Category Archives: Fragments

Fragments of the Sacred

The first breath of air
rich with earth and water,
the scent of worms & hyacinth.

Thick sweet green of the grass
growing in the backyard, where
the old dog was laid to rest.

The redhead who remembers her husband
by painting enormous tulips,
bent by the wind, stripped of petals.

The leathery crackle of old photos,
one of them of the little girl
who did not survive her own birth.

First cool, then warm
in the hands, a glass of water,
that’s all, nothing more.

The shiver on the tongue
of curry, hot and hungry.
The sliver of plain bread.

Fragments of Saints

Nothing official,
no bones or splinters
that once touched someone.
Just pieces that mean
something personal.
Father Harry told
his angel story,
of a Communist
unbeliever who
rescued him, guided
him to a safe place.
I recall trumpets
of praise, pure tones
at her funeral
singing out, they said.
Now I hold the striped,
blue-flowered blanket.
Once, it smelled like her.
Now, I remember,
almost, that lost scent
as if it echoes.

Fragments of the Ordinary

“What’s for dinner?” “Want leftovers?”
“Don’t ask now, I’m doing dishes.”
“Remember to walk the dog now.”
“Where’s pooch? What did he get into?”
“Mom, can I make warm milk for bed?”
“Remember to turn the lights out,
and make sure the door is locked, OK?”
“OK, Mom. Love you. Want a hug?”
“Of course, sweetie. Sleep well.” “You, too.”

Fragment of a Mountain

There were mountains in those days,
in those places. Taller ones
than we see there now, with caves
and crevices, cracks and faults,
edged with life that roots and breaks.
We were singing, “Were you there
when the stone was rolled away?”
before the priest said, “Listen
to the stones. They speak. They say
words we need to hear. Listen.”
Is it like being cells? Ways
in which broken stones recall
thoughts from which they broke away.

Fragments of Paths

As if the map is part skin,
I feel paths tugging at me —
bus routes like ropes pulling north,
east, south; cars curling down routes
usually followed; and then
pedestrians whims like threads
of silk twisting and weaving.
Vision spins over the paths
not taken, explore, release,
then cradling in comfort
along my own plaited path.

Fragments of the World

* New Zealand

Memorial gardens
studded with
wild ginger,
canoe plant,
the old times

* Boston

The opera house hosts
the Book of Mormon,
a dose of low culture
among the high

* Half Moon Bay

Even in Southern California
there’s a chill, once you’ve climbed
above the cloud line, standing
upon a mountainside, looking down
into a valley of mist, deep,
and glowing in moonlight.

* Tamil Nadu, India

Visit Mango City
for the hospital,
the x-rays of people
and flowers, both
arched and elegant.

* Arlington, Illinois

The small light voices
of children, blossom
in the school’s
Spring Concert.

* New York City

In the hallways
of the offices
of Facebook, believe
it or not, a red
helmet tops a
speeding skateboard,
right past the colors
of the “Write Something”
wall, on which someone
has written the word,

* McKinney, Texas

A field of green,
clusters of people,
police officers,
bicycles, wheelchairs,
teams, gathered beneath
glaring sun burning
through thin grey clouds.

* Alaska Highway

Saucy Southerner
means something different
here. What do you want?
Prime ribs, or the halibut?

* Gouvia, Corfu

Miles of beach and sun
under the olive trees.
A hotel. A holiday.
A new pool. Stone
steps, so very old.

* Ile-deFrance, Paris

Hotel? It’s all about
the views. From on high
la Tour d’Eiffel,
l’Arc de Triomphe.
From below, the crowds,
the cherry blossoms.

* Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania

Every town has a festival,
from garlic to berries,
with parades and pretty girls,
glorious food, loud music.
But here? It’s all Cigarfest.

* Cantabria, Spain

Trust me, the fish.
That’s what you want
to eat, the fish.
It’s so fresh here!
And so easy to find!

* Queensland, Australia

Back turned to the party,
peering out the penthouse window,
the moon creeping over skyscrapers,
starred with window lights.

Fragment of a Voice

Two stories away,
on the other side
of the house, voices
muted by distance,
morphed by plaster
and wood, blankets
and pillows over
my head. I still hear
something. Not the words.
Not male or female.
Not even the pitch.
I heard the rhythm
of the two voices.
With just that little
I still know who speaks.

Fragment of a Prayer

She has forgotten the words,
the stories from the Bible,
prophets, Psalms, catechism.
She remembers, “In the name
of the Father, Son, Spirit”
and she remembers, “Amen.”

Fragments of Paper

Boxes, drawers, rolls,
and sheets of papers …
cut down, and sliced,
into smaller pieces;
pieces crumpled, twisted,
knotted, and folded,
then sometimes, almost
accidentally, becoming
something beautiful.

Fragments of a Poet

Illness eats at the mind
as well as the body —
images erupting
full of clever color
and then shedding, falling,
like scale drop from a fish
infected with fungus —
all around the writer
glitter invisible
sands littered with sparkle,
unwritten ideas
soothed, smoothed, and forgotten.