Wednesday, December 14, 2022

sherku: 2 sides

Pine needles
Soften the forest floor
Or a pain
To pick up
At Christmas time


Snow falls so gently
Or listen
To the grunts
And curses 
Of the shovelers


Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Inventory: updated Dec 7, 2022

Four be the things I am wiser to know:

Love, patience, process flow, 

and the joy of snow

Four be the things I'd be better without:

Anger, impatience, jealousy, 

and clothing inside out

Three be the things I shall never attain:

Perfection, completion, 

and the last word on any train


Three be the things I shall have till I die:

Bruises, scars, 

and hope for the sky

In response to the writing prompt for the Franklin Senior Center in December 2022. Akin to Dorothy Parker's "Inventory"

You can listen to the monthly Writer's Group podcast

You can also join us in person at the Franklin Senior Center each Wednesday at 1 PM, except for the last Wednesday each month, we meet at the Franklin TV & Radio studio to record.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

sherku: small things 2

It should be that
Calories count
Less the more family
And friends you eat with

sherku: small things 1

Goodness is
Wiping up
The last bit
Of soup or
Pasta sauce
With piece of bread

Monday, October 24, 2022

sherku: catching up

Air travel is
Maybe the
Soul's effort
The body

sherku: return

From short sleeves to
Long, green leaves to 
Autumn glory
Welcome home to
New England

Saturday, October 15, 2022

sherku: chocolate pudding

I will vouch
For the fact
That the joy of
Chocolate pudding
Can be lifelong

Saturday, October 01, 2022

St Ray's 50th High School Reunion

Time lapse, 50 years in a couple of minutes 

to answer the question: What does one say 

to someone they haven’t seen in 50 years

I am sorry? Yes, and then …

People want to know, who we are, who we are

So we tell 'em, so we tell 'em

We are the Saints, the mighty might Saints

We weren’t always, folks understood that we aspired to be

And Peter Pan is still my hero, I never wanted to grow up

Yet words like retirement, grandfather, 50 year HS reunion

Are now part of my vocabulary, and it is hard getting used to them

What of the days at McCoy playing pick up baseball, 

or Novelty Park basketball, or delivering the Times making some 

money to pay for school, books, and the occasional

Ring Ding and Yahoo at Mike’s Corner market

High School commencement was the end

Of one path, other paths opened with college

And beyond; the world of work, family,

Moving about the country before coming home

What is home? Pawtucket is where my story

Started, St Joe’s & St Ray’s were key parts of it

Even returning for a spell as an assistant coach for

track and cross country before corporate moves took over

Now up the road a piece; Franklin is my home base

From which I also found that railroad lines

Used to come down to Valley Falls and into

Pawtucket back in the day when trains were king

Can you go home again? An age old question

But yes, if you want. Aside from visiting

The cemetery and walking among the neighborhood streets

You can’t ever get fully away, the ties are binding

So I’ll quote Rumi:

