The Circle Narrows



Here’s a poem by George Jonas that I have loved for about 40 years.  The last two  lines mean more to me now than they did 40 years ago:


The Circle Narrows       by George Jonas



It is quite possible

That our common thoughts come to us from the sea

Our doubtful soul follows the herrings

And we all die after the 11 o’clock news.

Still there is

A certain self which I for my part

Keep wrapped in tinfoil among my private papers.


I am less and less concerned

With a planet I share with Arabs and caterpillars

With a country I share with fellow motorists

With women who share me with film directors

And with a heart that after minor adjustments

Could be used by a customs officer.


The trips I will take from now on

Must only be a few inches in length.


<a href=””>Circle</a&gt;


Action: Pollen








“By understanding and paying close attention to our speech patterns, we can move ourselves from near desire for change into commitment and action.”

sidebar in Spirituality and Health magazine


By the humid August breeze

understanding came to me

and I recognized the beckoning.

Paying no mind to the warning of the feral cat

close to the marshy construction site,

attention focused on the clay Calvert dust

to shake it from my shoes

our shame at the cutting of the trees

speech became useless.

Patterns of swirling flies,

we’ve hesitated like Swallowtails

can forage around the polished bush

move placidly through the steamy air

ourselves watching them

from inches away.

Near enough to kiss

desire to fuel that yellow power

for ourselves.

Change back

into forest.

Commitment like roots

and purpose like wind.

Action: pollen.




<a href=””>Focused</a&gt;

construction site

At the Year’s Elbow


Thomas Greenley children going to schoolpainting:  Children Going to School      by Thomas Greenley

Here’s a poem I wrote about 30 years ago.  It’s hhe title poem of my first book, from 2000:

At the Year’s Elbow



September smells in the air

like school,

like the first awareness

of freedom’s limits,

of the inevitable


Still green leaves

elegant with lacy

bug eaten holes,

rustle in the

still warm sun.

A bug runs up your arm

and changes directions

at September,

at your elbow,

the year’s elbow.


A slight body language of wind,

a gesture of paling light says


you are here

at the year’s elbow.

In the morning,

the children

will go back to school.

In the evening,

the light will move away

with satchels

of flowers.







<a href=””>Leaf</a&gt;