Notebook Poems (while downstairs)

with Psalms 34 and 35


Three O’Clock or Thereabout


train sounds out back

from the first floor


deep, uneven thrumming

circles of wheels

train sirens cry and split the local sky

nostalgically, we might still call that

a whistle


after time, train finishes with us

our cars may go

ebb and flow returns to town

until Moses-like the tide of trains

halves us again




child at table works

lead pencil scratches paper

timely task now done


Psalm 34

a song of tears



hear my cry

and when I’m through

hear my chafed whispering


Psalm 35

song with a question


Lord, are you there

it’s not Margaret of the book

it’s simply unwritten me


Machine-Less Listening


I hear a trumpet call


(two bits a quarter from

pieces of eight)

Gabriel’s apprentice practices

for the final fanfare

at the end of school in June




at table round I write

who knew Arthur should meet here

liege folk

talking of charity

T. H. White’s “Might for Right”

until Mordred and Lancelot

ruin everything