cloud fallen
resting on muddy ground
and limp dry grass

lulled to sleep
staring out a window
into the fog

faint edges
reality is swallowed
by the fog

foggy morn
black branch scribbles
in the gray

what shapes become,
edges softened and deformed,
fog monsters

POEM: Strange Rivers

Lest you think you know rivers —

just water meandering mountain to sea;

there are strange rivers in this world.

There’s a river in Cambodia, the Tonlé Sap, that yearly switches its direction.

The Okavango can’t be bothered to get to a sea, an ocean, or even a lake. Instead, it becomes a desert swamp — obstinately creating a thing one might be forgiven for thinking impossible.

There are blood red rivers and licorice black rivers.

There are rivers that take a holiday, and rivers that only show up for the 100 year flood.

There are rivers that look like they’re barely moving that can sweep a man to his death.

Rivers with dolphins. Rivers with fish too fat to swim. Rivers with creatures, Mesozoic-ugly.

A river in India, the Sarasvati, up and disappeared.

There are rivers that aren’t even rivers, but metaphors for that which we think eternal but which vanishes each instant to be replaced by a look-alike.

There are strange rivers.

Forest Haiku

winter forest
light of the rising sun
passes straight through


needle litter
carpeting the forest floor
copper clean


straight trunks
standing tall and tidy
lack character


spring brings blossoms
but how can the trees trust
spring sometimes lies


the gnarled tree
stunted and deformed
stands post-storm

POEM: Yeti in Shangri-La

You wonder how anyone could
believe in Shangri-La,
like it must take damage to one’s
neurons or ganglia.

But if there’s a place I would search
for Yeti high and low —
it would be that Himalayan
land called ‘abode of snows.’

If you can see the vast expanse —
the mountains stretched for miles,
and asked about a lost city,
make your smug denials,

then you haven’t truly seen the Himalaya.

POEM: The Rocky Coast

Rocky stumps jut from cold, mute seas.
Land’s jagged defenders.
From craggy pits gnarled bonsai sprout,
show of nature’s splendors.

Did land break up, thrust from the sea,
or sea eat away land?
And how’d its jolie laide charm bloom?
Rugged and unplanned.