On The Forest Floor

The clear light of dawn has trouble finding its way down 
to the forest floor

The instruments we use to measure time
from clocks to calendars to the rings in our trees
preserve the illusion of order
and fall in splinters on the forest floor

When the sun sets on this brutal time
we will be waiting for
the winter to pass
the snow to melt
the ground to thaw
We will be waiting for the sun to rise again
and for the seeds to sprout

The sky is shattered
its broken pieces are
buried under dead leaves
on the forest floor

XXXIX

Fran Liebowitz says that you can only truly relate to people who were born within 10 years of you. People who were born 20 years from my date of birth – those born in 1942 or 1982 – are alien creatures, literally born on a different planet than me. I have a slightly better understanding of those born in 1982 because I once lived on the planet they were born into, although when I arrived there I was already fully formed, more or less. Someone born on this day in that year would be turning 39.

Friendships that form over such temporal distances are rare, and like many such rarities they carry unique value in their opportunities for insight. Even if Fran is right, and friendships that try to reach across a generation are doomed to failure, it is often the impossible and senseless things in life that generate the most enjoyment. So, happy birthday 39.

In the year of '39
Assembled here the Volunteers
In the days when lands were few
Here the ship sailed out into the blue and sunny morn
Sweetest sight ever seen
And the night followed day
And the storytellers say
That the score brave souls inside
For many a lonely day
Sailed across the milky seas
Ne'er looked back, never feared, never cried

Don't you hear my call?
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you?
Write your letters in the sand
For the day I take your hand
In the land that our grandchildren knew


In the year of '39
Came a ship in from the blue
The Volunteers came home that day
And they bring good news
Of a world so newly born
Though their hearts so heavily weigh
For the Earth is old and grey
Little darlin', we'll away
But my love this cannot be
For so many years are gone
Though I'm older but a year
Your mother's eyes from your eyes cry to me

Midtown Sketchbook

The Empire State Building as seen from Bryan Park lawn

The long days are dwindling and the evenings growing cooler. Midtown remains the same: ever-changing.

The grass of Bryant Park

One last long day in the sun and grass of Bryant Park ends in the early evening dark glow of the Campbell Bar.

The Campbell Bar

Hope stays alive in anyone who has had a dream come true.

Your Honor

Sometimes we walk barefoot
into the forest
even though there are snakes in the leaves
and sometimes some people still
call you "your honor"
but we know there's no honor among thieves
In the haze of our days
when memory falters
and the nights hide the loneliest sins
We will carry our sacrifice
up to the altar
and look away when the slaughter begins
We were drowned on dry ground
And we froze in the fire
We were born as old women and men
We drank from a tank
That was dry, then was drier
And our enemies loved us much more than our friends