Out beyond wrongdoing

And rightdoing, there is a field

I’ll meet you there

Saturday, September 17, 2022

sherku: windows two

On the other
Hand frustrating
To know it won't
Last after
The rains have come

sherku: windows one

On the one hand
Washing windows
To enjoy the

Thursday, September 01, 2022

sherku: hare still

The hare sits still


To eat grass

Watching I fear not

There is plenty

sherku: summer breeze

The porch door 

not fully closed

opens with the breeze 

and then breathes 

gently closing


sherku: hare

The hare sits

Nibbling grass

I sit reading

Keeping an eye 

upon its meal

Monday, August 15, 2022

Diamonds in 42 lines

If she get to know you

Then they really have you

Ah, to be so exciting

It's good to need you so

Comin' up from the park

Don't it seem so far away

The smells of cookin' in the hallways

And he'd hide in a house

But it can't sing and dance

Girl, if it lasts for an hour, that's all right

And the sun gonna rise in the sky

Not a trace of doubt in my mind

And I am lost and I can't

Don't have to say it

If you want me to

Blind as a child

Why, you've become a grown-up girl

Humbled and awed by everything I'd found

Stay close to me

You are the words, I am the tune

Lord of my need, need, need

The boat that I row won't get me there soon

It used to be so natural

Good times never seemed so good

Wish I loved only one

But until I can find me

To forget the day

The blues now and then

Walk with me this day

I'll stay with you my love

Two together, forty years down

And more to go

Note: There is a writing challenge I gave myself to compose this. 42 is the answer to all things per Douglas Adams and his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books.  Our wedding anniversary was on the horizon. Dolores has frequently talked of two key events the year we got married, one was our wedding day, the other was her going to the Neil Diamond concert and sitting in the 6th row. No, she doesn't say which is more important. That's okay. I have had more time with her. 

Coincidentally, the Neil Diamond musical "A Beautiful Noise" ( playing in Boston this year (July 2022) so we went and enjoyed it.  The playbill listed the 29 songs in alphabetic order (rather than in the order of the musical appearance). 29 is a good number for those who play cribbage. I took time to research the lyrics of the 29 songs. Found the fourth verse, took the second line (see 42 is the answer) and used this listing to craft the poem above. 

The last three lines are added to help make this about our anniversary.

For Dolores, my love

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

sherku: incredible

With how to
Capture the
Feelings that
Rose and flowed
At "Beautiful Noise"

sherku: inspiration

life song plays
harmony in
working with
me to reveal
my body of work

sherku: self portrait

The tall man
Walks in shorts
Bag on his back
With garlic
Scapes looking
To escape

sherku: elusive

It came forward
And before
I could write
It down it

sherku: Invasive

Vine stretches
Up and out
Reaching for
Sunlight and

Thursday, July 14, 2022

sherku: what day

you are old
when you know 
the day of
the week only
from your pill 

Saturday, July 09, 2022

sherku: Nason St trees

maple roots 
dig deep, trunk 
stretches and 
branches arch 
cool shade for all

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

sherku: time will tell

Patience, patience;

Patience can be


Until one



Thursday, June 16, 2022

Sherku: That joy

Oh the simple 
Joy of finishing
The ice cream
Directly from 
The carton

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Town budget limerick

There once was a budget from Franklin
Where every line was tight as a mandolin 
But wouldn't you know
People wouldn't show
Cause the finances were maudlin

In advance of the Town of Franklin budget hearings scheduled for the Town Council this week.

sherku: people watching

The reaction
Of a small
Child or dog
Meeting someone
Reveals so much

sherku: sign post

Blackened metal
Sign stands blandly
Pointing nowhere
Ready for
Scrap recycling

Monday, March 21, 2022

sherku: best foot

Stop, do you
Ever think about
Which foot you
Put forward
When you start walking?

sherku: pop top

Do you ever
Think about
what finger you
Use when opening
A pop top can?

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

sherku: hearts of kindness

masked or not,
life on the edge
or not, let’s find 
within ourselves
hearts of kindness

created to accompany the "hearts of Kindness" displayed as it returned to the Franklin Town Common this week ->

Photo album can be found online ->

sherku: hearts of kindness
sherku: hearts of kindness

Monday, February 14, 2022

sherku: curtain rod

You can really
Mess it up
Very easily
By screwing
In the wrong place

Friday, February 11, 2022

sherku: choice

Of the white lines 
On the highway
Or stay local
And walk to work 

sherku: butterfly

Will you dance
And return 
To the island 
Of the young
Will you dance 

sherku: dance

I don’t want 
to rest in peace
I want to dance
Dance in joy 
Dance in the graveyard

Really a "foundku" as most of the words are from the song by Irish music group Runa

