Spirit Of The Dance

The little purple swim suit ballerina,
straw blond hair coiled in braids
like a swimmer’s cap, or flying ace’s headgear,
poses, poised oh so sweetly upon the crest of a wave,
her pink innertube a perfect tutu
as she glides right onto the beach—
the spirit of dance, found casually in the surf
on a brilliant summer’s day.


Describe the ripples on a lake.

First, disregard the word shimmer,
too rapidly, it decays into simmer,
then slimmer, slumber, suddenly slum,
lumber, snicker or worse. It will not
stand, it will dissolve upon reflection.

Beware the words wash, wave, lave, dash,
for they will not withstand the toss of one
into the other until all that is left is dander
and lather, as they ladder into each
other in discord with pitch and variance.

Forget scintillate—it sets the same trap
as iridescent and brilliantine. Discard
dappled, flashing, sinuous, prismatic,
though all susurrate, the pronunciation
will not sustain amplitude or frequency.

Ripples on a lake must be teased from
each word to present themselves not just
as they are—but who they are—to describe
ripples each must be acknowledged as an
individual—then ripple’s message will be clear—

each one says, “do not be discouraged.”

Make Fire

Tutored by wind, rock, lake, sky, stars,
still questioning as we peer at first spark;
the blaze of the casting of the firmament,
the revelation that we can steal fire.

Fire Breaks

Clouds roll beneath the stars
and leave us blind.
Fire makes.
Barren rock, pitiless rain
Fire makes.

In the dark I sign silhouette,
sing those who will yet
singe an alphabet.
Fire makes.
Defines the shadow,
defines the night.
Fire makes.

What breaks dark,
dares create light.

Fire makes,
Fire breaks.

She swims in gold

That the world moves, the moon is still visible,
that dawn mist rises from dark calm waters does
not matter to the swimmer. She swims
surrounded by the gold of sun’s first light.

In the spotlight, her place alone,
the displacement of her passage,
marked by the V of her wake, adorned
with ripples, gold on the lake attends her.

Soon there will be motor boats, jet-boats towing
skiers, children on rafts who will fly by giggling.
Canoes, sail-boats, party boats, bathers, paddlers —
there will be rivers of gold across the lake —

but now, alone with the Sun, still lake steams cold;
and she swims in glory, she swims in gold.