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I thought
if I head off the trail
about here
I can cut through the woods
and get home
more quickly.

Through the brambles
down the embankment
across a stream.

Yet the short cut didn’t come out
where I expected
so I wandered
deeper into the woods.

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I explore the manuscripts
of Emily Dickinson
and think about dashes.

What do they mean?
How important are they?

What about the line breaks?
The smudges on the page?

Where does the poetry end
and negative space begin?

I grew up, in part,
on e.e. cummings,
with his choices
of capitalization and punctuation.

I pause to think about the line break
the blank line
and I think about the syntax
of a mathematician
or computer programmer.

If you miss the semi-colon
the reader may be confused,
but figure it out.

The compiler,
on the other hand
throws an error
but pays no attention
to the spaces or line breaks.
(Depending, of course,
on the language used)

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The Seashell

I hold a seashell in my hand.

I’d picked it up
on a morning walk
beside the breaking surf.

I hold it gently,
looking in wonder and awe
ar the intricate designs
that once protected
a living organism.

I hold a seashell in my hand.

As I walk along
I hold the shell
in my hand
almost forgetting
it’s there
as it fits just right
and is now
the same temperature
as my hand.

I hold a seashell in my hand.

I pause to remember the seashell
to feel its weight
and its place
along with the other shells I hold
as I start my long walk home.

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The Kaleidoscope

With mirrors
and odd shaped pieces
of colored glass,
the world looks magically ordered.

Yet looking the other direction
reveals nothing interesting.

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