Thanksgiving Countdown

Thanksgiving Day,
What can I say,
Four days to go,
Hope we get some snow.

Cranberries, turkey, oh the dressing,
But always first, say a blessing,
Pumpkin pie, not ala mode,
All this food, stuffed like a toad,

Family time, all come together,
Always fun, big endeavor,
Macy’s Parade, on the tube,
Beats playing, Rubik’s Cube.

Giving thanks, for everything,
Lucky us, so we sing,
Backward glances, we recall,
Thanksgivings past, good for all.

Stuffed we are, at day’s end,
On the phone, greetings send,
To those not here,
We give some cheer.

Count the days,
Hearts ablaze,
Let us cheer,
Thanksgiving Day, almost here.

Winter Paints December on Lake Erie

If you look closely, you will see
the masterpiece Winter painted
along mighty Erie’s shore
in the darkness, well into the early morning light.

You will see winter’s fondness for ever so subtle shades of gray,
How one by one, winter’s breath bends, sheaths the tall ornamental grass
in rounded silvery whiteness,
And how he paints ripply footprints at the water’s edge.

If you look closely, you will see
the fluttering gulls in the distance,
Seemingly small, yet not insignificant,
Every detail a pixel of life.

There’s more, if you look closer.
If you’re willing to brazen the biting wind,
Like the pile of jagged sticks, and mossy green rocks from summer.
Now a single creamy white ice sculpture.

And if you hold your eyes and heart wide open,
You can read the painter’s signature,
Written in the battleship gray sky—

As Above, So Below

All that is above
is also below.
The invisible inside
eventually is projected outward.

What takes form outside reflects back,
like the pond’s perfectly still surface,
allowing the soul to glimpse itself,
if only for a fleeting second,
before dissolving like the day into night.

The world around us appears and disappears
with each turn of the psychic wrench,
tightening and loosening our grip
on all coming and going as reality.

All springing from the inner depths
eventually is planted
in the outer mirror
for all to see.

As above,
so below.
As above,
so below.

Cosmic Wonder

I gaze upon her,
Virgin as she is,
But not for long,
Her purpose from the start—
To meld, join, transform,
Bring about what doesn’t exist,
Birth new beginnings.

First beginnings, I think:
Eden, Big Bang, cosmic innocence,
All other beginnings, only because
There was a first beginning,
A starting point before all others.
A single, untouched placeless event.
From that point, all others.

The Ancient Tree Drummer

I hear him:
Making holes again.
Hollow places in dead trees.
He’s very old, you know.
Pterodactyl-like, I think.

With his red crest
bobbing up and down,
He seems very proud.
Cocky, I’d say.

His drilling stops.
Oh, I hear him.
Odd cuk wucka sounds.
She makes him wait.
I know he’s listening for her.
Finally she returns his call.
His pecking resumes.

Strange fellow–
that pileated woodpecker.
Feasting on ants and beetles
Deep in the old forest,
where there is plenty of dead wood.

The hollow tree is his drum.
He plays a driving beat.
Latin rock, I think.
He’s ancient, you know.
I hope I see him.

Old Age Clumsiness

A certain clumsiness comes with old age,
Almost another adolescence,
We stumble–
On our words, footsteps, and
even our prognostications about life.
All else keeping us awake at night.

A certain clumsiness comes with old age.
Even when we’re seventy-one.
Thinking back, I remember
When my parents were where I am today–
Clumsily closer to nonexistence–
Where all is lost, including ourselves.

A certain clumsiness comes with old age.
And then, there is nothing,
Even the clumsiness ends
Once we get out of our own way,
And allow our stream of existence to empty back,
Into life’s sea of new possibilities.

Tufted Titmouse

small, gray, spiked hairdo,
overflowing with song,
sweet as candy cane,
prominent black eyes,
lumps of anthracite coal.

no flocks for this chickadee,
always in pairs, or alone,
fussy scolding voice,
when perturbed by a mate,
otherwise chipper and cheerful.

this morning a pair pecks.
nibbles seed in the back feeder.
selective in their tastes.
given that it’s spring,
most likely babies in the nest.


I waited for you,
You did not come,
I watched for you,
My eyes grew tired.
I fell fast asleep.

As I slept,
There were dreams
Dancing through my head
Of you.
Life and death.

You were there.
In all my dreams.
The buzz of your wings constant.
Your gleeful chirp between sips
Of life’s sweet nectar.

I awakened from my dreams.
There you were at my window.
There you were in my heart.
It’s all a miracle—
The dreams, life, hummingbirds.

Mysteries of an October Moon

Why does the October full moon
seem so lonely, yet so bright?

Why does her luminous light
seem so still, without flicker?

Why does solitary moonlight
fill my dreams with deep mysteries
keeping me awake at night?

Why does the moon remind me
there is more to life
than what the sun can show?

Why do such questions
linger inside me
like hungry grey wolves
scouring the woods for prey?

Why is there no rest, until
I make peace with this October moon?

War-Torn Autumn Leaves

The woods outside my window are war-torn.
Filled with red, orange, and yellow soldiers,
Fighting with each other, and themselves
over who can standout most gloriously.

A perennial war they fight,
from rounded treetops,
through jagged branches,
then to the dark moist ground below.

There’s no winning the battle of color.
All pushing, shoving, name-calling in vain.
Eventually all leafy soldiers brown,
and the snow hushes their clamoring.

Autumn in All Her Glory

Meandering, painted forest all about,
Reds, yellows, golds, oranges,
Nature’s magical extravaganza,
coaxing us deeper within.

Autumn, screaming vibrant color,
Her sweet voice, ringing in our ears,
With gentle fingers, plucking harp strings,
enticing leaves to turn their final corner.

Migrating blackbirds overhead,
waving last goodbyes,
tip southward, then disappear,
into streaming white sunlight.

Tempted into submission,
we give her all we have,
Refilled, there is no containing,
what she gives back.

Wheeling Christmases in the Fifties

Trips to Downtown Wheeling at Christmas
to gawk, shop, cackle, and dream,
Back then we weren’t afraid
to laugh, shriek, and be amazed,
Storefront windows overstuffed
with dolls, dollhouses, train sets, and toy soldiers,
How could we not believe in magic–
things we can’t explain, and yet love,
Best at night when all was aglow,
but Saturday mornings were quite alright,
Stone and Thomas, LS Good, Cooey-Benz,
Stifel and Taylor, Reichart’s, and so many more,
We were there, saw it with our own believing eyes,
and best of all felt it deep in our hearts,
Santa reminds us it’s okay to dream,
look back, remember where we came from,
and what gave our hearts delight,
May this Christmas be filled
with our cherished childhood dreams.