Springtime in Akron, Ohio

The sky is beautiful today,
even in Akron,
the sunlight feeds petunias and
scours the pavement.
I see weeds here, there,
broad-leafed and long-necked,
poking their heads out from under long shadows,
reminding us they are kin to flowers,
cousins to trees.

Becoming The Past

No ancient vow
no biblical thou,
some missing medieval meter
from the language of the now,
our ‘u up?’ and our ‘lol’
unworthy of the line;
and in some fearsome future
these, too, are of a time.

Too Much Light

brown chairs inside a room

Too much light in the eyes
too much shine on the fields
see it all shrivel beneath us
until we can see no more, no more,
nothing left to grasp,
no miracles to behold
only light in the eyes,
light in the mouth –
burning down the throat
through the shade of organs
sparking out these pale-pink gears
leaving shadows on the walls,
lovers on couches, children playing,
only shadows on the walls.

Some Assembly Required

One less bolt than ordered,
and the chassis is upside down –
the wheels are locked in place and
some cuts were too shallow,
some too deep,
and still it functions –
incorrectly, sure, but it functions,
and I would say
it turned out fine.

To Grieve

How can she laugh now,
or nervously stutter,
how can she make dinner or
walk the dog –
How can she function, anyhow,
how can she do anything but
weep quiet, wail loud,
wait in dark rooms for
the dead to cease lingering –
Shouldn’t she perform a little better,
let us really know she’s grieving,
for don’t we know that mourning
is more important than living?

Innate Freedoms

The caged bird is free to sing,
the prisoner is free to dream,
ah, such freedom we have,
dreaming and singing and starving,
free to work,
free to be defrauded, free to be beaten,
free to pay and free to die,
we love us our freedom
an ideal so holy it requires
the most brutal maintenance.


Reed whistle on the wind –
is this home?
is this the smell of home-burnt cooking and
mice skittering in the walls?
The past is woven in the present
tug a single thread –
a child whistling through a blade of grass –
and see how it all falls apart in the hand.

Native Flowers

they call them weeds they
burn them over,
bury roots under brick, they
hate to see those colorful faces, they
hate a life that’s not chemically dependent,
that doesn’t need sold, they
call them weeds they
refuse their fragrance, they’d
rather not be
ruling meadows.

False Bookshelves

The bookshelf is the truest mirror
and here is an empty frame
of unopened leatherbounds and
bulk-bought antiques, here is
a row of red covers, there
a hedge of green,
nowhere among them is a
notebook with hasty-scrawled quotes
or definitions, no cards playing between the pages.
Unknown inkings left for dead,
a bookshelf suited only as background
in some store, some office,
some blasphemy
removing purpose from a tool


pull one end,
tease a loop –
get a fingernail in the mess,
pry with a pencil here or
a dull sewing needle there.
How the knot compounds
with these careful moves,
how large it grows
beneath our fingers
and we worry at the size of it
too large to fit in our palms,
and still we pick and puncture –
wondering, up until the last,
if we should fetch a knife.