When He’s Gone

When he’s gone
there will be no hawks
no crows
no blue jays
no phoebes
Instead, mourning doves
will rustle in the fog,
quiety calling
his name.

Prompt: PAD When he’s gone…



It’s difficult to be sweet 16 “never been kissed.”  The worn hallways of high school remember the middle school years of braces, thick glasses and bookworm behavior.  Short bouncy haircuts and contact lenses can’t erase history.  Perky cheerleaders pair with golden boys.  The long-haired kids ditch class, sit on the grassy hillside, and smoke.  Somewhere in the middle, you slide from class to class.  Invisible.

In autumn, roots grow
strong while foliage sleeps; fields
full of poppies glow.

Prompts: We Write Poems for a poem that sends wisdom to your 16 year old self.


The prelude came
as insidious rain
gently washing away
the sailing trip.
Instead, we drove
up the mountain,
following a tinny tip
from a nicked, bent
realtor’s sign;
the metal split
and worn.
Amid drifts of gold grass
that waved and bowed,
we stretched our limbs.
The trees were tinted
red and gold,
vivid against the cold grey sky.
Your eyes glowed
as we fixed ourselves
to this land.

Prompts: Wordle 70 and Writer’s Digest (write about a change of plans).

This is What Homeless Looks Like

Hot cup of coffee warm in our hands
we walked at sundown.
Ocean swells rose and fell,
crashed onto the grittle ground sand;
the shore was damp with salty spray.

In the ice plant covered dunes
we spied a woman sleeping;
her knees tucked in close,
the denim of her jeans
faded and thin.
Her shopping cart
was planted next to her
and her faded cotton jacket
wrapped her tight.

The next morning we ate bagels
by the hotel window.
I watched a man
on the green, beside the dunes,
thin, tall
stiff and sore
brown beard going grey.
His small dog
was blanket-burrowed
beside his cart.
The man flicked his eyes
across the grass and gathered

What is the trigger chain refrain
that lays claim to their lives
and leads to this shuffle of pain?
What gravity pulls them down
into the cracks
of the sidewalks?
I see him moving in my mind,
with humility
picking clean the grass,
and moving on.

Prompts: Sunday Wordle 65

Something Brown

Something brown from a bright foil wrapper
   melts into velvet dark richness.
Something brown lies across my legs
   fleecy, thick and warm.
Something brown burns bright 
   hot amber dancing orange.
Something brown and grey and red
   hops on the patio rail
   dodging drops of rain on a dark day.

I wrote this poem from a prompt on the Writer’s Digest page.  It was a simple prompt — write about something <your choice>.  It’s cold and rainy today.  This is how it looks.