November 24th, 2022
Lines on Thanksgiving

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

November 8th, 2022


First white, then gray eclipse, with remnant light

Drifting down to a Cheshire grin…

The remnant’s gone, and the full moon

Reddens in dead branches.

The moon’s dark and ruddy, dark enough to let the stars out, sharp,

In a cold city. 

The dead leaf garden, once blanched

By the moon to look like snow,

Starts back in wonder now at the blackness of the night,

Then tries to wait for dawn.


White, gray, red, back to white, and then

From white to vanished in the next day’s light  —

These lunar moods bring in, with ebbing tide,

Remembrance of you. Of your suicide.

August 17th, 2022
Laurence Tribe quotes from a Washington Post piece, and then makes a suggestion.

“The former president’s current legal team includes a Florida insurance lawyer, a past general counsel for a parking-garage company and a former host at far-right One America News.”

Here’s a thought: Why not bring back Alan Dershowitz?


The problem with Tribe’s otherwise excellent idea is that Dershowitz is far too taken up lately with his bombshell lawsuit against the Martha’s Vineyard public library for not inviting him to give talks there. He plans to take down Chilmark Library and its elderly volunteers, and the prep work alone is exhausting.

Dershowitz has tried to explain the priority he’s placing on his library litigation in a poem addressed to Trump, who he knows he has disappointed.


To Doncasta, On Going to War

Tell me not, Don, I am unkind,   
  That from the scumm'ry   
Of thy black breast and insane mind   
  To Chilmark Lib. I fly.   
True, a new lawsuit now I chase,
  'Gainst a modest house where simple books they lend;   
For while it once did me embrace   
  It turned against its one-time friend.   
Forgive my harsh inconstancy, belov'd client, Don!   
  Once I've destroyed the library, and made it shut its door,
I will return to thee, my One,   
  To defend my Love once more.
June 23rd, 2022
Trump’s Yeatsian Valedictory as He Moves to Sweden

I will arise and go now, and go to Ångermanland,
And a vast fortress build there, of rage and madness made;
 None else will I have there -- my world will I command
 And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have my rage there, for rage's wind doth blow,
Blowing from the hearings, from where the RINOs sing;
There Bennie’s all aglimmer, and Jamie's all aglow,
And the transcripts full of Liz’s zings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I see old allies dumping me and smirking more and more;
I know that court awaits me some not too distant day,
I know it in the deep heart’s core.
June 10th, 2022


The evening birds quieten, and now it’s the owl,

And fireflies.  And stars.  And fireflies that somehow,

With their buglight, compete on an even playing

Field with the stars.  These stars are, somehow,

Constellated, and I hear my mother’s ghost saying

I left you my old field guide.  The quiet dark allows

All of her to come inside. She’s clearly conveying

The ease and importance of learning the constellations.

June 3rd, 2022


Is it a foghorn or the wind's
Drone-monotone through a barely open
Sliding door?  What is this kindly view for?
The waves slide out from nowhere in the dew:
No horizon.  No slow ships from Hamburg Süd.

This powerful narcotic compounded for you --
Flat, pastel, gently pulsing day and night
The tidal foam a self-abasing white
And nothing there to break a terrace nap
And nothing there to take your thoughts, and tap

Their shoulders toward the useless and the old.
Dead passions; thoughts of the dead; all gone cold
While you lie temperate and unconcerned
About the super-earth light years away:
"A world that constantly burns."
May 29th, 2022

ALL OR NOTHING: Waiting for One AM, May 31, 2022, at Henlopen State Park, Delaware

Either the sky’s a meteoric storm

Or the coming thousand-fireball swarm

Is all in our heads, not even a shower.

Why not loose imagination’s power

And make the dust trail hit us hard

Spill ruddy-jeweled stars

We can make it light the sky, light our way

Change intolerable black to day

Give intolerable formlessness form.

We can make the meteors storm.

May 9th, 2022
UD’s Third Spring Poem

The greening of the evening 
The cold flat light of night 

And the mesmerizing 
Tritone thrush in the honeysuckle 

Thrill me, and hush me. 

Later, sitting in a black chair 
Under the thrush  
I start to sing 
Eileen Aroon 

April 22nd, 2022
Poems from UD’s Spring Garden: Poem #2

Garden piano starlight and stone:
The pursuits of my parents
Present as my own. 

