gary duehr

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In Passing book of poems (Grisaille Press, 2011). Available using PayPal or credit card. $9.99 plus $.99 shipping. 35 pages, 6 x 9 ".

Written over the course of a year, the poems of   "In Passing" capture details of daily life, small moments that pass by fleetingly.

The title is a play on words on one of India's most ancient forms of meditation, Vipassana , which means to see things as they really are.

Playful, questioning, "In Passing" focuses the same kind of attention.


The middle of the night.

Each branch of the apple tree outlined in white.

Is sleep a journey too?

Everyone knows how difficult it is.

Black hair tangled up in tangled thoughts.


So many white flakes!

Each one, whirling down, lost in its own path.

The river absorbs everything:

the drifts, rushing cars, the bridge's squat pylons...

Each snowflake, a weed-puff, touches

the front of your coat, dissolves...

How to start the long road home?


    Today the river flattens its glittery pages.

Dirty seagulls browse.

Where is it written that happiness must arrive

unannounced, a surprise

for only one person at a time?


The lake's ripples--TV static--

slosh against the dock.

In the gathering dark,

the growl of a lone motorboat.

A bat darts.

Now it has come to this:

at dawn to row across the lake, never

to be seen again.


How many small moments--

fleeting, bittersweet--

add up to what's called life.

The marbled clouds.

A bridge's rusty tattoo.

The impossibly long straight hair

of the girl in the next bus seat.


Night washes over you.

A freight train punches a hole in the dark.

All around, the city mutters

to itself:

a crazy person

to whom you're somehow related.