featured in the poetry forum November 27, 2022  :: 0 comments

My hand goes through his fur as if it were sand,
his loose leaf skin water,
and he lays his large head on my lap,
his work as a dog done for today.
It is time to sleep.
He snores louder,
his body still,
all of his exuberance and noisy appreciation of life
idled to a list of breaths,
the warm sand of his fur,
the cool water of his skin.

editors note:

An enchanting entrapment. – mh clay


September 24, 2022  :: 0 comments

How much longer? Don’t know. I don’t remember it being this long last time. No, last time was over quickly, but I remember another time I waited almost three hours. We’ve been waiting almost an hour. Doesn’t matter. It’s going to be worth it. We’re getting new faces, remember? Faces of a better quality than we ever had before. Guess …

The Problem with Marvin

April 26, 2022  :: 0 comments

Marvin called time and temperature many times during the week. He felt he needed to hear another human voice and too often he felt the recording was a real person talking only to him. Then one beautiful Thursday morning, he dialed the number and the voice said, “Marvin, get outside. It’s a beautiful day. Just beautiful. Go to the park, …

The Pissing Contest

September 25, 2021  :: 0 comments

The late morning sky was clear-eyed blue, rich, almost regal. There was no breeze, a soft November, the trees naked of leaves, the sun too bright. “Summer,” one of them muttered. None of them could remember a November this warm. They walked in a small cluster down the center of the street as was their practice: five boys, not a …


featured in the poetry forum August 18, 2021  :: 0 comments

he magic in the tirade of dogs,
song in festival of bliss–
we sing cause we want to
not cause we must/
we dance cause we need to
not cause we lust

but when they came,
we already there safe–
not grounded–
and we entered palace
of their injury
within our palace of inquiry.

editors note:

Sometimes, if we knew, we wouldn’t ask. – mh clay

Hunger Pangs

January 16, 2021  :: 0 comments

I’m finished with the second box of matzo and we still have a hundred or so miles to go. One piece of matzah every ten to twenty miles. It keeps me awake and I like the way it crunches, changes texture, leaves a slight film in my mouth. I always take a five to ten-mile break between each piece. “Hey,” …

The Happy Couple

September 12, 2020  :: 0 comments

Everything began when the larger dog attacked the beagle and drew a six-inch bloody gash across its side. Nick rushed to his dog, picked it up gently and carried it to the porch where the old man sat reading the newspaper. “Can you give me a ride to the vet?” he asked. Before the old man could answer, he added, …

A Hike in the Tattoo Garden of Capella

featured in the poetry forum May 2, 2020  :: 0 comments

We hike the northernmost trail near the glacial wall
of ivory and brass, rust and pyrite, a gold vein
through a spit of silver ore, the path passing under
roped purple vines, thick and settled, climbing wind stalk,
the red ladened clay of storm sculpted paper birch.
Everywhere a flutter of redwings and large velvet ants,
yellow and crimson, a great green eye on each wing.
The way goes into a small dip past a chocolate swamp,
rising to cotton candy arrowroot, mocha creamed asters.
When we make the eighth turn, we enter a field of tall bone grass,
iron shaped bent by sun and rain, a crisscrossing of shade and smell.
The noises around us never deafening, but always present,
chirps, geeks, glops, slocks, chings, slobbers, blimps,
a static and song — so many songs — so many harmonies.
When we reach the ridge, we can see the Cloud Maker releasing clouds,
the Head Tattoo Artist inking the bark on newborn trees,
the Master Gardeners busy — and there is a sigh, a soft burp,
and we begin the short walk home to where the southern trail begins.

editors note:

Here’s a little side trip for your lock down. (Read another pome about this garden on Michael’s page – check it out.) – mh clay


May 2, 2020  :: 0 comments

We did all we were supposed to do, and then some,
is this the only life we are meant to live,
the only song we sing,
the only dance,
the only haiku,
the only romp through snowdrift or piles of fallen leaf?

How often do we wake to tattoo gardens of distemper,
rabies and shots across the stomach?
That was last year.
Now we wake to lilac bushes and a frenzy of honeybees,
bright wood carvings in the last oaks to the west.

The phlegm of hope, a flicker
bird resting on the windowsill, dust
and fog, a longing for sleep,
one wing lopsided by a near accident last night.

Train Tracks

February 23, 2019  :: 0 comments

The shortcut to Steven’s house was about two blocks from the train station. Every day he walked on one of two train tracks. He could smell the home cooked meal his sister had bragged about two hours earlier. When he saw the train coming towards him, he took a step to the left and easily reached the other track. He …