Saturday, August 17, 2013


Sister wears a dragonfly necklace and
sometimes speaks with the butterflies.
Cherokees called them messengers of
the dead, she explains with calmness
and describes her visit with a medium,
who told her things no one could guess.
She hesitates to continue with her story.

I tell her how lately dragonflies land
nearby when eating a meal outside,
as I stop to rest with a bottle of beer
in my backyard after mowing the lawn,
at a ball game on a seat in front of us.
Too many to count hovered above the
dunes as I walked down to the beach.

Others say butterflies come to them in
places you wouldn’t expect, city streets,
the middle of the night, in a rainstorm,
on the tip of a finger as you begin a hike.
Suddenly images of these insects appear
on coffee mugs, labels of wine bottles,
neckties, on front of some baby’s shirt.

Must’ve been there all along or maybe
I’m seeing them after hearing the medium’s
words to me from our father- “Don’t feel bad,
let it go, stop feeling remorse”. How could she
know of my regrets since his death or the last
time we spoke? I told no one of my feelings.
I think of dragonflies now as my pen runs dry.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


“When you're travelling, the best advice is
 likely to come from a local person.”-F.Mawer

In Pittsburgh, even the bridges are yellow.
Should’ve painted a few green or blue.
If you end up getting on the wrong bridge,
you’ll probably end up being lost for hours.

In Pittsburgh, they roll with the black and gold.
And things come in threes like Pitt’s flag with
three castles, three rivers, that I always misspell,
and three stars on one side of a Steelers helmet.

In Pittsburgh, be sure to ride the inclines,
they’ll take you up to another neighborhood
make you think how beautiful it must look
at night- the city, the bridges, the confluence.

In Pittsburgh, you must have Iron City beer,
get a Primanti Brothers sandwich, hamburger
drenched in Heinz ketchup on thick, soft bread.
They put the cole slaw and fries on the inside.

In Pittsburgh, you should try to visit Oakland,
stop at the Cathedral of Learning, get a key
to see the classrooms from around the world.
Take a picture with a statue of the panther.

In Pittburgh, you have to go to a ball game,
monuments for Clemente, Stargell, Mazerawski.
The old fans still sing, “We Are Family” and they’ll
tell you all about living in the City of Champions.

In Pittsburgh, get to the Southside, tattoo parlors
and bars line Carson Street- but don’t stay too long
or have too many beers, or you’ll begin to think of
how perfect a yellow P would look on your forearm.