The Duck’s Version

Wild ducks compete with children for the shade
in the shallow water underneath this tree.
Tan toddlers pelt their siblings with wet sand.
Few other places the Creator made
compare well with this shallow inland sea
for pretty pleasures. Children understand.

Here they are quiet and happy, and they play
at finding pirate treasure till they swim
into the sunshine. One beached duck eats bread
from a sandwich dropped off earlier today
by a duck-god, he says, daily feeding him.
His story grabs my heart if not my head.

Winter Report from Costa Blanca

The weather up north’s German (as they say, ‘wetter’).
Dutch polders that aren’t frozen float in rain.
Down here in Spain it’s drier. Warmer. Better.
Though Oslo slows from powdered snow, the pain
of seeing that on TV does not fetter
my feckless glee. Orange blossoms help me gain
perspectives that permit me to endure
my winter where the sea today’s azure.

published in THE ARMCHAIR AESTHETE and in THE OLDING MAN

Late August Sun

The late August sun sees fine, fat spiders sleeping.
They drift in dreams that scud among their eyes
like tiny mimics of the clouds’ light leaping
to tag the sun that bathes the August skies.

One spider had a fly beside her weeping
at tales she whispered, wrapping him in lies
and myths. She sleeps. He struggles, accepts fate,
as he thinks back on the smaller beings he ate.

Winter’s Blessed Wind Chill

December night acquires a fuller moon
that lights the whitecaps on the Ijsselmeer.
I pace to warm myself, attempt a tune
the wind absconds with, wiping off a sneer
from my chapped lips. A sleepy heron stands
just inward of the rocks that take the spray.
It dews his feathers, flecks and chills my hands.

Winter’s Blessed Wind Chill appeared in The Olding Man

Joie des Livres

In the beauty of this day’s fall colours
when its nip in the air put that tang in my tendons
I gave up my day job
of being unemployed
and my addictive personality
that hasn’t killed me so far
due to terminal sloth
and marched off
to my artisan’s workbench
resolute
to do something
of worth
in this world
until studied reflection
on the personal safety accorded me by Guardian Sloth
sent me happily back to bed to read.
Better read than dead.

Wistful Waking

I watch nostalgia surface, see it bite
at the sunrise that relieves the harvest moon.
This perfect weather – bright light day and night –
should be enough, but is not, to festoon
my autumn with the joys of the season:
canoeing, hiking, catching leaves that fall
like puzzle pieces teasing at my reason.
Why having much can I not have it all?
The past calls loudly but not using words.
I revisit places I have never been.
More of me than my eye pursues the birds
that gyre around the great church spire and then
flit out of sight, return once, and are gone
into the shade nostalgic thoughts bring on.