Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Yellow Tree

The Yellow Tree


Lucy the Alligator

(Driving over)


You’re Right

Japanese Breakfast

Rabbit Nightlight

The Red Wagon

The Third Morning

(A branch sways)

Wet Morning

Morningtime Rhyme

Mt. Baker View

(The October bee)

(Walking the dog)

(Reading haiku)

A Garage in Ohio

Old Love

The Nightwatchman

(I keep returning)

At the Bus Stop

A House in Maine

Crowded Meadow

Ohio Tornado

The Yellow Tree

(A deer)

Rumi’s Book

(Monday morning)


For Winter

The Tuba Tree

(A wet dollar)

House in the Woods


(A white cat)

(The moon)



could fly

a tall kite

so I could see

where you are

Lucy the Alligator


folding chairs

we finally got

to pet her


how soft

like a moth

or a wave

Driving over



in the driveway


like apples

waiting in the air

to be ripe

You’re Right

There is a best way

to wash an apple

picked off the tree

hold it like a ball

roll it downhill

over the wet grass

Japanese Breakfast

A bowl of rice

a book of haiku


I’m late for the bus

Rabbit Nightlight

On the trail

all I see

a white tail

The Red Wagon

The red wagon

filled with dirt

a shovel and grass

pulled across

the yard


tulip bulbs


The Third Morning

I remember

open the gate


it’s okay

the spider web

is gone today

A branch sways

an owl landed

in the gloom

Wet Morning



a cat

a dog

a man


to where

he parked

his car

tires leaving

a dry square

on the tar

Morningtime Rhyme

The window is open

the shades are drawn

in a high-ceiling room

the lights are on

Mt. Baker View

After throwing away

a carload of trash

at the dump

turning on Slater Road

to go back home

there’s the mountain

a cone of white snow

taller than anything

The October bee

makes due with


Walking the dog

a cat hiding

behind a pumpkin

Reading haiku

and you appear

a sunny day

A Garage in Ohio

Everytime we went

to the landlord’s house

to pay our rent

we saw where

our money went

tall white pine

beside the garden

boards moving up

beams and walls

built with our help

getting bigger

every month

Old Love

He sees old love

getting Food Stamps

holding a baby

while he’s there too

with his family

The Nightwatchman

Something wakes me

each morning at 3.

I clock in. Everyone’s

asleep, even the dog.

Nothing happens outside

but a passing car once

in a while. An hour

goes by, I toss and

turn and listen.

It might be raining

windy or utterly still.

The only thing I’m missing

is sleep.

I keep returning

to the place we met

hoping to see you

the ground is cold

At the Bus Stop

Three girls

holding pumpkins

on their laps

A House in Maine

Steps painted

white as snow

stacked against

the wooden house

walking up

to a door

Crowded Meadow

I’ve been in

this dream before

like a flower

waiting for

that one bee

Ohio Tornado

It’s on the way

piling the sky

into a wave

over the I.G.A

The radio

warned us

waist tall


spin and bend

petals milling

in the wind

I planted them

beside the kitchen

to grow and look in

but now, staring

at those clouds


there is nothing

more than knowing

they would be

left outside

while the window

thrashed in rain

The Yellow Tree

half its leaves

have flown

onto ground

they are ducks

around a puddle

scattering in wind

A deer

on the sidewalk

orange streetlamps

Rumi’s Book

Letting a few

drops of rain

land on the page

Monday morning

a puddle is waiting

on the way to work


eating from

a can of green beans

water running

off the fork

For Winter


plowed under

in chocolate rows

The Tuba Tree

turns into brass

then with a blast

all the leaves fall off

A wet dollar

painted on the street

unpeeling it

House in the Woods

Sunday walk

below the branches

a shower of rain

a squirrel

in the rafters

further on

in another room

startling an owl

it flies deeper

into the leaves

the chimney beside

a green window sill


our house

in a raindrop

A white cat

licking ice

on the porch

The moon

shutting her door

only a sliver of light

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Reversed Cat

This book was written during a week,

September 28-October 3, 2010, when a

thick cloud covered the town. Every morning

it was there. Sometimes it crawled away for

a while, but at night it was out again.

