A few other poems

Appraising the Vase


It came here, she says, from Genoa,

late 18th century, the story goes, saved,

stolen, bought, no one now knows,

still flawless, without visible scars.


“My family has owned it for generations.”

I am asked to know it. I hold it firmly in

my hands, move my thumbs over

its smooth face, caressingly.


I care only for this: What was

its beauty, power, there, then;

what is its beauty, power, now, here;

what did it, does it, hope for, fear.


Only when I know all of this, there,

then, now, here, can I say for sure

if it still breathes, is gone, what

someone else must pay just to hold it.




waiting forever for nothing

is half the fun of it


the birds start up at first

hint of light


silence to cacophony

just like that


thumb-sized red tulips

stems just cut


float through the air



I lie quietly and listen

all day I will


lie quietly to anyone

who will listen



Two Dreams




The kiss is electric, lips

soft, slightly wet,

barely touching at first,

then moving over each other

carefully, until they know

mountains, valleys, streams,

each leaf, stem, flower.

We gasp, the exact

moment love arrives.




She reaches into the dark

for a hand, finds mine,

waiting. Our warm fingers

entwine for a second.

Then hers slip quickly out,

move toward another,

the one they meant to find.

We gasp, the exact

moment love leaves.




Poems in the Manner of Emily Dickinson

            (I hope I’ll add to this list over time)




Settled in a second–

how her eyelid moved,

the words I had just heard



Truth by definition

finds respite in the small.

Words when weak–

An eyelid says it all.




Arrayed around a table–

statues, a voice I cannot hear.

A woman with a grimace,

a man with unkempt beard,


and twenty more of each

iterated chair by chair

I walk by sidewise glancing,

glad I’m here not there.