a wren in cattails

a wren in cattails
hopping stem to stem

night heron won’t budge
from her perfect spot

harrier resting on wing
in the measureless air

the comings and goings-on
unstoppable as such


Accelerated Death Benefit Summary

    how you woo me with promises
    transcending the seal of mortality               
    while death, certain and life, unsure
    and the money, it defies gravity                         *
    it flows up, tainted, delirious waterfall
    rising ashes of burnt contracts—
                                                               *  *
        my policy is to twinkle   *
        right back at the stars             *             *     *
                                            *          *
    —until the summaries of                    *
    benefits can wait no more                           *
    and death accelerates like
    a crumpled wad of direct mail
    hurled into the gaping maw
    of eternity (represented here  
    by a waste basket)

White Wing

I’ve always a weak attachment to food
In the kitchen I’m an interloper, mending fences
A field hand to the duties of my own appetite

But here I am, bare feet on the linoleum
Rudimentary gut signals begging for nourishment
Appear to me as cravings for salt, or sugar

And I keep feeding this fount of desires
Rolling up some scrambled eggs in tortillas
While outside, a white-winged dove coos:

Who? Who? Who cooks for you?

Feline System Alert


Device low on cat hair
Please replenish residual deposits
On drum and all paper paths
Drum access door is open

Cat box need cleaning
Cat food bowl low on
Most expensive prescription kibble
Money can buy, please replenish

Cat maintenance scheduled event
Not detected – Cat unhappiness alert
Cat nap disturbance alert

Sanity alert – high levels
Of human dignity detected
Increase attention to cat needs
To maintain dignity levels
Below cat-required thresholds

Human in cat’s favorite chair detected
System critical alert
Human malfeasance near peak levels
Cat not petted in right spot
No purring detected



the absurdity of life
really should be enough
of a wake-up call, but I’m
locked in a legal battle
with this snooze button
whose attorney calls her
first witness: the chaste
saffron light of dawn
and I sleep deeply
through the glowing mist
of its testimony