“Thou art a little soul bearing about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say”
– Marcus Aurelius, translated by George Long

Life is short;
The Universe is forever:
An ocean swallowing
The teardrops of human existence,
Born a thousand eons
Before our earliest ancestors
Had drug themselves from
The primordial ooze.
So long ago that
Only God was there
To witness the blessed event.
Though, perhaps, even He
Is too young to recall the day.

A dozen millennia after
Our great-great-grandchildren
Have become dust
Blown on the solar winds,
It will still be here,
Waiting patiently
For its appointment with Death
At the other end of Eternity.

19 July 1999


Living (Haiku)

Green leaf canopy
Wild nature living; thriving
Peaceful stillness flows


This is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge – #Haiku #Tanka #Haibun: CALM & WILD. I substituted “stillness” for “calm.”

Content (Senryu)

Pleased to be alive
Gardening in the hot sun
Grieving not its end.


This senryu (aka a “human haiku”) is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 36 – HAPPY & SAD. I subsituted the synonyms “Pleased” and “Grieving” for “Happy” and “Sad”

Hunter and Prey (a Tanka)

Eyes glow in the dark
Dead twigs crack under footfall
The prey hears nothing
The circle of life must close
Sharp clean claws will finish it.


My response to Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 33 – CLEAN & SHARP

Life (a double tetractys)

in darkness,
grows in the light:
developing, evolving, flourishing.
aging, decaying; systems breaking down.
Life always ends
in darkness
and in


Poem #17 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)

This is my second attempt at at tetractys and my first double-tetractys.

Where did it go?

Where did it all go,
Day by day in steady flow,
Swept away by the river’s currents
Lifeguard warnings are poor deterrents,
Yesterday a baby on my knee
Content, ignorant of your destiny.
If you’d known, could you’ve changed it?
If able, would you’ve exchanged it?

Did you know it would end this way,
Dread the coming of this wicked day,
When your mother Frigg’s tears wept,
As your body the undertaker prepped?


Planting Seeds (Haiku)

Seeds planted in dirt
Thrust into Jorð’s fertile womb
Water brings new life


This haiku is my first entry for Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge # 26 – EARTH & WATER. I substituted Jorð (the name of the Old Norse Earth Goddess. Pronounced “Yorth” (th as is father)), whose name is related to the modern word “Earth.”

The Circle Must Close (a tanka)

Every ending
Leads to a new beginning
The last shall be first
The new grows out of the old
Life will always follow death


This poem is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Prompt Challenge #14 – LAST & NEW


All the World’s a Stage

The curtain begins to fall,
Darkness is all you see,
“But I haven’t completed five acts,”
You protest, “I’ve only completed three!”

The stage manager stands in the wings,
Shaking his head, looking so serene,
“You stop when I say you stop,
Even if its in the middle of a scene!”

Don’t fret about the time you get,
Every actor gets their due,
It isn’t the amount of time on stage,
But what with it you do.

Three acts is no different than five,
Five thousand would no difference make.
Be content with what you are given,
For no more or less will you take.

12 October 2008

Inspired by Marcus AureliusMeditations, Book 12, Section 36.


Portrait of the Poet


New York, Long Island, East Rockaway lived,
Oceanside born.
Oregon Trail traveled for opportunity, better education and family,
Through Baker City and over the Cascades, past the volcanoes,
Willamette Valley, Albany raised,
Liberty, Sunrise; Waverly Elementary, North and West Albany educated.
Army joined at 18 because no Circus in town.
Missouri, Indiana trained; Geissen, Germany assigned.
San Antonio, Alamo transferred; Honorably, Army Commendation Medal discharged.

Tampa, South Florida studies in religion (synagogue and university),
Hurricanes, hanging chads, holocaust museums and heartbreak,
Flew the coupe, Pennsylvania delayed, mistakes were made,
New York, Morningside Heights seminary studies,
Torah, Talmud, ukuleles and self reflection,
Roaming rambling, Exodus ending,
Old friends Albany, old traps escaping,
’round the bend in Redmond married, fatherhood purpose,
Poet voice searching, Notebook scribbles filling,
Keyboard keys editing, computer blog posting,
Audience friends finding, crazy head calming,
Poem now ending.