Born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, my poetry has been published in various literary journals, and anthologies. Some of my recent work has appeared inGoose River Anthology 2014, Ariel Anthology 2014, Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar, Lake City Poets, Red Cedar Review, Solitary Plover, Modern Haiku, British Haiku Society, andCattails (United Haiku and Tanka Society).
I have a special interest in oriental forms of poetry and won my first prize in the Hildegarde Janzen Oriental Forms Award in 1988. I am in the process of publishing my first chapbook.
When The Rooster Crows
I linger bedside—
the cry of a killdeer
on my tongue
at the water’s edge
his teeth in a jar
the milk house dark
—flash of a cat
his last words
‘there’s nothing left of me
—sell the farm’
from the mouth of a cave
his rattled breath
big brown hands
of cold dry clay—
a smell of twigs
raw earth shivers
threads the seed—claims him
when the rooster crows
no one will remember
his face—his name
who will feed the cat
the old farmhouse stands alone
on the river flows
First appeared in the 2014 Ariel Anthology
If Not For Winter
It is the morning of the darkest day.
The red dogwood is stripped to the drift
where rabbit tracks gather and end.
Noisy birds are at the withered choke cherries
and the wintered oak whispers utterances
of buried acorns threading in spring.
I brush snow from the cellar door
open to the dank dirt floor
to layers of scattered onion husks
kegs of sand stored carrots
sacks of apples unchanged in months
dull and darkened to a chapped red.
I reach blind into the burlap sack
choose only the firmest
bite into one—watching the
juicy white flesh change colors
the way a dog’s bark is brown.
In the end it’s all about survival
the things we bury to make it through
the fox holes we find shelter in
and the facades we hide behind
all essential like a goat’s second coat
a cast off snake skin or a Mardi Gras
face mask kicked to the curb on Ash Wednesday.
First appeared in the 2015 Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar