In Solitary

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This solitary cell is lonely
but far from inmate strife;
in cement walled stillness
I call up a wistful memory
of a long gone former life.

It’s early morning when we wake
from dreams of a rustic cabin
at one end of an endless road.
Does anyone know how long?
Who cares? Whatever it takes!

The rising mountain fills our senses
with scent of pine, and mossy damp.
Cries of angry gravel as we pass
frighten tiny meadow flowers
corralled by wind-bent grass.

Our excited little Geo,
fretful, and fearfully aware,
creeps past feral rocks
by a swirling singing stream
where birdsong colors the air.

I imagine a woman like this river,
beautiful, strong, soft and constant.
But a steep stretch of rutted road
makes the Geo stall and stop
unable to carry its peopled load.

Cramped legs and minds unbend
To unburden the grateful car;
Whining mosquito gangs attack
like a teasing older brother;
and I fondly bite them back.

We reach that fearful place
between a clutching abyss
and leaning cruel black cliffs.
I close my eyes up tight
to keep death out of sight.

My Uncle laughs and claims
“The mountain’s coming down.”
We pass a remembered spring
that weeps and sings of rain
and snow and lightening,

Where clear stone washed water
bred in stoney darkness,
born of a granite womb
becomes the newborn river
that leads us all to the sea.

Then I see it! The green gate!
I can hardly wait to know
of grandma’s secret things;
what wonderments she’ll show
like Scrabble and music she sings.

The Geo finds a place to hide
between dark woods on either side
and spits us out upon the road
like giddy human pack mules
fretting about their load.

I stagger under the weight
but stubbornly add more,
to shorten my anxious wait
for auntie’s fresh baked pies,
campfire songs and remembered lies.

The old cabin rises to greet us
dressed in hand made shingles
my father split and nailed there
sweating beer and singing curses
at the wild mountain air.

When his bright light died
we placed his lonely ashes
there by his favorite tree,
by the tomb of my childhood
and the cradle of juvenile rage.

Through this silent six side cell
runs a road by a singing river
that leads to the soulful sea.
And I hope whatever was lost
Still lives and thrives in me.

First Frost

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Our little frizzy bitch

knows  I  hear the pitch

of her quiet AM squeaking;

knows if I try to sleep

my other owner will insist.


We step  into a quiet world

where still water sleeps

under a thin blanket of mist.

The cold bright eye of Venus

scans fleet and fading stars.


We pass frost-whited rooftops,

lawns, bare trees, persimmons

waking to orange ripeness,                          

and the neglected trashy yard  

of a failing elderly widow.


Our movement wakens lights

of two scanning cameras,

on her electrified fence;

it’s clear her troubled son

will defend his plot of pot.

A car passes. A kitchen lights up.

Brazen day begins to climb

 the back of fearful night.

Pepa sniffs up the past

From scents of urine and scat.


OK. ‘Enough’, I say:

‘Sun will chase the frost away.


Be done with stinky thrills.

They will   last until

We come again this way.’


She body-shakes professionally,

head to tail- or the other way-

gives up the pungent walk,

and  bounds back eagerly,

sure to catch that squirrel today.