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Poetry Samples

                                    Dancing With My Daughters

Dancing with my daughters
Dancing with my dears;
Pipes and drums play in their hearts,
Quell their evening tears
Quell their evening tears.

One I cradle in my arms
The others hold my knee
Our song sung round the living room,
A whirling symmetry
A whirling symmetry.

We bump into a table
The needle skips a beat
The record ends, a strange silence;
It slows the dancer’s feet
It slows the dancer’s feet.

Soon the music starts again
An elegy or hymn;
A laugh, those tears, a smile combine
To rhyme what was a whim
To rhyme what was a whim.

Now sorrow fades to distance
We frolic in the fore;
These counterpoints of rhythm
Define our metaphor
Define our metaphor.

In jigs we step off moments
In reels we course through days
Our lifelong dance, love’s measurement
We cannot paraphrase
We cannot paraphrase.

Dancing with my daughters
Dancing with my dears;
Pipes and drums play in their hearts,
Quell their evening tears
Quell their evening tears.

Dancing with my Daughters first published in Lyric

From Industrial Sonnets:               
I   In Building 30

In building 30 they bear no details,
Admit no fragile hand, no subtle stroke.
Here the long screech and clatter of metal
Encompass with context, sometimes shatter.

Nearsighted in the inner workings,
The outer rim illusive, men move
Among the many planes without comfort
Of recognizable shape.

Parallel to the concrete floor, a plate
Of iron barges through the vault, chained
To a girder.  Below, a huddle

Of workers--next shift, they finish their coffee,
Ignore the crane’s siren with scornful look,
Spit out the grit of conversation.

In Building 30 first published in Tendril

On the Seawall

Attack of the hurricane steeds, the surge
So overpowering they burst back
against their own, ripping up the soft

strand of beach, sending pebbles of sand
and seaweed rags upward through the froth-violence.
Again the wall holds:  its throaty cries,

A gurgle of blood, rising to a new pitch,
Bracing for the next assault; they come
In threes.  The first:  iron-plaited, basher-

Of-stone; the next two:  dismantled
Grinders, nibblers at a fat-fleshed
Belly.  Another three.  And another.

A solitary monster on occasion
Powers in, climbing the backs
Of lesser waves, nourishing

Immensity, its giant jaws poised:
Eater-of-concrete, flooder-of-causeway.
These are the waves to watch.

On the Seawall first published in Soundings East

Caesarian Birth

Events vacillate in the blackness
Of this pre-world, a narrative
Illuminated by silver waves,
Shooting-stars, and lightning’s turbulence.

Gazing on these portents in wonder,
The tug lessens, the urgency fades
As a thought swims toward the soul’s center,
The heart-press, the nurturer of all.

The intrusion, like a shock of ice,
A freezing of the polar seas;
And the blistering from this knowledge
Destroying sure harmony, haven.

Hiding under a vital tuck,
She curls away from the life-giver,
The alien hand that draws, delivers
Through time’s widening tear her song of self.

Caesarian Birth first published in Lyrical Somerville