To Harry


birds chirping
flies buzzing
jets humming
sprinklers hissing
pool bubbling
humans singing
dogs whining
resonating and rebounding
against the valley walls
fog lifting to reveal
fractal canopy of treetops
punctuating ridges
barking chorus
excitedly crescendos
at prospective meeting
to sniff and pounce
chase and fetch
emerging from domains
of solitude and sovereignty
canines blessed with acres
occasional sparring with deer or coyote
maintaining instincts of the hunt
primal reflexes
dampened by domesticity
yanking roots as offering
fetching misplaced sundries
waves of whimpering
subsiding to embrace
the unfolding of
another day in paradise


To St. Valentine

Chocolate Eros

Cupid’s delight
to romp with arrows
saturated in chocolate,
bittersweet confections
sampling the gamut of emotions,
open heart pierced at the core
baring all, yet preserving
secrets and  confidences,
resonances of sweet nothings past,
replenishing the chamber
with hopes and memories,
pumping and pulsating with desires
unconsummated and unfathomable,
peering through the portal
from mine to thine,
passageway to the divine
delineated by trust and compassion,
infinite urges to merge
surpassing silence and separation
to celebrate the joys and mysteries
of proceeding in tandem


junction of past, present and future
on a collision course
chipping and bombarding away
raw material malleable
awaiting transformation
dawning of a new phase
unfolds inevitably
continuum of thought and deed
revels in congruency
spectrum reveals shadows
nourishing with light
activating the dormant
idle recesses and alcoves
preserving pockets of memory
indelibly etched for eternity
lending pleasure when tapped
proffering wisdom for all the ages
silhouette of awareness
ever evolving
involving telepathic meshing
rewiring the neural cables of the mind
synapses firing
reconfiguring, rehashing
restlessly reaching
accepting the gifts
talents and possibilities
emerging from the depths
to share and celebrate
with courage and conviction
glimpsed in the face of a lover
ubiquitously benevolent
making the rounds
surveying bridges of hope
path to transcendence
opportunity for abundance
entering the labyrinth
wending peacefully
to ponder the stillness
surrendering to the kairotic mosaic
of ebb and flow

Icthyic Dreams

icthyic dreams
beyond deep blue
thirst for elements
quenched by splashing
in oceans oenological
diverse terrain
teeming with
prehensile pawns
grasping nooks and rooks
seeking sanctuary
proffered by bishops
nondenominational guides
emerging from stygian depths
illuminated by solstices
appetite for oxygen
enabling awareness
of terrestrial marvels
emulating Martian mounts
prolific meteor showers
streaking across the heavens
necessitating orientation
astronomical and astrological
piscine acclimation via
beneficial breaths
checking to mate with
the goddess of air


locks within reach
spawning salmon
headed for homestream
matching levels
ushering vessels forth
shallow to deep
perpetual passages
diverse journeys
funneling through
common waters
culminating in the
quest for keys
to the locks of dread


In memory of Clifton Henry Woodhams

10 November, 1914
3 March, 2003

Ode to Clif

Craftsman perched behind cypress
Lilting in concert with bamboo
Intersection of Daniel and Herman
Fostering family, flutes and fiddles
Trust echoing from eras bygone
Oboe and bassoon reverberating within
Nine lives allotted each man

Historic harpsichord plucked occasionally in the
Entryway to eternity
Neighborhood vastly preserved from
Redwood shores to rosemaling fjords
Yellow trim an invitation to enter

Webster woods housing
Octogenarian observer demanding
Orchestral ovations well-deserved
Devoted husband, father of the dynasty
Hearing all in silent acquiescence
Antiques abundant in his abode
Melding into the Melvillian shingles
Strains of his final serene soiree linger on

Ode to Harris

paw prints linger
remnants of a feline
gentlemanly gait
ever noble
never complaining
chivalrous in youth
courting his Solomon
now at rest by the pear tree
valiant, venerable
malleable to the whims
of the spunky Sheba
paths intermingling
intertwining final chapter
retiring, expiring
perpetual purring
fleeing from the fiddles
seeking tranquil sanctuary
Oh, sage Harris!
who attended symposia
preening with great minds
contemplating classics
prowling along the Parthenon
of Heaven’s Gate
serenaded by the strings
merging your past lives
into an eternal peace.


