A noiseless patient spider

by Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.


Sun’s Up

Morning on the river,

The Battenkill

Enveloped in mist;

The sun dim behind the clouds.


Bundled up,

I wade into the river.

Slowly the mist lifts.

But the trout remain hidden.


The sun

Breaks through.

The river sparkles.

Blue pushes back the grey.


Mr. Trout, where are you?


May, 2019

Riverdale Morning

Up at dawn and

Out with my dog Samantha

in front of our thirty story

apartment building.


Birds chirping.

Don’t know which is which

Except the morning dove.


It’s soft coo beckons

Punctuated by a train whistle.

It’s just a commuter train.

And its the Bronx.


But close your eyes and

You’re upstate or out west.

The romance is there

And here.


May, 2019

An American

I met a guy in the supermarket.

He saw my

US Marines cap.


No. WW2.


Were you proud

when he asked?


A shrug.

No big deal.

I did what was needed.


I remember Guam.

I sent a man back to

Bring in some prisoners.

He shot them dead.


Before I left Guam

Another prisoner gave me

A gift, a knife he made from

airplane fragments.

All I did was treat him

Like he was human.


I wasn’t a hero.

Just did my job.

Called the shots as I saw them.


April  2019

Warm Springs

People say polio humanized FDR.

What does that mean?

He lost the use of his legs,

Never to walk again.


What’s humanizing about that?

Just as likely to make you bitter.

And for many, perhaps most, it does.


In the Georgia countryside

There’s a place called Warm Springs

where FDR went to “take the cure.”

The springs had no impact on his polio

Or anyone else’s.


But the photos tell the story.

In the pool —

FDR in his one piece tank top swimsuit

with that beautiful

welcoming Roosevelt smile.

Surrounded by his fellow patients.

Children and adults

Ordinary Americans.


This son of privilege

From Hudson Valley gentry

Sharing the pain and humiliation

Of this crippling disease.


That’s humanizing.

That’s what takes talent

and a Harvard education

And produces a leader.


May, 2019

In Between

I used to be there.

I’m still not here.

That in between place.


Someplace new, unsettling

and uncertain.

A chance to create.

Space to grow.


Time to mellow,

Slow down,

Let go,

Go deeper.


Let it be.


May, 2019