Here is a poem by Native American poet Sherman Alexie:



Last night, I dreamed that my passport bled.

I dreamed that my passport was a tombstone

For our United States, recently dead.

I dreamed that my passport was made of bone—


That it was a canoe carved out of stone.

“But I can’t swim,” I said. “I will drown

If I can’t make the shore. I’ll die alone

In the salt. No, my body will be found



With millions of bodies, all of them brown.”

I dreamed that my passport was a book of prayers,

Unanswered by the gods, but written down

By fact checkers in suits. “There are some errors


In your papers,” they said. Then took me downstairs

To a room with fingernails on the floor.

I dreamed that my passport was my keyware,

But soldiers had set fire to the doors,



To all doors—a conflagration of doors.

I dreamed that my passport was my priest:

“Sherman, will you battle the carnivores

Or will you turn and abandon the weak?


Will you be shelter? Or will you concede?”

Last night, I dreamed that my passport was alive

When it entered the ICU. It breathed, it breathed,

Then it sighed and closed its eyes. It did not survive.



©2017, Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie


<a href=””>Passport</a&gt;


There but for Fortune

Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs was an American singer-songwriter of the 1960’s.

Here are the lyrics to one of his most famous songs:

There but For Fortune     by Phil Ochs


Show me a prison, show me a jail

Show me a prisoner whose face has gone pale

And I’ll show you a young man with so many reasons why

And there but for fortune, may go you or I.


Show me the alley, show me the train

Show me a hobo who sleeps out in the rain

And I’ll show you a young man with so many reasons why

There but for fortune, may go you or I.


Show me the whiskey stains on the floor

Show me the drunken man as he stumbles out the door

And I’ll show you a young man with so many reasons why

There but for fortune, may go you or I.


Show me the country where the bombs had to fall

Show me the ruins of the buildings once so tall

And I’ll show you a young land with so many reasons why

There but for fortune, go you or I — you and I.


Warsaw at the end of WWII

Warsaw, Poland    at the end of World War II

<a href=””>Fortune</a&gt;

Territory vs. Property

Deer launch


Here’s a poem by American poet  Elizabeth Savage:

Territory vs Property

“Let me recite what history teaches. History teaches.”                                                            

Gertrude Stein


East rails into west

where safe belies spent

& the whitetail leaps

over whitewashed fence

& whitewater streams like a darkened spring

down the desolate face of June

as bodies run in place

floating hats, flowing boots .


Elizabeth Savage


tracks going across prairie

<a href=””>Territory</a&gt;

Elixir of Life


What came to mind was the first book of the Harry Potter series.

Here is the excerpt:

Extract from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

by J.K. Rowling

‘Nicolas Flamel,’ she whispered dramatically, ‘is the only known maker of the Philosopher’s Stone!’

This didn’t have quite the effect she’d expected.

‘The what?’ said Harry and Ron.

‘Oh, honestly, don’t you two read? Look – read that, there.’

She pushed the book towards them, and Harry and Ron read:

The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The Stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal.

There have been many reports of the Philosopher’s Stone over the centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr Nicolas Flamel, the noted alchemist and opera-lover. Mr Flamel, who celebrated his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday last year, enjoys a quiet life in Devon with his wife, Perenelle (six hundred and fifty-eight).

‘See?’ said Hermione, when Harry and Ron had finished. ‘The dog must be guarding Flamel’s Philosopher’s Stone! I bet he asked Dumbledore to keep it safe for him, because they’re friends and he knew someone was after it. That’s why he wanted the Stone moved out of Gringotts!’

‘A stone that makes gold and stops you ever dying!’ said Harry. ‘No wonder Snape’s after it! Anyone would want it.’

hp library

<a href=””>Elixir</a&gt;
<a href="">Elixir</a>


where the warblers go to eat the purple berries

warbler, magnolia higbee beach nj sep 7 2013 dpf-9907


Here is a poem of mine from about 20 years ago, set at one of my favorite places in

Cape May New Jersey:



Rain on the Hedgerows at Higbee Beach



I do desire you, God.

Your touch like rain on my face,

Rain on the landscape of my heart,

Like a meadow full of weedy

Brown late summer grass,

Full of field sparrows,

Tangled vines full of thorns and berries,

Pokeberry, chokecherry, hackberry trees,

Full of cedar waxwings,

Your rain lingering like dew on that thicket

That is my heart,

That thicket of desires, thorns, thorny questions

And leaf-berry thick hidden places

Where the warblers go to eat the purple berries

Of my passions, my regrets, my dreams,

Fears, imaginings,

A thick, overgrown path, Lord, wet with your rain,

Growing and ripening al that fruit for your

Spirit to eat,

Your Spirit in the wings

Of a million birds passing through me.







<a href=””>Purple</a&gt;




Born on a Green Day

growing grace farm green tree


My birthday is April 27, so about thirty years ago I wrote this poem:

April Birth


I was born on a green day

with shoots of April green sparks

flashing in the trees.

Light green leaves pushing

white blossoms into flight,

having just arrived,

Olive green birds with white breasts

jumping from branch to branch.

The sun poured lime green smells

on the hands of the warm wind.

Grass green bugs began their march to summer.

I opened my tiny voice

and my newborn cry

was a green poem

to Tuesday afternoons.





<a href=””>It IS Easy Being Green!</a>









I’ve had my share of necessary losses




Here’s a poem by Judith Viorst:


The Pleasures of Ordinary Life



I’ve had my share of necessary losses,

Of dreams I know no longer can come true.

I’m done now with the whys and the becauses.

It’s time to make things good, not just make do.

It’s time to stop complaining and pursue

The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I used to rail against my compromises.

I yearned for the wild music, the swift race.

But happiness arrived in new disguises:

Sun lighting a child’s hair. A friend’s embrace.

Slow dancing in a safe and quiet place.

The pleasures of an ordinary life.

I’ll have no trumpets, triumphs, trails of glory

. It seems the woman I’ve turned out to be

Is not the heroine of some grand story.

But I have learned to find the poetry

In what my hands can touch, my eyes can see.

The pleasures of an ordinary life.

Young fantasies of magic and of mystery Are over.

But they really can’t compete

With all we’ve built together: A long history.

Connections that help render us complete.

Ties that hold and heal us

. And the sweet, Sweet pleasures of an ordinary life.

Judith Viorst


child with chicken



<a href=””>Ordinary</a&gt;