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Gobbets of argentine brilliance

Devolve from mutable silver
And hang weightless
Suspended in blue-white flame

An alchemy of transformation

Writ in color and light

A new thing birthed
On a cold and thick-waisted anvil
Takes shape 'neath creation's

Singing hammer
Twisting and bending 

Yielding like a lover

To the maker's intent


Comes the Rain


Comes the rain and I wake

from dry dreams of greener lands.

Splashing notes—a pattering and

haphazard song, spills in my

half-open window.


Comes the rain and it sings

softly on yellowed grass, plays

a staccato beat on pavement

and broad leaf, trills in hollow

rain gutters.


Comes the rain and I turn

sighing. Seek the grace of its

clean breath on my face. And

imagine a parched Earth doing

much the same.


Comes the rain and She stirs

laughing. Shakes the dust of doldrum

from Her hair, lifts Her face to the

sky. There you are at last She says

and opens Her arms.




In Florence, with My Daughter


Leaden clouds let loose a hoard
Of heavy and silver hued droplets
Making darkened windows
Into a watery underworld
Of inverted campaniles and cupolas
In Firenze's storied streets
We sheltered in soaring arches
And canvas covered worlds
Overflowing with silks and linens
With lustrous leather and
Colors too bright for
Sodden skies to ever smother
Wandering with no purpose at all
Practicing our poorly
Accented scusis and grazies
Our quantos? and bellos!
Carefully counting out coins
For small treasures and gifts
Took our turn at il Porcellino's
Wet and burnished snout
Ate gelato in the rain, and
Drunk on sticky sweet Sambuca
Admired how well our

Feet wore Italian leather

                                              ~D. R.V.

The Dervish Season


Fall rarely falls. She leaps,

                        that dervish season—

                                   twirls on legs long and brown,

                                                bangled arms outstretched and

                                                            motley skirts flung wide in

                        one last frantic flurry

                                   before Winter comes, curling

                                                 pale fingers around the Earth.

                                                            You feel her breath in the air:

                        a fragile chill

                                    that shatters in full Sun. Inhale

                                                 the perfume of her first furious

                                                            rain on still-warm pavement.  

                       Evenings she dances

                                    in dusky veils stained violet,

                                                smelling of smoke, cassia, and

                                                            lover’s sighs. Gauzy folds conceal

                        and reveal bare nights

                                    to come. Nights so clear—so

                                                sharp—you could slice yourself

                                                            wide open on the edge of a sky

                        brimming with stars

                                    made drab by her gaudy relics

                                                of gold, of crimson jewels and amber,

                                                            heaped in careless glory at your feet.

                                                                                             Fall rarely falls, she leaps.





A chipped teapot remains,
and pearl earrings I touch
compulsively whenever
I wear them. Because once,
I almost lost one, and my
heart still hasn’t quite
His compass; silver case
matted by a lifetime of use,
a second-hand Menzel’s

Field Guide to the Stars and

Planets, full of notes in a

crabbed hand I’ve known
all my life.
Eyeglasses—lenses still
smudged by his fingerprints.
The wedding band she wore and
a half dozen knitting needles.
A pair of scissors that bring
to mind her hands every time
I use them.
The last birthday card sent to me,
neither of us knowing
it would be the last.
A thousand photographs, at least
twice that many memories, and
a twisted skein of code:

Brilliant Advice:

Love more, complain less
Your heart will be lighter.

Just for fun, do at least one thing
The hard way.

Remember that everyone has their own story
And it's nothing like yours.

Life is hard enough, even without all the yelling
So use your inside voices.

No matter who you are or what you do
You are someone's hero. Act like one.

Spend time with 5 year-olds whenever you can
Believe me, they know what's really important.

Let go of things that only
Weigh you down.

Sometimes there are no answers & all we can do
Is hold each other and cry.

Just when you think you've got it all figured out

The rules change. Be flexible.


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