The School Bush


First real cold fall morning

I neared the double doors of the school building

A green, long, tall bush against the building wall

spouted loud, short, comfy, chirps, whistles, cheeps, peeps

from hundreds of little birds

I paused

imagining the little feathery bodies

hunkering together, staying warm, visiting

pecking, checking for fleas

trying to convince the next bird to go out in the cold for the food

I felt warm and friendly

Even birds have buddies



Life’s Variables


Way back, when in the 9th grade, I survived Algebra with a D-; not what I wanted, but I could not for the life of me understand all that gibberish…but now…


a plus b equals c, and d times g equals f

x divided by w plus n minus t equals h

After forty years of disgusted bewilderment

understanding now flows through me

Letters stand for the unknown and are called variables

or changeable’s, flexible’s

If something is unknown, just call it a letter

and be prepared for it to change!

Will I get that job?  Call it –j or +j

What will I be doing next year?  Call it –n or +n

Is there a heaven and a hell?  Call them a and b

Then keep these unknown variables

in life’s equations

so surprise can’t sting

That’s not so difficult

Difficulty comes in thinking that nothing can change

or that the unknown doesn’t matter

A Candle for Treebeard


Long time Tolkien fan here


Over thirty-years ago

bought a “tree man” candleholder with

crystal eyes to flicker light

tree-like moustaches, beard, eyebrows

broken-looking nose

dark brown-orange texturing

roots to help him stand


Just as I imagined Treebeard in The Two Towers


Hung onto him carefully over the years

became the subject of drawings and lino-prints

lit up rooms, then

gathered dust on book shelves, or

packed away while I lived in Africa


Now employing him yet again in a

high school classroom to

show imagination and light



Now It’s Time


My eyes are clear

my heart is fresh

I’ve had all summer

to get some rest

And now it’s time

to go to school

and teach some kids

a golden rule:


“Do things to others

as you’d want done to you

Be honest and kind

and hardworking, too

Have compassion and love

for those not rich like you

Make good memories with

everything that you do”