No Deviation

No Deviation 

brown fields, barren
among bare trees
flat terrain
blue scattered in clouds

from fog-dense valleys
misty rain and Ohio
behind me

present company
the wind’s buffet
an occasional nudge
a sideways reminder

to hold my lane
no deviation
my course straight
for home


Snow in My Rear View Mirror ~ haibun

Snow in My Rear View Mirror

Growing up and living for nearly sixty years in Western New York, I’m familiar with inclement weather. From the Pennsylvania border to Buffalo and northwards, lake effect snowstorms are a regular occurrence. Until Lake Erie freezes over, west winds will carry moisture inland from the lake, sometimes burying the area in snow. Once the lake does freeze, snow that accumulates on the ice can be carried inland by the wind. Gusts over 75 miles per hour during the Blizzard of 77, on January 28, 1977, left snowfall up to 100 inches in some areas and drifts as high as 30 to 40 feet, burying some homes and bringing the region to a standstill for five days. Of course, not every storm is that severe, but I’m very familiar with driving in unfavorable conditions.

I left all of that behind (sort of) when I moved to Missouri in 2012. Here, a heavy snowfall is four inches or more, something that might be seen twice a year. Temperatures are always fluctuating, sometimes into the forties and higher, so freezing rain or black ice are just as likely. Barely a week will pass before accumulated snow melts and is gone. It’s 61 degrees as I write this, but there’s a winter storm watch from Tuesday through Friday, and the predicted high for Wednesday is 26 degrees with six to twelve inches of snow expected to fall. Temperatures in the forties by Sunday will take care of that.

I said I left those lake effect storms behind, but that’s not quite true. I still drive back to visit family, and my route parallels the shore of Lake Erie for 200 miles, from Cleveland to Buffalo. Any trip from late-November to March holds the potential for lake effect conditions. Some of my worst white-knuckle driving experiences have been on those trips. Once a year is more than enough for me.

whiteout conditions
on congested motorway
deer watch cars crawl past

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 1/31/22: Winter,
the prompt from Frank Tassone at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Image source: YouTube (Blizzard of ’77)
~ click image for larger view in new tab ~

The Miles Like an Anthem ~ trimeric

The Miles Like an Anthem

Wheels turn and words flow,
each trip the same, though different.
Poems form with each highway stripe,
each passing tree, and cloud overhead.

Each trip the same, though different,
the miles like an anthem flowing
through the words running through my mind.

Poems form with each highway stripe,
each line a word leading to new thoughts,
new lines as a poem is born.

Each passing tree, and cloud overhead,
plays a part, has a role, as the wheels
turn and the words flow.


This poem is my response to Poetry Form: Trimeric, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a trimeric, a form created by Charles A. Stone, as outlined below.

1. Trimeric has 4 stanzas
2. The first stanza has 4 lines
3. The other three stanzas have 3 lines
. The first line of each stanza is a refrain of the corresponding line in the first stanza (so 2nd stanza starts with the second line, third stanza starts with the third line, etc.).
5. The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -.

Note: No other rules on line length, meter, or rhyme.

Notes, while driving with Primus

Notes, while driving with Primus
     (random riffs recorded on the road)

Well, that was not a planned stop.

Take powdery snow on a slick, wet road
and throw in an RV rolling over
in front of me and blocking the interstate.
Now, if that ain’t rude!
That’s a city boy for you,
drivin’ like that in the winter.

Sit there in the cold and dark and wait for them
to haul that crushed rollin’ cabin outta there.
When traffic starts crawlin’again,
slippin’ and slidin’ along, it might as well be
a southbound pachyderm.
That’s when I know it’s time to get off
at Terre Haute and park my ass in a hotel.

But now it’s morning,
and it’s back on the road, again,
Les talkin’ to me with his bass,
reminding me I’ll do anything to get there
so my baby can lie down by my side.
I think I’ll just let that fat bass drive me home.


My 900 mile return trip from Buffalo normally takes 2 days.
~ 1 day if I’m in a hurry to get home ~
This one took 3 days.
Gotta love that winter driving.

Notes, while driving with a love supreme


Notes, while driving with a love supreme
    (random riffs recorded on the road)

Layer upon layer of clouds holding
a snow that never materialized
deliver a gray light,
but there’s joyful anticipation at the start
of this long drive home like a pulse
of contentment. A love supreme.

Piano pulls me forward with resolve,
when Coltrane comes in
pursuing that love
as drums urge me onward.

Like a psalm rolling through me,
clouds give way to blue sky,
the hint of home drawing me closer
on this long cold drive.


Textural Travels

dry, tan and tall
brown fronds dancing
weaving back and forth
in the wind of
northern lakes climate

tenths on posts
racing by
miles on miles

vines climbing in rows
too early for grapes
buds weaving
through their lines

I-beams en masse
on piers
diagonally horizontal
bridging here
from somewhere to
somewhere else

metal giants
towering over terrain
wired one to another
marching to the horizon

wanting to be green
ready to try
branches reaching
buds opening

clack, clack, clack
pavement seams

sumac buds
on bare branches
almost fuzzy

wheels buzzing

vertical lines in
horizontal progression
post after post after post
fences defining fields
needless of definition

south, then southwest
brilliant green on
rich brown
rows on rows
on rows

gray, with
red, white
paint traces on
weathered wood
corrugated roof
ivy woven across
empty silos

green on green
flowering fields

rising, towering
from cell
to cell
alive with voices

thick, gray
ill defined
to the horizon
and beyond

beads, then spatter
road spray
wipe, clear
spatter stream

grazing en masse
massive on four legs
across a field
meadow, pasture

red, round
diagonal glow

starred, flared
diffused by rain

horizontal seal
lifting, parting

Driving from Western New York to Missouri, patterns on patterns.