Winter Prompts #17 & #18


Winter Prompt #17

Once there was grass,

dandelion and clover,

gill-over-the ground.

Once there was green.


It’s there, still,

under the frozen slush,

the snow. Under

the deep puddles,

the shallow ice lakes

that cover the pastures.


It will turn again;

it will grow green.

The commonplace


Resiliance is reality.



Winter Prompt #18

I slept well with no dreams I can recall.

When I awoke, I noticed first

the light on the ceiling

of the hotel room—or rather a light

and its dimmer double, down

and to the left—an alarm or sensor

blinking orange every half-minute.

I closed my right eye to make the double

disappear. My eye is not single,

I thought. I hardly remember

what that was like.  The light is one

though the lamps be many.  Then One light

ascending through four notes

and The light is one though the lamps be many

in a dominant chord

over the sitar, after the wandering

verses  I can’t remember. One light,

The light is one though the lamps be many.

That simple chorus like a child’s song.

Of course—O brilliant!—the Incredible

String Band’s search—scattered lights

of many lamps, patterns that don’t stick,

chordless rifts resolving into One light.

The light is one though the lamps be many.

Of course. ’Tis the gift to be simple.



. . . Surprise is a  name of God.

~Brother David Steindl-Rast


Who else would bring a pair of owls

to circle my head on New Year’s night?

Or a fox to the front step

just at sunset yesterday? Who

could have handed us a little child

with round cheeks, his mother’s mouth,

his daddy’s smiling eyes?

In the gray and icy drizzle of winter,

who else would have sent a foot of snow,

north wind to slice through our dismay?

Or gathered us together

and crowned us with roses,

taught us how to sing?

April prompt #26

April prompt #26

An adult who affected you strongly as a child

Janice’s #1




Tonic. Sub-dominant. Every Good Boy

Does Fine. The ruler across the knuckles.

The yellow notebook. Erasers balanced

on the hands. It is forbidden to play

by ear. I can read music in my sleep.

My hand position is old-style perfect.

I cannot improvise to save my life.

Playing Mozart, I always forget to breathe.

April prompt #9

April prompt #9


Ray’s #1


We prefer tunes in the Crixian mode.

We turn our cranks backwards.

Our shoes have pointed heels.

We knit socks from dental floss.

No wonder we have so few friends.

We give our neighbors pies of greens

we stole from their gardens in the night.

Five roosters roost on our roof.

Every single morning, no matter what

the weather, we greet the dawn

with Morris dancing on the lawn.



~for the singers


When we sing, we sing. We become

the song. Notes have ceased to matter.

Our heart beats the pattern, the shape


of the time, the space of the spiral

where we stand.   We drink harmony

from the fountain;  we’re held


in the great mystery’s form. Farewell

to self-entanglement. We’re bending

like willows. The valley rejoices.


Unlonely, we journey through the night.

As each stone adds its voice

to the singing of the stream,


even our troubles flow like love.

We are beautiful and good.

All our mouth is filled with music.



~July 4, 2015


Ask anyone who knows me–

I am not famous for waving the flag.


But this year, on the Fourth,

marching down Main St., USA

with a band of friends,


reflecting many cheers,

deflecting some silences,

absorbing a single obscenity,


passing under the big Old Glory

hanging above the street

as we played “This Land is Your Land”—


well, for once I thought,


just maybe it is.