Poems & Other Lies

Damp

Damp

Damp The clouds have come right down to the ground, enveloping me It is not raining, but I can feel the water particles brushing against my skin with their cold, damp touch

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November 9th

November 9th

November 9th The stars shine in bright defiance of the waning half moon   Behind me and to the west the lunatic yipping of coyotes echos A farm dog standing sentry barks and the pack falls silent   Frost sparkles on the ground yesterday’s storm has blown...

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Lit 101

Lit 101

I had a professor in my freshman literature course who was obsessed with Christian symbolism. Scarred by a Catholic education, he looked for it in everything, from Franz Kafka to used car advertisements. Raised in the Episcopal Church, I sympathized with his biases. ...

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Chanterelles

Chanterelles

  The sun filters through the tall trees Like light through a loosely woven tapestry The woods are damp with recent rain Filled with the earthy, spicy smell Of fresh mushrooms emerging from the moss

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The Vastness

The Vastness

Wide awake Staring into the vastness The firmament filled with flickering lights Clouds roll in from the west Extinguishing the stars Each in turn Like the candles on the alter At the close of service I am left Alone in the dark Waiting for the...

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Denial

Denial

I like my job. It is work that needs doing and I enjoy doing it. I have worked through several public health crises; I was a lab tech and phlebotomist through more than one hepatitis outbreak. I was working when AIDS first began to blossom, before we really knew...

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Still Living My Best Life

Still Living My Best Life

Amy has been gone for three weeks, gone south to California to take care of her mother who is recovering from hip surgery. Our niece, Tessa, remarked to her: "Uncle Vernon must be living his best life, up there unsupervised." "Vernon lives his best life every day, "...

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Bob Verpa

Bob Verpa

A morelity play starring Amy Wheeler. Featuring morels by Andy Wade. https://vimeo.com/416343095  

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Impermanence

Impermanence

My morning walk takes me past landmarks no longer there:   Coe Primary, where I attended first and second grade, now offices.   Down the street, third and fourth grade gone. Only a park remains   Last year, May Street School razed, replaced by a brick...

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Troubled Sleep

Troubled Sleep

I lie perfectly still, refusing to open my eyes, refusing to roll over struggling with my own thoughts desperate for just another thirty minutes of repose   Outside a bird calls from high in a tree striving to make its song heard above the incessant noise of...

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Systems Check

Systems Check

I walk out under a dark blue, faintly luminescent sky The moon, one day past full, shines down on the hot tub My morning routine has become an anti-viral struggle against the pandemic     Systems check: Water clear, thin islands of bubbles, 103 degrees,...

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Pterodactyl

Pterodactyl

just above me, huge, silent, missing one secondary feather from the left wing, a heron glides across the pale blue plate-glass dawn

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The Kiss of Contagion

You feel the warmth rising, the gentle caress of contagion brushing across your lips. You try to deny it, to push it away. But there is no denying what you feel in your chest, the ache at the back of your throat. It has caught you, and you will not get free. You may...

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Yes, you are

Yes, you are

Why do you argue with me, when I tell you how beautiful you are? Why do you roll your eyes and say, “No, I’m not.” as if I have no idea what I see with my own heart? You turn the stereo up so loud a deaf kid could dance to it, miming the lyrics with a provocative...

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