In our neighborhood the Russian Olive

Is first to extrude its buds.

Along its slender branches, and at their tips,

Ten thousand tiny commas and apostrophes

Suddenly appear in March.

Within them,

Deep down,

Are ten thousand unborn berries

That burst out in tart profusion

For me to gather on a September stroll,

To make my lips pucker in delight.

Preparing Oneself for Dying

Preparing Oneself for Dying


I strive to find a method

for a confrontation with what must be done

to save my children from the task of doing it when I die.

Make lists.

Make lists.

I sharpen pencils with an out-damn-spot intensity.

In shaded rooms,

on yellow pads,

I hide myself from sun

to settle my affairs:

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Take This Poem

Take This Poem

Take this poem. No. Really

take it. It belongs to you.

Like anything you read.

It belongs. Like Hawaii’s

swaying palms, weighted

coconuts, rungs tying

the trunk of the tree. All.

Yours for free.

What did you think

your first grade teacher

was giving to you? Letters,

words, a dog with spots,

Quansoo Forest

Quansoo Forest

Spiraled, twisted, screwed and swirled,

Knobbed and gnarled, hunched and burled,

Oaken shapes grotesquely curled,

Ever-howling wind has whirled.

From the stump and toward the sky,

Aged sprouts for sunlight vie,

Grapplings limbs are arching high,

Arms of wooden octopi.

Briny gale the ocean blows,

Striped Bass Population in Major Decline

Farewell Sunday on Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard rested quietly in the golden haze of her warmth,

Her sandy thighs cooling in the wide blue-white wash of the sea.

The passions of the night had wearied her,

But her rest was peaceful and she glowed,

Like burnished gold in the late morning, easy warming,

Sun of this so fine a Sunday.

A grey dorsal cut the crest of a Katama bound roller,

If You Go to Sea

If You Go to Sea

If you go to sea you really must know

What to do when the wind she blows.

If weather bodes toward a nasty gale

You must, beforehand, shorten sail.

As the gale comes on and it gets quite rough

Head up to weather but don’t let sails to luff.

It’s a good idea to use a drogue

To keep the vessel under good control.

If when quite rough and stomach is sour


The Pilgrims survived!

For this they praised the Lord

And thanked their Indian friends

Who taught them how to live

In this different land.

Like them we pause,

From daily toil and furrowed brow relieved,

To feast and laugh and play and rest,

And tell ourselves how much we’re blessed

In this hopeful land.

Could they have known,

Long years ago, where Moses’ trek would lead:

Stiletto heels and MTV,

Hurricane Forecast

Hurricane Forecast

We felt the wonder

of the moment. . .

standing silent, awaiting

the outcome of an event unfolding

untouched by human hands. . .

wind and sea spoke with voices far away

but touching us nonetheless.

fear and hope we held in visions of

our own device. . .

— C. Glenn Sprague

Requiem for Little Guy

Requiem for Little Guy

Love’s embrace

Held thee

A short while — almost weightless.

Fly away

Little Soul

On butterfly wings.

Frail veil

Of human life

Slipped through love’s fingers — voiceless.

Fly high

Little Guy

On angel’s wings — all breathless.