Poem Published in Last Stanza Poetry Journal


My poem “Nanukatukitsukatsu” is included in Issue #6 of Last Stanza Poetry Journal. It’s available in print or in a Kindle version, via Amazon,  and other outlets. Thank you, editor Jenny Kalahar, for accepting this piece.





The right has only one option,
as is true of the left,

neither to mingle
nor disappear like washed socks

or loved ones in a casino.
There are those who believe

in fallen towers and pasts
burnished beyond recognition,

and truth, as it was written, for them,
in blood, with money inherited

from thieves. The puddle happens.
The door rotates. A snifter shatters.

The shoe’s approach defines its wearer.


* * *

This first appeared in March 2016, but somehow seems even more appropriate today.


cactus shoe


Galveston, 1900


Galveston, 1900

First the wind, then a tide like no other
uprooting the calm,

a visage tilted back in descent
as if listening for the aftermath.

And later, the gardener’s lament
and the building’s exposed ribs,

light entering the eternal
orchard, nine children tied to a cincture.

Not even the earth could retain its bodies,
and the sea remanded those given to its care.


“Galveston, 1900” first appeared here in January 2015.

Baking Bread


Baking Bread

I would knead you in the afternoon,
in the warmth of a still room,
starting high at the shoulders,
one finger sliding down your spine,

my lips following, tracing the path
of a hummingbird’s flight. Oh, my love,
circumstance and distance, floods and
wildfires, will never truly douse our light.

I wait as the dough rises, and think
in the languages of yeast and water
and flour and salt, how my hands

will feel at your waist, how our day
falls into night, our love firming,
ever expanding through the rising heat.

* * *

“Baking Bread” first appeared in Ristau: A Journal of Being in January 2019. Many thanks to editor Bob Penick for taking this piece.

Happy Anniversary, Stephanie!

Spring Dawn (after Meng Haoran)




This morning I slept through dawn
and the screeching birds, long
after last night’s wild wind and rain.
But who can count the fallen flowers?


The transliteration on Chinese-poems.com reads:


Spring sleep not wake dawn
Everywhere hear cry bird
Night come wind rain sound
Flower fall know how many




This adaptation first appeared on the blog in November 2014.

Poem a Day Mini-marathon is Not Quite Over


If you submitted a sponsorship directly through Brick Street’s donation link, and you have not been in communication with me about it, I may not know of it. Please contact me via comment or email if you’ve done this, so that I may write your poem! In the meantime, the poem a day mini-marathon (to raise funds for Brick Street Poetry) is winding down. I’m so pleased that we’ve surpassed the original goal of ten sponsored poems (we’ve received sponsorships through the 22nd)! The mini-marathon will end with Wednesday’s poem if I do not receive any more sponsorships by Tuesday evening. Thank you, everyone, for reading along and providing inspired titles and words. This has been great fun, and we’ve earned a few bucks for Brick Street, which was the idea, after all!

Poem a Day Mini-marathon Winding Down


This poem a day mini-marathon to raise funds for Brick Street Poetry is winding down. I’m so pleased that we’ve surpassed the original goal of ten sponsored poems! But, as I’ve not received any sponsorships in the past two days, the challenge will end with Sunday’s poem (unless more sponsorships come in by tomorrow evening). Thank you, everyone, for reading along and providing inspired titles and words. This has been great fun, and we’ve earned a few bucks for Brick Street, which was the idea, after all!

Poem a Day Mini-marathon Continuing, but…

Literary Cat

The mini-marathon of writing a poem a day to raise funds for Brick Street Poetry is continuing, but we could use a few more sponsors! I’ll keep going for as long as you keep sponsoring poems, or until month’s end, whichever comes first. 

I invite you to join me in this project and help out by reading, commenting, heckling, encouraging, insulting, cajoling, praising and yes, if circumstances allow, sponsoring me and donating funds (to Brick Street, not me). This might not be of much interest if the poems were simply going to languish in a file somewhere, but such is not the case. They will be posted online daily, warts and all, for the world to peruse. That’s right – you’ll see my daily work, unpolished and raw, finished or not. Thus far, I’ve not been reduced to whimpers…

I’ll post each day’s offering sometime in the morning, and will leave the poems up for a few weeks. I consider these poems drafts, and will eventually revise and send some of them to journals/anthologies for publication consideration. Many journals consider poems posted on personal blogs to be published, thus I’ll take them down, so as not to violate their sensibilities (odd though they may be).

