Category Archives: Memory

Interval: A Cento

I was asking myself:
will I be like this? How will I manage?

Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table,
A beggar shivering in silhouette,
with a splash of vinegar:
stoic, bitter,
strangely sweet.

It never stops still for a moment, so
I try to make it internal, and every wave is charmed.

How better to drift toward another world
but with leaves falling. The leaves, a modulation
of the accumulated darkness in which
two hundred million stars have wink and glimmer needles.
Soundless, their gaps in the dark
bless the traveler and the hearth he travels to.

All the blessings
for squash, apples, carrots, and potatoes,
the milk, the wine, the honey that night pours out.

The boy who lives inside me still won’t go away.
There was a gap in things and here we are.

This cento contains lines from the following poets: Andrew Motion, Langston Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Margaret Atwood, Donald Hall, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rosemary Willey, Phillippe Delaveau, Luke Davies, Todd Davis, John Taggart, Bruce Weigl, Ron Padgett, Wendy Videlock, Howard Moss, John Hollander, Dave Lucas.



First, lay down a crumble of moments in a dish,
childhood memories and first visions evoked –
if you have them – mix them with a butter
sauce of retention.

Smear a layer of simple exuberance – whisked and sweet
over the base. Linger if you must, smoothing and spreading
a zestful meringue until it glistens reflected light.

Next will come chunks of a weightier kind.
Dropped upon the dish,
they will indent the surface.
They will disrupt your coated enthusiasm
with texture, and by themselves, will be unfulfilling.
Do not allow them to cover in total,
but position them throughout – they will later add contour
and context to your beginnings.

Prepare a lime gelatin containing your favorite morsels
of triumph (and defeat)-
One cannot come without the other-
Spoon it over the patina of your past until covered.
Cool and let it set for a time- until solid.

When removed and sliced, savor the different
complexions – the marrow and the substance in between
and within the continuous and smooth.

Add layers.

The last ones

Where the omegas light
or the zebras graze
coming to a sundown at the end
of a day, with the hues just finishing
at the edge of the page.
Come what may.

Trek down to bottom
of the waterfall,
the pool that collects and swirls
and spalls. Shapes majestic rock
to a minor crawl.
You’ve seen it all.

Walk away from
blood and tears you’ve shed,
The memory maybe still fresh,
and living in your head. Not
worth the pain or the dread.
That’s what they said.

The last ones take
a moment to decide,
to conquer and reign in the now,
the meantime. It’s true what they implied,
yet often untried.


I spent the morning reading my old poems
and realize they feel like memories.
The lonely ones that desire a second (or third)
reading, the triumphant ones
that trumpet their arrival,
the amorous ones –
they pull me into a corner by the collar and linger,
the nonsensical ones that twirl and wheel
about the sacred and profane, the love or disdain.
The obtuse, they wander.
The linear, they gander.
The poems, I gather to mind
and hold to abide in warm embraces.
They all have their places.

Summer in Chelsea

There’s a summer in Chelsea,
a lazy, flush sunrise –
a dew, with its mettle
at morning, then stripped of its guise.
Full glow and blushing
in the mid-day, with nothing
borne except the breezes
that prattle and patter the leaves
and the warm air that settles,
the ardor that thieves.
Just before rain-drops
and thunder arrive on the scene
to swirl and knead everything
before the employ
of the night,incandescent,with hushes
and wants. Pooled sweat and twilight
and intimate haunts.
Indeed, a summer in Chelsea,
and she beams nonchalance.

Thoughts on epiphany

I have decided that music
bears witness to the scenery around us.

A woman wearing a bunny eared winter cap
can listen to “Wild Thing” and “Always a Woman”
and still be focused on serious world issues.

The sounds of Professor Longhair and Dr. John
refresh a winter day of Epiphany just as well as Kings College
at Christmastide.

A conversation with a beautiful soul
can ignite a fire – for warming a dulled
and calloused heart.

Walking on salted sidewalks
leaves a rhythmic pulse in your brain
with bodhran and guiro contributions.

The sparkle of lights in the darkness
of early morning never grows old. The silence
makes them shine.

The end of the day lingers when you drag out
the last light from inside.


There is a slight twinkle
near the sun, and it brings a magic notion
down to one. There is a water droplet
near the stream, and it doesn’t bother
or even seem to care if it’s apart-
the teeming, rushing flow reprieves.
A single green leaf among the red and golden sheaves
and fading starlight, tropes in morning dark.
Waving grasses, stand in endless fields
beneath the doleful skies of clouds with daylight, now concealed.
Wisps of raven hair that battle with the breeze,
as eyes (that smile) seek out the day’s reprise.
And this, a thought to consort with the one,
the charm that twinkled with the sun.