Entries by webmaster

Spring Poem in the Season of Corona

Last night, our pond reclaimed a foot from its ice. New water winks blue-green, and blackbirds shriek From wire and weed. It’s good to be out. Two boys Hike by me at social distance. Each breeze-tossed leaf Looks as crisp and twitchy as a chipmunk’s ear. The mud road grasps at boot-soles as I walk […]


I can’t explain, but it’s true. At ten years old, I beheld the lemon and slate of the slender fish, flashing below the surface. My father told me to settle back: my gawking over the gunwale rocked our canoe, E.M. White Guide’s Model with feathered hull-planks, the one he called a work of art. It […]

For My Wife at 64

Autumn’s at hand, and I recollect how you combed every wisp of weed from your garden in a pair of separate Septembers, each one for a different child’s wedding here. Though the mess came back too soon– pigweed, purslane, vetch– I’ll never forget how you knelt in the scrabbled dirt; how you smiled; how the […]

Mere Humans

Tink shouted, “Did you hear my bad news?” I turned from bucking up firewood and killed the engine. How different he looked, our tough old bantam neighbor– a rascal, but stolid as stone. Here stood a suddenly tinier version. No one in town would believe he’d cry. Things had to be bad. He told me […]


… strength in what remains … –Intimations of Immortality By the pond, a maple reddens already, in middle August. Impossible: it still should be summer. Fall’s upon us, most of the grandchildren back at their schools, moved up a year. And the nation… that great gloom blends with less epical fears– four falls gone, my […]

Open Questions

On becoming my state’s poet laureate, I made it my mission to visit as many of its community libraries as I could. I paid many, many such visits, and savored each and all. Certain colleagues at the “prestige” colleges where I taught for over forty years seem always to have surmised that intelligence faded the […]


(an excerpt from my selected newspaper columns as poet laureate, to be published in autumn 2020 as Seen from All Angles: Lyric Everyday Life) I have tried—with what I consider good reason—not to talk much about my own poetry in these columns I make an exception this month only because I also try to consider the […]

Abattoir Time

The widower pushed the tailgate shut and fell. The two sounds –click and thud– seemed synchrony, As if one in fact were function of the other. The red calf, bound for veal in the pickup’s bed, Looked rearward over his shoulder. No one there. A ginger-hackled rooster, framed by the door Of the loft, screamed […]

A Monk After Dark

One boot sags dumb like him in a corner. He drops the other to the floor with a grimace. He’s still devout. If his face contorts, It’s from pain in both his shoulders. A nuisance,   Not metaphor. It’s the fruit of labor– A day-long dig springtime in the garden: Parsnips enough for the brothers, […]

Balloons and Flowers

–for Goran Simic I dropped into sleep while reading a book of poems by the Bosnian friend I write for here. They’re brilliant, full of red flowers and graves and wrenching accounts of his homeland during the 90s. They lend some perspective   on our COVID-19 scourge, which I don’t mean to downplay, much less […]