Wine Take — a poem

image by Charley

Under magenta lights our wine
takes on a note dropped
from a wind chime suspended
over my beloved’s head.

The piano speaks,
while bass agrees –
if somewhat apologetically.

We give thanks for the plash
of the pond fountain, the din
from our uninvited freeway,
distantly related –
if not distant enough for our tastes.

The Dipper, Ursa Major, lumbers
overhead, heedless of a nocked
arrow from Orion’s bow.

Ah, the wine has taken us on!

File for Future Reference — a poem

image by Charley

Outside the bars sunrise flashes
an indelicate orange-yellow. Birds cheer-
up the advent of day, take wing grasping
manners of clouds once sequestered
in the night sky.

In my cell, mindless of fluorescent “day,”
my self drags, somnambulant, through gloom –
ever night. Ever night.

A family of Sandhills promenade
past the bars of our back fence.
They pause to converse with inmates –
urge flight. Ancient, primitive they
know better than to build for themselves.
They know instinctively the boon of liberty.

As daylight dies I return to the wings
I’m making out of hours and shortening of breath.
My workbench is a classroom, my tools my frustration.
A timesheet keeps watch, a laptop for restraints
August through June…Devil’s Island, Alcatraz.
The Sandhills just brought me a birthday cake.



Devil’s Dream — a poem

Lead ‘em astray.

A twelve-string in the hands
of a blind man dressed
in a big city business suit,
black glasses, fedora.
They tap their toes,
but the reaper will come.

No mercy, no mercy!
Finger and thumb –
let him preach away.
The gospel won’t cover
the blues man’s beat.
He’ll strive for the heart,
but I’ll capture their feet.

Lead ‘em astray.

No mercy, no mercy!

A twelve-string bible
in the hands of a man
dressed for business.



The Sunday Muse

On the Cultivation of Fireflies — a poem

Eeek out a place
for yourself deep
in the woods – far
from the burr
of highways,
street racers,
the din of air termini.

Plant yourself
some tiny white
lights set
                  to blink.

Sit up in an unlit
window – watch,
                 with childlike expectancy.


* * *

A memory from a recent trip to Upstate South Carolina, staying at a vineyard, where each night we were visited by the fairy lights of fireflies.

Artifacts Found On Summer Vacation — a poem

image by Charley

Backboard and hoop poking
out of the underbrush, layups
and skyhooks turned to rust.

Gazebo, now a ramshackle
boathouse – decommissioned,
unscreened by passing time.

Haunted trail that meanders
through woods, leading
to a ghost boat ramp – weeds
fracturing old pavement.

Summer spirits past act
as undercurrent of summer

When the clock strikes
we become Scrooge –
visited by Autumn’s mist.

— Saluda Lake, 7-11-2022

I come weary — a Troiku

Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

I come weary,
In search of an inn—
Ah! These wisteria flowers!

—Matsuo Basho
Translation by William George Aston

I come weary,
are we not weary, you and I?
Yet we carry light hearts.

In search of an inn—
a meal, a bath, glasses of wine.
Glad meeting of old friends.

Ah! These wisteria flowers!
remind me of home, my garden
where I shall finally rest.


Back in 2012 (or 13?) Chèvrefeuille, the host of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, introduced the form he called, Troiku. Follow the link for more information on this form. It’s an interesting twist on an ancient and revered poetry form.

No Matter — a poem

image by Charley

No matter how you grasp
the fork, how sharp you’ve made
the blade, life slices
clean and thin, and sets
pleasantly upon the tongue.

It doesn’t matter that rising
prices, wars that threaten
to spill over boundaries,
or ideologies have split
nations, neighbors and kin.

No matter that I dreamt,
frantic in my work clothes,
the containered space,
wrestling with urgent
emails, voicemails, texts….

A pair of Great Blues
strolling through the lifting
fog remind that off days follow
the week, holidays carry
necessary demands of rest.

The rising sun reflecting
paints pond-surface ripples
over my head on the bedroom
ceiling, a backbeat rhythm
for the new day born in light..

No matter that it’s Sunday.

No matter that Monday
is peering around the corner.

Hot tea is in the offing,
breakfast on the back porch –
cereal, yogurt and blueberries.

You will be there and love
will abide no matter

what comes.


* * *

A poem that grew out of Gwarlingo’s The Sunday Poem “Invitation for Writing & Reflection.” Thank you, James Crews for the jumpstart!