September-November 2018

“Windfall” was posted in three by 3  March-May 2015. Recently, I submitted it to the print journal Passager. Publication will be in the January 2019 open issue. Their website is:

“Calliope’s Conundrum” was written while I was living in Brazil. The year was approximately 1995 and the title was “Calliope.” Soon after I moved to the US in 2006, it was critiqued by a poet friend, Tia Ballantine. In mid 2017  I reread the poem and commentary. The revision, “Calliope’s Conundrum,” was finished the first week of November 2018 which delayed the three by 3  posting.

“Artist In Residence” was begun in June 2018 and completed in August. It was my default poem during the rewrite of  “Calliope’s Conundrum”.


A bonafide bluffer, the chameleon can lie—
flat out on a rock—even when
the sun stares into his eyes,
the wind rubs him the wrong way—
from the front, down his snout.
Still—he doesn’t blink or twitch,
appear to breathe, turn tail
as the crows approach.

Early risers, they’re ready to eat
anything from the ground up
that happens to be there.
By dawn the flock’s airborne, soaring,
some on top, the rest circling
lower, around his whereabouts.
In a few more loops, they’ll be
within swooping distance,
cawing for blood.

Could the wind change sides,
blow the crows black into the sky,
give him a chance?
There isn’t a chameleon born
whose camouflage hasn’t fooled
scores of high flyers;
nor one alive that hasn’t been lucky—
once in a while.

Calliope’s Conundrum

                                                        For Tia Ballantine

Sure, I looked up to Icarus.
Supported him over
a mean-spirited king
half human, half bull headed.
What muse wouldn’t —
despite my sisters’ insistence
that, unless undecreed,
only trade winds can leave the island.

My heroes are mortals outclassed at birth,
but weaned on virtue; their mettle
tested often and sorely, even in good times.
They brave each day with equal zeal,
end one adventure, begin another,
stay the course, never lose hope.
Icarus was fitted with wings
that could survive a perilous journey.
Whenever he put them on, I imagined
a pilot in the making, airborne, heading
for the mainland—mission accomplished.


A golden orb rises at dawn, crowns
the sky, glows until dusk.
Any body, fowl or not, venturing
near is consumed by fumes and fire.
So why in the world did Icarus
change his flight plans —
went from gliding around
to soaring into the sun?

From aloft, the gods on Olympus are
ever meddling in the lives of others.
They know, but won’t tell, whereas
my sisters have their say about the meltdown.
Worse than silence is being judged
by a jury of peers— in this case
for conspiring with a minor, believing
that given a chance he’d eventually
become a hero, no doubt about it.


Artist In Residence

Crystal sparkles, so a bowl
like the one sunning
by the window appears to dazzle.

On occasion it’s fruit colored.
Yellow when the apples are ripe,
green grapes out of season, ruby red in,
pears as amber as honey…

What’s seen in the light of day
he renders truer than life,
still enough to hang from any wall,
high or low, its bowl laden
with the fruit of his imagination.

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