Monday, July 25, 2005

new york

past alb'ny, the woods'
cool lake - swim, fish, camp and sew
a patch in his jeans

canal hist'ry buff,
rusted erie lock hardware,
flowering ragweed

soho loft vixen -
good life from summer art trade,
yen for open road

metro section t'read, stock page

for th'woods, th'rest t'burn

squeegie people swarm
car at houston street red light -
say "hewston", pay more!

bridal veil falls - its
water whiter than others' -
hits rocks just as hard

yankee stadium
jackhammers beyond left field
october's shattered?

civil war statue
ignored by midtown shoppers
gathers fallen leaves

sundown, east village,

constant noise, too much traffic -
and then, the shofar

falls customs agent -

wary eye on leaves in pack:

"welcome home, my friend"


beneath brooklyn bridge,
immigrants shooting baskets -
fresh fall breeze from sea

neighbor of stonewall:
openly gay's not a crime -
steel-toed boots kick leaves

passionate warriors debate

what const'tutes a foul

turkey, bronx kitchen -

on the wall he sees jesus,

his competition

christmas tree farmer -
truck bed down to pine needles,
lured by soho's wares

n train incident -
somewhere in brooklyn, a man's
vanished at christmas

throgsneck hitchhiker -
snow, baggage tag on worn pack,
going to peru

tonawanda drifts -
snowplow'rs smash into parked cars,
unable to see

drizzle mist frozen

on th'walk - she tries t'get good view


soho chocolate -
farm kid watches passersby,
feeling toes again

like th'ice 't goat island
we float canada 'r th'u.s. -
either way, might crash

central park skater -

as th'snowflake lands in her hair,

she hurries t'catch th'bus

coin off tappan zee -
icy hudson won't want it
st. christopher will

deep b'neath grand central,

he curses th'bitter winter -


falls customs agents
dismantling truck's wheel housing -
march sleet ices tires

union gen'ral, in

means less than you think

cursing 'spring forward' -

long island commuter's lost

precious hour of sleep

steps on kerouac,
shuts pickup door against rome's
spring rains - this, his home

on train from quebec,
spring blooms fill hudson valley -
she catches his eye

stranded hiker waits,
at schenectady off ramp
june's songbirds note dawn


Sunday, July 24, 2005

north carolina

road pastor's sermon -
locusts, moses, commandments -
rocky mount exit

what would buddha do
sticker stuck on duck beach van -
drifter peels it off

'bout back to lejeune,
after short leave over fourth,
but stopped for a drink

fly through hole in screen -
have post boxes here in Kyle?
"fahn thank you how're you?"

outside wilmington
girl explains to soldier, ways
of venus flytrap


rain pounds outer banks,
vacation becomes card game-
motel, belowdecks...

rolls a cigarette,
inhales humid blue feeling
of winston-salem

o'coker's brogue - she'll
tell tourists about blackbeard
n'hoi toide all summer

tourists 'v'all cleared out,
got this choppy sound t'ourselves -
okracoke ferry

rain pounds th’outer banks
winter ‘f impassable roads,
he’ll drink himself t’death

cape fear beachcomber -
knows where and when each ship sank,
many winters back

light snow dusts raleigh,
traffic slows to fearful crawl -
now hear my footsteps

"should stop trav'ling," she
says, "'n' settle down along th'shore..."
lent'n rains pound nag's head

waiting in franklin
march snow, a-t hikers pounce
on diner placemats

cold spring rain and fog
hide smokies from clingman's dome -
a hazy kingdom

gentle wind on beach,
uplifting sense of hist'ry -
kitty hawk in spring

charlotte waitress, spring

rains - if she'd meant th'four hikers,

she'd've said 'all of y'all'

creative spirit –
strength and renewal, may breeze,
lejeune welcome signs

came back down t'raleigh,
brought her a fresh bouquet of
her neighbor's dogwoods

Saturday, July 23, 2005

north dakota


from white butte outward,
wide plain slopes for miles - nearby,
prairie smoke blooming

bismarck yard camper:
"burlington northern owner
was once one of us"

fargo yard boxcar
good f'r th'long ride - wait 'n th'weeds,
when th'train starts, jump on

arb'retum camper,
shadow of th'state capitol,
found a patch of woods

after west fargo
no interstate junctions 'til
billings - frost on boots

bowen ave denny's -
they make the pumpkin pie last
'til salt trucks are done

fargo boxcar drunk
doesn't know which way is south -
frosted weeds witness

a town called minot,
nothing but prairie around -
one winter, i left

new year with folks in
zap - sounds a bit livelier
than it really is

stranded in bismarck -
roads keep drifting over, and
it's thirty below

th’car is safe in bismarck, he says –
tongue might freeze, though

you don't understand
how these devil's lake winters
make faith an issue

drift prairie marsh geese,
oblivious, cold - just in
from manitoba


likes t'catch his walleye

they jump right in th'boat

may day, halfway lake -
forgot where he started out,
or where he's going

fargo's flow'r gardens -

she likes th'wild prairie roses

in the back alley

Friday, July 22, 2005



erie driftwood beach
pebbles, sand under bare feet
nuke plant fades from view

t'ledo streets were once
covered with elms - all summer,
they held our secrets

hit ev'ry yard sale
in holmes county - we english
have t'go to walmart

a ways down straight street,
some weeds out there, but you’ll find
th’cincinnati yards

