Thursday, May 14, 2015


morning sun lifts fog
from heart of state college - wall,
coffee, sticky bun


sticky buns ‘n th’summer
th’guy knows th’real nitt’ny lion
which, now, is extinct

long road t’state college
summer fog n’ th’endless valleys,
eyes on th’yellow line

cross this picket line
work summer in mills, escape
east pittsburgh alive

pirate fan’s warning –
get th’job as scab in these mills,
my friends won’t like that


bridge ‘t th’susquehanna
th’note ‘n th’fisherman’s bottle shows
how remote, his world

lancaster postcard -
garden with order and grace,
not a weed in sight

riding down th’incline,
lush woods, view ‘f th’city – grandpa,
though, remembers th’mines

fires of centralia,
b’neath these hills, they’ve burned f’r years –
thou shalt not camp here


beneath centralia,
those fires, they say, ‘re still burning –
locusts fill th’silence

turnpike summer dreams
back of a station wagon
lights up in tunnel

old a-t hiker,
'round labor day, done in by
p-a's rocky trail


th’rocks’re piercing th’old boots –
through-hiker’s time ‘n th’p-a hills,
th’most painful ‘f footsteps

mouth ‘f th’fort pitt tubes,
rake, top down, points t’ th’ bridge t’nowhere –
went over it ‘n’ lived

camping in frick park,
th’fog lifts on th’lack ‘f coffee – then,
th’sudden sound ‘f bagpipes

williamsport lass’ tale –
two weeks ‘f little league baseball,
fifty ‘f nothing much

road to east stroudsburg,
what you get, hitching two-lanes -
harvest moon, crickets

busy with harvest,
th’shippensburg amishman says –
no time for th’hustle

deer racks, p-a tags -
antlers point all directions,
except back to woods

antlers ‘n th’pickup bed –
sunrise, mountains ‘f state college,
‘n’ th’blood makes her queasy

all th’years ‘f good football,
he says, ‘n’ all’f penn state’s image
lost in one scandal

from th’squirrel hill porch,
complaints of how th’years’ve flown by –
down th’brick street, th’shofar

clearfield’s fragrant pines –
th’sun dries th’dew on th’underbrush,
‘n’ th’hunters get serious

carnegie mellon
math prof’s done well – devil’s night,
counts on th’distelfink

dark and winding road –
long night, still hours from pittsburgh
th’or’nge leaves call from th’woods

fallingwater lass –
childhood’s adventures, ‘n these woods,
now the leaves have turned

her voice and the leaf
‘n th’bear run, beneath th’house,’n’ down
t’th’yaugheogheny ‘n’ beyond

fallingwater morn –
th’leaves drop, she’s grateful f’r th’chance
t’not go back t’pittsburgh

cross-country trip’s stalled
‘n th’wilkes barre fall eve – all th’rides
are just t’th’next exit

all’gheny mountains,
miles ‘f dark forests, ‘n’ in th’small town,
th’young witch trips on th’broom

from mount washington,
th’skyline twinkles, th’rivers glide –
stay f’r th’winter, she says

inside th’mitten, th’hand -
th’main line lass has th’chip t’buy th’food,
got tired ‘f credit cards

blue mountain tunnel –
th’sudden light ‘n’ noise breaks up th’trip
‘cross th’icy mountains

lancaster amish –
steps out ‘n th’blizzard t’use his cell,
th’business’s worth millions

walks right through frick park,
from squirrel hill to cathedral
each day, all winter

truckbed 'f christmas trees
sold, he's gathered up supplies -
long ride up t'bethl'hem

johnstown water mark –
th’kid wants t’go christmas shopping,
grandpa’s stuck at th’line

eagles hat, scrapple
on his plate – he swears it’s been
a very good year


new year ‘t germantown
came back t’see th’same streets ‘n’ houses,
tot’lly diff’rent world

johnstown water mark -
even in january,
a chill in her spine

car broke down for sure –
nothing’s open in clearfield,
‘n’ miles ‘f barren mountains

discussing ‘n hochsdeutsche,
th’supplies they might need f’r th’blizzard
no use f’r th’inquirer

neon rolling rock
sign – roads’re icy ‘n’ the need th’place
t’get out of th’blizzard

pittsburgh’s krishna house –
free rice ‘n’ mystical incense,
snow ‘n’ spouse abuse ‘n th’porch

heats up all his dimes,
gets mad’t th’flyers every time,
throws them at th’goalie

bitter erie wind,
you come up from the city,
knocks you on the ice

bethlehem diner –
cabbie tells ‘bout th’night this cold,
delivered th’fare’s child

germantown store clerk
tells of war days - bitter winds
and spies at the door


streets ‘f castle shannon
eager t’find th’friends, ‘n’ forgets ‘bout
th’ice on th’steep brick streets

pittsburgh's krishna house,
hot bowl of rice in cold hands,
saffron robes on ice

warm van, raging squall
south at erie, or westbound
out o'er frigid plain?

slush and months ‘f bleak skies –
you’d think they’d be down, but no,
they’ve yarned th’warhol bridge

they yarned th’warhol bridge
city ‘f old mills ‘n’ skyscrapers,
so festive ‘n th’march wind

plays the poconos,
stirs passions 'til dawn, drives home
on glazed mountain curves

northern blizzard wind
blows off lake into erie -
southbound ramp looks best

spring on the schuykill -
bartram's flowers greet river
and its history

mem’ries ‘f th’ meadville pond –
they’d throw in th’peepers, watch’m jump
until th’fish got them

spring evening, carlisle
‘f all th’cloverleafs in th’world, you
just happened t’be here

back ‘n hershey f’r th’wedding,
he remembers too much – th’prom,
his date, and th’kisses

mount washington blooms
way below, th’two rivers meet,
each bringing their own


love ‘n th’bright red statue –
talks about th’pride ‘f th’penn campus
while th’cherry trees bloom

spring ‘n th’mountains, ‘n’ he asks –
little mess ‘t th’liberty tubes
why folks stop at th’mouth

in turnpike tunnels,
wipers' pointless beat awaits
april rain's return

wakes up ‘n blue mountain
childhood dream, may rain, th’semi,
th’wipers’d put him t’sleep

‘f th’johnstown flood – her grandson’s ‘bout
tall as th’watermark

marsh-pink on the schuykill
bartram came and named th’flowers,
they were here all ‘long

falling water dream
june weekends carried away
by river catfish

west goshen road rage –
spent his june on th’interstates,
one day he just snapped


ironweed’s purple
th’monarch, too, has found th’sunlight
‘n th’susquehanna glade


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