The Ancient Prayer Of Trees

 Ancient Prayer of Trees

Dear Lord,
Most High Creator of  
and fruit,

grant me but an inch of loyal dirt,
black and rich with nutrients,
a drop of cooling water, 
and the gentle warmth of morning sun. 

i’ll share my shade with all who linger, 
and cope
(as best i can)

with children's swings, 
heart carvings,
(Phil Loves Katie)
hardheaded woodpeckers,  
and  rickety tree houses.

One more thing:  
please, please, oh please 
forgive me
for bearing silent witness to
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When A Man Goes His Own Way

 When A Man Goes His Own Way

Mother and Child struggled alone—
robbed of all hope by he.
His heart built of cold and bone—
never looked back, did he.
Mother and Child had it rough—
abandoned and shunned by he.
Composed of sturdier stuff—
scrimped and found smiles, did she.
She missed his strong, loving arms—
to help and hold, did she.
Weary each day, but up to the task—
Dug deep, resilient was she.
Where has love gone? she wanted to ask—
vowed so often by he.
So competent and clever—
women make do, like she.
Her barren life imagined? never!
caused loneliness, did he.
She craved to hear his deep voice—
and loud laughter, did she.
But divorce offered no other choice—
cheerful songbird, became she.
Music and laughter arrived that day—
there was no other way.
Mother and child, good as gold, they say—
danced and flourished, did they.
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Innocence Abroad

 Innocence Abroad

At the hotel check-in counter in Lucerne,
a travel weary American family of four,
on summer break,

had just walked across the
Reuss River
on the world's oldest surviving truss bridge.

They'd also viewed the incredible
Dying Lion stone carving,
a tribute to immense bravery.

"Your passports, please,"
the natty clerk said in impeccable English.

Tobi Anne, eleven then,
a blond braid engineered by her mother's nimble fingers
hanging mid-way down her back,

innocent as pie,

"Why do you need our passports?"

"Because," he replied,
"Some people pretend to be someone they're not."

"Oh," daughter mine said,
a coy grin tugging at her lips,

"Who are we going to be tonight, Dad?"
Photo by Janko Ferlic on

Gone Missing

 Gone Missing

She had pressed
autumn leaf 

between pages
578 and 579
of her
college dictionary, 

a reminder that she 
had visited there 
to better understand

the word


Years later, 
a Seattle detective
hunting for subtle

as to her 

shook out the book
and watched the
leaf flutter to the floor.

“Let’s go,” he muttered.
“Nothin' here. Musta run off
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My Pet Peeve

 Pet Peeve

I once had an
Airedale named

(or she had a human named John).

she was a 
splendid pet 
I sometimes

called Steve.

forgiving me 
that tremor
of the


Peeve came 
whenever a friend 
i needed to


she offered me, 
as all dogs must, 
unyielding loyalty,

bottomless love , 
unbreakable trust.
Photo by Dariusz Grosa on

Unmerited Finery

 Unmerited Finery

She said, “Open wide.”
i did.
she said, “Close down.”
i did.

even though i’m barely
a commoner, 
more the 
peasant or serf,

she treated me as 

placing a crown on
an exhausted molar.

“thank you,” i said, 

and hurried home

Buckinghorse Palace
i be found out.
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