Monday, April 23, 2018



SAILING WITH JOY
(3/23/18, revised 4/23/18)

Around a bend came joy like a boat,
and I jumped aboard. The world watched,
and the sun sat in a tree and laughed.
The minutes made music, the hours gave
us golden gifts. Sadness went down to
the sea and died, and worry wandered off
to find another friend. I waved to old
depression, slumped on the shore. Just
a morning – just me and a breeze I
know, and joy with her biggest sails.








Thursday, July 25, 2013



LISTENING TO LA BOHEME

The streets are gray like the grayness 
of the good hearts of heartbroken people. 
This music makes him hold out his 
hands to them. They hear the music of 
sadness, these mighty hearts made sad 
by a sun that never seems to rise. He 
sits inside himself with the friendship 
of the music. He wishes he had some 
friendless people beside him, bringing 
the golden light they’ve forgotten they have. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

AT 4:51 PM


The sun was just starting to set
when he suddenly understood.
It was so clear.
He understood these simple truths –
that every sign along the roads
was placed there by a person
who had worked with focus
to finish the task –
that every part in every passing car
was installed by a person
with a hard-working heart
and hands that sometimes held other hands –
that every shirt on every driver’s back
was made by workers in a factory
who often found satisfaction
in producing a simple but splendid shirt –
that every clock in every house
holds millions of special moments –
that the setting sun is glorious
whether anyone notices it or not.   

Saturday, January 5, 2013

NEWNESS


He felt it in his fingers.
It followed him at home and school,
and slept all around his house
when he slept. There was newness
in the fields of words he found
when he opened a book in the morning,  
and in the face of every student
in his classes. All his thoughts
were new, even if he didn’t know it,
and there was nothing but new light
in every unfolding moment,
although he sometimes didn’t see it,
didn’t see the flash of lightning
in the center of every occurrence.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

AFTER FIVE YEARS


(for Charlie Wright)


After five years, he came back to us
as quiet as the clear sky above our school.
To us, it was as if all the leaves on all the lawns
had suddenly been swept away by a wondrous force,
or the imprisoning clouds had been pushed aside
so the stars could use their grace and goodness
above us. It was as if all things
were made new. His conversations sounded
like songs, and his handshakes were silent
expressions of thanks that he was with us again.
This school, to him, was like a sacred city once again,
and his simplest thoughts seemed like visions
of what could still be done.
We were lucky he let us be with him again.
Standing beside him was somehow like being special,
as special as this small,
sparkling school he loves so much. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A WHITE BUSH WITH BEES



A plane is rushing across the sky,
parents are shouting in Westerly,
interstates are screaming with cars,
nations are dashing closer to cliffs,

while here on Shannock Street
a thousand bees 
are happy
with what they have.