Untitled (Well, O.K., the title does appear in lines 1, 17, and 23)


(Well, O.K., the title does appear in lines 1, 17, and 23)

Austin in the fall.


Pink marble of dome

juts beyond my line of sight

into Texas skies.


Cool blue autumn day

so un-Texas like, so fresh

a September day.


Austin was the place

Every other long-haired guy

worked on a novel,


shouted their plot lines

out across the parking lots

of fast food places,


tossing woolen scarves

around bearded, long-haired heads

topped by driving caps.


Austin in the fall

brings back memories of when

the two of us were young,


war was in the air,

and shared bottle of Grapette

was an occasion.


Austin in the fall.


Comparative Starbucks 101: Austin, Dallas, Washington


More power meetings

here by the state Capitol,

granite dome nearby.


The wheeler dealers

of the new technologies

brainstorm strategies.


The young stockbrokers

drop the names of their old firms

like movie stars’ names.


Every Starbucks

reflects surrounding culture

like prismatic drop.


Oak Lawn artsiness

creates ambiance in which

personal angst outs.


Young Hispanic girl

with silver studded nose, ears

loudly tells story.


Immigrant mother

left by deserting father

to raise her herself.


Never learned to drive,

now she calls on her daughter

to fetch her from work.


She has needs as well

and must be responsible

to own work schedule.


And in Washington

depending on time of day

Constitution store


fills with young students,

expensively dressed yuppies,

tourist families.


But out bay window,

just across the boulevard

sits Constitution.


sheathed in argon gas

preventing parchment’s decay,

shoring up Republic.


Ice-coated treetops; sun after storm

Ice-coated treetops; sun after storm


Bare winter branches

salute the morning sunshine

with ice-coated tips.


Ice-coated branch tips

glisten like lighted candles;

no flames, sticks aglow.


Fire bursts from tree tops

whose branch tips are ice-coated,

gleaming white, sun-lit.


Sun sets ice afire.

Sleet-coated tree top branches

cast off sparks of white.


Ice, fire, and white light

sparkle across bare tree tops

cloaked by the sleet storm.


Ice captures the light

in leaf-stripped, tip-top branches

and turns them bright white.



The stars shine big and bright…

I don’t often write and publish so quickly, but I liked this one!


Feb. 17, 2014

The stars at night shine big and bright…


Who owns the stars, owns all that is

Nothing that has substance was ever first anything

other than the dust of stars …


was never anything other than the seemingly insubstantial source of light

traveling to our eyes from distances only mathematically conceivable.


Even we, our bodies, but not our souls, are made of stardust.


As wondrous as that substance is, it holds not a candle to that other

insubstantial entity, that part of us joined by bonds unbreakable to the One who

made the stars themselves,


Who masterminded the rearrangement of all those subatomic structures into this little ball of green and blue, of mountains, seas and grasses,

of forests and fishes and furry things, and gems and minerals, of all things

living and otherwise, wondrous, as well as the depthless surrounding space.

And anyone who owns the stars owns all that is


and shares it with all the rest of us.


One Starmaker, One Father of us all.

Marriage-based economy

Marriage-based economy

We’ve always borrowed

— a few dollars for dinner

— little bits of time.


Substance of our lives

flowing back and forth between,

giving, receiving.


We have always been

and forever will remain

in each others’ debt.



13 years ago, my dad turns his face toward heaven

Gradually turning to face heaven as earth goes into eclipse.

My dad is facing

limits of mortality

asking those questions


about things that last

beyond life’s too brief limits,



how he’s spent his life,

ties to material things.

It all seems healthy,


painful, not morbid,

a time for growth — 84,

with my frail mother


to turn 85

toward the end of August,

his heart turns to home.



Remember, you asked for this: Remembering a hot string

Hot String 

The heat saps your strength.

Sustained 100°

days stretched end to end.

Sunset’s orange ball

punctuates each day’s climax,

searing horizon.

It affects us all.

We can talk of little else.

This oppressive heat.


I see the moon and the moon sees me…

I see the moon and the moon sees me…

 On my evening walk

I haul a bunch of cat tails

home from beavers’ swamp.


Curved fingernail moon

peeks through cat tail greenery

held before my face.


Like Olympic torch

I hold primitive bouquet,

curving ligatures


of cool green swamp grass,

natural calligraphy,

between moon and me.