words

Containers for meaning
distractions by the hour
TV shows, anxiety, fear
Nob Creek on the rocks
three fingers
back to the words
never to be heard
I guess saying
them counts for something.

Daddy Do You Love Me?

–Early May 2001

One quarter pound
of top round
piled lovingly
upon a bed of
wheat and rye.
Mustard applied
from crust to
crunchy crust
–the spicy kind.
All goes unnoticed
until the first bite.
Daddy can
I have some.
Crestfallen I
take blade to
an edge knowing
full well that
the gesture will
be rebuffed.
Blood dried, bread
went stale.
One bite missing.
How I relished
each bite until
she plead.

Dark Shoals

In the midst of a stream,
as it flows from mountain
spring to tidal pool, those
who travel its waters
sometimes find themselves
driven upon dark shoals.
Rushing water will quicken
at the approach of jagged rocks.
At intervals, the bottom rises
the banks widen; and, smoothed
by years of gentle caress, the rocks
turn round and regular.
Here in such a backwater
while foundering upon
dark shoals, I unexpectedly
found a thing of beauty
lying unattended as if
waiting for that very moment
for me to pass so that it
might brighten the moment
and provide succor on
the journey to the shining sea.

Little Drops of Water

for Bobbi

Her pink dress ruffles in the wind
exposing the lacy white underwear beneath

Sauntering, skipping singing laughing desultorily
where the undulating layers of water wash the beach

–translucent-in-between-green wave
now regarding now running

her wispy-baby-fine-blonde hair (fastened with a pink bow)
blows haphazardly in the rush of the off-shore breeze

she halts scoops some sand and holds her hand high
the mischievous smile fades to concentration
the cold foamy water tickles her feet
she claps her hands with delight
and bounds off with a start

Sauntering, skipping singing laughing desultorily
where the undulating layers of water wash the beach

Valentines Day 2010

I bought this card a long time ago
Planning for a time
When life might get in the way
Of a special occasion.
It’s a practice you taught me.
The planning doesn’t stop
Because life got in the way,
Neither does hope diminish,
Nor the optimism cease.
It’s a practice life teaches us.
Soon I will buy a new card
Planning for a time
When grief gives way to happiness
And optimism replaces despair
And life gets in the way
It’s a practice I hope to teach you.

two simple circles

two simple circles,
like magnets forever attracted
no beginning, no end
lying side by side
stacked one upon the other
tossed far apart,
between the space always moving
infinitesimally small
or as great as space
like magnets forever attracted
no beginning, no end
two simple circles touching

Easter Poem

My dearest, here’s An Easter Poem
Today I wish you Happy Easter.
Nothing less, nothing more
The feelings well up
from a reservoir
a life time
deep.
and
as
like
a laser
as can be,
light focused
from a moment
as recent as today
from energy that took
many lifetimes to create
Today I wish you a Happy Easter

Bahn Voy-ah-gee, Doc

Over the last six years my involvement in town government as a member of the Planning Board and as a Selectman yielded many successes, some losses, and a few bruises.

This blog was originally created as a way support that involvement and to provide a way to contribute to the conversation about local affairs in Wrentham without the interference of the gatekeepers employed by the local newspapers. It served its purpose well.

The time has come, however, to move on. Though I will likely continue to write about local affairs, most of my writing time will be spent on long form fiction and non-fiction projects.

Planning Board

The Planning Board has risen like a phoenix after suffering a vituperous propaganda onslaught  in 2005 when it attempted to modernize Wrentham’s zoning.

The members of that board strove to realize the vision set forth in the Town Plan which itself was the result of $100,000 visioning process . A record number of people participated. The final product laid out a plan that struck the proper balance between maintaining our country charm, managing growth, and providing for long term financial stability.

The zoning controversy led to mistrust by the community and strife among members. One by one, we overcame the challenges. Over time the members learned to work as a team. The community learned to respect our work.

Board of Selectmen

The Board of Selectmen has undergone nothing short of a complete revolution. All of the Selectmen on the board in the first year of my term have been replaced by people, who in my opinion, are more family friendly, more connected to mainstream Wrentham and more compassionate in their dealings with staff and the community. Moreover, they seem to have a clearer understanding of the relationship between long term financial sustainability and commercial development.

What is more, during my three year term on the BoS I helped lay a solid foundation for a highly professional staff and a more stable government. Over my three year term, we hired a new Police Chief, Fire Chief, Finance Director, and Public Works Director and Town Administrator whose expertise and equanimous management style put the icing on the “Vote for Change” cake promised by my campaign signs. He fosters a more collaborative environment at Town Hall.

Summing it Up

A recent article  about my departure from the Planning Board suggested that my motives were genuine but my tenure as a public servant had mixed results.  I suppose that’s true to an extent. It is fair to say I didn’t win every battle neither did I convince the status quo hardliners to like me. So what. I was not then and never will be a politician. I never cared about getting reelected or making friends. Besides, who wins every battle?

I got talked into joining the Planning Board by a person whom I’d met at the soccer fields. He politely listened to me kvetching about how the town was run. And finally, he suggested I be part of the solution instead of a complainer.

That patient listener was the chair of the Planning Board.  It seemed there was a vacancy owing to a resignation. That led to a great adventure.

As with all true adventures, the journey had its moments of light and dark. It was challenging and the outcome uncertain. Looking in the rear view mirror, the classic Aristotelian story model fits the narrative about my public service perfectly. I can see it all: the explication/ introduction, the rising action, a climax, the falling action, and finally a dénouement.

What did I learn?  For one thing, how to develop a thicker skin. For another, let’s just say public service is rewarding but it’s not as easy at it looks.

Bahn Voy-ah-gee, Doc

The time has come for me to devote my energies to professional endeavors, my family, and personal interests. Thank you to people of Wrentham for the opportunity to serve the community. And thank you to my colleagues, both past and present, for your sincere effort, hard work, and friendship.