Friday, June 4, 2021


Rogue Rhododendron


A house-sized rhododendron

stalks through a village, planting

itself wherever it wishes.


Restless as a puppy, it uproots

after a few hours, replants

in the brightest light it can find.


You insist that I confront it,

but if the locals don’t mind

this frequent upheaval, why


should we? “It’s unnatural,

and surrealism’s out of date,”

you claim. I heft an axe


to defend myself, if needed,

and wander the streets till I spot

a massive flounce of blossoms


digging like a dog, spoiling

a distinctly cerebral lawn.

The householder stands safely


distant, his expression bland

as butterscotch pie. Approaching

the flora, I speak in tones


any plant should understand.

It seems to listen politely

as it settles into the hole it dug.


But its reply shivers through me

so vividly that I’m almost

persuaded to behead myself


with my otherwise useless axe.

Retreating a safe psychic distance,

I phone you to report that                                               


the flora is friendly but stubborn,

protective of its territory,

aware of its natural rights.


Its blossoms tinkle in the breeze.

It dozes on its boughs, tough enough

to strangle a full-grown man.


Friday, April 23, 2021





A massive diesel drill rig

has toppled into the river.

Rain undermined the plank

roadway, the caterpillar treads

flailed, and a mudslide tripped

the rig into shallow water.


This drill didn’t just stumble.

You can see how the stonework

collapsed and allowed the crude

temporary road to slip away.

Hardhats stand around gazing

with disgust. Bridge construction


will halt for days or weeks while

the most powerful wreckers

trundle from deep in Ohio

or as far away as Alaska

to shoulder this helpless monster

upright on its mucky footing.


Luckily no one was hurt,

but our collective industrial

confidence has been shattered.

You claim that if everyone

properly read D. H. Lawrence

we would never mess with machines


I agree we’re all guilty of crimes

against nature and humanity,

but if the right words could absolve us

wouldn’t I be first to apply them

to dings and dent in the universe

and make my mark forever?