My sister says you are 

the best thing that ever 

happened to me.

You are strong 

and kind

and loving,

As I get older and,

I admit, less


your presence

impacts even more.

You let me know when 

I am a jerk.

The humiliation

Is coming from me,

You have a growing presence 

In politics and culture upstate.

It complements what we 

have built in five decades

of progressive activism

from NYC to Arizona

People follow you

as much from love 

and respect

as from cognitive

agreement on 

program and tactics.

You are beautiful 

And sexy.

Your pale blue eyes

welcome and invite.

I have accepted the invitation

and we’ve built a life together

with integrity and caring.

My sister is right.

You’re the best thing

That ever happened to me.

And so much more.

January 26, 2023


I can’t do the things

I used to do.

It makes me sad.

I sit at home and 

see myself eat breakfast,

put on my waders

and drive to the river.

Park the car,

get out the gear,

and tramp along a cornfield

to the beach. 

A few steps into the Battenkill.

Gentle casts cross stream,

move a little down river 

after several tries.

A tug on the line.

A trout has taken the hook.

I pull in the line

until I can put the catch

into the net or it escapes.

Is memory a substitute for fishing?

January 22, 2023

No Regrets

When I think of what 

I used to do

I cry.

Walks by the river,

Fishing and catching a few,

Walking my big baby Samantha.

Life has changed.

Cancer is no joke.

It has dampened my spirit

But it hasn’t broken.

You don’t have to be a hero.

I never was and never will.

But I want to live,

To love as best I can

with those for whom I care;

With those with whom I share

what life has given.

January 16, 2023

Ode to the CAT Scan

I’ve been to and thru

hospital beds

and equipment since my 

bout with cancer began.

I am taken,

perhaps smitten, with the

CAT scan.

It’s smooth round portal,

It’s calm grey interior

It’s quiet, but mighty energy.

A blinking of lights,

A quiet hum.

Your body and being

relax as you glide

back and forth

until it says you are released.

Then up you go

and about your business;

Intact, but scanned.

A Beautiful Statement by My Friend Jan Wootten

In between the ‘40s and the ’20s

In between the dizzying kaleidoscope –through the 60s looking glass

In between the marches and militancy, the tactizing and legal assaults

In between the dingy, dungeonous court rooms, the lockdowns,

“the fighting people’s attorney”

In between the traditions, the solidarity, the slogans, the posturing and profundity

In between and through again

You live in all of us and all we have created

Woven tight in strands of steel.

January 4, 2023