Thursday, September 29, 2016


                                                             SUMMER OF 1944
Daily headlines in the local newspaper:   POLIO.  INFANTILE PARALYSIS.  POLIOMYELITIS.  Whatever it is called, it's talked about in whispers.  Like a dirty story. 
 Beaches, parks, movie houses, all remain open.  Hardly anyone goes. It's in the air; on the benches; on the toilets. Stay home.  Stay inside.  And so we do
 On one Sunday afternoon my father can take only so much of my sister and me.  He reasons that with most of New Haven staying home, it would be safe to venture out. And there we are, tripping off to the beach on the open-air trolley. Anticipation mixed with disappointment. No one singing or laughing, no large party groups out for a good time. 
The beach at Lighthouse Point is nearly empty. Only four or five families.  And a lonely lifeguard in his tower. We spread our blanket, yards away from anyone else.
"Stay away from them," my father warns.  "Don't play with those children." 
We hadn't played with anyone since Billy O'Hara was rushed to the hospital by ambulance two weeks earlier.  Will we get sick?  Will Billy die? Rumors rolled down our street like a loose ball.  He's dead already.  He's alive. He's paralyzed.  He's in an iron lung.  He's only 10 years old. 
                                                    low tide water line–
                                                    a little girl races
                                                    her shadow
Presence, #29 May 2006

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


                                             house for sale
                                             dried leaves scatter
                                             this way and that
                                             fog in the hollow
                                             the cadence of leaves
                                             dripping on leaves
Simply Haiku
A Hundred Gourds

Saturday, September 24, 2016


                                       EARLY AUTUMN   

A sunny, crisp day.  Here and there a splash of red, a tinge of yellow. In the maple, one thick branch glows golden.  The rest remains green. The coloring on most trees is random, almost quixotic, except for the dogwoods along the fence. They look to be painted by an artist obsessed with symmetry, dark red on the tips of the leaves, dark green towards the stems. Each tree a copy of the others.   

                                          full palette–
                                          holding the brush above
                                          a blank canvas
Nisqually Delta Review summer 2007

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


                                                      BEING ALIVE

 Unrelenting heat. The old man with dazed eyes accepts an ice cream. The first taste sends a flicker of acknowledgement and pleasure. Although I don’t know this man or the woman who is helping him, I feel the sting of tears.

I am afraid to see myself in his role, afraid to think of a life imprisoned by mind and body, afraid to think of needing constant care and attention.

                                                    sweat between my breasts
                                                    the unpleasant awareness
                                                    of being alive

CHO, Oct. 2013

Sunday, August 14, 2016


                                              Tanka for Summer

                                                cool wine, sharp cheese
                                                a loaf of bread and you
                                                in the summer shade
                                                when hair was dark and limbs strong
                                                and life was still to be lived

                                                wind on the hill
                                                coming from the north
                                                my gift to you
                                                if I had the power
                                                to cool on this sultry day

                                                a river view
                                                between the vee of trees
                                                smaller each year;
                                                what I could hve seen
                                                in an earlier life

Tanka Cafe, Ribbons
Simply Haiku, Never Ending Story

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Haiku sequence


                                               Evening Walk

                                               walking at dusk
                                               sprectral sounds from the woods
                                               shadows jumping

                                               ripe wheat fields
                                               listening to the swoosh, swoosh
                                               as rain clouds approach

                                               waist high in weeds
                                               short-cutting through a meadow
                                               fighting the gnats

Dradonfly, 1975