Lost: On the Staten Island Ferry

Nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize

There, on an old worn seat, clean and cold,
I left it behind on the Staten Island Ferry—
after a walk on Wall Street,
a Saturday with darkness falling at four o’clock,
a wind chill of zero degrees,
a polar contrast to the heat, mosquitoes, and fear
I had known only days before.
The cold, cold wind I remember,
but I can’t remember
what she said,


Why Did Hemingway Kill Himself?

Why Did Hemingway Kill Himself?

We’re all going skiing today.
We adults are apprehensive, not sure how our old bodies will react.
I stand on the porch with my coffee and gaze out:
the lake is a shimmery blue;
the mountains, almost black, divide the lake from the blue sky.
The wet bark and boughs of the pines near the cabin
frame lake, mountains, and sky—
on the mountains white patches of snow.

Why did Hemingway kill himself when he wasn’t dying?
What did he wake and see in the mirror one morning?
What was he afraid of?
Was it death?
He feared death so much that he ran into her arms to escape the fear?

War of the Martins and Sparrows (honorable mention Houston Writers Guild Press 2017)

In my side-yard, there’s a birdhouse we put up for purple martins.
We like hearing them chatter and burble,
seeing them soar and swoop and
land like fighter jets on an aircraft carrier.
The sparrows came; they built a nest,
then two martins returned from South America
and they built a nest, side-by-side with the sparrows.
Now it looks like there are two sparrow nests,
one on each side of the house,
and both sparrows and martins have cropped,
and there are birds all over the house,
both house sparrows and purple martins.
They fight all the time,
on the porches, even inside one of the holes with feathers poking out,
these two tribes of ex-dinosaurs.


A Rising Tide (Winner first place – poetry Houston Writers Guild Press contest – April 28, 2017)

  • I feel the tide rising,
      I see faces all around,
      different shapes
      and shades of hair
      and colors of skin.
  • In a Budapest museum, homage is paid to those who fled
      —inventors, theorists, thinkers
      —artists, musicians, writers
  • Welcomed in another place,
      and what they brought with them:
      television, laser, computer,
      paint, piano, and pen,
      and the eighth dimension unstrung.
  • They, the celebrated,
      are only the froth,
      the effervescence of the movement of peoples,
  • Not the essence.
  • Yet another wave comes—
      short, dark men,
      digging, hammering, sweating, straining,
      building houses, mending roofs.
  • Imagine their struggles, their strivings,
      their sorrows, their fears,
      their loneliness