Day 17, LexPoMo 2018

lexpomo2018I think I overdid it yesterday (or maybe I spoke too soon about needing less cough medicine): the cough is back. It’s hard to go slow when you start feeling better after being under the weather for a while.

Listen to the forest

trees with roots entangled
like lovers, joined by soil
bacteria and mycorrhiza

leaves and branches arch
overhead, interlace, form
a bower, a sacred canopy

try to parse the language
of fungus and pheromone,
electron and ion channel

close your eyes and tune
your skin to the wordless
sea of conversation


Inspired by an article in the March 2018 issue of Smithsonian Magazine: “The Whispering of the Trees,” by Richard Grant.

(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site:


Day 16, LexPoMo 2018

lexpomo2018Didn’t need quite as much cough medicine today. Progress is more gratifying when your expectations are low.

Like there’s no tomorrow

it’s in his heart
to be something more
speaking for us
twenty years later

so play it again
the war and the treaty
like water and wildfire
so young and so pure

that’s why we do music
for it to matter
and it brings her to tears
to know it still matters

and it brings her to tears
that it still matters


Found poetry from an interview heard on NPR.

(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site:

Day 15, LexPoMo 2018

lexpomo2018The meds are helping, but I think I need more naps and Dr. Who.

What we hold

In all probability, the assumption
of parents does not appear
to be mentioned.

There are, however, a series of facts
about the name on the lips
of an anonymous crowd.

There is no Joseph
until a decade later, drawn from
the reference to a suggestion.

This same theme believes
the genealogy, traces the line
of the most desperate moments.

We turn in search of ancestral
mothers, women known
for their stories.


This erasure poem uses text from chapter 14 of Unbelievable, by John Shelby Spong.

(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site:

Day 14, LexPoMo 2018

lexpomo2018I’ve not been posting nearly as much as I’ve been writing, and not writing nearly as much as I would like. Bronchitis and its attendant medications sometimes have that effect. Today I did nothing but nap, poetry, and Dr. Who, so I’m sure I’ve advanced my recovery exponentially.


I don’t know what moves
a poem, makes language in space
unfathomed–simple, open, powerful–
toward which I gravitate

common concern manifests
whatever feels honest and specific
to the thousands that receive
more than we publish

occasions resonate in particular
when the story seems surprised
it can love itself–
whatever that may be

This is an erasure poem derived from an interview at Frontier Poetry with Hannah Aizenman, poetry coordinator for The New Yorker. I recommend reading the entire interview, which may be found here:

(Reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month web site:


Day 6, LexPoMo 2018

lexpomo2018I wrote two poems this morning, the second derived from the first. I chose the second to post on the LexPoMo web site; the first is also posted here, just for interest.

Perversity of memory

Last night I said something
in a dream, and some part of me
thought, Take note of that – it will make
a good poem tomorrow. But today I don’t recall
what I said, only that it was a fragment
of poetry I wanted to remember.

Reblogged from the Lexington Poetry Month website:

This is the poem that gave rise to the poem above.

Beginning to remember

lately I’ve been remembering dreams
again, but not really – remembering
that I had a dream worth remembering,
remembering that there was an image
or phrase or sequence of unfolding
action that I wanted to remember

even though I don’t remember the thing
itself, I feel strangely encouraged
that I remember there was something
in my dream worth remembering

Day 5, LexPoMo 2018

lexpomo2018Yes, it’s Lexington Poetry Month again! So brace yourselves. 😉

I’m a bit behind because the first three days of June were taken up with my daughter’s high school graduation and attendant celebrations — hooray! Yesterday I wrote a poem, but then forgot to post it. So here’s to finally getting started!

Visual acuity

light in the eye transforms:
particle and wave fractured
into color, parsed into contour,
interpolated into movement

billions of data points selected
or discarded to create
patterns that give the riotous world
an appearance of order

(reposted from the Lexington Poetry Month site:

* This poem was inspired by a cryptic note J.R.R. Tolkien tucked into an unfinished sketch on display in Oxford, England.

The 18th of NaPoMo 2018

This year I decided to take a more holistic approach to NaPoMo, because writing is only part of my work as a poet. On the days I haven’t drafted new poems, I’ve been revising existing poems, looking for places to send them, and READING lots and lots of amazing poetry from around the world.

Here are a couple I drafted from phrases in a post at the Natural Dreamwork blog. They are a hybrid of found poetry and erasure poetry.

Natural healing process

skin your knee, the body mobilizes
the wound closes, the bleeding stops, a scab forms
leukocytes engage and destroy
fibroblasts build new skin
eventually the scar may fade


Failed dream

it’s against the law to remove antlers
from a national park
the wounded elk might be easy to miss
buried in a narrative

dreams are not narratives
they are a movement of feelings
the experience of space, time, and feeling
aren’t really separable

an image appears and beckons
wants to be my mirror
that bloody wound is my medicine
to face it becomes a healing

story-making spins away
distances, fails to notice the image
making it about anything
but feelings

the medicine isn’t always delivered


Source material: