From Redirection,  published in 2017.


The memory
like a string of red beads
the beads scattered
scrabbled over by hands
pinching each recovered escaped bead
between thumb and forefinger
with hopes of reassembly
and wholeness
one bead missing
fallen into a crack in the floor
the string
cannot be
put back together
without the lost
as it happens
will be found long after
the rest of the necklace
is given up for damaged
and thrown away


The Elephant

From Look Winter in the Face, 2015.

The Elephant

She put on those glasses with the switched-up lenses.
Everything that happened afterwards
I know it’s hard to say if she can be blamed or not
or if it would have turned out so differently
the point is
You’d think she would have noticed the problem
by the time she’d blinked those hoodwinked eyes
Ten times.
So why didn’t she?

Postcard One eyed face #8 6 x 4 11-15 small

Mail art postcard, acrylics, 2015.


Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.


The small bare tree, a dedicatory plaque at its base marking the life of a student of some years back, unknown to those of us here now and therefore nonexistent, stood in the small garden behind the library.

I watched as one dried brown leaf fluttered in the chill breeze, separating itself from the small drift where it had spent the winter and landing in a clump of daffodils just about to bloom; turning, I walked the few steps to the tree, and began to read the inscription on the marker.

and standing alone
until not.
Our hands clasp, hold on, release
Never far apart.

(Shadorma 70)

ATC people and their hands 3-18 small

Artist trading card, 2018.



Here is another of those two-sentence stories with poetry added. I’m thinking of them as “Minuscule” and quick to read.

Read the first Minuscule, the explanation of why I wrote it and got started on this idea, and search under the category Fiction/Poetry Combination for others in the series.



A low roaring sound drew her forward and she opened the heavy door to step into the huge dim room, moving up to the half wall and looking over the expanse of wooden floor, a single row of scarred wooden benches snaking off into the half-darkness on either side of her.

Isabel was alone in the vast empty space, yet she heard the rumble of roller skate wheels, the laughter and the shrieks, the music from scratchy speakers, the occasional thud as a skater slammed into the wall; she felt the effort of lifting her own heavy feet as she made her way to the floor, four wheels on each skate joining the rumble as she stepped into the flow of all the skaters who had ever done a circle around the rink, and she glided off with them.


the place it was born
it returns
in circles
time and distance no matter
Come with me, it says

(Shadorma 51)

Misty Memory small

Misty memory, mail art postcard.


From Spring Cleaning, 2015.


A small blond girl
age two or so
lavender dress
standing in the middle of the playground
arms crossed at her chest
so angry her pale face is
turned red and tears are flowing.
She is too young:
She will not remember this moment
that I’ve taken for myself
Her presence in this afternoon
is marked in my mind
I am the one who will remember
now that I have her down on paper.

Me and My Little Baby 12 x 9 1-18 small

“Me and My Little Baby”, acrylics, 2018.


From the collection published in 2015, Spring Cleaning.



I consult the notes I made.
Scrawled on a torn-out sheet of blue-lined paper
with a sputtery pen
they are of a value
incongruent with their location in
this low-rent side street of a cheap red notebook.
They deserve a neighborhood more
suitable for their worth.
even though they are transients
just in town for a short
but vital
In other words,
seems like I ought to try harder to make them welcome
settle them down on a higher-class piece of paper
write with a classier pen
Because notes like these
Sometimes they are
called on
to save my sanity.

Lady writing a letter 4x4 11-16 small

Lady writing a letter, acrylics, 2016, 4″ x 4″.

Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018, Week 9

The Marathon journey continues. Search under the category Day Trip Poetry Marathon 2018 for earlier entries.

I’m so close to making it my official operating procedure to edit poem on a different day than writing them. What began as a quick session, a couple of hours of writing, back when I started Marathoning in 2015, has grown to a day and a half of just writing. Wow, I think that’s great, I love it. Here’s to more!

I now write, edit, work on short fiction, and add text to artwork in these Marathon sessions. I am grateful to have found this routine and to have the time and energy to follow it. I cannot express how meaningful it is to me to follow this practice.

So let’s go. This week, I was at Arcadia University’s Landman Library on February 28 for poetry editing and working on a Minuscule. I set up in the stacks on the first floor; I wanted to be near a window and I found a spot overlooking the Peace Garden. The white obelisk in the background says “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages.

It was quiet. Books and thinking going on around me.


I also visited the ongoing puzzle put-together – outside this office there is always a puzzle in progress. Been that way for years. You can see this puzzle has just gotten started and eventually a lighthouse set against a blue sky will appear.

AR 2-28-18 #1006

And I saw this notice on the bulletin board. When I first read it, I thought the consultant was offering “voluble” feedback, not “valuable”, and I thought it seemed so appropriate, if not somewhat overwhelming.

AR 2-28-18 #3004

On March 1, I was at Brendlinger Library, Montco. I arrived on campus having made my way through my usual intersection in Ambler, PA (right after I took this photo I evaded a collision with giant USPS tractor-trailer as it pulled out of the post office, its view of me blocked by another mail truck until almost too late – eek!)

Montco 3-1-18 #1007

Rain and stormy weather are coming, but spring cleanup is starting. By the way, today is the first day of spring in my book – March kicks it off.

I went into College Hall and got set up on the main floor.

Today, I planned just to write new, having done my other items yesterday. I’ve accumulated a lot of stray words and phrases over the past few weeks; I’ve been taking note of things I hear (mishear) and read (misread). And there are other sources. Crossword puzzles. TV talk. Cut-out phrases. Odd sights. The feeling of not getting run over by a postal truck!

I decided to write by drawing from this trove, after working on a few items for my ongoing small artist sketchbook (another form of random inspiration, if you think of it.)

So that’s what I did. All I can say is, when you do this, your mind goes everywhere. You get some ideas! You use different vocabulary. Crazy juxtapositions take you somewhere. You pull up an outlook you didn’t know you had.

I’d like to be a little more lighthearted as we go on this year. Good times coming, let’s hold that thought. May poetry and writing follow along!

A shadorma for the Small Artist Sketchbook in process. (image 32)


clutter. I need it
all of it
it being
inspirations yet to come
brainwaves in mid-flight

Small Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image #32005

This one is for all the faithful supporters who appreciate and allow expression, even if it’s not always great. Note: I like to sing. I don’t sing well. At all.

I sing and
I’m a donkey,
chime to chime
I’m loud and happy
braying out a song
I’m going to kick it over the moon
as soon as I get near the tune
and all you listeners
so kind-hearted
two years twenty years fifty or more
in attendance
I’ve never had to count or fret
empty spaces full of naysayers
I don’t deserve such fans
but I’ve got’em:
Thank you.

My grandmother died almost 40 years ago and yet I still think about her meals.

lard sputters in the skillet
waiting for the floured chicken
to hit the hot
water boils in the pot
ready for the peeled potatoes
to dive in and
greased pan shifts
in a fast oven
a load of cornbread
Dinner coming.

I worked at a pool for several years when I was in school as a swim coach and lifeguard.

Old guy at the country club
comes down to the pool
after a round of golf
stands outside the chain link fence
hanging on it like they all do
plant their feet
fasten their hands to it
right above shoulder height
lean forward
leer a little
looking for his wife
admiring the view around the pool
all those women caged in
wearing bathing suits.
Old fart
considers himself
extremely well-informed on
a life of romance
That’s clear to see.
A baby blue sweater
wouldn’t be the same without you
I think
as I climb down from the lifeguard chair
exchange with the burlier of our two male lifeguards
on duty today
the stand shaking a little as he climbs on
Same view as the old guy
minus the fence
but my observation is
a whole summer of looking after these people
changes your interest level to
less than zero. You just know too much.
I saunter off to the office
not located near the fence
Thirty minutes ahead of me
checking in at the gate and
I’m wondering if I’ll have to change the radio station
from previous taste to mine
when I see
the old guy’s wife finally getting over to the fence
Good. She made him wait. Old fart.

Little Vines. Crazy number of them today. All the way through the alphabet and down to KK.

of old age
leaning in a corner

from the observatory
got a clear view of plastic shopping bags
floating in space

You go right ahead and hope
But to make it very plain:
No chance, it will never be you

tone of that day
white and colorless
self-portrait of a too-rational friend

Only the moon in the sky
wondering whether to tell
in its slow second swing around the sky

it took a glass eye and a lot of bravery
skinny legs and a pair of chartreuse pants
to ski down that great big mountain

we have a diva on our hands
bathrobe and plaid pajamas
custom-tailored and covered in sequins

the hostile employed
a whole lot of smiling going on
a whole lot of resume-shopping going on

items on a menu featuring nothing special
a garish ill-fitting twosome
they’ve been married thirty-two years

two rivals
in tears
up at 2 AM mixing up a cake

penalty assessed
a creative metaphor
for being made dead

nightmares and terrifying visions
hazards of such nuance
yet they have no truth to bite you with

loop and one more loop
make adjustments for the wind
a broken thumb spinning clockwise

recovering from pneumonia
her health an alloy of unstable elements
head lying on a pillow that’s patented and machine washable
she’s got great color and gusto

let’s go get some of these gator lips
turn up the static electricity between our ears
take off for the big city
start a brand new life

it doesn’t matter if I have a pot belly
I’ve got plenty of air in my lungs to breathe with
if you ever need me to, I can bust down just about any door.

I’m zero responsible
I’m not a take-charge kind of guy
I’m the original Mr. Plaid Shirt in the Back Row

the flu grabbed her and threw her in bed
the fever rose ten degrees in a flash
her lungs pressed themselves out flat
I’m not sure she’ll make it to the family reunion

Thank you for reading! See you next time.

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