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"What on earth are you writing about?"Abuelo Ignazio said.

"Everything. Politics, change, the way things could be."


"What for? For? Why write it down? Writing is essential.

Hmmph. You can't eat a poem."*


My response? Yes, you can!

You can eat it with your eyes and your mind and your heart!

(* Invisible Mountain, Carolina de Robertis, p. 231)

Men Are Allowed

Wrinkles distinguish them in age.


A female, fresh-cheeked, slim, coy: just what the old boy ordered. She ain’t allowed to wrinkle. It’d spoil her image.

How could she snare a man?


Neanderthal noggins Progress? Negligible.

Here and there the globe is gracious

There and here it’s niggardly.


Wrapped in its own shawl, Unaware of the damage it’s doing, More akin to sealed shut

The honey locked in the comb.


Candling the wax

The sweet potential Is freed

For the world to taste.

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Latest Poems

Rocking out on Rocks:

Valley of Fire

They say that yonder rock once flitted

Under a wide and glassy sea

One hundred grains between the toes

Thumped flat by a brontosaurus


Usurped when the comet crashed

Vacuuming every drop of water

From thin sands, pink layered with coral

Topped by carmine and vermillion


The unimaginable force of fire

Far beneath the surface

Slipped the rainbow slices sideways

Tilted them until


Their shoulders humped up and up

Now twisted, eroded they reign

Without endeavor, the great rocks in the desert

Stand and battle with the waves and wind for ever.

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What is a Poem?

A poem is when you hear the heart beat of a tree


A poem is when your soul loosens up


A poem is yeast rising in baking bread


A poem is a stone that floats noiselessly


A poem is a song let out of the cage


A poem is the lungs of the world heaving a sigh

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The congregations

Have been swept under couches

Forgotten as dust.



It rains and rains

The drops cascade down my cheeks

It rains when death reigns.



Rivers are swollen

They swallow, digest and spit

Disgorging deltas.



Arrayed like a queen

powdered and prepped for the prom

Her heart is trembling.

Finally Five:



My world collapsed

To a shard of poetry

An ink-blotted word.

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Exuberant June

Exuberant June

Gloving up I trim trees

A stupid gesture

Nature will not pare down

At human whim


Instead abundant green flaunts

The carbon dioxide it has absorbed

Freeing sweet oxygen

Inhaled gratefully by us

The shorter lived organisms


Summer snow floats

Feathered parachutes spinning

From punk wood cottonwoods

I watch the inanimate

Animate in exuberant June

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Half Hidden

Half hidden under a hoodie, shoulders hunched, fists clenched, feet scrambling

Quiet menacing still:

The frost ghosts form fences

Around blanched wood lots and hedgerows


The mother rushes in to grab a plastic container of warm water

Splashes it on the rime of the car windows

Hurrying her children to school


Sharp shadows

Cut daggers across the glistening ice-crusted meadows

The sun shoots arrows of light through


Winter hunches

A heartbeat and an eye blink away

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Comfortable emptiness dissolves.

Inside my own skin cells vie for position.

The bubbles burst out as burps.


With such short legs my nose

Presses into the rough fuzz of coat backs

As I cross Fifth Avenue and Broadway.


I buy a Smart car

To drive on the Via Poli to see the Trevi Fountain

But no place to park in Rome, even crosswise.


Giant solid anthills

Cluster and teem with trapped homo sapiens.


Seven billion and one,

We are, each one,

Greedy for space.

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Haikumoon 1 

Pregnant, the moonrise

Appears a bubble of light

Splitting the darkness

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Haikumoon 2

Riffles, ragged edges

The eye ceaselessly wanders

Trumped by emotion

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So That I Might Become Spring

So here, late afternoon I sit

letting a distant train hhhhrrrrrrrr

blend in with a double cheep of a chickadee

small as a minute sitting on the peak of the roof

but sounding with the volume of a bird the size of a raven.


A row of irises freckle the green

mingling brights and pastels.

Water heavy with color,ferns spread above silver lamb's ear.

The garden glistens with spring


And I too glisten inside

with the feel of its musky yet delicate scents.

Yesterday's leaf thumbs on the trees are now floppy hands

weaving in the air that moves silently until it caresses them.

Responding, the leaves shiver against one another

and whisper the secrets of their power, the most prolific form of life on earth.


And here I sit.

wishing my skin permeable

So that the hues and sounds

Scents and tastes

Slip inside

That I might become


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A Wilderness Canvas

Where minds can roam free

Unencumbered devoid of urban superfluous necessities. But sometimes inhabited in disgusting hordes of mosquitoes


Or worse:

Tiny black flies that bite with a vengeance all out of proportion To their inconsequential size.


Or worse:

Masses of tent caterpillars denuding trees

Mindlessly swarming up pants legs, into the hair.


Or worse:

Bloodsucking ticks attaching to your body

Making your blood boil, your teeth clench.


Or better:

The clouds unclench losing a deluge

Followed by the radiance of renewal


Or better yet:

A silken lake reflects the fullest silhouettes

Of frothy greens ribboned with loon ripples


One better:

Sounds liquefy into soundless music

The canvas is painted only by the full breath of Imagination - J. Campbell, 2018

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Memories and Dreams

The room crowds with memories and dreams

As the sun reaches through the curtains

A whisper of a curl

And the day shines under my eyelids.


A poem shoots out

It sprays visible breath onto an ivory page

Impatient to receive the hovering words

The unsaid etches on the ivory.


The poem gives lies teeth

And truth bites straight through

Severing the hate envy greed

Truth has its own venom


The day shines into my eyes

A curling whisper

As the honest sun reaches out

Crowding the room with memories and dreams.

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