Published in The Acentos Review, 202o


What happened that final day?

Sandwiched in between a vacant lot,

Gold and green glass strewn and

Gleaming new high rise.

Men drinking Colts from bags as wrinkled as their faces,

Construction cones block the entrance,

Bug encrusted sign BEER FOOD WINE,

Dingy cardboard covers the gaping holes.

Hide your eyes in the merciless Florida light.

Egret standing one legged by the dumpster waiting for heels of stale bread,

One solitary can on a dusty shelf,

Once in rows like soldiers on parade.

Exhausted women dragging children to buy milk.

Deli glass case empty,

Once sent out ham sandwiches and Café Cubano,

For the workers building the high-rise next door.

Did the owner make change until the shadows fell over the street?

Shreds of lotto tickets litter the linoleum,

Did the rents get too high to survive in a tourist town?

Once dreams ripped off rolls like calendar months.

Did his only son die in a car crash or become an engineer?

The door padlocked, the sign sputtered, faded, and went black.

How Do I Measure a Life?

               Published in Poets Choice, 2021

Items piled high in shopping carts,

Tupperware filled with leftovers.

Crying in the rain, on the john,

Waiting for sleep.


Stomach flips of attraction,

door slams of frustration.

Steps around a lake,

Dog trotting alongside.

Dusty boxes marked keep, donate, and throw away.


Forgetting small things,

putting cups under coffeemakers,

turning off stoves,

directions to places I have gone before.


Parts dropping off along the way,

back, knees and shoulders.

Calling for them, stooping over potholes.

They do not obey.


Sipping Pinot in gilded rooms,

slurping noodles from a street vendor.

Sleeping on stones and dirt,

or a first -class lounge,

slumped in soft leather.


Drops of crimson in the water,

first strawberries of summer.

Pairs of guileless eyes,

sparking anger,

filled with wonder.


All the same to me-

So how do I measure?


Why I Write, 2020

I write because:

In second grade a teacher copied my poem “Christopher Columbus”

On giant three ruled paper for all to see.

I wrote “His crew were afraid and to their God they prayed”.

The theatre marquee of childhood,

Announced my fate.

I write because:

My lost baby is always on my lips, my tongue,

Appearing out of the ether of possibility,

Fully formed as a young man.

I cannot say his name,

For fear of breaking an unholy silence.

He lives on the page.

I write because:

A dream fragment floats just out of reach,

I cannot discern from whence it came,

Waking or sleep.

I must capture it in my net,

Pin it to paper like the head of a mythical butterfly.

I write because:

One day my daughter will dump my life into a black plastic bag,

She will find a frayed notebook,

Longing oozing from the pages,

It stains her hands,

She cannot scrub it away.


Florida Haikus, 2019


Spreading his great wings

Mottled cape and wrinkled head

The Wood Stork poses for me


Sultry metal scales- the Gator

Slips into the water

Smelling fear below


Hound dog briskly trots

Surveying her swampy domain

No creatures howl back

Coogee Haikus

Published in The Weighing of the Heart: An Anthology of Emerging West Australian Poets, 2007

Time is now leaking

From my pores freshly open

Otherwise silent

Wind whips through ashes

Born across the city streets

The haze lifts at noon

Brittle brown palm fronds

Wave at the window greeting

Indifferent to all

A sliver of gold

Is served on a plate of black

Wind ruffles the feast


Published in Persimmon Tree, 2024

They say aging is hard,

Knees buckle and stab;

Eyes strain to read a menu at Olive Garden;

Checkout lady at Publix calls you "sweetie".

There is also a suspension, a revelation,

Alligator eyes peering over the water;

Moonlight through the palm fronds;

Sweet slices of ginger in a jar.