Lying in the Sun

I almost fall asleep in the backyard
lying on the rattan couch looking up
at layers – leaves, clouds, Sun, blue heaven.
His poem enters and takes me away,
then drops me hard onto my life.

The poem I reference is “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” by James Wright, from his Collected Poems. Most of it has pleasant images – bronze butterfly, green shadow. cowbells in the distance, a field of sunlight – but after all that, his final line is “I have wasted my life.” The poem did enter my mind as I almost napped in the sunlight, feeling somewhat disappointed that I wasn’t accomplishing anything significant that afternoon. Was it just that afternoon?


Deft and profound nuances explored through heated
passionate words, coupled with the human form.
The eloquent beauty of body language motivated
by desire. I call upon Eros’ power:
Transform what is not to what is.

Eros is a concept in ancient Greek philosophy referring to sensual or passionate love, from which the term erotic is derived. Eros has also been used in philosophy and psychology in a much wider sense, almost as an equivalent to “life energy”. In Greek mythology, Eros is the Greek god of love and sex. His Roman counterpart was Cupid.


I only have to travel a few hours north of home to still find the early morning hours between midnight and sunrise to be more like winter than spring despite what the calendar tells me.

This morning, further north, but still spring,
there were ice crystals on the rocks.

It doesn’t take much change to make
things look different from the recent past.

The future – one or two seasons away?

Battle of the Guardian Angels

After the game has ended in defeat
with my son’s final strikeout, his mother
says “I prayed that your guardian angel
would allow you a walk-off home run.”

“The pitcher’s mother prayed for a strikeout,”

he replies, and now, many years later
on this second of October, memorial day
of the Guardian Angels, I happily play
with his child and pray the Angele Dei
for all of us still hoping here.

Guardian Angel

As someone who grew up with Catholicism, as a child I very much believed in the idea that I had a guardian angel watching over me. My mother would say after I had some close call that I was lucky that my guardian angel took care of me. Of course, I began to doubt when I realized how many times that it seemed that my personal angel was asleep on the job. October 2 is celebrated in the Catholic Church as the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels and some people say the Guardian Angel prayer on this day.

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side
to light and guard, to rule and guide.

My Mother’s Dream

Sometimes when I am trying to write a poem in the ronka form, it just won’t fit into the little 5X7 box I created.
Here is one of those poems.

In the dream my mother had,
I was telling her about my dream
in which she was not my mother.

“I don’t know where
you got that idea,” she said
“but get it out of your head
right now.”