WATER BULLS COVER“If prose were marijuana, poetry would be LSD.” I made that statement (as you might guess) back in the seventies when I found myself discovering an incredible world of imagery that ended up shaping a significant part of what I would write during the rest of my life.  The quest to achieve powerful imagery has been a primary focus in the poetry I’ve written.  My work has been published in many magazines and periodicals and three books:  Colvin’s Head, Songs for A Summer Fly and most recently, The Water Bulls.  I am also the winner of several literary awards, including the Percival Roberts Book Award, and the Rhysling Award for best science fiction poem. In the introduction to The Water Bulls,  I explained my opinion on the power of imagery in this way:

Poetry as Art

Artists create visual compositions. They use an assortment of tools, materials and techniques to make their work memorable – brush strokes, colors, textures, shapes and styles. So it is with what I consider to be the best poetry. The material that goes on the poetic “canvas”, however, is not paint, charcoal or some other colored material, it is the written word. Despite these differences, in both cases, images are the end results. In the case of memorable paintings, those images hang on the walls in our homes, businesses, malls and museums. In the case of memorable poems, the images materialize in our minds as intangible but intense, visions created by the poet.”

As an example…


Knowing nothing
of the principles of lift,
or why a level sun goes red,

one by one
they open, rise
and hang above the cliffs,

held afloat on blusters
off a gray Pacific,
January swirls, curling up

the wisps of sand, wailing through

the slatted fences, riding inland
on the waves yellow shore grass.

All of my books are available at Amazon.com and other outlets.