once a year

transient,
homeless,
…….vagabond,
…………bum…
these are the words
we call them.

hungry,
cold,
……lonely,
………ashamed
are the words they
call themselves.

I am sure it was you —
yes, you, standing
……there smiling
………and gracious

as you fill bowls,
working
……your annual shift
……….at the shelter —

who drove past these
same souls
……as they stood
………on the corner

holding their signs.

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Of the Night

The skies are clearest
on the coldest
of nights,

the stars the brightest
when the moon
is absent,

and troubled dreams
are not always forgotten
in the morning light.

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Upon Reading the Poems of Mary Oliver, In Which She Refers to the Poet in Third Person

I write as often as I may
a poem or a chapter,
a recounting of the hours
of the day, or the days
that can pass in the course
of a night.

I write as often as I may
of laughter, but tears
frequently fall, searches
of joy where anger
is normally found.

I write as often as I may,
trying to expound
on the mundane found
in the spectacular, and vain
attempts to simplify
the amazing.

I write as often as I may,
never quite satisfied with
the result. Maybe this is why
I follow the advice of a friend
and leave the titles of ‘author’
and ‘poet’ for others to bestow,

never referring to myself
as anything more than ‘writer’.

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The Glow of Morning

She chooses to live
in the dark,
afraid of what light
may reveal.

There are mornings, though,
when sleep evades her,
and the sun invades
the room before she
can hide.

She will watch the dust
dance in the streams of light
filtering through the shutters,
and, occasionally, even lift
a hand to feel the warmth,

and marvel at the glow.

 

For The Mag image prompt.

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Gone

no lipstick message
on the mirror
no scribbled note
on the counter
no tearful sentiment
on a voice mail

she’s gone,
no need to waste words

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Home

He
was home,
almost more
a hope than place,
a destination
dreamed of and often feared.
There were battles still to fight,
hidden scars to reveal and heal;
he was home…the journey just begun.

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Wounds

We have and a wet winter,
rain — more often than usual —
and snow, a rare occurrence.
We attacked minor chores with
the first semi-warm day, as much
for the sake of escaping the confines
of the house as any real needs
of the yard.

Several low hanging limbs
of the river birch — having become
a hazard to walk under — were trimmed
close to the tree. But the tree, also
aware of the new warmth, had begun
to feed her extremities. Water ran
from each cut, falling back to feed
the earth once more,

falling like the blood
of Christ from the cross,
falling like the tears
of Mary mourning her Son.

Rain returned with the new week,
the cold of the morning formed
ice cycles at the tree’s wounds.
During the next ten days there were
two processions, two versions of Amazing
Grace, and little peace. I paused by the birch
during the course of a restless night,
cupped my hands to catch the water still

falling like the blood
of Christ from the cross,
falling like the tears
of Mary mourning her Son.

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