Empty Nest


I’m a year and a day

Into widowhood

Would that I weren’t

I loved my man

But one thing’s 

Dead certain

At this late date

I’m not looking

For another mate

To warm my bed

Dancing Solo


Doing the Lindy

Downing the bar

How low can you go

Before you know

Where you are

Flat File 


Sorting through 

His drawings/

Prints/works on paper

I come across ones

I’d never seen

New friends

Among familiar faces

I'm an archeologist

Digging up the past

Eager to know

The whole picture


Moon over Ithaca.

Lake Cayuga, Ithaca. Photo: Margot Boyd

State of the Union


All but a couple

of his paintings are gone.

His ashes are in the ground.

Everything is emptying

But my heart

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


Don’t ask me how I’m doing

I’ll just say 

I’m doing fine

I don’t want to share my grief

The grief is all that’s left

The grief is mine



I promised myself

I’d write my way 

Out of this

But the more I scribble

The deeper the abyss

I scrabble to make sense

Of the chaos 

At a loss for words

That comfort and heal

No pitons to help

In this grueling climb

Not to the top

Just out



Within minutes after

His first twenty years’

Of paintings 

Left the loft

The letter from

Upstate Medical arrived

“Ashes on the way”

Life goes out the door

Death enters

At Sea


Caught not between

A rock and

A hard place but 

Trapped in innertia

And ennui

I squander my days

In random desolation

The future washes in

An inundation of isolation

I am a dead man floating

On a sea of loneliness

Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, AK

Architect: E. Fay Jones