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.



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.


it is spring

full moon rising at dusk.

the old cardinal 
lands on a branch
with buds like tiny clocks
pushing everything forward.

a congregation of lightening 
is growing in the west.

today in the garden
my daughter held worms for the first time
like a giant 
fumbling with curiosity 
while wrestling with the instruction 
to be gentle.

the feeling 
of compassion.

it is spring.

rumble rumble.

my prairie chest
is storming across the roll
is rolling across the stumble
is roaring about the reeds
is snoring around humble
Rumble Rumble.


The Wide World

This sagging house 

wraps her hundred year 

old arms around me.

The house that no one wanted 

on the north side. 

The first family she held 

lived here in the darkness 

of the war to end all wars.

A world war.

I am working for my daughter

and for everyone who can still

look deep into my eyes

and hold my hand

and for everyone who can’t.

In the great chain of humanity

perhaps all we have to do to rise

is to look at our deep flaws

and reach out our hand. 

We thought we would have one kind of time.

It turns out that isn’t the case.

So like those chess players in the park

the timer has just been slapped

on our lives.

I know it's serious. 

That many will be lost.

Even so

amidst all the work

we cannot forget 

to consult the sun

the water and birds

those clouds

that women singing to herself

in the street

or our faith will crumble

under this great wall of fear

that is moving across the land

and, even with death,

there's so much more than that.


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.