Monday, March 02, 2015

Waiting in an Empty Tavern

Recently I was prompted to write a "bar napkin poem."

I happened to be in a bar at the time and asked the bartender for a pen and a napkin. He gave me a pen and a strip of receipt paper.

Good enough, I suppose.

Here's a picture of what I quickly scratched (minus the lame final line, which I've hidden behind the fold). Below is the re-written result.

Waiting in an Empty Tavern

Three of us
Glasses half full
In an empty tavern
If she will walk through the door
Will we even recognizer her
If she does

Friday, May 02, 2014

In the Morning

A crow on a drooping hemlock bough scolds me for the trespass
At an hour he expected to have for himself

It is still
Not yet light
As I crease the hovering mist
Pushing my prow quietly forward
Toward a place where there is hope

Confident in my direction
I drift and stow my paddle with a clunk
Amplified by the need for silence
And raising my rod overhead
I thrust back and forward
Casting out upon the water

My offering is a deceit  
Floating in the place where
Air meets water
And I wait
For faith’s reward

The apostles were fishermen who wrote that
Christ Himself sought the face of God
In the morning

Monday, April 28, 2014


Most days
I am unable to remember
Poems given to me
At inconvenient moments

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tell it to the Crowd

Three steps remain when it hits
The stench of stale urine
Making mood more contrary with each
Breath drawn in through nostrils
Unaccustomed to the city

The turnstile (are they still called that?) opens
To the gathering crowd waiting behind
The yellow line
Milling, pacing, talking
Scanning other eyes that refuse to connect

Wind pushes from the dark
Electric, warm
A whisper that tells of a coming train
Screams an obvious arrival through spark and steel



It begins

Heads down


Pressed in now feet arms legs backpacks bags satchels duffels contact inevitable too tight

Doesn’t have to be

Tell it to the crowd

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

O Sancta Simplicitas!

Sancta simplicitas! Simplicity
Holy, quiet, resolute.  When trials
Rise hot before me, fiery.  Or while
Accusations made with duplicity
Seek to question my authenticity
And, lacking truth, substitute vicious guile
Claim devotion as nothing more than vile
Heresy. Love as base felicity
Will I stand as Huss chained to the column
Singing hymns and looking to his Savior
Certain of a comfort that’s eternal?
Or will my heart fail before a solemn
Momentary fate and choose behavior
Trading a divine end for infernal?

Saturday, April 19, 2014


You are hope
And promise
Filled with strength and courage and life and all that can ever be

In a long, hard season you remain ever
Vigilant and a reminder of what was and what will again be
A gentle and persistent encouragement
Humble yet resplendent
Filling the spaces between

Friday, April 18, 2014


...I should post some stuff that isn't Boston-related?

Just an anomaly, I assure you.

On the 6:44 to Boston

It is 6:44

The train to Boston jerks forward and shakes me
As I settle into my seat
Facing rearward

The sky is cloudless, blue
Far too cold for April 18

The sun has broken free of the horizon and
Splashes itself against a scratched, dull Plexiglas window
And I squint through the glare at the rubbish
That gathers everywhere there are train tracks

Rusted cars and rimless tires
Appliances and shopping carts
Plastic shopping bags that
Caught in a locomotive’s draft
Are curled upward into the trees
Left to wave like weathered flags
Seen for a moment then
Into the grime and glare of a dull Plexiglas window
Lost to the speed and course of a train
And the lack of concern of a passenger who cannot see
Where he is headed
Only the fading memory of where he has been