Poems ~ Publications

Clear Water

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, my brother was eight years old, In a department store, on tip toes, he was trying to get a drink. “Boy! Don’t drink from that! That’s the colored folk’s fountain! Can’t you read? It’s plain to see. Use the white people’s fountain.” Bewildered, he looked around for Mom who fearlessly stepped up: […]


A recollection of rain in green fingertipstulip bulbs testing the airnudging tiny conical hills in flowerbeds,the swollen creek surgesinto the last steelhead runthe rising Umpqua remembering spring. I cannot attest the season as anamnesis,that begs an old questiondoes the earth have a soul?Let’s say, for our sake, it does,What other life but its own can it […]

The Tree

Buddha before enlightenment starved bony looking into the moment for a way out the joy and pain the universal law at the center of the chaos in and around him   knowing we all wait under a spreading tree the return of turtles setting eggs in sand salmon roiling upriver to spawn sea lions   […]


In silence older than the sun the desert holds me like a lover needing little, offering nothing but peace– A voice in the wilderness, “There is no lasting happiness Samsara, Samsara.” Darkness older than silence, older than the coyote howl hunting song of the owl bat wing flick, mule deer kick To move and breathe […]

The Search

I wanted to be a serious poet, but heard they are prone to heart attacks so I lightened up and became a playwright, rented a little studio where I could audition the truth, ran an ad in the paper, “Desperately seeking reality.” And some very interesting characters came to read. There was a sage addicted […]

Elegy for Phil

Phil Hayes was murdered in a public park His killer unknown, the imperfect stranger. The police said it was gang related, All his family knows is –He’s gone He sacrificed his life for a friend, That was like him, facing danger Stopping a fight, making peace He didn’t play a hero, he was one, A […]