Two Cent Bridge

Makers of paper

crossed on their way

home to factory

then home again.

A scripted offering

in each extended hand

two pennies each

for the toll booth man.

Dark in the morning,

dark at night.

They waited all year for light.

Her two feet, his aching arms

across that bridge we stroll

time on our hands,

above the still racing Kennebec

one falls to the next,

near the man asleep in the sun

flushed cheeks, mouth undone,

near the tavern

of drunk fights and arrests,

and maybe you did

your own hard drinking then.

From one side to the other

morning entered night,

home became factory,

dark extinguished light.

from River of Bones, Iris Press, Oak Ridge, TN, 2015

Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award, 2012

International Merit Award, Atlanta Review, 2006

Featured Poet Bellowing Ark, 2005, The Aurorean, 2008

First Place Intergenerational Poetry Contest, West

Roxbury Public Library, 2001

Second Place Explorations Poetry Contest, Juneau,

Alaska, 1999

Published Poems

96 Inc.: “James”

The Aurorean: “At the River’s Frozen Bank,” “Black

Caps,” “Claiming”

Bad Haircut Quarterly: “Messages”

Beatdom: “Apartheid”

Bellowing Ark: “Canning Jars,” “Caught,” “Cousins,”

“Deer,” “Home,” “Lake Water,” “Raisin Sour Cream Pie,”

“Summer, Marshfield”

Big Muddy: “Green Heron,” “Marsh”

Breath of Parted Lips, II: “River Tracks”

The Blotter Magazine: “Boston Baked Blues,” “Sam’s

Advice,” “My Mother and My Neighbor”

Borderlands: “Turn-Out, 1834”

Bryant Literary Review: “Ice”

Connecticut River Review: “Lost Words”

The Delinquent: “To Drowse,” “Offering,” “Because You Are Absent,” “Car Inspection,”


Em-Dash: “Weird,” on-line

Explorations: “Cranberry Harvest”

Fire: “Autumn”

Gihon River Review: “Wild River”

Hawai'i Pacific Review: “Jazz Piano”

Hummingbird: “Crocus Blooms”

Ibbetson Street: “Company of Soldiers”

The Inflectionist Review: “Pond," on-line

Labyris: “Organic”

Late Knocking: “Lake,” “Nightcap,” “Wind”

Moon Magazine: “The Committee Responds,” “It Says,” “Regulations,” on-line

Noctiluca: “Climbing,” “Forest Trail,” “Four AM,” “Soon”

Orange Coast Review: “Root”

Orphic Lute: “To the Harvest Moon”

Pegasus “Planes”

Phoenix: “Break-In”

Poet Lore: “Resilient,” “Two-Cent Bridge”

Poetry East: “Applause,” “June”

Postcard Poems and Prose: “Fight for the Ten Hour Day,” on-line

Salamander: “Dali Museum, the Morning After”

San Pedro River Review: “Shock Treatment”

Slipstream “At the Gas Pump,” “Jazz Quintet”

Small Towner: “Pond,” “Sunday Morning”

Soundings: “Sunset at Pier 60”

Subterranean Blue Poetry: “Rome,” on-line

U. S. Worksheets 1: “Marion Cemetery,” “Diagramming Sentences”

Westchester Review: “Tables of Four,” “Ark”

Worcester Review: “I Learned from the Webs of Cloth”

Yellow Butterfly: “Beirut Harvest”

Zymbol: “Getty Square Opera,” “To Cleanse”

Oka Beach

Let me play again on Oka Beach

with my three young children,

taste the local cheese gritty as sand,

or walk with a grandfather who knew bees and tulips

and offered me sugar on buttered white bread

early while the family slept,

or lay my head in mother’s lap

while we watched the tiny black and white tv,

Milton Berle in a tutu cavorting around the stage.

This longing’s fed by echoes,

but I wish to go picking violets with my friend

in the field that’s now the state thruway

then come home to see—and touch—both parents,

much younger than I am.


Yes, I had been thinking

of the lake’s waters

their ease licking the shore, as the ducks

tossed tails skyward and fed,

and fisherman sat silent for hours,

misty silhouettes suggesting men.

Our bodies dreamt

joined by water,

and the loons sang upward

a plaintive longing that fell at the end

as though an agonizing question

had been answered, only to be asked again.

Water was speaking, as it does,

and if I could only listen

and listen again—

the locusts and cicadas

hummed in those voices

that sound like a soft rattle

loose inside the head.

from River Tracks, Poets Corner Press, Stockton, CA, 2007