Up and down the street,

lights flick on, china cabinets rattle,

insomniacs look up from their phones:

The coyote’s back tonight

with his dissident squeal.

The howl resumes a story

broken off a century ago.

The commotion pries me awake,

a prophecy herding closer,

circling evening sediment

in all kinds of weather:

the return of his world,

pawing this patient patch

of manicured, cemented earth.

Nothing is forgotten.

© copyright 2019 Ray Waddle



Stripped wet, worn by wind and heat,

earth finally clears the field so I can hear

what it’s hearing: the hawk’s spiraling claw,

furious engines a mile away,

the football clatter in my brain.

September’s frolics skipped away,

bronze October set sail,

now November’s gray glory stands docked in its pier.


How many more late falls (personally)?

Enough I hope to find out what needs

saying and get it said, or be done.

I walk the morning slowly, examining evidence,

dragging slightly, alarming neighbors:

Clearly November bend down to pick up an hour,

but took a fall, stumbled backward –

there’s a bruise where daylight saving used to be.


Soon recovered, the latest month

is arriving again in silver light

alert with damp open hand

greeting the winded year,

its winding down,

and seeing me motions me over,

saying take my hand,

stand out here with me.

© copyright 2019 Ray Waddle



I found it in the usual hotel drawer

untouched, spring-loaded, and without


thinking I split it open (to Isaiah 58),

loosening the onion-sheeted spores,


a vapor streak of verse ready to burn

across the agitated sea of city air.


Out of a blameless Marriott drawer

the bearded English words roused


after motionless desert-stone waiting

untouched for decades, waiting


to have their say, an audition

amid the footwork and achievement


of a thousand streets –

words ready to rise on a thermal


above asphalt tonnage and then break

over everyone like old flood-water rains.


First, I better open the window.

That’s nearly impossible in hotels today.


© copyright 2019 Ray Waddle