Hey all….


The Magpie is back at it.

For those who don’t already know, The Magpie is my amazingly talented and creative (if I do say so myself) daughter. While she has had the hand and eye of a True Artist quite literally since she was still in diapers….

…and her talent (and creativity and imagination) has grown nigh exponentially…

(just a small sampling of the depth and breadth of her work over the last few years)

…she has now made made the written word her main focus. She is currently eating, sleeping and breathing the writing life, morning, noon and night. It is the first thing she wants to do every day and we must force her to stop every night in order to get some unfortunately necessary rest. And she is doing all this while somehow still maintaining her visual art pursuits, interests in science, math, mythology and literature and high honors in school. Her dedication to this new endeavor puts my paltry efforts to shame.

I hope you’ll take a look at her Magpies Menagerie and see what she’s been up to and stick around to see what she has in store.


(Am I being overly indulgent or proud? Can you blame me?)

Other Mother’s MonDay…


I wrote this for my wife, the beautiful mother 
of my beautiful daughter, but I offer it up.
A Mother's Day poem for all the nurturers.


This is the mother’s month, 
the month of the morning 
of the year when the earth 
begins its cycle song. 

Here is the mother’s milk
where we always knew 
it was, where we leave it 
as we found it, as it found 

our mouths without looking, 
as it gave what could only 
be given, being what could 
only be once, though it is 

again and again beginning. 
Here is the new-turned leaf, face 
to the sun, brilliant in the warmth, 
lobes spread wide to catch the day. 

Here is the heart of the wood, 
where would will only find will, 
where only heart can know 
heart, be still and still be.

Making his way back…

...a new false face... 

(or: An exercise in parentheticals, photographicals 
and confessionals)


He is making his way back.
After a long Hiatus.
(and here I am, speaking
of myself in the third person,
as I said I would not, and 
capriciously capitalizing words
for emphasis, as I never said 
I would not and yet always felt 
that I never would or should).

He has lost two businesses.
(No, I don’t in point of fact 
know where they’ve run
off to, where they might
be hiding, or just how I
lost them…well, actually
I do have an idea or two—
a few certain things that I
in fact do know contributed
to said losing but I was 
speaking more about the 
insubstantiality of what we
mean when we say “business”
as well as the fact that they 
[“businesses”] are in fact
non-corporeal [though often
somehow "corporate"] “things” 
whose true “existence”
can always be questioned.  
[They are not “things,” really,
are they? They cannot be 
truly touched or felt, except
perhaps in the heart and 
sometimes the pocket-book])
He has lost all his hair.  
(No, not like early onset 
[Rather funny, that--calling
it “early onset” as if I was not 
in fact closer to fifty than I am 
to forty!] male pattern baldness 

but like [no, no—not “like” but 
actually "as", actually "in the form 
of", actually "a real-life case of"]
alopecia universalis, as in 
complete, 100%, top-to-bottom, 
front-to-back, all-over [and under,
for that matter--not that you asked] 
bodily hair loss.)  He has lost
ALL his hair. 

(There I go, capitalizing 
for emphasis again.) 

He now looks in 
the mirror and sees a 
“freak” (It’s o.k.. I am
quite comfortable with the
label and the idea and do not
think of “freak” as a bad word
at all, and really—no eyebrows? 
no eyelashes? I really do look 
pretty freaky[at least with my 
glasses off]) and embraces it.
But also (and really, more 
importantly) he sees a man 
who did not in fact have a 
heart attack or an aneurism 
or a stroke or any number 
of other possible stress-
induced maladies or illnesses.  

He only lost all his hair and 
this is a thing that can, 
in fact, be felt or perhaps 
a thing which can be felt 
not to not be there—its ab-
sence is a thing that is felt.

He has been told that 
he wears it well.  (The 
baldness, that is.  And
I would tend to believe 
this was patronizing 
feel-good head-patting 
if it did not come so often 
from veritable strangers
who seem to have no 
vested interest in how 
I look or my feelings 

No, he looks in the mirror 
and is thankful. Grateful, even.   
(Even though I cannot say to 
whom or to what it is I should 
direct said gratitude, said 
thankfulness.) He looks 
like someone who has had
chemo-therapy but he has 
not and so every look in the 
mirror is a reminder—a re-
minder of just how lucky he 
is. How lucky he is to still 
have his family, his wife and 
daughter.  How lucky he is to 
still have any thing at all.  How 
lucky he is in fact to be capable
of still having—of being a po-
ssessor; one who may be said 
to possess things.  How lucky
he is to be capable of considering
whether or not he even believes 
in such things as luck or chance.

