JR's poems Enter and The Surprise can be read here:


JR's poem Again can be read here:


Here's a haiku:


So much does not depend upon

this poem

that is trying

to be

like something


while bleached white socks

brightened by sunlight

hang on

the backyard line

to dry

and lemons on the tree

in their green to yellow


are being tested by


So what is it we really see?

Birds & Poems

Birds are made for poems:

the poet's nightingale,

then the Raven, the blackbird,

those Wild Geese ...

How many poets see

the stoic Great Blue Heron

suddenly take flight from wetlands

to stun the sleeping sky?

When did the hummingbird

last circle the poet's garden/life,

whirring with delight?

All the spring to summer seasons

the poet rises with morning melodies

of nesting sparrows and chickadees.

Poems are made for birds:

right words strung together

into a line, a perfect perch created

for the perfect pitch that follows:

Poet, hear the poem sing back to you.


Like so many times

the temptation

is too great

and a fish

takes the bait

Pulled out

of water

with no way

to shout

except in

its frantic

flapping about

The only hope

in this sudden




is to get


This is where

the poet

might see

in fish-eye

a look

of determination

Sharing a feeling

of release

the fish swims away

into a deep blue sea

of sky

Leaning Against a Lamp Post

Sometimes while walking

along an old main street

I start to reminisce about a past

I never was a part of.

I see a man dressed for another time,

perhaps wearing a derby,

standing on a street corner

leaning against a lamp post.

I’m not able to

make out his facial features

although I’m sure it’s someone

I could know

as a distant relative.

He holds and sips

from a glass of water.

I expect him to notice me

as I approach and am hopeful

he will soon impart

some profound wisdom.

Alas, the closer I get

to meeting him

face to face,

the foggier he becomes

until he completely fades

and simply disappears.

After awhile standing there,

leaning against the lamp post,

I adjust my derby,

take a drink of water

from my half-full glass

As long as there is air, I think,

technically the glass is always full.

But what does that

have to do with anything—

why is that idea hanging around?

In any case, I feel fine,

as the sun begins to go down,

even though I seem to be

the only one here

wondering what year, what time,

what to do next

in this empty little town.

All The Poet Needs

is a room

with a table at its center

supported by sturdy legs

for the times

he’ll lean upon it,

elbows digging in,

hands holding chin up.

But the poet also needs

one comfortable chair,

a thick stack of blank paper,

a couple of favorite pens,

a window facing the rising sun

opened just a crack for fresh air.

The walls – stripped bare to

bounce ideas off of – will be edgy,

joined together at four corners,

holding the ceiling in place.

There will be no emergencies,

no phones, no doors

(there’s always another way to exit),

no doorbell. The only ringing in this room

will be in the poet’s ears.

Just a few more things the poet needs…

No! It has to stop right here.

See how one thing leads to another.

This is all the poet needs

and yet it may very well be

way too much.

Published in Carquinez Poetry Review 2005

Remember Summer?

in our direction came

too many sweet teeth

for the month of July

precious aluminum machines

polished candy canes in bulk

long before “the season” of decay

electric nostalgia – HA!

you can touch whatever,

whenever, however you want

though you ought to lick

your fingers before turning

the page, before playing

leapfrog; rather than yell

TIMBER when barber poles fall,

check all scissors, outlets

check all mirrors

let the bald spots shine

sticky as they may be

Published in Minotaur


You can’t stop


from falling…

Layer upon layer

settles down


on top of


stereo cabinet,

a shelf of books.

Just leave it be,

wipe it away

or write a message

with fingertip

like the two

18-year-old kids

running away

to get married


on dusted


of their car:

Vegas or bust.

Inside the house

on dusty polished oak

I love you

is better.

If there happens to be

a disappearance,

at least the private I

will have a clue.

He’ll retrieve

a vial of white dust

from his overcoat,

sprinkle it where

the duller dust

has been disturbed.

I love you

will be traced

right down

to the fingerprints.

The private I

may feel


or terribly upset

that people

brush themselves off

so much,

making so much


Published in Poetalk

All poems (c) John Rowe