Friday, April 18, 2014

Writing Teachers! I just updated my speaking schedule for the rest of this school year. If you’re interested, and want to see if I'll be in your area, go to:

Then click on the Events page.

Owl Pellets
                           by Ralph Fletcher        

A month ago
in biology lab
you sat close to me
knee touching mine
your sweet smell
almost drowning out
the formaldehyde stink
which crinkled up
your nose
while I dissected
our fetal pig.

Now I take apart
this owl pellet
small bag that holds
skin and hair and bones
little skeletons
what the owl ate
but couldn’t digest
and coughed back up.

You sit with Jon Fox
ignore me completely
laugh at his dumb jokes
let your head fall onto
his bony shoulder
while I attempt
to piece together
with trembling hands
the tiny bones
of a baby snake.

Certain things
are just about
to swallow.

      from I Am Wings: Poems About Love

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The sun sprays
summery light
but wind speaks
with winter’s tongue.

The pond reflects
so much blue
I can’t quite decide
whether it’s the sky

using the pond
as a mirror
or the pond wearing
a bracelet of sky.

 from Ordinary Things: Poems from a Walk in Early Spring

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


You see them in old Westerns,
blowing across a dusty road.

Their roots aren’t planted in soil
but curled up so they roll along
wherever the wind might take them.

If we move away from here,
I won’t be from Marshfield
or from Massachusetts.

I won’t be from anywhere—
         just a tumbleweed
                  blowing across a dusty road.

                                       from Moving Day: Poems about Moving

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    The Bravest Deed

     I’m shopping with Mom
     at the supermarket
     and we see a woman
     yelling at her kid
     who looks about three or four.

     She grabs the girl’s arm
     smacks her on the bottom
     BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!        
     about ten times, hard, then
     CRACK! across the girl’s face.

    The girl is screaming
     and the lady gets ready
     to smack her again
     but all of a sudden Mom
     sort of steps between them
     and asks: Is everything okay?
     You’re having a hard time,
     looks like. I remember…

     Mom points at me, laughing,
     actually calms the lady down,
     with that girl still sniffling,
     and me standing there hoping
     no one will notice my
     trembling hands.

        from Relatively Speaking: Poems About Family

Saturday, April 12, 2014


On Grandma’s coffin
a single blossom

as if I could

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Man-Cloud

In the buzzing morning meadow
when the sun was not yet high
I thought I saw a man-cloud
walking in the sky.

My brother saw it differently;
he told me with a laugh
that what he saw instead
was an ice-skating giraffe!

“Can’t you see his long legs gliding?
Look close you’ll see him riding.
I distinctly see a tall giraffe
skating through the sky.”

I did not want to argue
or tell him he was wrong;
I saw a man-cloud walking
and wished to go along.