3 a.m. Encounter with the Moon

Election 2020: An Allegory

It was a bloodless kill—the copper hammer barburied like fate and still gripping his flattened neck.One quick snapof an old wooden trap, the word “Victor”painted bright redjust below the spring and the trip hanging loose,the rat hanging dead.His eyes were black as unlit lamps,their fuse burned outin the metal of night just after we twistedthe… Continue reading Election 2020: An Allegory

Something about a Boardwalk

reaching over a salt marshthat invites me to hoverover the great tangle of earthlike a mote that floatsabove the madness. A bit of architecturethe forest offers of itself,yielding its sun-bleachedcedar smell up throughmy pilgrim feet, the perfect warmthof horizontal planksfragrant as the woodin a Swedish sauna whereI huddle naked, small. Here a mallard paddles lowand… Continue reading Something about a Boardwalk

What I Remember

are mournful gulls,the hollow clang of lobster boat bells,the cloak of November melancholy misting over a small harbor town,a place facing backward at Pleistocene tides,at gravity’s pull on the moon and the sea. I often felt sad at my parents' home.When my plane touched down, I sank in the cold,the constant swashing ebbing and flowthat… Continue reading What I Remember

Lesson from a Giant Swallowtail

I've been expecting himsince his mother scatteredhurried shadows overthe orange tree two weeks ago.Still, when it comes, his reveal is sudden as the lightning boltson his velvet wings,the morning mist nearlyconcealing his midnight black,his Fred Astaire elegance. But this is 2020, a yearthat staggers to the endholding its head in its hands,and even his butterflyperfection… Continue reading Lesson from a Giant Swallowtail

To My Grand-daughter, about Nature

Sometimes they’re perturbed by me—your parents—for leading you astraywhen I answer yes, you can climb that tree.How many chances come your way in a lifetime to look beyond, to see downto the ground and then sway with the riverof existence in that limber brownbranch, to feel the coil and shiver of a western wind in… Continue reading To My Grand-daughter, about Nature

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 entitlement 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?