decelerate, suffer the first tug
of gravity, re-enter atmosphere, peer
out at the still-dark garage,
the unlit pumps waiting, sway
slightly when the brakes squeaked,
unaccustomed as we were
to stationary objects.

This was always the golden moment:
stepping off the bus onto pea-stone,
sunrise still an hour beyond horizon,
all the air in every direction pregnant,
everything only about to happen;
we’d share a quiet smoke and
listen to our heartbeats, rehearsing.

Go Dog Go Café
Promote Yourself Monday

promote-yourself-mon (1)

Living Proof


Living Proof

There’s so much I
used to care about
but that’s all behind me now.

I guess you could say
I’ve become apathetic.

Go ahead; say it.
You think I give a rat’s ass?

Listen up:
I couldn’t care less, pal.

Sammi Cox Weekend Writing Prompt #296
01.28.23 – 40 Words
~ Apathy ~


Whither Thou Goest

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, so I thought I’d respond to Fandango’s Flashback Friday invitation by posting this work, originally published at Rick Lupert’s Poetry Super Highway.

The non-international, more secular observance is called Yom HaShoah and occurs in mid-April each year, which is why the poem was published in April of 2012.


Whither Thou Goest

Again the dream: the boxcar and the
long march. The camp. Last night, again,
selection and weeping. Ash in the air.

Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me if
I miss someone I’ve never met, I
don’t. Except in dream, I was not

there to bear witness; was not there
at all. I don’t believe I’ve ever met
anyone who had to let their lover go

or let their father or their mother go
—I must have; must have met them,
but I can’t recall.

…………………………..This morning, though,
it seems I know them all. It seems I
stand among them, waiting in long lines,

waiting in the cold on hard red ground,
surrounded by even harder faces, late
winter snow and traces of ash in the air.



Locked In

No one is
who they seemed to be
mere seconds ago
before the door closed
and the lock clicked.

The window shrinks.
Looking though it
from either side
becomes impossible.

All we see these days
is file folders
or tattoos.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge
FOWC 01.26.23
~ Optics ~


Life With Gigi

By Association

I never made a baby, so
most folks I meet call me
“that childless guy” but
I always think of myself as
being “child-free”.

I’m old now
and glad I have no kids
even though most folks think
I’d be a good parent, and
I think so, too, but I know
to be a really good parent
you have to want to be one.

I never made a baby, but
I know I’m still a hottie
(even after all these years)
because I’m happily married
to a Great Grandmother
and she’s a real hottie, so…

dVerse Poets Pub
Tuesday Poetics
~ Grandmothers ~


Teardrop Tanka

(For KFL 02/14/27 – 01/24/01)


1 Teardrop=0.05g

She’s been gone for years.
She loved to solve puzzles, too.
She was my mother.
I know the weight of water.
I’ve got her to thank for that.

Tuesday Twiglet #309
~ the weight of water ~


Ron. On The Rocks

It’s Quadrille Monday again at the dVerse Poets Pub; time to create a 44-word poem.

This week we’re asked to create a poem using the word “Ice” or some version thereof.

Thanks to our friend Mish for hosting and getting us started.


Ron. On The Rocks

The only ice in New Orleans
or at least the only ice
I ever saw in New Orleans
was the leftover ice
clinking in my empty glass
after my afternoon
at The Sazerac House.

I’m still home 
in icy Vermont
awaiting Mardi Gras.


FYI: I’d love to have me a Sazerac but I discovered (the hard way) long ago that I have NO tolerance for any kind of whiskey, bourbon, or any brown liquor, so…

• 2ounces light rum
• 2ounces dark rum
• 3ounces Passion Fruit juice (or juice blend)
• 3ounces orange juice
• Juice of half a lime
• 2tablespoons grenadine syrup
• Orange slices and maraschino cherries for garnish, if desired
• Ice cubes

dVerse Poets Pub
Quadrille Monday #168
~ Ice ~




It’s just her and me this morning. Her six-string reveille enchants me, as usual, and raises the Sunday morning curtain far more painlessly than the drone of my pickup truck, warming up in the mid-winter driveway used to do, ages ago, when I still labored every morning just to roll out of bed and attempt to ready myself for yet another workday.

This morning she slays me with Early Rain and some tune I don’t recognize, but when I hear the first few notes and the strummed chord pulling them all together, the melody seems suddenly familiar and I find myself humming along, almost completely agenda-free, with nothing on my list beyond a second or third cup of coffee and the possibility of spending the whole day in comfy clothing and slippers, with maybe a couple of cookies on a plate beside my keyboard while I let her and her acoustic cronies kidnap me, float me out into the garden where I can watch imaginary raindrops ripple the rain barrel’s reserves shortly after sunrise.