All poems below are copyright by Bill Chatfield, unless otherwise noted.

morning walk

I am walking

down by the river-side           

down by the small place


the cardinals whistle

to the bluejays


the bluejays mark their


whistling in

the morning

is yet to be a crime.


Verses from part of T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

…There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
…And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea…




(the above poem is part of a song composed by Judson Hutchinson, sung by Abby Hutchinson of The Hutchinson Family Singers, 19th Century NH)


Bystanders No More

We are innocent
Claim the folks
   On the sidelines
Bystanders only
   As the world turns

Shaking heads sadly
As the world burns

It is time to stand up
To take a real stand
Eyes up and aware
No more heads in the sand

Innocent bystanders
Who stood idly before
Must be involved



There are those
in shadows
urging me
to change
    my tune...
the song I sing
from my cocoon.
My tune’s not
at the drop
of a thought
…like it or love it
or like it quite not.


sun and shadows

sun and shadows
putting on a show
a choice -
which way to go


The Last Apple

 s  l  o  w  l  y
from your last
and only apple

cool green

a tentatively green
lade of grass
shivers in the cool
of the evening.


Writing a poem                         
  is never done                         
    words multiply                   
      to infinity from one      

Winter Hazards         

Winter hazards in the air

Invisible people must beware

Of other folks who cannot see

You cloaked in invisibility

Frozen breath might give a clue

But little else shows up as you



if the invisible man speaks
will he soon walk hand-in-hand
with shadows?


Awake with the wind
I am lonely and cold
No wish to arise
No impulse to be bold

Awake (version 2)

Awake with the wind

I am lonely and cold

      I have

No wish to arise

Nor Impulse to be bold



There is a little sunspot
dancing on the sun
twirling flames into the “air”
and no doubt having fun

NASA worries that the spot
may engender a large flare
rendering havoc in our lives

a chaos truly to beware

It’s just a tiny sunspot
in the solar scheme of worth
although to us it’s rather big
six times as large as Earth




yellow leaf falling

tip of my tongue extended

autumn convergence


False Choice

The road I was on came to a Y…
Begging me to choose between
existing paths
Urging me to smoothly decelerate
or just as winsomely
onto one of the two roads.

Such a fork in the road
does not encourage
Other choices:
Making a U-turn, or
to start walking
in the middle.


Excerpt from “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by NH poet Robert Frost -

…The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Success - by Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

Success, O magic word, Success!
How much you mean to happiness
Men seek you over e’ery land,
But scanty few have you in hand.

Men slave for you and with life pay
If they can clutch you for one day
You are the subject of their prayers
To you they give their thoughts and cares

Men say untruths for you alone
And by foul means you’re called their own
Yet rest not till their dying day
Because they grasped you in such way.