Train Ride

When the grief comes back
I cannot just ignore it,
like I do with some things.
All I can do is try to stay out of its way.

I think of it as a train,
with brakes that don't care

if they stop the loaded cars
full of our dreams and the essence of you
we shared under the same stars.

The captive tracks
were laid out by you long ago,
a virtuoso of some note,
along the path of who you wer...

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Constant Companion

I did as well as I could.

Most of the time

I felt I might have done better.


But this well-known feeling,

my constant companion,

has always kept me

on the welcoming edge

of trying to grow

in an inward way.


Maybe with more practice I'll get there.

The journey, as they say,

is the important part.


So, like many I call family,

I'll continue to...

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Personal Notes on Angels

I don't know any angels.

Not like the ones in the Bible.

But I have met some who must be.


They have helped me walk through underlying worlds

of pain and decay just under the surface

of all the beauty I see in another sunrise.


And to appreciate the wonder I've felt

being next to those that have no wings or halos

or other decorations to show me.


I don't e...

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Window Seat

I sit in a very comfortable chair.

Tubes in my arm administering meds

with unpronounceable names.


A large and inviting window to my right

welcomes the sunlight,

letting the day enter without resistance.


Suddenly, a small bird strikes the window outside

startling me out of my cloak of anxiety!


I have no way to see

if it survived the collision,


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Rain Song

As the rain fell around her,

she wanted to feel the downpour on her face.

To feel anything other than the rage

of the wild world all about her

would be a welcome change.


Grateful, she tossed the umbrella aside

and let the deluge speak to her

as she hoped it would.

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Drift-Away Gifts


Some of the women drove me crazy.

And some I was crazy about

while I was holding on to things

that were really never mine.


And every time I let go of the gifts

they had brought with them

I found myself able to grow a little

as my heart, after it could see again,

was grateful for the journey.

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Local Weather

The weatherman tells us yet again,
about a stubborn high-pressure ridge
keeping the reluctant showers away.

She always worries about the rain.
Will it be too cold to stand in?
And, of course, will it ever come again?

She wonders aloud to me,
with apprehensive humor,
“Why can’t we find a way
to move the pressure ridge
out into space so the rain can be free
to do as it should?”


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First Friends

Can you dance Mr. Bear?
Yes, when I find some honey in a tree,
or wherever I discover it

My button eyes
and felt covered nose
are more keen
than they may seem.

Is it sweet like me,
this honey, Mr. Bear?
Yes, and I would always share it with you.
I really don't mind.

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Assembled over the years,
I was pieced together by many things.
Among them, wounds that pierced me
without blood, but disfigured me for a time.

Scars and abrasions remain,
from loss and from love.
If I’m fortunate though,
another compress will be within reach,
ready to be applied, when needed,
by my experienced hands.

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Coffee Shop

Cold, I pull my coat to me,
near the place where we started

A shelter for my thoughts

I pass almost daily


Your cure for a hardness of the heart,

still the compass of my affection,

became lyrics I couldn’t improve upon

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She says, “I love you Button.”
I say, “You’re like the end of a good day.”

She smiles playfully when I say this
and asks, “The agreeable parts,
or something else?”
“No silly, the good things.”, I reply

“It’s your heartbreak for the dog
that appeared to be a stray,
and the relief you felt
when the owner finally came along
that makes it that way.”

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Canine Frequencies

We suddenly notice our dog, Tuffy,

missing from his favorite spot on the sofa

as we get up to investigate


There he sits, silently and patiently,

by our back door, expectantly

waiting for us to finally notice

he needs to go out


Perhaps he wonders why

it’s taken us so long

to receive his urgent thoughts

beamed to us from canine frequencies


Our other do...

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Little Crimes



Sitting on the couch with her feet in their usual spot on my lap


“Are those a pair of my new socks I just bought”


“Fool, I swiped these from you before the pandemic!”


And they look wonderful on her


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During the absent days,

although you were near

but at the same time

in some other place,


love may have been there

but I had to guess

most of the time,


and I was terrible at it

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After my mother died
but before her things
were scattered about,

did some of these belongings

stop whispering what they were saying

about her?

Or did they continue to speak

of a light summer breeze off the coast,
sunlight shining just so

through a dusty shop window,

beckoning her?

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Love Story (FedEx Edition)

Walking in our front door,

A multi-colored package in my hand

promising something has arrived for someone


“Is that a present for me?”, her playful query

“No, it’s just my meds from the good doctor.”

“Still seems like a gift for me.”, her reply


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Arachnid 911

Turning on the shower this morning,

bleary-eyed and sleepy still, I spied

a charmingly awkward Daddy Long Legs


Whenever I encounter them

it seems as if they’re quarreling

with their circumstances,

trying to get where they want to be

with their uncertain, stop-and-start gait


This one, now wrestling with hazards

I had just carelessly introduced,

near the f...

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Love Story


She never says the words “I'm sorry” 

But she reveals their substance

when she takes my open hand

in her way, saying all that is needed

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The tree is probably much older

than the neighborhood around it

A sage of the community

from all it has witnessed


It began life long before property lines,

homes and city codes were in place

Modern contrivances unheeded

by the tall and dignified resident


But what strikes me as well

is the fence, shared by both homes,

and the boards that were specially fitted


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Blackest Crow

All I could feel

were the calls

of the worrying crows


Midnight-black, as they are,

picking over the remains

of your absence


And in this way

I miss you,

waiting for time to

chase them away

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My high school friend,
the only one I’m still in touch with,
has been drifting from town to town
in country with very few people,
but overfilled with stark beauty

He’s been doing this for many years
in his shelter with wheels
He was just outside of Belle Fourche,
or maybe it was Medicine Bow,
when I last heard from him

I’ve never asked him
what he could possibly be looking for
out ...

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Second Date

At the annual run in The City,

tortillas were pelting everyone, an eccentric tradition

Your Batgirl costume was unexpected


At the end of the course

bands were setting up on stage

With so many people around us,

our disguises were elsewhere

by then, no longer needed

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Tournament Top

In our front room with world raging just outside,

the string is wrapped just so

With a flick of my wrist the spinning top

races to the end of its tether

Spinning there, waiting for a command

– Walk the Dog, Rock the Baby,

maybe Around the World - look out furniture!


Years of casual practice work to master

my limited repertoire with the rapidly turning top

Its ...

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