Links Poems

Asterisk Days

Three years ago, we might have had some idea that we were all about to start an interruption of everything.

Three years ago, I had no idea that in a month’s time I would start writing a poem a day—and continue to do so for the next two years.

Some of you followed along, reading and liking each post. (I love you.)

Some of you might have seen the posts with the funny MonthPoWriMo neologisms, and moved right along.

Some of you might be (still? starting to?) figuring out how to process the past three years.

Some of you read/write/discuss poems and poetry. Some of you are indifferent.

Some of you may still be trying to get your sourdough started.

My hope is that this book is for all of you.

Asterisk Days: Poems



By the urge to pee
in the middle of a night
missing an hour

remembering anxiety
as a thing to be

how much time
has passed in my lifetime
encompassing other lives

regrettably no longer here
lost in their youth
(age is always too young)

how much time has gone
by way of losing itself
accumulation of numbers

left to be counted
by those who after us
some of whom are here

sleeping in the other room
have no thought of time
other than a face

knowing no age
just these decades piled up
we might return to

sometime in the future
which pasts us by

sleep returns emptied of us


So far we only leave the screensaver 
playing on our TV as long as it takes
for us to remark we wish it displayed
the date the photos were taken

at any point in the past nine months or so
there are few if any previous relations
she has not so far resembled anyone
so much as myself appearing as others

in photos I have yet to scan into digital
genealogy long since discovered as
a series of digits spanning the solar system
at least while we gaze awestruck

how can so many faces intertwine
through what we experience as time?


Whenever we remember 
to tell the story now
potentially to our child

besides the impromptu
visits to Panera for
lukewarm half decaf coffee

and a walk to Chipotle
for more conversation
and salty chips

we can recollect
on our first date
the first words we exchanged

were: finally—as in
at last through whatever
prevented our meeting

happening until this moment
was out of the way
and all that was left

was all that we left
to wit: witness
how most of the day

just before another
anniversary we will spend
contemplating water

consisted of uninhibited
endless laughter
such that it made us

even in adjoining rooms
feel winded sighing
imagine this space

without this impossible
togetherness finding
itself at last finally

Sleep Regression

I have heard the term
in reference to our current
situation wherein the hours
that used to be filled

with silent sleep now
a torrent of fitful squalls
asking for more of what
might return her to a state

of perfect being whatever
that might be would that we
regress to a sleep as earth
in stillness welcomed

a pair of sojourners
at the point of desperation
the child laid in a trough
where beasts would feed

after such travail with ox
and asses baying even they
now sleeping could there be
at last some rest?

No says the child as starts
some inexplicable unsolicited
drumming in the background
here is a shout or three

just when you thought
there could be some sleep
this creature is there
barely within reach

to remind you only of what
makes us human after all

OctPoWriMo 30

Please forgive me if I begin
to wax nostalgic for
the early days of the pandemic
back when it seemed as if
people might learn to wash their hands
as I stand in line at the third
CVS of the day waiting
for some medicine that might
alleviate my child’s symptoms
while I try to find another person
who might be wearing a mask
for any length of time even
while demanding Theraflu
for their soon to be flying family
sometimes it seems all we wanted
in those harried days of lack
was to get back the worst aspects
of ourselves and now they are
in full throttle as the Christmas candies
on display too early on the rack
already disarrayed in the pharmacy aisle
lying slack as a child points out
one sits unpaid for destitute unwrapped

OctPoWriMo 24

Trying not to forget 
as I forget

as the small picture appears
how small she appears

only a few months ago
when she was two months old

how different the face
in the same face

taking shape anew
a smile is a shape

I will always recognize
the heart the same size

growing as eyes
see you unknown anew

OctPoWriMo 23

Trying to make space
for all the gigabytes
on their way
to a new device

I started deleting
media I thought were only
cached in an instance
but lived in the cloud

turns out they weren’t
and for a brief moment
they were irreplaceable
until I remembered to open

another folder where my past
self already saved them

OctPoWriMo 16

Everything my daughter 
needs to know
about the father
I would like to be

might be summarized
in the verse or two
of the hymn I could not sing
with her in my arms

stunned into teary silence
not by the words
but at the melody
included in the service

the day her parents found
hope in each other’s dreams

OctPoWriMo 9

We have noticed
when reading a book
she knows how it works

how the pages turn
a result of hands
gesturing this way

sometimes she pauses
midway to see if
it will fit in her mouth

sometimes she just keeps
the pages open
that her hands might 

clutch or grasp
the waves the air is making
between print and eyes

she knows the tactile
form this all takes
a part of herself

waits holding