Poems Online

Featured image: detail from “The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus Discovered by Alexander the Great”; folio from a Falnama (Book of Omens): ca. 1550s, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Featured Poem, Fall 2019

Autumn Prayer


Time for a prayer. The summer lasts too long,

the sundials steeped in shadow afterwards…

Let no one decipher right or wrong


in fields just harvested, grapes on the vine.

Two afternoons of sun are all they need

to ripen, swelled with juice before we read

a blessing in their flavor, in the wine


pressed from their pulp, and other small rewards.

It’s time to move back to the make-believe

shelter of memories we never leave—

letters transcribed in which we are the words

friends treasure, read, and nobody discards.


(Inspired by Rilke’s “Herbsttag/Autumn Day,” forthcoming in The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots and originally published in Bluestem, Spring 2014.)

A Selection

A Spell for Lamentation and Renewal  New York Encounter Poetry Contest, 2019

From Desire: a Bestiary [Magnificent Frigate-Bird]  Verse Daily & Lives of the Sleepers (U of Notre Dame Press)

The Underground Tour  New Criterion

A Word the Romans Used  First Things

The Sugar Thief  Poetry Foundation & The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems (Story Line Press)

Stella’s Children Look Out from a Photo Faded Gold  The Common

East of Tin Pan Alley  String Poet

Musicology  Delaware Poetry Review (Prince issue)

The Afterlife of Beatles  Poet of the Month & Cimarron Review

Live from the Dakota,  Major Tom and David Bowman,  Glory-of-the-Seas,  On Trial for an Imaginary Murder  Alabama Literary Review

Fire Victim  American Life in Poetry & Lives of the Sleepers (U of Notre Dame Press)

Holy Wars for Us  Verse Daily & Upcycling Paumanok (Measure Press)

Text and Flame  Scoundrel Time

The Lunar Deniers   Light

On Goodbyes  Valparaiso Poetry Review & Upcycling Paumanok (Measure Press)

Near Halloween  American Arts Quarterly

Remembrances of Yours  Per Contra

Dark Horse  Baltimore Review & Upcycling Paumanok (Measure Press)

Sea Star  Ecotone

Miraculous Spirals    Literary Matters

Poems of Resistance

Predictions for the President-Elect  Poets Reading the News

Crybully  Rattle: Poets Respond

Trump in Triumph  The New Verse News

Dream Songs for the Governor of Michigan  The New Verse News

Cell Phones Lifted in a Public Square  Poets Reading the News

Post-Truth Villanelle  The New Verse News

The Dark  What Rough Beast/Indolent Books

For a Mother Born During the Great War, A New Moon for Neptune, Wren (Italian Americana feature with brief autobiographical essay)

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