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

one day, every day

I am afraid, I have no more tears

If Hollywood comes to grips with the age gap

Will the Russian tanks back away from the Ukraine 

Will talcum baby powder be banned globally 

Will the trucker boycott release the Canadian city

I am afraid, I have no more tears

I am afraid, I have no more tears

If Cuban migrants in a sinking vessel can get rescued off the coast of Florida

Will Americans no longer be exposed to toxic BPA at levels far above what EU considers safe

Will Seal candidates no longer die during ‘Hell Week’ training sessions

Will the Texas butterfly sanctuary forced to close after far-right threats reopen

I am afraid, I have no more tears

I am afraid, I have no more tears

If the Olympics are supposed to bring rings of glory

Will the agony of failure and defeat be sold as the price of gold and glory

Will country borders divide us, deny us common humanity

Will the state of emergency bring us to our senses 

I am afraid, I have no more tears

I am afraid, I have no more tears

Whether Canadian, Ukrainian, Cuban, or American 

Found in Texas, Florida, or globally 

Neither trucks nor tanks, nor vessels 

Hold baby powder, or butterflies, or have enough time for a study 

I am afraid, I have no more tears


Composed in response to the series of articles and headlines at The on Feb 6, 2022

Monday, January 31, 2022

sherku: dry triptych

Dry 1

very few remakes
are better than
the original
so which one is art

Dry 2

I went to
the Van Gogh
and did not
even get wet

Dry 3

"I dream of
painting then
I paint my dream"
if only
we all could
do that too

Reflection on my visit to the Van Gogh immersive experience

Sunday, January 30, 2022

sherku: warmth

Soft fibers
Shades of tan
Counted and
Crocheted warm

sherku: rest

storm clean up
shovels, blowers, 
plows, backs bending,
heavy breathing 
earns a good rest

sherku: all in

Finish clearing 
The snow, take
A walk, photos
Along the way
Home for breakfast

sherku: blizzard 5

Use this method
Or that one
Either way
The carrots
Come out just

Another way of saying my wife's method of preparing the soup was not the one I used

Saturday, January 29, 2022

sherku: blizzard 4

Basho's verse
Stops and starts
Snow drift bends
And curls to
A point away
From the wall

Upon completion of Jane Hirshfield's The Heart of Haiku

sherku: blizzard 3

Think of snow
A few flakes
Gently falling 
Not this time
Small powders
Mad dash left

sherku: blizzard 2

Snow flakes swirl
So much motion
I'll wait until
They settle
Before shoveling

sherku: blizzard 1

The wind has 
Swirled a
Bare spot in
The middle
Of the snow
Covered driveway

Friday, January 28, 2022

sherku: solution

Stuck on a
Problem? step
Back, let it
Simmer until
The solution
Pops right up

sherku: Legos

Many shapes
And colors
To create 
When it clicks

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

sherku: work rate 3

mincing a
garlic clove
doesn't take
long but you
it for a while

sherku: work rate 2

with two shovels
and twenty 
minutes I can 
clear the driveway 
of an inch of snow

sherku: work rate 1

ten shirts an hour
is what it takes
me to handle
my dress shirt

sherku: rice

many grains 
of rice so small 
and precious 
white or long grain 
a meal staple


Monday, January 17, 2022

sherku: turning

Sunflower like
Turning towards
Light always
Away from dark

sherku: wings

Hunger drives
Life cycle
Opens to fly 

sherku: guardian

Who's around
To give you a
Pat on the back
For doing what
Needs to be done

sherku: pebbles

Stone in my shoe
Stops movement
until removed
And tossed away
To resume stride

Saturday, January 15, 2022

sherku: syllable quintet

Vocal beats
Compose the phrase
Build to the
Sentence and
More to the
Full story

Paint spots not



Threads woven


For all time



And wonder

An attempt

To bring you

Along the ride

Breathe rhythm 

Of heart beats

I just wanted

You to know

That this is

Me trying

You show me

Many colors 

In the tapestry

I can't see 

with anyone else

Inspired by conversation at the writer's group about syllables and sherku; at the same time informed by video of Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift albums on Disney. A fun way to spend a cold day!