To the memory of
William Michael Whitson

Ode to WMW

Hail Sage William!
Son of Scots
Archduke of Palo Alto
presiding over
legions of PACOites
guiding, nurturing
casting thy rod
into the talent pool
inspiring with thy baton
moans and groans
emanating from the source
brimming with bait & tackle
footballs  & Violins
felicitously appearing
clad in kilt
navigating symphonically
with amazing grace
ultimate quest
along the banks of Dunsmuir
post-botanical musical offering
serenaded by the bagpipes
luring the fishes
ushering thy soul
past Heaven’s Gate

Portable Paradise

Traversing the planet duty free,
no baggage to check
unencumbered, ethereally hopping from
capacious caverns to coral reefs
spelunking to snorkeling
marveling at the pristine perfection
of a full moon over Caneel Bay
auras enveloped by waves of azure
underwater environment
teeming with schools
piccolo grey, medium yellow,
iridescent blue tanks,
swaying anemones inviting
glimpse of netherworlds
etching limestone into speleothems
humbled by nature
the master sculptor
utopia abounds within
perceptions and feelings
controlling illusions
transforming potential into
kinetic manifestations


To Greg and John

Reliable Roots

branches of same bough
sharing sanctuary and solace
proffering temporal freedom
from ace to place

cascading bougainvillea
precipitous planters
resplendent roses
meticulously manicured

inner sanctum
replete with heirlooms
Nordic resonances
from homeland to heartland

cultivating grains
Wheat’n rye sense of humor
paternal echoes
North on glacier’s edge

loyal triumvirate
beneficiaries of doting
eager escorts
whimpering, whining
sauntering, splashing

canine greeting
curiously comfortable
creating community
fostering belonging

quotidian routine
predictably pacifying
retrievers unleashed
gaily gamboling
unflagging excitement

inquisitive appetites
craving cornflakes
balls & bones
humans & hardware

enhancing commerce
assisting masterfully
warmly welcoming
wayfaring customers
beyond threshold

inviting intersection
sharing pointers
facilitating repairs
supplying and demanding
provided with confidence

stable assurance
spanning generations
catering to needs
rooted in reliability


iron birds fall
foliage flaming
seasons changing
altered world
forward leaning
Janus dreaming
halcyon days
innocence past
freedom remembered
independence lost
opposing forces
vying for supremacy
challenging optimists
humbled by nature
human error vulnerable
fallibility of technology
quest for facility
ease of mobility
bridging distances
embracing time
our healing salve

Silent Music

shy reluctance
reticent to engage
secret melodies
craving release
notes morphing into words
unspoken phrases
lingering within hearts
audible, chewable motifs
enhanced by spices
culinary prowess
nourishing union
carnal confidence
fusing fleshes
bridging hesitation
docile impatience
stifling sighs
emanating from transit
there to here
spirits uncorked
honored by toasts
commemorating the special
relishing the now
portal to beyond
lessons of then
resonating within
angels and demons
pedaling in tandem
arabian gazelles
prancing and dancing
within the same zone
from sylvian savannah
to prosperous prairies
teetering and balancing
with unique aplomb
finetuning the trek
to tranquil equilibrium

Taking Dead Aim

object:  dart
taking dead aim
at chambers of the heart
laying claim

with poise and elan
teetering on the precipice
between hither and yon
too addicted to dismiss

fantasy and doubt
detracting from the union
one seeking within, the other without
gait of a stallion

lithe as a gazelle
preening and prancing
to investigate the smell
pheromones emanating

rewiring the brains
urge to connect
controlling the reins
oblivious of defect

feelings escalate
beyond uncharted vistas
thoughts percolate
hers as much as his does

bubbling forth
across the lines
west and north
awaiting signs

indicating the path
to be taken together
you do the math!
only a bellwether

harbinger of future
joys and sorrows
nature or nurture
nobody knows

The First Goodbye

The world is my oyster
I shall not want
To graze in a pasture
I’ve not yet sought
Two souls collide
Embarking on a ride
Journey’s end not in sight
Everything will turn out right
I wish to remain
In my own domain
Glimpsing vistas and stars
Radiant remnants and scars
To you that I meet
As I stroll down the street
I shall savor and sigh
Until our first goodbye


To Maestro Sandor
& Priscilla Salgo


crepuscular crests
redwood silhouettes
bronze glow
spectrum gamut
flickering, prancing
inviting, protecting
bridging, dividing
nonagenarian stance
vistas for eternity
admiring, marveling
appreciating, thanking
sharing wisdom
being the vessel
conducting through
nobility, respect
reflection, patience
reverence for masters
kairotic melos
channeling the eternal
movement from dusk to dawn


Isamu Noguchi Museum
Sculpture Garden

Wisdom of the Rocks

spacious, cavernous time
permanence of rocks
preserving past patiently
dry riverbed
rhymes with breeze
of the green tapestry
trickling water
reminds of time flow
trucks panning past
sonic booms of modern age
birds in flight
aerodynamic delight
granite steadfast
confidential for eternity
faithfully guarding secrets
of love and lovers
thighs and candles
lit in summer months
before retreating again
into the invernal silence

–Karen Bentley