Red Lights 11.2 – Two Poems

pulling up
the orange roots
of bittersweet
I let the garden
work in me

making peace
with the young, bearded man
in the video –
that shirt, those shoes
I was walking in


Three Poems from Gusts 22

that barren tree
he wanted to chop down –
not long
after he left her
blossoms on every branch

empty shelves
and a skeleton staff
at the bookstore
all the smell
have been let go

a pregnant pause
when our conversation
apples all gone
from the lower branches

Skylark 3.2

Published in Skylark Winter issue:

his photo
of a mist-shrouded lake
on Facebook…
so long since I’ve spoken
with my brother

crawl over each other
in the tank…
my sudden fear
of reincarnation

in New England soil
I hit a rock…
beliefs too heavy
to dig out

Ribbons 11.3

These were just published:

an insect
crawls back and forth
over a poem
not knowing if it matters
I spare this tiny life

fingers fumbling
to delete my post
before it’s read –
three deep breaths
I never took

Some Tanka Published in Gusts

Gusts 16

on the wall
sharing my shower…
a spider
let’s pretend, my friend
we never saw each other


the goodnight kiss
my daughter says…
what she missed
the most
when I left home


Gusts 17

a slow movement
On the cello
My mind
sinks deep
Beneath the waves


my hometown
rising from the mist
the accent
slips into my voice


Bright Stars 5

A few from Bright Stars 5 published by M. Kei in 2014:

that man
in camouflage
how young he looks…
how old

riding my new bike
down the hill…
a barbed-wire fence
teaches me a lesson
I’ve tried to unlearn

this email
rewritten, revised
twenty times…
I find another clump
in the litter box

fifty miles
Into our trip
on a toll road
I ask
did we check the stove?

my grandson
prancing around the room
naked –
too young to know
the meaning of shame

Bright Stars 3

These are from Bright Stars 3  published in 2014 by M. Kei:

a turtle
trapped inside a tank
my father’s face
against the glass
of this world

by the sound
of a screech owl
my stomach answers
with its own deep cries

with shotguns hung
from their shoulders
pointed like penises
at the ground

the cats
looking puzzled
as I enter
a deeper silence
when you’re gone

through the end
of a tunnel—
cracks on the walls
and a long way to go