In Praise of Rain


In Praise of Rain

Which is not to say lightning or hail.
Sometimes I forget to open the umbrella

until my glasses remind me: Wake up, you’re
wet! If scarcity breeds

value, what is a thunderhead worth
in July? A light shower in August?

Even spreadsheets can’t tell us.


Shutters XII


The final of a series of twelve, originally published in Terra Firma.

Shutters XII

To, or for, in opposition, as in prayer,
as in declining an opened
space and accepting the edges’

offer, a history of minutes
held in abeyance. Limits unfold and present
options, remnants of incomplete

light, low clouds rising to reveal
a window’s apparition, the original eye
betrayed and released to reason.

Intent upon one, the others escape.


Autumn Winds (after Li Po)


Autumn Winds (after Li Po)

Clear autumn winds swirl
below the moon’s glow,
scattering the gathered leaves.
The startled crows return.
When will we see each other again?
This hour, this lonely night, my feelings grow brittle.

The transliteration on reads:

Autumn wind clear
Autumn moon bright
Fall leaves gather and scatter
Jackdaw perch again startle
Each think each see know what day
This hour this night hard be feeling

I started this adaptation in the heart of summer, hoping that it would offer a respite from the unrelenting Texas heat…

Bird Fall MGD©

Shutters XI


The eleventh of a series of twelve written at a shuttered window. Originally published in the anthology Terra Firma.

Shutters XI

Witness the blade’s completed arc,
or hailstones brought to earth,
acts refined and balanced in delivery,

the results, specious. The sweet
onion, too, relies on caution, but once
halved loses the attractive measure of

entirety, the unseen grace exposed,
reverting to a core, and deeper,
within the layered heart, laid to rest.

That it may end, and in return, begin anew.


Greeting the Moon (after Li Po)


As always, I approach these adaptations slowly. This may need a few tweaks, but it’s close.

Greeting the Moon (after Li Po)

Wine conceals the night’s approach,
while blossoms blanket my clothing.
Drunk, I stumble to the stream and greet the moon,
thinking of birds, so distant, and people, so few.

The transliteration on reads:

Amusing Myself

Face wine not aware get dark
Fall flower fill my clothes
Drunk stand step stream moon
Bird far person also few


In Praise of Darkness


In Praise of Darkness

Night falls, but day
breaks. A raw deal,

no doubt, but fairness
applies itself unevenly. Who

chooses weeds over
lies, flowers over truth?

Last night’s rain fell, too,
but didn’t crack the drought.

Again, we think injustice!
Again, we consider falls.