The Morning Porch

screenshot of The Morning Porch

Since 2008, a daily microblog from my front porch while I caffeinate in the mornings. I don’t think of it as poetry, really, though plenty of readers take it that way: present-tense observations, kept as succinct as possible, with an emphasis on nature because of where I live. Pick up a free email subscription in the sidebar at if you’d like them in your inbox. Otherwise, you can simply follow me on Mastodon where I cross-post. Welsh artist Clive Hick-Jenkins let me use a crop from one of his paintings for the header.

For many years, I adhered to Twitter’s 140-charcter limit, but when that doubled I slowly began allowing myslef to write somewhat longer entries. I still keep most of them below 150, though.

One fun feature is the “on this day” archive, where visitors to the site can compare all the observations I’ve made on a given day of the year. Here, for example, is August 17:

Sun in the treetops. A doe and her fawn are consuming the future of the forest, one oak or tulip poplar seedling at a time. The doe burps.

Dawn fog lifts and pauses, so it’s clear to a height of ten feet, then white, then the crescent moon. A red-bellied woodpecker’s slow chant.

When I move my head, the hummingbird darts in for a closer look, leveling her long samurai bill at my neck, my ear, my glasses.

A male and female goldfinch glean seeds from a tall bull thistle. She eats in silence while he in his loud yellow suit chatters on and on.

A hummingbird sits on the tip of one of the dead cherry’s few remaining twigs, like a fat green leaf with the stem pointing the wrong way.

Five nuthatches land in the walnut tree and begin scuttling up and down its trunk in the pouring rain, poking and probing the furrowed bark.

Still cool at sunrise. A large beetle zooms past. Faint noise from the highway. The desultory calls of a red-eyed vireo.

A yellow tulip tree leaf lies face-down on the porch floor. Nearby, an assassin bug crouches like a martial artist when I move my foot.

Sunrise hidden by clouds. Towhee and cardinal’s usual soliloquies. A mosquito sings her need into my ear.

The sun finally struggles out by midmorning. Rain-dampened vegetation glistens like a salamander’s skin.

Sunrise filling every cloud’s belly with pink as the Carolina wren trills over and over—once for each cloud, it seems.