He finds himself lucky to
be given this chance 
to be reminded of how
lucky he is every time 
he looks in the mirror,
to be reminded with 
this loss of how much 
he still has, of how much
he has not lost, to be re-
minded (to be minded—
again!) of the value of 
being able to find value.

Not that he in any way 
feels that he possesses
either wife or daughter
or any one or any thing
but more that he is now 
in a position to possess
the knowledge of what
it truly means to possess
and what it means to 
possess the knowledge of
how little we can be said to 
truly possess anything.
Or what it means to lose.
(Or, I think, perhaps the
only things that we can 
truly be said to possess
are intangible things.)
Businesses, hair, sleep.

He has lost all of these
things.  (But now--you
see--now I am losing the 
losing of them as well.)

He now finds himself in
the valuable position of 
being possessed of the 
right kind of knowledge 
to be able to contemplate 
the concept of possession, 
right here, right now, on 
this page.

He is learning to let go.
(Still and always, [in still-
ness and in all ways] I am 
learning how to do this.)

Cinquain Chain: Links 30, 31 & 32 (NaPoWriMo 2016)

(Links 24 & 25 of a poetry exchange between Natalie and myself. Making a chain of 
cinquains [a Cinq-chain?] in an effort to "un-chain our muses.") 
(I think we have enough Chain-Links to make a Fence....)

what dead thing are
the vultures circling?
There is always a corpse somewhere

there are blossoms
breathing in the dark night.
Why is the air so empty in
our dreams?

Our dreams
where we descend
with stones in our pockets
like Virginia into the dark
water —

which bears the weight
and weeps to consume us
and delivers our bodies back
to land.

To land
in a place such
as this, to fall like bombs
into an abyss. Sky becomes

waits for what falls.
The bones of thoughts lie half-
remembered, settling, eaten
by time

by time
which wavers like
curtains by a window
devoured by moths, mice, and men
until –

time stands with a
backbone of its own and
says with breath from a distant wind:

of this wasteland
pantomime, this taste that
still waits on the edge of our tongue’s

of the mind’s end,
end of the places where
we can offer our selves any

yourself knowing
there are seas beyond these
sand dunes, once you blink and open
your eyes

your “I”s
left behind like
so many broken shells
once you realize mankind is
one man

one man
walks alone, as
kind as his dreams will
let him be, real eyes seeing more
and more

and more
than won men can
handle, more than bartered
men can bet on, until they close
their eyes.

Their eyes
flicker like light—
bulbs in dusty attics,
following him into the dark

no man should go
until he has learned the
way of the rat and the raven
and Poe

and Po,
the old poet,
knew that life in the world
is just a big dream and not worth

with nought but wine
since we ever know that
nothing will never be the same

I see my own
eyes peering out at me
from someone else’s face – I must
free them

free them
before they rot
the soft skull that holds them.
Some thoughts should never be thought, or so
we think

We think
we know what our
eyes are doing when our
ears are listening to the soft
tick, tick

tick, tick
of the bones as
they settle and soften
in their assigned places in the

yourself in the
same place Sylvia saw
terrible fish – grasp what you can

it leaves your hands
the way all sweet things must.
Let it go before it gasps and
goes limp

goes limp,
slips through your last
frightened fingers into
the gas, into the last space left
to them

to them
that see the world
for what it is. They see
into the dark corners that we
do not

Do not
go wandering
or wondering where they
make their homes – those are unholy

where reflections
are more real than the
faces that cast them and move with
free will

free will
not be easy
and easy will never be
simple and the hardest things are

land is a far
away place where nothing
ever happens, no one dies and
we’re bored

we’re bored
of the same old
hero with his thousand
faces and nothing new to say
to us

to us
who take off our
rings, put on our mother’s
fur coat, pour ourselves a vodka
and sleep

the sleep
of the damned and
we’re all damned, aren’t we?
We’re all going to sleep.  Some choose
not to.

Knot 2:
some don’t have a 
choice.  Some don’t have a chance.
None can choose to choose or not to.
We lie.

...keepin' the Po in NaPoWriMo...