a favoured over-estimation

Calmness leads to claws
flexing, with eyes
closed or keenly
narrowed and fixed on
the sleightness of
disturbed air between
my incoming finger tip
and his whiskers or

An assumed cute boop
results in bloodshed
or rough abrading licks,
my hand or his meal
depends on whose needs

A strange noticing
paralyzes my next
action, any reaction
either way, staying in
or leaving his clutch
will be painful and
forgotten and
forgiven before
dinner time.

Regardless, I assume
ownership of him,
his care, and any
injury that results
from loving him as
I do.

Tamar wasn’t having it

Was the first and last thing
he said to me.
I answered.
And as I began to offer more,
he turned and got to work.
My schedule was out of order.
Stopping mid week to 
pick up groceries
was humbling.
Time is never regained
once lost.
Sunday I was distracted.
I missed items.
So, here I am;
at a new store,
a Wednesday interloper,
with a new person.
I guess, I am the
new person too.
Tamar stopped suddenly
and looked out over
an adjacent field.
The parking lot butted up against 
a promised expansion 
of some store 
currently in the plaza.
It was puddled and 
strewn with broken things; 
fencing, floes of Styrofoam,
patches of grass,
shattered adolescent
tree trunks.
In the distance,
a hypertensive highway 
teemed with commuters.
The dull crashing of crates 
snapped my attention back 
to task.
Tamar was already in motion,
returning to the depot.
At the warehouse door
he threw one more
glance over his shoulder 
at the chaotic field,
shook his head, 
and entered.

terra incognita

So much empty space
with no centre,
no start
each step might take
you closer to a point
or away from your

Each post you plant
tethers you,
each tack placed in this
only serves to show
its largeness.

Its all distraction-
a leaf,
that sky,
some sounds,
your thoughts,
and a feeling that
each glimmer is there
for you alone.

To look directly at
one specific thing
is impossible
you will need to
capture release
then capture again
to keep your attention

Inadequate luggage
carries meaning
no farther
than the next step
then it is unpacked and
repacked before moving
on somehow fuller,
wider, heavier.

Bread crumbs trail from
carry ons,
curious birds follow
chirping who are you?
and where are you heading?
but staying just
distant enough to escape
the clutch and scrutiny.

I sometimes feel
like the hunter
in a forest that
does not regard me
as a threat
in fact
it does not
regard me at all.

But lifting that rock,
even a centimetre
from the ground will
result in resistance,
small green living creatures
will tug and try
to bring that rock
back to ground.

Insignificant things
have their own gravity
and to not consider
their animus
is foolish
and greedy.

Just because
we can see each
starry pin point
in the night sky
we have no right
to reach out
and touch

my words will change me

Spent most of my life 
breaking fossils from prose,

weaving dust into
thread, stitching seams on

wings that have lead me,
fed me more full meals

than my mother or
father or other,

then put me to bed
with confusing dreams.

Caution to robbers
who find my bare grave

filled with old man’s bones
and cold cryptic stones-

what were you thinking
you might find this time?

A nest lined in rhymes?
A chest full of lies?

Since all the hearty
poems left my body,

you will not find new
prodigal pieces;

all the fragile forms
that I used to be-

the structure, stanzas,
and blood and the ink,

the words on page, can
no longer change me.

And what I’ll love most
is the double dare-

to recognize the
figure in the words
once no one is there.

time travels

3 years ago 
today was an

became haunted
freeze framed
to dos
and dates

grocery shelves
about to be
of toilet paper
Lysol spray

news reels
had yet
to include
hot spots,
death counts,
infection rates

I would live,
and work
without my body
and with

my students
know me
by beard
and name
wall adornments
in my home office

any new space
or place
fears of yolo
and wistful
looks of

‘where are you?’
was akin to
‘are you safe?’

good night
see you tomorrow

did not
seem dangerous,
public space did

safe measures
were clear,
lines defined,
distance estimated
and we were
good with
so we

we hadn’t
yet crashed
looking for

doing things
was still
even a
few students
be online

no one deflated

no one hyperbolized

no one gasped

no one said the inside aloud
no one ironically asked
from behind a mask

well then

why bother locking doors?

why bother taking vitamins?

why bother with a seatbelt?

no one yet
what was next