Painted in the Steam

The Best Poems

The best poems are etched
as ballads on the delicate flesh
of rose petals or histories
on the brittle parchemnet

of October’s late leaf.
Some appear as braille
on a hornet’s wing
or are painted in the steam

rising from a hot cup of tea.
Others are fathomed
on a dragon’s meaty skin,
in the weave of a troll’s tangled hair,

and forged upon a sword’s iron
brandished to discover
each creatures’ breath and blood.

In a Tree Near the Old Fence

This morning, making my coffee, my eye, through the kitchen window, was captured by a spark of light resting on a leaf hanging on tree that had lost itself to shadow.

In a Tree Near the Old Fence

I am grateful
for the green leaf
that catches and clings

to the light,
once spilling
through the branches

as a stream spills over stone,
when all others
abandon this heat,

sinking deeper
into the shadows
of an aging day.

Somewhere a Dog Barks

Our family has unofficially adopted a stray cat. He’s become a rather important part of our clan.

Stray Cat

It’s found its courage,
curled into my lap,
sleeps as heat sleeps.

Lightening bugs begin
their rituals, spark and weave,
beneath the dark pines.
Night burdens the grass,

piled in layers, a soft cake.
Somewhere a dog barks
and the cat listens.

Happy News

The following is a description of a recently released poetry anthology in which my work appears. The anthology is available on Amazon.

“Viewed in geological time, poetry is a recent phenomenon, even in an ancient outcropping like the New Jersey Palisades. After five millennia of recorded history, toward the end of the 20th Century, writers begin to gather together, to coalesce in cafes, libraries and other literary watering holes upon or near the ancient basaltic fastness of the Palisades. This post-geological phenomenon has been collectively named “The Palisades Poetry Movement.” The first anthology by the Poets of the Palisades, Beyond the Rift, was published in 2010, and featured the work of 39 poets from the tri-state area. This new volume, Meta-Land, assembles 121 works by 58 poets, arranged in 11 themed sections. All of the pieces that appear in the anthology are by authors who were featured in the on-going North Jersey Literary Series held at the Classic Quiche Café in Teaneck, New Jersey between 2010 and 2015. This collection delves deeply into our ‘metaperceptions:’ how we see ourselves, the universe, and what we question, feel or think. Diverse voices that represent a modern world of both natural beauty and cosmopolitan sophistication explore the fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason and mind. We find ourselves in a ‘Meta-Land,’ where symbols of symbols are nested like matryoshkas, and meaning’s reach extends past all horizons.”

Never Forget Me


Never Forget Me

Today, I’ll dip
a feather in a pool
of sunlight,

the pool that’s trickled
down the brown shingles,
into the gutter,

and found its rest
where the grass
has yellowed with heat.

I’ll paint my name
on the sidewalk,
as a child would scratch

his name with chalk,
and I’ll know
the earth will never forget me.