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A Congressional If / Then­­


Teachers take the NTE

And police Civil Service Exam

And fire fighters fit to be

Fighting fires for woman & man

If nurses have their test decree

And doctors have their boards

A dissertation for a PhD

Permits all to help the hordes


Why, in position to vote at all,

Do we allow our fate to rest

With those of no mental wherewithal

To pass a simple test

The lower house which originates

Our laws by which we live

Would struggle it seems to regurgitate

Simple history in a test we’d give

There is a simple message here

That would lay most enmity to rest

If politicians want votes dear

We require them to pass a test!


Maybe, in an unplanned future   

When misdeeds have been packed away

In a dim and dusty corner

The attic of memory


Maybe, in an unplanned future

Will I stop straining to hear

Your exhaust’s familiar cadence

As your car in the valley draws near


Maybe, in an unplanned future

Your cell-phone Ode…will ring

And Joy will be un-ironic

As the tone and ode will sing:


Everything is all right

Everything is all right

Writing the Obits

I can put it off no longer

No coffee mug large enough

To sip the deed

To be done

It must be drunk

Whole, full-faced

Eye-to-eye, the names

The departed


Cut short?

Maybe not.


Multiple lives lived

In one

With all the answers

Leaving the living

Clueless with grief

And rose-colored



Death’s decay

Gilding with a

Heart’s bouquet

Praying, For the Moment

Every thing I knew 

On June 21st seemed

Verdant green and true

Fully righteous

Ripe with data turning

Nature’s analog

To late September digital

Single leaves in

Rapid descent

Falling like knowledge

Slipping behind excuses

Season, age, and disease

Where creature and god

Abide a constant

Warring for truth

Night Dreams

Night comes

Easing an orange sun

Over earth’s dreary edge

Cares drown on the horizon

Yet return in the day’s catch

Some slipping through the wide

Knit of net


Others left unsorted

On the pillow

Of dreams

Caste,  unremembered

Dismembered chunks

Until the slow insurrection

Of a pink and purple daubed

Day break forces fear

To organize and

We remember

Starling Season

A mumuration [flock of starlings] above the River Shannon
Photo by Vimeo

Orchestrated for survival

Gripping their perch

Awaiting the countdown

The murmuration

Becoming rippling periods

From every sentence ever written

This day

An exercise in mimicry

At 20 miles per hour

Swirling a dusky sky

The center black with strength

Graying out to the edge

The weakest

The fodder

For judgment

And sparrowhawks

Thinking Poetry – Living Prose

Martyrs of the 20th century – honored in granite and poetry

 Living in prose

Concerned with the text of life

As it is written

On the cracked mirrors of bathrooms,

And subway walls,

In the urine of little boys spilling

Their small words in the dirt

The text expands with age

Multi-syllabic disasters and concerns

Death leaving those to mourn in

Loneliness and debt

Where’s the poetry for non-poets?

Is there enough

Life in verse to go around?

Haughty and regal verse rising

Above the mire in art and sophistication

Where’s the verse in death, poverty, and spirits

Haunted and struck by the closed hand of the Father?

The sun and verdant forests

To possess

To scorch and hide the verseless

With nothing but a hideous prose

To read on tragic walls

Life –

As it is written