When a Poet Passes — a poem

Paul-Laurence-Dunbar (2)

for Firestone Feinberg

Our plesance heir is all vane glory,
This fals warld is bot transitory,
The flesche is brukle, the Fend is sle;
Timor mortis conturbat me.

— William Dunbar
“Lament for the Makers”


His breath stopped
yet not his voice — it lives
within others and others to come.

Or perhaps it flies
on the Springtime wind
into the budding trees of May.

It will be heard
when leaves are full
green, or in Autumn’s dry whisper.

And, yes, even as Winter laughs
at our collective frailty.

The voice of a maker echoes
in protest, in pleasure — the shouts
of children at play;
of lovers at odds;
of those who wish to be heard
over the chaotic noise they have caged
within that sings, “The fear of death confounds me!”

His breath has stopped.
His voice has joined
the chorus of the makaris —

“I se that makaris amang the laif
Playis heir ther pageant, syne gois to graif;
Sparit is nocht ther faculte….”


Less Than Normal — a poem

What did I find when I ventured
out today? Bite-sized memories strewn
across the surface of our pond.

Thoughts brought
to light — a feeding
frenzy of guilts.

I look up to the clouds
into a mother-shaped hole.

Thirty years abandoned.

The promised
rain never appears.

The storms headed south.

Only a drop blown in a north wind.

Meditations of Sophie, Our Dog, Who Has Recently Lost Her Ability To Hear — a poem

Sophie (2)



I can’t find their sounds —
sniffed everywhere.

They have hidden their voices.
I watch as they move
their muzzles; but nothing.

How am I to know?

They smell the same, but are not
talking to me.

No scent of anger.

No scent of play.

No sense I make
of this.

* * *

Okay, so as much as we love her, our Sophie never showed signs of enjoying us: our voices, our music, anything we did that kept her from her naps. She’s probably happy (if a tad confused) by our silences.