Archive for the ‘Family Favorites’ Category

5 Inches…

August 6, 2009




What Happened to the Apples?

July 14, 2009

For Lydia

What happened to the apples, grapes, and pears
that rolled beneath a carpeting of bees
in summers I remember still? The trees
are dusky skeletons of sticks and hairs
beneath their haircuts of wisteria.
Sweet color lasts a week. The cardinal flies
to other airways once the purple dies,
and lying green provokes hysteria
in one who knows the framework is a sham.

There is a groundhog known as “Mr. Clam”–
the sobriquet awarded by my daughter.
He thrives as a perennial somehow,
and last year’s Clam is fatter, fatter now,
that sac of dirt and vegetables and water.

Emily’s Day at the Mall

January 24, 2009

Take ‘er up!

Turns out to be the line for Obama bobbleheads

You’re getting warmer! You’re burning up!!!

Baltimore Bobbleheads.

Thomas on Obamatron.

The future.

October 28, 2008

The Consolation of Modern Art

August 28, 2008

My daughters trash this den with magazines
declaiming “Brad Holds Twins to Naked Chest!”
on covers wracked with boobs and candid scenes
of “Jessica Before and After,” breasts
as billowy without the extra weight
as with. In Hollywood, a “Pleasure Dome”
doth “Puffy” Combs decree, and on page 8:
“A Magic Moments Feature: Twins Go Home!”
I reach for Richardson’s biography,
Picasso: The Triumphant Years, beneath
a well-thumbed April Star® Mammography,
and flip through cubist nudes and airbrushed teeth
contorting on a private beach at Cannes
with “Tearful Pleas to Bail-Out Ed McMahon!”

Girls on Vacation

August 12, 2008

Acrylic on canvas, 8″ x 10″
–My daughter Maggie (left) and her friend, Alex.

A Ghost

October 29, 2007

A ghost is made of gas, she said,
Not meat or milk or gasoline.
Your hand just passes through a ghost
Like nothing you have ever seen.


August 19, 2007



Emily is off to college tomorrow. As a parting gift, she gets from Dad a painting of the lake to remind her of our wonderful summers together, and a beat-up old book of mine that might help nip this tuition problem in the bud.

I’m very proud of daughter number one, who is already showing a little moxie by signing up to do some days with Habitat for Humanity in the hardscrabble inner city near her grassy campus before classes start.


Portrait of Sam W.

June 3, 2007


Sam and his family used to live across the street from us in Maplewood in the 1980s and 1990s. He and my oldest daughter were constant friends, and their mothers were a team. Sam’s stepmom asked me to paint him as a present to his dad. Sam is graduating high school this month. I first met him days after he was born.


We had a nice day together (first time we’ve spent together in about ten years). Emily, my daughter, took the photo of me painting him.

April 8, 2007

He Has Returned