Saturday, July 2, 2016


The train whistles
as the boys fight invisible enemies with gusto and plastic swords
forcing sound effects from their mouths with every thrust.

The conductor calls the stop
as the warrior knights fight each other. 
A few rays of the falling sun press between the nearby houses
to run glowing fingers through the boys' hair
as they join forces to scale castle battlements.

The train pulls away
as the boys swing together in the twilight.
I wish they could stay, defying gravity and the globe's motion,
forever entertained with swords and swings.
But the lights of the train are dim now and its rumblings distant
and it's time for us to go. 

The DesPlaines River at Twilight

A deer emerges from the woods.
The geese at the river's edge silently make way
for this queen of twilight. 
When her graceful neck bends to drink
I know a surfeit of wonder. 

But the moment grows. She steps into the water
till nothing shows but a lovely, determined head.
Emerging, her hooves find a man-made bank
and its green reward.

(The deer in the above poem came out of the area near the clump of bushes on the right, swam/walked across the river to the cement bank appearing below the buildings on the left/center and began to eat the foliage seen there. This occurred about 45 minutes after this photo was taken).

Thursday, June 30, 2016


He is descended from Dutch farmers and Puritan nobles
and his truthful eyes whisper the promise of honorable manhood.
His conscience is as golden as his straight hair and as prominent as his perfect nose.
He tentatively offers this perfection to the world.
He is a generous pirate of story and humor, delighted to share each treasure he finds.

He is like the sun waiting impatiently behind the clouds for another turn at center stage.
He has passionate dreams of being Legolas, the warrior elf
but settles for fighting invisible Orcs on playground equipment.
His soul is full of music, played in his head with a full orchestra that comes into being through the tiny hole of his pursed lips.

A thousand tiny bright colors collide when she laughs at her brother.
Her porcelain skin envelopes a profile heartbreaking as a china doll.
Her blond curls are tight as her will and her skin transparent as her soul,
which pours out stories and music, strumming non-chords for clear song.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Flotsam and jetsam from used books

Courtesy of my fav. used bookstore. He also had a large collection of paper clips and menus from local fast food restaurants. The three items in the above photo were by far the most interesting. More to come, I hope!

More treasures from The Looking Glass Used Bookstore

Available from The Looking Glass.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A library sale treasure and "modern" poetry

This volume of "Modern British Poetry" was copyrighted in 1920, reprinted in 1925, and contains poems by the following: Thomas Hardy (including my fav., "The Darkling Thrush"), Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, A. E. Housman, William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, G. K. Chesterton, D. H. Lawrence, Seigfied Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, and many others.

Most of the poets I've listed above were alive when this volume was first published. What a thrill to read the table of contents and see only the dates of their birth; to consider a time in history when they were all alive, possibly well, and perhaps still writing.

But what I find most fascinating about this collection is the use of the word "modern" in the title. The modernist movement was just getting underway when this collection was published. Between printings, a youngish T. S. Eliot -- an American writing in England -- would published "The Waste Land." Seven years previous, he gave the world "Prufrock."

Those poems are not included here. They wouldn't have to wait long, but it would be another day before they were collected into anything similar. By then, only a handful of the poems included in this library sale treasure would be considered valuable enough to stand beside the peach-stained rolled trousers of Alfred J. Prufrock.