Stung by the Spelling Bee

A cardinal rule of spelling is i before e
except after c. Historically a follower
of rules, with spelling no exception,
I had always misspelled sieze.
It looked right but it wasn’t until
my daughter’s epilepsy broke the spell
of that rule as it applied to seize or seizure––
that it would never ever qualify
as inadvertent oversight again.

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Direct Address

Lift up your hands, your empty hands
and pray for the starving,
the famine-afflicted.

Your heart emptied of prayer, now
pick up the pen in your empty hand
and write a check to address hunger’s pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The North End: A Reading

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, from 2-4 p.m., I will be reading from my first published collection of poems, The North End, at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA. There will be a Q. and A. in addition to the reading, and books will be available for purchase and signing.

The store is located at 65 James Street. For information, call the store at 508-796-5613.

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Gotcha!

The north wind turns its pockets
inside out and rain becomes snow,
blown with hurricane force, flung
hurly-burly against the pane
and unwinding over the fields
in a full-throated howl. I hear
the chuckle of March, like Lucy
with her football. She’s fooled
Charlie Brown once again.

A. J. Muste: Food for Thought and Action

Today, February 11, 2017, is the 50th anniversary of the death of A. J. Muste, a Christian radical, who believed in making peace, not war.

According to Robert Ellsberg in his prize-winning book All Saints, “In the era of bomb shelters and civil defense drills, it seemed to Muste that the world was entering a new Dark Age in which the responsibility of the Christian was to nourish small oases of sanity and conscience amid the encircling gloom.

“When asked by a reporter what good it did for him to maintain a vigil outside a nuclear weapons base, Muste replied, ‘I don’t do this to change the world. I do it to keep the world

from changing me.'”

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Sudden Chill

A single flame when I toss
a bit of paper into the stove––

So much for our quaint lives––
a quick flash of light and heat
and then does the life burn down to ash.

Was someone warmed by my brief light?
That is the last question I have to answer

To Be One

To Be One

Woe to you if you fear men
more than you fear God.
Woe to you.

I remember those words
that came to me first in the cellar;
six years later, word for word
they came again as I stepped from the shower
one foot in the tub, the other back in the world.

No longer a bell with no clapper
now do I speak with my own voice
what I think and know in my heart
to be true: So have I learned and
So do I live, unafraid.