I cannot watch war movies. In my mind’s eye, I interpose my father trudging through rice paddies in Vietnam, trudging through tall grass so thick, it slices the skin. I see his small frame – just a boy – whose uniform in later years fit his 13-year-old grandson. I seeContinue Reading

From his window view my son seizes a ribbon of morning light that gives him excuse to pause, take measure of the ochre mist shrouding the still-dark presences of trees. He’s riddled in his chest by the sight of rocks splitting the sun’s head, now a wobble on the mountain’sContinue Reading

As a poet I have learned to approach syrupy topics, (tears, grandmothers and any thing that dances), with caution. But I am old enough to be a grandmother, and it just so happens both of mine could dance like hell and drive grown men to tears. One danced from DonegalContinue Reading

They waited for me before they took him. I closed the car door, slogged past family, noted the numbed, distant faces and swollen, zoned eyes; passed the old country roses, sweet and sundry; passed his hand-crafted shed that smelled of fresh cedar, heard the bustle of birds all around, aflutter.Continue Reading

With trepidation; I approached my childhood Appalachian home, a shack really, high above the railroad tracks.  The sole remaining object was the toilet, standing forlorn among the broken shards of rotten wood. A toilet, ironically, that we were never allowed to use, when there was a perfectly good leaf availableContinue Reading

I. VALOURY DELIA Va’delia, a polio, grew up at village edge, wearing heavy steel leg braces with sweat-stained leather bands that pulled stocking runs up her legs, and walked with aluminum elbow crutches from which any shine had long worn away. In our wood-floored school, sweet with banana oil, weContinue Reading

little Sue from the North thinks   crickets is the night munching on itself and that loud bang wasn’t a gun but a single firework lighting up that skinny river where no alligator lives, nope and no snakes that somehow swim. those alien electronic screams aren’t those cicada things butContinue Reading

The poetic form haiku originated in China as hokku before gaining ascendency in the 17th century as Japan’s chief literary form. Traditionally, the haiku was a succinct poem of three lines, the first line containing five syllables, the second seven syllables, and the third five syllables, for a total ofContinue Reading

the old men in this part of the world used to pass on tradition in rocking chairs father and son, mother and daughter believing they were immovable come hell or high water. but now there’s fire on the mountain and dirt on the grave the creeks a’risin and perhaps whatContinue Reading

When you hook about a dozen fish the day seems bright and good until you hook that certain one that reels in like dead wood alarmed, anticipating, struggling to be free then after strength had worn quite thin simply trusting me, placing total trust in me to set him freeContinue Reading