September-November 2016

Scruples 12 is an old/new poem. The first line comes from a work written in the mid 1980’s entitled Mirage.  Reading that poem several months ago inspired a revision, leaving only the first line intact. The rewrite became another Scruples.

By All Appearances and Taking a Hunch To Task were begun last year and recently completed.  As a writing practice, I rarely work on more than one poem at a time. These are an exception, with the former finished in February and Taking a Hunch to Task in May.


   By All Appearances


Today, at the peak
of my morning walk
along the beach,
I spotted a bottle
which, more than likely,
was marooned by a wave
in league with the tide.

There it lay, lost
and found, glass glittering
in the bright of day,
shifting from green to gold
the closer I came…


What I held up, against
the horizon, was skinned
with moss, nothing
inside beside shells
and sand.

Soon enough I cast
the bottle into
an outgoing current.
Adrift, it looked
like a floating ray
of sunshine.


  Taking a Hunch To Task


In the midst of this late shift
        he wonders along at a pace
                   of step and stop.
While listening, the watchman suspects
        termites’ re nibbling, more
                    than likely on the roof…

Which rafters…how many moonbeams
ready to splinter, go for broke…?

Guess turns into groundwork
    as he lugs a ladder up,
       against the wall.
It’s high time to climb
   and seek, look down
      on them, warily.





Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder?

How much depends
on the way it’s concocted—
in a half filled glass, with
or without water, one
to three lumps of sugar.

As for when, anise tastes
bitter from the first sip…
After a few more, spirits
fresh out of the bottle 
serve memories right, stir up
mixed feelings.







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