Dear Friends,

I have gathered a selection of my poetry from the last twenty-five years into a book called THE SEASONS. (You can preview or order the book here.)

I am grateful to everyone who has read and responded to the poems over the years. I will continue posting my new work here and in twenty-five years (or less) I will have book number two ready for you.



The Big World

My daughter and I
on the North Shore.

So close to heaven
in a tent.

I think she wants to live
that way forever.

We curled against
the cold in June.
Wearing winter clothes 
in our sleeping bags.

Just a little
further north
with my father

long long ago

it once snowed
on an early 
September morning. 
No roads 
only water
to guide us

Today I held 
so softly
his tissue paper body

and placed my hand
on the curved vertebrae
of his spine. 

He said
I hope to see you again.

He is waiting 
by himself
on the platform.
Quiet and still.
Waiting for the next train.


Spring Prairie Dawn

I am still on the dark side of the earth
but the monks of darkness have begun
shedding their robes underneath the trees.

Canopies of black.
Layers, stages, stories, bodies.

Thunder rumbles all the glass in the house.
A pinch of rain.
The Mourning Dove calls.

Cloud mountains 
move in perfect silence, 
sailing high above the watery blue 
at the edge of morning.

And here it comes,
filled with golden light,
and songs and cool air.

How amazing
that we can grow new eyes
after so much darkness. 


winter stars

Drawing 742 by WRH, 2018

These winter stars

hanging above the veiny street - 

are they darker

with the slow bath of death?

My failures of compassion 

burn like a constellation of pins.

Is fire the price of kindness?

Pain the price of health?

The winters are decreasing.

Less complaints about ice.

More love 

of flinty skies.

The hidden face of time

wraps around my bones,

an old coat handed down

and down . . .

I am forced to lie down. 

My daughter runs 

and jumps on my back

over and over again.

With my grunts of riant pain

springs of wild, green laughter

erupt from her body

and cover the leaping world.  


Dark Winter Day

There is no stillness.

Perhaps later.

Snow hangs in the air.

My child leaps off the steps

into the world.

The trees are bemused,

maybe frightened.

Some of them. 

Old cars wait

in the street

with unshakable loyalty.

My child and I thank them.

We become snow for a bit.

Time hides under 

the leaves 

on the ground.

A brown blanket

at the beginning of snow.

Also high

above the house

where golden threads 

circle in a 

giant ring.


The Garden

The hills breathe deep
moist and seed heavy.
The prairie thick 
is wet and ready.

We wander the days
awash with summer 
while cloud women climb
with fire and thunder.

The river prays
with back bent low.
Cities flash
and slowly grow.

Deep within this giant bloom
people move with love or fear
then die into another garden
taking what they planted here.


New Autumn

                                                               Willa  #437

Little Daughter and I
a spin kick jump dance. 

Sparks of sweatjoy flying 
everywhere after a long 
day of workschool.


the poetry of Kevin Lawler

The gift economy . . .
from Wiki - In anthropology and the social sciences, a gift economy is a mode of exchange where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. Ideally, voluntary and recurring gift exchange circulates and redistributes wealth throughout a community, and serves to build societal ties and obligations.