Blackberry Missive – a poem

July in Virginia

our father skips lunch

to stride the dry pasture

in work brogues

to that thicket

where blackberries

sprout like purple

polkadots and

wades into the briars

and bees until

sweated out

with knuckles

and forearms bleeding

he’s filled two gallon

buckets.  Why? 

Because we love cobbler.

One of the things

the war took out of Daddy

you’d have to guess

was trust in saying much.

So what if he never

told me that thing,

I mean, what’s the worth

in words when you

can taste it like that?

River Shadows – a poem

This poem was recently anthologized in an Emerging Poets volume; came to me after a day of hanging out by a mountain river up past Floyd with my friend David Clark.

Have you seen

the somber

loom of winter

trees lay stripes

on clear water —

maybe a trout


after snow?


The penciled

line jagged

along the

rocky bed


by a skittering

rippled lid


like time

what flows

like hurt

what won’t


a day underway

a smudge beneath

that will not

budge or sway


the current ignites

and scatters

the shadows

lay down the law


or is it two truths

that interplay

you go you stay

stubborn rule

that cannot hold

the flow at bay?