He would have turned 90 today, had he lived another year

His body, tinned ashes   

buried beneath a tree, close to home

soothed now by wind

and swooping soaring birds


We called him birdmanmac

forever trying to outsmart squirrels

who hung from feeders, unafraid


One winter a hawk landed in the pear tree outside his window

sat there staring steadily for hours

brothers in the fight against the enemy


today we drove to see an eagle’s nest

perched atop a redwood

watched the birds puff and preen

high above this hallowed ground

a fitting tribute to a proud and mighty man

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The doors open

like butterfly wings

signaling change


new life emerging from the inside out


renovation, variation, transformation, growth

this space repainted in butterfly colors

repurposed in a delicate dance

between the practical and the fanciful

where learning can take flight, ideas can soar


San Ramon Library

new again, now again

built upon

community passion and spirit

emerging strong and beautiful

open and alive

with wonder

(poem written in honor of the grand reopening of the San Ramon Library, April 15, 2017)

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”  Einstein

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Still life, winter

We woke to rain again

a steady drumbeat

turning oil-black night to lead-grey daybreak

no light no sun

still, a day to be had, a life to lead

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Deja vu: an open letter to those in power

Before the rise of Hitler

Before he changed the world

The world was full of ordinary men

Who, swept up in the fright,

Turned into monsters murdering

Without heart

Without soul

Without a shred of decency

Forgetting lessons learned at mother’s knee

and in lover’s arms

Rejecting their humanity


I ask you now, dear senators

And congressmen and generals

To look inside your beating hearts

Stare deep into the mirror

What will it take to turn you from citizen and patriot

To full-blown monster,

devoid of conscience

devoid of character

devoid of hope

Eternity is long and unforgiving

Remember this today

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Time Capsule

Today we’re witnessing the sealing of a time capsule in San Ramon. Sending it off to the future, unknown, with a poem!

Today I walked with my old friends

through the city where we raised our kids

who are now raising kids of their own

A walk through time and space


So much has changed

So much has not

Beneath our feet, thirty years have passed

Beneath this street, one hundred more

have come and gone,

gone in a heartbeat, in a blink, in the wink of an eye


Some old folks still remember farms and fields unsettled

one room schoolhouses and the general store

but even they can’t reach back to the

once upon a time when stagecoaches

carrying weary travelers across these hills

were seen as modern wonders

before the landscape changed,

paved over, time and time again


We cannot hold the future

We cannot make time stop

Someday our faded photographs, dug up here and displayed

will seem as quaint and dated as those of yesteryear

Someday this home we loved and tended

called ours for just this little while

will recall our lasting legacy, our place in history


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Eating Lo Mein with Amy Bloom

I want to crawl inside Amy Bloom’s head
I want to plant the bulb of my story into the fertile soil
of her brain,
let the roots take hold,
watch the green shoots erupt

We sit outside – even though the sky is gray
Amy Bloom doesn’t worry about the rain
Her voice is like an underground jazz club
smoky and mysterious,
as if her vocal chords are plucking a base cello

I sheepishly twirl noodles around my fork.

(Sourced from an interview: http://www.thefourthriver.com/index.php/the-heart-of-what-i-want-to-tell-you-about-is-not-the-place-a-conversation-with-amy-bloom

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A rallying cry


The sky grows darker day by day

The ghosts cry out their warning

We’re past the point of no return and idly standing by

Speak up, speak out, shout out the truth

Or forever hold our peace, our lives, our liberty in chains

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