Happy Equinox!

I celebrated the September Equinox with a virtual visit to Charles House to talk autumnal poetry with the folks there. We spent the last fifteen minutes composing one of our own and it turned out pretty good so I stole the best lines for the poem below.

September 22nd

Sunset leaves drift to ground
silent in the equinoctial dusk
our footfalls disturb their rest
crunching— scattering— releasing
that crisp aroma of earth and death

We are tethered to the past—
raking rusty piles
tumbling into joyful beds
as time drags us down
from branches— from childhood
from summer noon
to autumnal twilight
as winter stars
rise in the east

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Farewell Justice

Farewell Justice

You fought with words and logic—
powerful weapons for justice
in reasonable times
but it’s easier to manipulate
some folks by advertising fear.

You struggled for so long
and now to honor your memory,
we must continue the battle,
to march in the streets,
to cast our ballots,
to assure your legacy is not erased.

You weren’t in the majority on the court—
but you represented all of us,
We the People.

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Government of Idioms

Government of Idioms

We elected a flabby fox
to guard the hen house.

That’s like putting a coal
lobbyist in charge of the EPA.

oops. He did that.

That’s like naming an anti-union lawyer
your Secretary of Labor.


That’s like nominating
Al Capone to run the IRS.

And I have no doubt a dead gangster
gets confirmed by this Republican Senate.

Want to change things? Make sure you’re still registered then vote!

Inspired by this week’s Living Poetry Prompt.

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Storm Haiku

I was struck by lightning
scorch marks on my lips
from your kiss

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Upon Re-election

Upon Re-election

The Emperor strode on stage,
“I declare this is the classiest suit
I’ve ever worn. More comfortable
and tremendous and I made it myself!”

Grateful reporters saluted
and his devotees cheered.
Serious pundits on television debated
both sides of his magnificence.

Hospitals filled with flu.
Streets filled with families
begging coins of the realm.

Poets and children laughed at his length
which his supporters refused to see
yet asserted that it was huge.

(Happy Labor Day! Expect even more political poems through Election Day. Don’t forget to register to vote and double-check your voter registration at the 2020 Voters Calendar.)

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Grave of Ruth Carter Farlow (1742-1837)

Last week I revisited Marlboro Friends Meeting outside the little village of Sophia, North Carolina, about half an hour’s drive south of Greensboro. I knew my third-great grandfather, John Farlow (1809-1879) was buried there since I already had a picture of his stone but I was hoping to find more.

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On The Spectrum


On The Spectrum

The world is not black and white
nor is it shades of grey
we live in infinite color
more than our eyes can see

purple is both red and blue and neither
people can be wrong without being evil
poems can be about more than one thing
get used to it

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The Grave of Randall Jarrell


Yesterday I visited the grave of Randall Jarrell, 1914-1965. Besides being a poet and professor, he was the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress for 1956-1958, now known as the Poet Laureate of the United States.

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The arc of history may be long,
too long for my taste,
and I’ll grant it bends to justice,
when observed over centuries
but what good are years
to those whose time has been stolen?

George Floyd
Breonna Taylor
Walter Scott
Tamir Rice
Sandra Bland
Michael Brown
Eric Garner
Trayvon Martin
Emmett Till

I could and should go on,
list the names, longer
than this so-called arc.

Do not take solace that the road
will somewhere curve to the left,
it’s time to yank the wheel,
with our voices and votes,
with our feet and fists
raised high

and no longer accept the unacceptable.


Written for this week’s Living Poetry Prompt and all those whose names I didn’t list.

To my fellow citizens of these United States, better make sure you’re registered and make a plan to vote in November. Don’t leave it to the last minute. https://2020voterscalendar.org/

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I wear a crown about my jaw,
encrusted not with jewels
but pie crumbs.

It’s not gold, never was.
Call it platinum or silver,
just not gray.

I crowned myself, like Napoleon,
and, without a Josephine to complain,
it has grown into its majesty.

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