Like many nonprofits, Brick Street Poetry, Inc. depends upon donations to augment their projects, which vary from a monthly poetry reading series and podcast, to placing Borrow a Book boxes in state parks, publishing a literary journal and various anthologies, and establishing a neighborhood literary art park (to offer free workshops), just to mention a few.

This month they’re raising funds by asking people to vote, via PayPal donations, for favorite haiku in a just-published online anthology.

I’ve decided to help out by — what else — writing poems. See my post of September 5th for details.

Why am I doing this? I love poetry. If I, poet, reader and book buyer, don’t support Brick Street’s mission, who will? 

Make Me Write a Poem!


I’m trying to raise funds for my favorite local literary nonprofit, Brick Street Poetry, Inc., and am hoping that some of you might be able to help. This month, Brick Street has published an online anthology, Haiku for Hikers, and in an effort to raise funds, is asking people to vote on their favorite haiku from the anthology via PayPal donations. Disclosure: I have two haiku in the anthology (on pages 47 & 48), and it’s been announced that the poet who generates the most income will receive a monetary award. To this I say: please don’t feel obligated to vote for my poems, AND if I somehow happen to earn the most donations, I promise to donate the award money back to Brick Street. The goal is simply to earn funds for this stellar organization. And, as luck has it, during September, Brick Street will also receive matching funds for all donations!

So I’m pledging to write at least 10 poems in 10 days, from September 8 through September 17 (as of today, we’re scheduled through the 18th, and will continue if donations come in). If you have the time and inclination, please follow along (I’ll post the new poems daily) and consider supporting poetry by making a donation. Every bit helps, especially with matching funds. To make this fun, and with hopes of enticing you, I’ve instituted a few incentives:

Name That Poem! For a $15 donation, you provide a title, and I’ll write the poem during the mini-marathon. Be imaginative. Make the title as long or as interesting as you wish – consider this a dare! But this incentive is limited to only ten titles (unless forced by demand to extend the challenge). Titles from previous challenges ranged from one word to upwards of 80, and also included such atrocities as “Calvin Coolidge: Live or Memorex,” and “Your Armpits Smell Like Heaven.” These were, of course, among my favorites to write.

Use These Words, Poet! For a $16 donation you can offer 3 words that I must use in a poem. Why only 3? Because I’m (a) chicken (pawk, pawk!), and (b) I hate relinquishing control of my poetry’s language. Yes, yes, I know. This says horrible things about my character. But look at it this way, you could combine the first two incentives (for a $25 donation) to force me to use your title AND three words that I likely wouldn’t use otherwise, which is about as much control as I’m able to give up (shuddering). Be kind. Or not. But it would be nice to produce  publishable poems…

Isn’t Broadside a Military Term? Well, yeah, but in this case it’s also a printed poem. For a $10 donation, I’ll send you my broadside of “Mayflies” or “The Loneliness of the Last” — your choice — or perhaps one from the current challenge.

But feel free to donate any amount. These are just suggestions.

Brick Street has provided this information for those interested in voting:

Please check out Brick Street Poetry’s new anthology “Haiku for Hikers” and help the author of your favorite poem receive recognition and monetary reward.

Instruction for voting for “Haiku for Hikers” Poems.

Readers can access the online version by clicking on “Anthology” at the top, far-right of this Brick Street Poetry webpage http://www.brickstreetpoetry.org/  Reading is enjoyable & free!

Then vote for your favorite poem or poems by clicking the Pay Pal Donation Button and making a donation of any dollar amount and placing the poem’s number for which you are voting in the comment section. You may vote for as many poems as you want but need to describe the split of funds in the comment section or make a separate donation for each individually if voting for more than one. Donations of less than one dollar can’t be split. If more than one # is listed without splitting instructions, all money will be credited to the 1st poem listed.

Poems receiving $10 in donations will be included in the printed version of the work, and the poet will receive 3 free copies of the printed version. The poem with the most public support will receive an honorarium equal to half of the donations received for that poem.

Your support will mean a lot to the poet for whose poem you vote and it will mean a lot to Brick Street Poetry too!  We thank you for reading the work of the poets included in our anthology and for your support of your favorite or favorites.

Thanks very much for considering this!