Forfeit Haiku

Three young men toss ball

stop to huddle, play called off

screen shine in their eyes


quiet close breath

don’t touch anything just

the lit device


pile of mitts

jackets still in grass

the sun sets


no words

but beeps and clicks

heads bent



cyber world




game long








on Piedmont & Echo Aves.



Eyes for the Horizon

            for Greg Favors, the painter

Brown felt hat

worn forever

at the end of the pier


from way off

his eyes bob

down/up inhaling


the sky’s breathy haze

a rumple of hills

the jagged back of the city


white blast of the bay’s

lightning ripples

under sun’s fierce glaze


all blur

when he takes his glasses

off to feel the view


brush stuck in his hand

palette on the bench beside him

he looks down exhaling through


the bristled tip dabbling deep blue

flash of the metal band

that wraps its long shaft


dips into a plastic cup

flicks a drop

dancing on the edge of his paint pot


tickling pigment

sweeping shapes into flat space

colors he can breathe.



Alameda Bird Reserve


Grief: Another Perspective

Sad is a turd

you step on more

than once, stays deep

in the tread, prints

the hall floor

as you come to meet

the people who would

notice, even if you remove

your shoes the smell

is unmistakable, you nod

and smile at the table

all the guests are your friends

and you want to become

a napkin gently protecting

your lap.


5-14-13/1:15 a.m.



Night Light

Fog down between the houses

book wet in minutes

shallow pool on the table

ink skipping pebbles

of mist on the page.

No time to complain-

it's your luck to have this

moist air, a full belly

chair on a balcony

light to write by-

praise for the blessed headlamp's

cyclops eye

centered on a forehead

bent to learn! Otherwise

it's just plain dark.


for Alpha and Latif         




Hen House

for Sangye

The mother is never done.

Her hands work

her heart, play dough

shapes. The mold cuts her

to size, she looks in the mirror

of her child’s eyes

and stares back.

She holds a bottle, a receiver

a broom, remembers

not knowing what to do

but she never stops

talking, her voice

an alarm clock

bull horn, lullaby

crackling long distance

muttering under her breath

quick prayers, hopes

like great clouds

on the horizon.

She tells herself

to let go

all birds fly.

She cleans and cleans

the nest, its emptiness

its clutter of songs.

She learns to sing

a new tune.

She’s off key

but carries on

late at night

when the other hens

are quiet.



Mt. Shasta, CA