To The Lady Who Put Roses Out


Single Red Rose

It was a quiet day on a quiet street.

It seems like it was one of those family holidays;

Maybe Father’s Day or Mother’s Day… I don’t recall.

It was a good day for a walk.


We took our time, talking along the way.

We were not walking for distance or speed.

The old sidewalk was cracked and uneven…

Sort of the way life is.


We watched our step. You remember that

old saying about stepping on a crack?

There was a nice breeze off the river.

Birds were rejoicing in the trees.


We heard the wind in the big trees in

the old cemetery. It was well kept.

People cared about cemeteries here.

So do the squirrels…policing the rows.


One block. Two blocks. Three…four.

The houses were perched high on each side

with sloping yards and low stone walls.

Middle-aged houses – nothing grand.


There ahead, on a low cobbled wall,

sat a small painted bucket of cut red roses.

“Please take one” the penciled sign said.

She took one. “How nice” I said.


We continued another few blocks…

Stopped for coffee and then doubled back.

The roses were still there but fewer, now.

Other walkers must have read the sign.


Like a pebble in a pond, this

simple act of sharing rippled through

the lives of people she never met

but cared about from a distance.



Ghost Birds

Here they come again…heading north. This morning’s flight was the first group I’ve seen…actually heard because they are so high you can’t really make them out. Their croaking call seems to come from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. They seem early but we are already into the 70s each day. They must leave Bosque del Apache at dawn and make it here north of Albuquerque by 10:30. They might make it to Colorado by sunset if they can get over the mountains..

Writer's Cramp

High cranes 2

Cranes, lost to our sight

in the sun drenched sky above,

call out sad farewells.

high cranes

They’ll be back next fall

to do it all once again.

The bosque awaits.

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sounding whale 2


A whale, torn deep by the harpoon

and roped to the hunters who would bring it down,

sounds deep into the darkness. Escape is the first impulse…

deny them of their prize.


At four hundred feet the pain is still there. At six hundred…deeper still.

At eight hundred something gives…changes for the better.

The surface calls… The hunters wait.

Breach…. And plunge again. They are gone.


I plunge.  I sound the depths.

The pain is there but not like it was.

The scar persists but the wound is healed.

And yet, the memory is sharp.


I plunge. I sound the depths. I breach.

Humpback Whale Breaching @ Sunset Composite Se Ak