Dog Walking

In the dawn of my disorientation
the apparent fixity of all appearance
persuaded me of each
day’s absurdity. This was before

gains of love awakened fear
of the perishability of dogwood
in early spring. Thinking upon this
I observe a broken-

winged bird fleeing just ahead
of my heavily advancing tread.

© 2014 David A. Welch


On Reading Merrill’s “Investiture”

Returning and lingering upon
that elegy composed in terror
of a stigmatizing sickness, I shun
a warning cry — “Partisans of error!” –

and bend my head to better
hear a gentler angel, whose frond
of empathy arms the frightful Other.

© 2014 David A. Welch

N.B. Error is error and needs that double-edged sword, which is the Word of God, in the hand of the Divine Physician. Yet the imagination also recognizes the palm fronds swaying before the King of Mercy, who enters the citadel of Truth riding upon a humble donkey.

Bags of Leaves

Some solitary

leaning drunk against mailboxes
or standing square
shouldered and barrel chested

Some huddling in threes or fours
fearing collection day

Some pretenders

hanging out with tree branches
and piles of junk

Some rule breakers
bulging in black plastic

None will be
here when I pass by

© 2013 David A. Welch


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.



One Foot out of the Pits

When I took my son to see
The La Brea Tar Pits on Wilshire Boulevard,
He was already an adult, yet I was just
Beginning to grip the memory of his childhood
In the greedy hope of stretching it beyond
The Pliocene Age and back,
Unmindful of the tiny grain of sand
That is the full extent of human history
Reflected in the fading aperture
Of a dying mammoth’s eye,
And of how that cosmic swirl
Of such elephantine immensity
Holds such common and delightful
Fascination for both
My son and me.

© 2013 David A. Welch


I should be nicer to my wife
Do I think she owes me
The appropriate tone
Appreciation of my anxieties
A hall pass inside my head
Instead of being with her
When she just wants me
To listen attentively

Sitting on the back porch
I notice the warped boards
Separating from the fence
Where the nails have given
All they have and just let go
Their threads exhausted

Come in we’re eating now

Yes this is your chance
So I straighten myself
And repair
To table
Without murmuring
And pick up the thread
Just where she left off

© 2013 David A. Welch