Category Archives: Poems


I met a couple
on the breathless trail
to Pueblo Alto.
They were dressed identically
in long-sleeve white shirts
and khaki-colored nylon pants —
oddly well-groomed in a wild place.
They grinned at me
as they approached,
and I thought I heard her say,
"Hello, Mark."
But how? Did I know them?
I asked how they were and she replied,
"Wonderful. How about you?"
She sang her words
like someone unfamiliar
with human speech.
Only then did I recognize them —
coyotes are so clever. mjh


Listen to Songdogs

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

the cure

my old friend
is worried about me
coughing roughly
deep in the night
he stands by the bed
searching my face
for a cue
a clue to my
senseless barking
he paces the floor
for hours
he sniffs my hand
ingesting my malady
to concoct the cure
which he administers
in slow soft licks;
“be well, old friend
the pack is with you.”
and I am well again. mjh


Listen to the cure

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

My Virtual Chapbook

I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting one of my poems each day. I got off to a late start. As of 5/1/11, I posted 4×7 poems, each with a reading (sound file). You can rate any or all and comment on each here or on Facebook.

  1. Unhinged Mon 04/04/11 at 11:47 am
  2. Wind Makes Crazy Tue 04/05/11 at 9:47 pm
  3. Whispering, “Rain!” Wed 04/06/11 at 7:47 pm
  4. Graze Thu 04/07/11 at 7:47 pm
  5. Cold Lang Syne Fri 04/08/11 at 11:47 pm
  6. Merri! Sat 04/09/11 at 10:47 pm
  7. Blush Sun 04/10/11 at 10:47 pm
  8. Sharp Mon 04/11/11
  9. Going Home Tue 04/12/11 at 10:47 pm
  10. Choke Wed 04/13/11 at 1:47 pm
  11. some lesser poet Thu 04/14/11 at 10:47 pm
  12. bask Fri 04/15/11 at 10:47 pm
  13. tuck Sat 04/16/11 at 12:00 pm
  14. flea Sun 04/17/11 at 7:47 am
  15. Dickey Mon 04/18/11 at 5:19 am
  16. The Heaven of Animals Tue 04/19/11 at 2:47 pm
  17. The Bright Side Wed 04/20/11 at 9:47 am
  18. Slumber Thu 04/21/11 at 4:21 am
  19. waiting for the tide Fri 04/22/11 at 10:47 am
  20. Relentless Sat 04/23/11 at 11:47 am
  21. Icarus Sun 04/24/11 at 12:00 pm
  22. at this very moment Mon 04/25/11 at 7:47 am
  23. 101° Tue 04/26/11 at 1:01 am
  24. the cure Wed 04/27/11 at 12:47 am
  25. up in the middle of the night Thu 04/28/11 at 6:00 am
  26. Songdogs Fri 04/29/11 at 11:47 am
  27. Seek Alternate Route Sat 04/30/11 at 9:47 am
  28. this simple truth Sun 05/01/11 at 1:13 am



Happy Birthday, Billy Collins! Time to re-read On Turning Ten, Forgetfulness or The Country (bottom of that page). Collins is one of my favorite poets — perhaps he and Frost share #2 and there is no #1 for me (though I could hardly imagine poets more different than Frost and Collins).

Time to trot out my tribute to Collins (for Merri):


It doesn’t seem the least bit odd
that all the members of the orchestra
are dogs.
Some in tuxedos,
some in black gowns,
sitting, waiting — good dogs! –
for the conductor
to raise a long meaty bone.
Some clear their throats,
some drool,
none look away for a moment.

It doesn’t seem the least bit odd
that everyone in the audience
is in a tutu.
Men and women dressed for the
ballet, though this is a concert,
each holding a pen and pad
planning to pounce
to snatch some new idea.
As if Beethoven for Dogs
weren’t enough.

It doesn’t seem the least bit odd
in the end
when the conductor puts down his baton,
most of the meat shaken off
to the delight of the First Chair.
He turns and bows
and then I recognize him:
the poet laureate,
the old dog himself. mjh


PS: Frost’s birthday is 3/26/1874.

Poetic Justice

The burglars kicked in the sidedoor
and invaded our kitchen
stealing 22 years of safety
and a cheap TV.

We painted that kitchen
in a project which
began with stripping ugly wallpaper and ended
with a pretty security door a week too late.

Thieves ransacked the dresser
she bought from her landlady in Virginia,
the top strewn with a lifetime’s sentimental baubles
pawed through by worthless thugs.

In the garage,
a thief spread the contents of the glovebox
over the seats,
as if taking inventory before a long trip.

Back at their hideout,
the burglars exclaimed,
“Man, those people had nothin’ worth stealing.
We were robbed.”