Showing posts from June, 2020

The Parable of the Pickle

The Pickle When I was an undergraduate at Western Connecticut State University, I did a lot of off-road things for course credit--attending the Yeats Summer School in Sligo, Ireland; working as a volunteer for a Cork-based charity serving the needs of children caught in the crossfire of political conflict in Northern Ireland; pursuing independent study on Irish authors, for some examples--that absolutely baffled the little old lady working in the registrar’s office.  Although my pile of paperwork documented the course requirements my a la carte learning adventures covered, she put everything down as an elective.  Then, when I was a senior, I got the form letter telling me I had not met course requirements to graduate. I had copies of all my paperwork, so it all came down to circling the wagons with the English Department and my adviser to solve the problem.  But it was maddening as hell, and I was mad as hell.   During these years of going to college and living home, Dad and I would go

The Bear That Was Not Here

At sunset The bear Walks a straight line Along the edge Of the woods And the garden And across the street, Ambling onward Bothering nobody-- Though the parents Of small children Seem bothered, Offended by his audacity To go from there to here  And on…. The bear is silent, Looks neither this way or that, Takes nothing, Leaves no footprint. Out of the winds he comes And back into the night air. There is power in this bear Who was never here.

Nodding to the Nest

Greens the ospreys  Added to their nest Have managed to grow. Our ospreys have gone upscale, Adding landscaping to their roost. From his Adirondack chair On his deck, my father Notices the female in the nest Raising her wings above her chicks And the male perched firmly outside the nest And very likely noticing Dad right back. Mom is inside with the grandsons Playing poker.  Off goes the male to hunt And back he comes to feed his brood.   All day. “She’s the boss,” Dad says, Nodding to the nest.   “She’s the boss,” the osprey calls right back As Mom cleans up at the kitchen table.

You Don't Get to Be Irish and Racist