In the first ring, little dogs dance

on the backs of elephants.

Why can't they be singing lobsters

riding upon rhinoceri?


In the third ring, a man with a whip

puts his head in a tiger's mouth.

Why can't the man be Cleopatra,

& the tiger be a crocodile?


In the center ring, painted clowns

chase each other with water buckets.

Why can't the clowns be whirling dervishes

with roman candles on their heads?


Above the center ring, aerial acrobats

somersault from trapeze to trapeze.

Take away the swings & safety nets,

let them fly as angels or fall. 







Take a note slightly flat

with barely a breath, listen for

a bird singing in that air.


The note departs slowly, sadly, 

waiting while a cloud changes shape,

something almost promised.


The eyes cannot hold it,

the ears will not grasp its form

yet the heart remembers it well


as a wind tearing a map

from the fingers, watching it

blowing away, not chasing it.







Two doves were building a nest

on a ledge jutting out above

the sliding doors of a retail store.

One patiently sat while the other

flew to the parking lot & back

with twigs & pieces of styrofoam.


"Are you crazy?" I yelled at them.

"Do you think you are common pigeons

who copulate in the rain? Or Herring Gulls

who use the x-ray vision God gave them

for finding pizza crusts within a box?


"Fly thou quickly to the hanging light

on the loading dock around the back.

There, safe from crows & curious kids,

construct your silly, little home.

Fear not the diesel exhaust, the starlings

or the pallet jacks of Sam & Felix.


"You will find abundant grass seed

in the Jewish graveyard by the condos,

plenty of puddles, plus the south-facing

spot is a transient renter's bonus,

you'll love the view of the Hilton."


The doves accepted my advice:

Protect them, Lord, your winged things,

the equals of both mollusks & mice,

the products of a million springs.







Two witches fighting. Instead of hands, they have sharp, twisted antlers.


A topographical map of Turkey.


Two lovers whose hearts had left their bodies & were meeting in mid-air for

an exchange of positive energy.


A pelvic bone in the style of Georgia O’Keefe but with a live vagina.


A coral reef.


An eagle’s beak.


A moth with highly evolved wings.


The Battle of the Crustaceans. Two shrimp contesting possession of a blade of

spartina grass. Below them, two crabs wait as reinforcements.


A shaman’s handheld totem consisting of an animal skin attached like wings to

a thin bone or stick tipped with a carved phallus & adorned with feathers.

Obviously an indispensable spiritual tool.