I always thought I’d write a book or four.
Of course they’d be the type I like to read,
with characters I care about, and sure
development of plots at proper speed.
I figured it a matter of mere time –
some practice and experience would serve
to hoist me from the world of metered rhyme.
I thought I had the talent and the nerve.

But at the keyboard, when I crafted prose,
the pace of narrative was tiresome.
I found I lacked the patience to compose.
The stories and the speech require some
commitment I resent. I’m never stirred,
till I revert to loving every word.

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A sparrow flew into my room last week.
The doors were open and the weather mild.
The creature panicked – flailing wings and beak
against three window panes, freaked out and wild,
till finally it managed to exit –
in darting arc to jacaranda tree.
It left some down and drops of brownish shit,
but left my place without an injury.

Today I heard a thump and turned to find
another sparrow, stunned, beside my chair.
It flopped and flapped a little, but my mind
expected death. I moved it to the air
outside, the garden, laid on nothing hard.
Relieved I saw that bird soon leave my yard.

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Three Middle Days


My sojourn was symmetrical – 10 days,
with 3 midway devoted to full rest.
I sank my homing talons in a ways,
and drew renewal from my private nest.
I sat, I thought, I showered and I read.
I dallied with some puzzles and some verse.
I dozed on loveseat, slept on chair and bed,
and never voiced complaint, lament or curse.

It couldn’t last. I knew that from the start.
I had to leave, to work to pack to fly
back north to be support for some my heart
exists to serve. I knew I would comply
with love’s behest, for love of family.
I rested to recharge my battery.

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As when a straggler, desert-dry for days,
at length attains the fountain and the stream,
or like a hiker caught in full sun’s rays
without a drink, when given sips, it seems
that I’ve been parched and effort-pecked so long,
I didn’t know exhaustion when it came.
Relief’s remarkable. This comfort’s strong.
The contrast gives my other moods a name.

At home 10 days, I manage 3 alone
(except for little interruptions twice).
I sink the time in resting brain and bone.
I exercise a bit, but I am nice
to me – resuscitating energy
to underwrite the work that has to be.

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Lucky in long life
means you’ll spend most of your time
dwelling in old age

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The sun was out today by 8 a.m.
The sky beyond the window’s spanking blue.
The weather is inviting me and them
to step outside, inflate our lungs, and do
a bit of normal fall activity.
We’ve spent our time indoors for 20 days
amid the medical telemetry,
in waiting rooms and instrument-filled bays.

Today the stricken patient graduates
to hospitality with less alarm.
Improving hourly, he demonstrates
recovery from catastrophic harm.
And though his course will run for months ahead,
we’re dancing joy today that no one’s dead.

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Collecting metaphors, we’re talking out
a family catastrophe. Attacked
by stroke of terrible, we reel about
a hill less steep, a launchpad: inexact
but apt, expressed to call recovery
with optimistic attitudes, of course.
We speak in terms of fight and bravery,
allow no negatives, and hug with force.

It rains outside, but that’s the Portland norm,
and though we’d all adore a beam of sun,
pathetic fallacy would need a storm
compared to this. We’re nodding, everyone:
there is no omen ominous or near —
some time must pass before we’re in the clear.

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