Spring Festival

There’s something about this spring day,
it’s like a choregraphed stage production
of what spring in spring is made
with a comparable mise-en-scène
and singing of sylph chorus,
rain clouds adding distant drama,
sunlight streaming from the rafters,
the performance of a lifetime
from this cast of leaves and flowers
dancing to their birth,
swaying to their being in being,
and bowing to their end, as in love’s future.

A Few More Barrels


A plum dropped into the brim-full
hour of summer
and to keep the edge of time
along the edge of space
fate rippled over the barrel head.

Moon Pearl

I reached my arm down into night
and raised up a moon pearl
which spilled back into the barrel
so that the heavens could have a mirror.

Round Words

To hold the rain
the barrel must be saturated.
To be full of love
the body must be saturated.


The barrel sinks into soil,
grows roots, attracts lichen and moss,
insects and birds, bats and snakes,
and at the height of summer
morning glories entangle the barrel,
creep over the rim
and grow back out
blossoming wildly
like life twice born.


Sometimes hanging grapes and leaves
are reflected in the convex mirror
of a brimming barrel, and deeper down
an idiotic Bacchus face looked up
having drowned drinking the barrel.

What Kind of Poems Do You Write

poems made of rainwater
collected in rain barrels
spare part poems
that squeak like a bicycle
Sunday poems
when nature is in worship
poems like rolling carp
eclipsing gold in shallow water
well-groomed poems
like the sons of barbers
poems like mirrors
hiding in plain sight
poems like floodlit fields
with empty soccer nets
sadly smiling poems
for having won and lost
imperfect poems
for being all too human
poems like children
laughing and crying
poems like vessels
in which the wine ages

Chalk Flowers

After browsing the wretched news
I go out and see chalk flowers
adorning my driveway.
Starting today the children of the world
will be spared from our brutality.
Starting today all hate
will wash away like chalk rain.
Starting today all guns
will be drawn in chalk.

Spring Reading

Spring is like a picture book,
each page offers more green,
some gold of the unseen
and a root planted in the spine.

Each page is a leaf on a tree
that turns the day toward the sun
and the book has endless pages
even though the story must end.

Ancient Echoes of Ancestry

Ancient echoes of ancestry
sound waves in the bloodline
like a river of origins
mysterious avowals of place
like stone steps to nowhere
and what reechoes there
brings you back to thought
accepts you back to naught
rejects who you are not
withholds what you were taught
the murmurs of a trace
vestiges in headspace
requests without a you
all antecedents to a who

Accumulating Wealth

You must amass currency for eternity
and be parent of your best memories
and adopt the child inside you
and guide the sick and the blind
as you’d wish to be guided
by the kindness of a blind hand
and to never lose what you love
you must love loss
not only the promise of freedom
but the wealth of it all


Today I remember my mother’s bread,
the smell rises like yeast into my head,
waking my senses to baking dough
and the flower of my mother’s glow.

Today I remember I was born
out of my mother’s bread
and that the hands of her love
shaped the limbs of my body.

Today I know that bread is love,
that its memory is the bread I eat,
that even with a working father
bread was made of hope and water.