The Tulip and the Frog

the tulip and the frog were friends
and felt they’d be until the end

so every morning without fail
for all of spring along his trail

he’d come upon his flower friend
he’d promise once or twice again

“Tulip, I’ll never leave your side
you are my heart, my soul, my pride”

but tulip could not speak a word
nor could her petals be disturbed

she could be only what she was
all flowers obey garden laws

then frog knew love was bitter-sweet
knew some words were not worth repeat

so frog took one more final gaze
and promised her he’d always praise

her beauty, calm and elegance
and most of all her eloquence

and with a note of sadness deep
the frog intoned a magic leap

“It’s good that you are happy now,
love, you deserve that finest crown

I’d like to know you’re always safe
so hold your place as garden’s grace

please don’t forget your old frog friend
who loved and loved until the end”

and then frog had to hop away
to learn to love as quietly


The Ark

the first ones aboard
   were the raccoons

they pushed their way
      to the front of the line


instinct drove them

well, two by two isn’t
      two of a kind

yet, there they were
   acting like scavengers of a
      salvation that only
         can be found together

they laid on
   their backs in
      the belly of the ark

noticed how exposed
   . . .
   the rafters were

and together dreamed of new shores
   and of a reset to the entire world


Standing in the Balcony Air

I speak one language, but
out under the streetlight canopy
standing in the balcony air
with the mist of early morning
resting on the banister

a dog’s bark echoed between
the townhomes, I imagine
that the sound wrapped around
the chimneys like a set of
wind-blown leaves

it was so lonely and old
and so frighteningly energetic
I wanted to translate it, then
I thought, have I done this before?