The Teacher says


You’ll know when to step up

read the signs.


Doesn’t he know I need to keep hidden?


It’s a habit, invisibility,

a useful one

Except when the call comes


The Teacher says,

Walk through the fear.


I don’t have that skill.


But what if it’s what I’m born to do?

The next thing that

leads to the next, and so on.


Then he says,

Failure is inevitable


Are you beginning to get the picture?


One’s fate isn’t like building a deck

or buying a car.

Specific advice just won’t do.


Lau Tzu, the Tao te Ching guy,

He had the knack.

It is what it is, he might say today.


But it probably isn’t.






Scritch of crickets

outside my window


When did that all start?


I’ve been busy

scratching mosquito

bites into wounds,

picking the scabs


Look at the ceiling,

water stained from the

upstairs bath!


How to soothe this

itchy masochism?


The salve is beyond my

skull-walled house, in the

cricket static of a

September dawn.


I must go out there!

My Black Cat


My Black Cat


wants to climb on my lap

but I want him beside me

he has a strong odor

not clean and tidy

like most cats I’ve had

Some days I let him up

to scratch his face

His head smells like

the head of an animal

Found as a kitten


in an alley

he was never taught

the grooming trick

to lick his paw

wipe his head