During this time, amid other events,

our neighbor’s cat disappeared. I was

at work, looking through an old magazine

for a letter from 1938. Instead, on page 475,

I discovered a reversed cat.

October 9, 2010 2:03 PM, Bellingham

We Live Below

We All Have Places Awaiting Our Arrival

1971 Ford

The Balloon Man



Sunny Meter

Living In Water

The Cobra Handler

Chapter 10

A Reversed Man

Coyote Alarm Clock

Instant Coffee

Chapter 14

Bellingham Bay, Saturday

The Floating Leaf

6 Year Old Photographer

The Great Speckled Bird

40 Watts of Apple

We Live Below

a lid of clouds

bound to the tops of trees

We follow the crows

leading the way

calling out names

in the white

We All Have Places

Awaiting Our Arrival

Birds find

what they want

a branch

held like a hand

above the river

1971 Ford

While we were eating

at the picnic table

surrounded by slides

and swings and fun

Someone left

two yellow tickets

tucked beneath

your windshield wiper

The Balloon Man

A blue uniform

made round

with hot air


growing in the woods

will be the dollar tree

and its leaves won’t matter

fallen around on the ground

like a bank robbery


the blue flower

wears a paper mask

hides her looks

like Halloween

Sunny Meter

It’s been 3 days

raining and windy

the front step is empty

no sign of Sunny

Living In Water

We feel

every tremor


the surface.

When it’s calm

we wonder

when will it

happen again?

The Cobra Handler

“You will think nothing

has happened, but after

an hour you will get sleepy.

It will be hard to talk,

things will blur.

Your breathing

will become difficult.

You will lie down.

Your heart will simply

stop. That’s neurotoxic poison.

It’s not a bad way to go.”

Chapter 10

Last night

watched the crows

crossing our yard

A Reversed Man

On a Frankenstein night

in 1938, Dr. Biocal wired a cat

to rows of lights and switches

and pulled the lever.

A lightning bolt hit,

lit the steep city rooftops.

The world’s first reversed cat

snapped free of the tangled

burning wires and jumped out

the window. Dr. Biocal stood

on the fire escape landing,

held onto the metal railing,

searching the dark.

Below him, the sidewalk rattled

with a big oak leaf. The streetlamp

gave it a black cat-sized shadow.

Days passed, he never saw it again.

A week later, he tried the experiment

on himself. Maybe he’s out there now,

A Reversed Man, walking the streets,

the wrong side of the road

looks right to him.

Coyote Alarm Clock

At 4:30 AM

a coyote wakes me

carrying a box

full of lightbulbs

barefoot across

burning coals

Instant Coffee

A jar

filled with

a shadow

Chapter 14


the whole town

flying in a white cloud

No wonder

we feel this way

Bellingham Bay, Saturday

I can only say it’s beginning to read

like a horror movie script.

Saturday afternoon on a dock

in Bellingham Bay, a cold blue sky.

A dying stickleback is flipping over

in a pool of gasoline. It looks like

it’s got a motor in it, taking it

to the next drop of spilled oil.

We don’t stay long. I didn’t expect

so much pollution. We’re all just

riding out the storm. Even my son

tells me, when he falls on the lawn,

“I’m having a bad day.” That’s no lie.

I just wonder, are we in the middle,

or is the movie almost over?

The Floating Leaf


walking in the woods

you will see one

suspended in the air

it doesn’t need a tree

6 Year Old Photographer

“That would have been

a perfect picture

if she was in it.”

The Great Speckled Bird

I was waiting for the bus

watching the sky, morning blue

and pink, with a yellow speckled cloud.

40 Watts of Apple


from the branch

it’s just right

carried back

to the house

a reading light

(p.s In case you were worried, Sunny the cat reappeared)