For better or worse


Sheltered together
After thirty-seven years
Is challenge to truth

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3 North


Elaine sits stoically
at the chipped pentagon shaped table
in 3 North.

One floor above,
in 4 North,
her daughter paces a walkway – also chipped.

Astonishingly, her mother is also here –
in a brick and mortar wing
reserved for the terminally ill
yet indefinitely incarcerated.

About seven miles
to the west
Elaine’s son hangs his fingers lazily
on chain link topped in coiled barbs.

The lineage of her family tree
is locked
behind concrete block, glass windows and metal wire.

It began in 7th grade.

An adolescent’s argument
with a teacher
in a struggling school of repeaters
allowed Elaine
to find other ways to get an education.

Today, she faces me.

Pencil and paper in hand,
she struggles to complete a seven-sentence paragraph
about a habit in her life
she desires to change.

Tears drop silently onto her paper
as she wrestles
to organize details
that can be the evidence
she will break this cycle
of incarceration
and free her grandchildren
from the ancestry
which has been their story thus far.

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Virus Verse


Alone I continue to be in self-quarantine,
nothing more to do than some verses glean.

Using the words neglected thus far,
I hope to pen a poem that raises the bar.

Last night in the wee morning hour
I penned my first six lines with rhyming power.

I had a word in a sentence rhyming with rock,
but now, oh dear, I’ve awakened with writer’s block.

The words to consider are grapefruit, jolly, flippant
odd, truth, and oh yes, esssse, should be sufficient

to create short poems for you…

Ripe ruby red chunks
Plunging a spoon delivers
Grapefruit to my eyes

Confined to my home
Tends to limit resources
Considered jolly

From five seven five
Poems are generated
Flippantly composed

Odd, odd, even, odd
Fibonacci would be proud
Three, five, eight, thirteen

Telling the whole truth
Before judgment of the court
Means time with bars

Ashes drawn from esssse
Remind me that I am dust,
to dust I return.


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Fall Leaves


Leaves explode from tires

Like shot from a 12-gauge gun

Scatter the pavement

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Under the Bridge

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Ensconced under the bridge in makeshift shelters of salvaged rusty metal
like rolling stones that gather no moss

No roots
Avoiding responsibility

Nearby moss appears as an innovator
attached to buttresses supporting the weight of the world above


The moss appears to
challenge the rust
to stay alive and avoid immobility


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Looking for Burt’s Bees


Scattered yet organized
among the crag and concrete.
There has to be a story among the debris.

Dumped from despair?

Flung in frustration?

Scattered in silliness?

The collection not yet worn enough
to become a castoff for those in transition.


Metal not rusted
Ink pens not dried
Toothpaste not emptied
Plastic not stretched

A closer inspection reveals
a scattering of true trash – cigarette butts and broken acorns –
parts of wholes not present.

Contemplation of collecting the display
dismissed because
there is no coconut and pear balm –
necessary as the days become colder and blustery.

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Morning Walk


Days get shorter
Overnight darkness lingers longer

Walking at the usual time
Now dark:30

Days, in fact, seem never to begin
Nature’s clock calibrated to
time not matched by the light

Walking at the usual time
Still dark:30

Over and under bridges
Along the boardwalk
Beside the open theatre

Morning greetings from
Robert, Charles, James
Rosemary and Sarah

Days, in fact, seem never to end
Homeless clocks calibrated to
time not found in the light

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