new growth

We planted this mimosa
when I turned 50.
Mom always said,
“every man should plant a tree
and raise a son.”

I’ve planted many trees
and this one started out
just right
the mantis in the branches
saying a benediction

But life has its own way
of moving forward
that sturdy little tree
seemed dead in spring
our hopes dashed
until new growth sprang up
from still lively roots
growing its own way
around and past the dead

With luck
I’ll play buddha to this banyan
beneath the birds
an old man nodding in its filtered shade
a book of poetry in my lap
a cold cuppa coffee by my side mjh



the alpha wolf dreams
she is on her greatest hunt.
the prey is worthy & strong

her twitches and yelps
awaken her pack
they stand around her
recognize the cues
this is a great hunt.
as one, they lay down
and close their eyes

and she is surrounded again
by her pack
moving endlessly towards the kill mjh



Before dawn
I sit and wait
pen in hand.
I look across
this blank page
stretching forever.
Where are you?
I watch and wait
and look up to see you
at the edge of the woods
you emerge
and walk toward me
walking on water
toward me
that serene calm face
looking through me
at the world.
Am I your mirror? mjh



at night
the wolves wait
on my temples
for the elk to venture
from my sparse hairline
onto my forehead

instantly, the pack pursues the herd
some escape into the thicket of my eyebrows
as the rest charge across
the curve of my cheek
longing for the forest of my beard

I sleep through the slaughter
on my jaw
soothed by the steady snores
of slumbering bears
in the caves of my ears mjh


(Thanks to Merri for ‘slumbering.’)

Listen to Slumber

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)


From afar
I am drawn
to this mountain.
I step on his feet,
climb his knee,
over his hip,
and run along his long spine,
up between great shoulders.
Ahead I face the summit.
From his crown
I look down
and around
and around.
Here near his ear
I listen to silence
and breathe the cold light
as a flea on a giant. mjh


Listen to flea

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)