t'ledo zoo panda
fresh bamboo flown in daily
held up in detroit

turnpike rest stop dawn -
rock star spotted near bathroom;
august's lively beat

sea of red 'n' silver,
pitcher spilled on hiker's pack -
must've beat michigan

athens professor
lost pretense of refinement
too drunk for turkey

black shiny carriage,
wooden wheel on cracking ice -
holmes county backroad

hoarse, thirsty blades fans
celebrating new year win -
champagne on lake floes

maine t'california,
roadsigns blurry, roads icy
'round ashtabula

in akron th'road forks -
through icy falls to th'north,
or straight east t'new york

outside toledo
frozen slush falling from truck
makes glazed road deadly

cleveland bus station,

offered hard drugs t'beat th'cold - wait!
I was born 'n this town!

from catawba shores
truck tires cracking snow on ice -
some will sink in spring

"th'ice 'n th'middle'll hold you,"

he says, driving from c'tawba,

"'s when it pulls from th'shore"

blizzard hides white lines
truck lights dance t'ward troy exit
no such thing as brakes

elmyra trucker –

nine gears, ice ‘n’ gravel, slope,
wouldn’t pass him by

near cincinnati,
truck jackknifed in icy lot,
driver calls and quits

“rock’s th’savior ‘f th’common

man” – she gives th’hall’s tickets

t’one of cleveland’s own


fine ear f’r music, th’sharp insult
for th’cities on th’tour

good fishin' in may -
old man can tell you when that
river caught on fire

serpent mound story -
body lines up with solstice,
happens to be now

serpent mound solstice -
they tracked the sun precisely,
and then they vanished


Monday, July 18, 2005



grand lake downpour blinds
all but those who know by heart
road to fishin' hole

his fourth - tales of old
ragtown, anadarko, tribes
whose lands were taken

dog days in lawton
'f you thought soldiers would be out
you were mistaken

okemah native
knows well your sultry welcome -
completely ignored

blazing lawton sun
keeps folks off streets and hiding
in army's air-con

ain't the first outlaw
these ouachitas ever hid
on a summer night

near judy ranch - dusk,
marsh grass - southbound whooping cranes
also stop to rest

road to stillwater -

sunset on rust-colored fields,

hawk scans for his prey

piercing eyes, pumpkin
patch, anadarko back road -
our worlds, so different

lifted weights in barn,
play'n for th'sooners, tornado
took all but the weights

near ada, coffee's
weak, stuffing's dry - in a booth,
an old man says grace

clinton mcdonald's -

exchange of hot tea, cold hiker

'n' cheyenne arapahoe

panhandle ranchers
on windswept plain - another
bag of sand in truck

kaw nation's coffee -

at th'border sign, he spills some

on th'icy gravel

kids with happy meals,
below, m'ssouri-bound cars
swerve on sleeted lanes

rest stops near tulsa
march tornado blows semi
westbound to eastbound

'don't drive through smoke' sign
asks what kinds of fires you'd see-
spring in green country

ouachita mountain
backroad leads down into fog -
blossoms still hiding

may rains grip tulsa -
docent listens to tramp's tale
of storming auschwitz

bois' city founders
sold dreams with no more substance
'n these spring tumbleweeds

june wedding – guymon
groom shows th’cowboy boots he’ll wear,
‘n’ th’bit he made for th’bride


Saturday, July 16, 2005


sun takes solstice west
to asia, leaves rocks in tide
on oregon coast

saltspring t'san miguel -

five rest stop, midnight coffee

t'celebrate the fourth

way back to five,
stumbles on old believer,
gervais flowerbed

to stop in ashland
for a shakespeare production -
or hitch on and camp

portland law tickets
bicyclists with passengers -
even labor day

wet shady beaches
seem like another planet
in desert near bend

bottle with note floats
into dunes campsite - driftwood
fire, history, dreams

used t'be a hipster,
old port t' th'west end - now he hates'm,
spends his days duckhunt'n

grim reaper costume -

portland kid blinded, his scythe

caught on 'don't walk' sign

from her window, hood -

steady, the hand on the knife,


cold winter forest
of a blue oregon funk -
find coast, take a breath

posed my bride on rock -
puts egg nog on portland bar -
a big wave came in

corvallis side streets -
van fills with smell of coffee,
march rains relentless

dad, grandpa logged hood -
take that nesting spotted owl,
crush it in my fist

eugene anarchists
fill city streets on may day -
can't pick a leader

thirty years fishing
tillamook, seen some wet mays -
logs crack in fireplace

chinook coming up
the umpqua - i wait all year
to get a big one

wife's a legal aide -
spend my spring days on the rogue
haulin' in chinook

lush shady valley
june evening gently falls on
road to corvallis