3 a.m. Encounter with the Moon

Harbingers of Change

I watch with some dismay as they facethe glittering Pacific, their feathersruffled in the coil and furl of a mid-September breeze, and despitethe long passage their plumage is crisp and white as silence. The royal terns are back for the winter.With their ragged black crestsand dagger-like beaks they pose with entitlemen on their piece of… Continue reading Harbingers of Change

Which Way Is the Past?

I finally replaced our basketball netwith a brand new ultra-white version of hope—imagined us shooting hoops again soon,defying the athletic limits of age. Who knows, I said, the kids might returnand we’d show their children how to play "Horse,"—who's first to get a hoop for each letter—and time could stall like the arc of the… Continue reading Which Way Is the Past?

The Old Apple Tree

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”                   Ernest Hemingway, “A Farewell to Arms” A century of apples broke its back— in the dappled shade, that farthest tree— the trunk lies horizontal in the grass, too weak, for now, to battle… Continue reading The Old Apple Tree

To a Small Dog Named Lucy*

The number of steps to the escape hatch and the lake of grass that's in the backyard, the distance to the sidewalk of sun and the warmth that makes your tail tick-tock, directions west to food and water and east to the winding carpeted stairs— behind your silenced ears and blind eyes there’s a map… Continue reading To a Small Dog Named Lucy*

Requiem for a Season

I sit in a garden suspended in time as a hooded oriole bids farewell, his song in couplets that settle like soft rain or night fog   on the shivering spikes of moor grass, on the gingko’s yellowing leaves, on the silver branches of receding day.   His requiem falls on my shoulders, the pages… Continue reading Requiem for a Season

Inside an Old Wooden Box

Words carved on an antique box: J.A. Egen, Prisoner of War, Burt's Island, Bermuda, November 11, 1901 What proof do we need of existence? Sometimes only a carved letter box inlaid with lilies, the corners coupled in half-blind dovetails. A box chiseled by a prisoner of war, a South African Dutchman who fought the British… Continue reading Inside an Old Wooden Box

At the Intersection with Wildness

we found a string of jewels never meant to be revealed on a Monday morning— not here, not on the lawn beneath a king palm tree on a city street— a luminous necklace of intestines dangling from the spine of an animal locked in fetal position, fur trailing like orange hair yanked out of a… Continue reading At the Intersection with Wildness

When the Drum Told the Story

Sixty years— I still hear those black and white beats and feel the throb of an army snare drum— three measures rolled with an even pulse, the fourth one choked and abruptly stopped. They spoke of a sixties news telecast, the late autumn hours, a nation that wept, the caisson that lumbered with iron regret, a president’s… Continue reading When the Drum Told the Story

Pandemic VII: Before and After

Before it was fire, a car accident, a plane crash en route to Australia made sense   to invest with adrenaline, pounding heartbeat, with personal sweat and misguided belief.   My worries fed upon distant statistics, remote possibility, apocalyptic,   until they approached me where the street ends and were reintroduced as my long-lost friends… Continue reading Pandemic VII: Before and After