Saturday, June 11, 2016


Down the dark hall
past papers, toys, shoes—
strewn together,
left for morning—

around the corner, welcomed by
the bathroom light, always left on
and the bedroom door—open,
to let it in a glow—

into the room,
warm, quiet, still—
a stillness soothed by soft lullabies
and steady breaths.

One clutches her worn-out fox--
her hair disheveled
her blanket twisted.

The other sleeps on his soft elephant
like a pillow—
his legs curled under,
his bottom sticking up.

they rest, unmarred by time,
or toil, or care.
This trusting rest
calls mine to me
and—somehow—sweetens it.

So I pat his back,
smooth her blanket,
and slip around the corner
down the hall
and, thankful, fall into my own
trusting rest.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Missing my Grandpa

I thought I saw your old, plaid shirt
Through the window of your front door--
But you were not there--
instead a memory met me, fresh, and surpising me
with its quick pain.

I thought I saw your cool blue eye
twinkle 'cross the room
but you were not there--
instead another's eyes met me, blue as well,
but not yours, with no hint of jest or song.

I thought I heard your slow-steady words
tangled in the air of conversation
but you were not there--
instead an echo met me, dear and sweet--
may I never forget the sound!

Dear Grandpa, I missed you today.

In memory of Elwood Maloy, 1933-2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

On the Street Today

Here's another one from Spring 2008.

On the Street Today

I come into the sun
From the florescent light 
Of a windowless inside
The air blows the trees
And pushes my hair 
Across my face
I can smell the city
It is not fresh
It is not clean
But I smell it and smile
Because it blows 
On a warm wind again. 

I am ready to face the world today. 

A Fountain, A World

I wrote this in Spring 2008. It's one of my favorites (if a writer is allowed to have favorites).

A Fountain, A World

They scream, delighted terror,
And the water from out the ground leaps and lands
On small shoulders and bare feet. 
The smallest ones stand still, 
Unaware of their soaked bodies or their mother’s cameras,
While older ones chase the jumping waters or run away. 

When the water hits them, they cry out
And their cries bring laughter inside me
Which I struggle to keep silent.
But why should I not laugh?
This is their universe.
This short hour, this water is all--
They leave the world with their shoes on the stairs, and forget them. 

A childish fancy takes me 
And brings me into their world as I walk by.
In my mind I am prancing in the water with them,
Cares forgotten. 
Wounds healed. 
Joy conquering all

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

End of Day

See the mist hide the mountains
and the trees scratch the sky
and the sun paint the clouds
as it slips down to waken another hemisphere.

Soon it will be night.
There are few evenings left for me
to watch this sunset
and see the houses around me fade to grey masses with
rectangles of light.
Even in the dark they are familiar
with familiar faces inside,
which I find comforting.

Soon all the houses around me will be strangers,
And the room I am in
will no longer be my son's.
Perhaps another little boy will sleep in it.
And I will have new houses to meet and get used to.

The sun has gone now--
Soon it will be too dark to see my notebook.
The day is ending, as all things must,
including my sojourn here
With its sweetly familiar mountains.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Gentle Moments

Gentle moments, one by one,
Tiptoe softly 'round my days--

A tender hug that makes
her young and heavy eyelids close at last;

A boy cuddling his elephant with blue and thoughtful eyes,
content on the floor;

A daring leap from a large rock,
then laughter as he rises to jump again;

An earnest tug at my hand as she insists, "c'mon,"
eager to show me an ant,
which she then observes closely, flat on her tummy,
her brow furrowed with silence and wonder--

These punctuate the time, like soft, gentle breezes
woven between the daily duties and frustrations and unsureties.

They are easy to miss and forget,
but that will not happen today.
Today, I will feel the breeze and sigh at its loveliness.
I'll let it cool my worries, and wipe the dust of care away.

And I'll keep the memory safe in a heart that is full and grateful,
ready for recalling when the breeze is replaced
with violent storms or hopeless doldrums.

Then my children, whose innocence and goodness
I try my best to nurture, shape, and protect,
Will return to protect and nurture me
With memories of our soft, gentle moments.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


In winter it wished, and shook--
Skeletal arms outstretched--
Longing for springtime clothing
And summer loads
And autumn fruit
To come again.

In springtime it blossomed, and rejoiced--
Regal, snowy splendor--
Scenting the breeze
And brightening our eyes
With the smell and sight
Of promise.

In summer it bowed, and sighed--
Patient, stoic submission--
Nourishing its fruit
And sacrificing its beauty
Despite the heaviness and aches
In its branches.

In autumn it released its load, and exulted--
Straightening itself again--
The work completed
The fruit ripened and harvested
Relief and rest
At last.

In winter it wished again.