Lakeside Pondering

[The following poem was also published on my philosophy website/blog]

Whither this sport-utility realism,

This preparing-to-be-there,

Amid reticence and lassitude,

Against a child’s fortitude?

Is this not sheer resolution?

And where do these preparations end?

However duty-bound they be,

Does this road lead

Where they might be free?


Behold these delights:

A fox running in the snow

And geese taking flight,

Some snapping as they go.

Yes, and would the dog really like

To chase them on the lake,

Just as the wind appears to do,

Sweeping up and creating a swell?

Ah, and the wind imparts a thrill,

So fresh as it enlivens anew,

We breathe, and then let go.


Turning Leaves (or How to Zen a Yeats-Wordsworth)

What would fall be without turning leaves?
Spring livens and beams fledgling dreams;
Summer burns white bulbs of seeds;
Winter winds clear the streets.
Here: the present memory of yellow leaves:
A voyage to drowsy Byzantium,
Fading into an absent reflection,
But rising-ahh-to breathe.

A Sonnet-Ode to Ovid on Departing from Exile

A Sonnet-Ode to Ovid on Departing from Exile

It is known that you were captive on your way,
Some say, a captive, strayed to your exile.
And held you were, by the seaside sway
Of other fates all the while.

Did you chance to see, recalled from your wilting while
There, above the swirling cape, a placid hill
That did not refuse a timely archaic style?
And whither these fruits of a retiring will?

Glancing back at bygone thoughts of home abroad
May yet inspire a prayer to some littoral muse,
Risen whence scuttled hands have clawed,
Hidden from less troubled views.

Yet what have they now who dine on figs in Rome,
Who find themselves yet in search of home?

To Brigit, Between Winter and Spring

The granite mountain was silent,

The wind sounded on the plain,

Birds flew their bent,

Fine horses snorted and strained.

How lofty the mountain,

How low the plain,

How dear the heart’s fountain,

Surging again.

Would it wither in the heights?

Or be scattered upon the plain?

Did they escape the ashes of desire, by

Burning in its flame?

Being divine, is it not a sacred thing,

There, in the heart of spring?

Ode Upon a Foggy Day in Mid-December (To Quintus Horatius Flaccus and his Victorian English Translators)


The snows have not yet fled away,
My dear Horace,
They stick to the stubble of summer’s hay
In some flat field.
Elsewhere they have not yet arrived.
The sun, for all that, yet drives a gleaming chariot,
Though no proud countenance has he,
But softens his look upon the mists bearing it,
Falling toward the sea.
But clear your mind of these mists,
My dear Horace,
Do they oppress?
Yet they may yet assuage,
And even renew,
My dear Horace,
With the blankness of a page.

Ode on a Pine Tree in Early Autumn


Jade Gryphon
Image found on


Oh, what can be said of this blue-grey tinge

That neither brightens nor ever dims?

About you are these fading beauties,

While you await the blooming of snowy verities.


As one season passes into the next,

You endure all at nature’s behest.

But sage you are under sun and moon:

For you show us nature’s latest bloom.

Ode Upon Pine Cones in Early Spring

Ode upon Pine Cones in Early Spring

Glistening in the first days of coming warmth,

Spring-budding pine cones begin to come forth,

Bearing a fair, wood-spice odor,

Fresh in their spice-wooded ardor.


But while their bud blooms forth a closed flower,

They are soon awakened to the Sun’s power,

Or by heaven-seeking fire,

Sparking their turn in a cosmic spire.




Ode Upon Suburban Lawns

images (8)

Hovering over a lagoon

Dragonflies flit under the moon

Diving in their torrid glory

Glinting light,stately—florid.

And beneath the lagoon, drinking moonlight,

Fishes ripple the moon-bright,

Gilded, among rushes and reeds

Scarcely reflecting their deeds.

The tourists recalled seeing a crane.

It was, to be sure, a majestic thing,

Yet wild as any you could name.

She said: “May this thrive among the tame?”

“Perhaps in Grecian Art or among Yeats’ swans.”

Was the response.

(But recall they’ve been found on suburban lawns).