In honor of Jim Klein on his 75 th birthday.


is a walking, talking riptide

who sweeps you out to sea

when you put words together

with an overly sonorous luster

not rooted in grammar.

He’s got a ravenous hunger

for the decisive phrase,

his ears itch

for the right word,

tongue checks for salt,

eyes search for language

that reaches for the stars.

He knows when a poem is born,

there is no right or wrong,

no Rotary Club palaver,

only a sense of words

that deliver the alchemy

of wonderment.