Also dogs, and birds.

The play of words.


Is there nothing that is mine alone?


Instead of her spaniels a runty pit.
Purcell in place of his Hindemith.
And perseids more than constellations.
April 14th, 2022
Poems from UD’s Spring Garden: Poem #1


The bird that wants to nest in my rafter

Has birdlike clarity what it’s after:

The comforts of home.  Of course I agree

That water source, sight-line, privacy

All make for quite the nest.  The question though

(As I sweep off twigs and it returns

Tirelessly, with energy to burn)

Remains:  Which one of us will have to go?

April 1st, 2022
A poem by Richard Howard, in his memory.

A witty, erudite writer in the mode of James Merrill, he was 92.


May 26 1969: The Grievance

No one dies. That is all we can say for certain.

Something dies us,

As it lived us. We are lived. And died.

A personal pronoun is superfluous here.

It is simple;

Our grammar of death must be revised.

And we are not reduced to tears, not reduced. The thing

Our tears are for

Extends us: we are widened to the term

Which lies beyond our tears. We are not reduced.



Fellow Philip Larkin fans might be reminded, on reading this poem, of these lines:

Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose,   
And age, and then the only end of age.


More tersely, fellow Adam Phillips fans might simply quote this remark:

When people say, “I’m the kind of person who,” my heart always sinks.

March 21st, 2022
Where I’m Calling From

Sunrise Rehoboth

Psychedelic ocean and the gulls slate gray

A man prepares his tripod for blastoff


Backstage the moon shot through with blue

Bows to the sun and gives way


Where’s the pilgrim fellowship chanting in the sand?

The mournful Scottish bagpipe band?


This morning all worship comes down to me

Godless, with sacred symphony


February 20th, 2022
A Walmart in Waukegan

A Supermarket in California!

A Walmart in Waukegan!


What thoughts I have of you tonight

Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg

As I scan the parking lot

Of the Walmart in Waukegan


Two strangers in SUVs met

On that fruited plain

They blew each other away

With their Glocks


As one they shot; as one staggered

Into their SUVs

As one staggered

Into the local emergency room

As one were arrested


O Whitman, O Ginsberg! O Walmart Waukegan parking lot!

I stagger beside you, dreaming of the lost America of love

Past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage

January 4th, 2022
David, December, Rehoboth Beach

How all occasions do evoke thee
My own Lord Hamlet.  Here, beside the sea,
With only Philly Airport contrails for clouds,
I slip on icy boards and say your name aloud,
Because everything evokes thee.  Those contrails:
Your father, who mapped the moon, regaled
Me with their chemistry and their meaning.
Your Swiss cousin, who never left off keening,
Sends text messages about your mysterious life.
After all these years I've heard from your wife
Who finally wants the books you left with me.
And there's my yearly visit to the tomb
Of your mad Ophelia.  That keeps the ghost in the room.

Beyond all these, your famous sister is another thread
That keeps delaying your entry into truly dead
For every end of year my ritual is to read
Her widower's account of how he freed
Himself, a little, from the long pain of her dying.
When he said the Heart Sutra her soul went flying.

"I had a distinct feeling of a kind of expansion
Emanating from the furnace into the room 
And beyond.  Something was being released
From Eve's body and expanding into space."

For me, for your memory, no such amazing grace,
No closing mantra, no sense of you unrestless,
Over on the other shore, life and deathless.


Clear winter sunset now.

Ho! The horizon takes a roseate glow.
Pink's the sand where the whitelets flow.

Between the two, a table setting silver blue
Darkens to gray. Evoking you.
December 31st, 2021


People are drawn to nothingness

Here on the coast at the end of the year
The horizon makes itself disappear
The banner planes are gone the gulls are gone
It's nothingness to which people are drawn

The sand is smooth the blue umbrellas went away
The noisy white boats that nose up and say
Ladies Night at the Bar and Grill are not missed
People are drawn to nothingness

The lifeguard stands are standing down
Calm waves make the only sound
Portugal  Africa  None wonder anymore
What lies along the other shore

Really all that's left is us
Drawn so hard to nothingness

Packs of winter scarves and coats
Black against the gray of the coast
Praising the sacred empty space
The misty mystic vacant place

People are drawn to nothingness
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