Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fare thee well, my honey


I knew if I waited long enough the world would end,

the pessimist said,

and lo, it was the knowing that did him in.

And if I had wings like Noah’s dove,

I’d fly the river to the one I love.

So fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.



Friday, December 30, 2016

after the bath


you draw with your fingertip
on warm naked skin
and then call the poem a rose



Thursday, December 29, 2016

I like the idea


I like the idea that there’s an idea. In the bare trees of winter.
In the wise-hungry birds. In madness and mittens.

Out past the graveyard. Have you seen them?
How they roost on the branches of frost-bitten words?

And they’re off. And I like the idea that there’s a generous palm.
In a snowy statue a beating heart. That all is well in the world.

But you tell me a time comes. And another. And then another.
And I tell you, all of the times are one time, and the one is none.

You tell me apples are not oranges.
And I tell you how much I love them, naked and bleeding.

You are beautiful. You tell me many fine things.
Very well. I confess. I live in a dream world. In a world of dreams.

You smile. I’m your puppy. Your goldfish. Your child.
And I tell you, dig deeply, run freely, be wild.

The idea that there’s something hidden and something revealed.
Like the distance we imagine between us is healed.

O dear one. Such a steep climb. So many graves. What a fool I am.
In the marketplace you would give me a penny and be done.

But here we are one. Masculine-feminine. God.
And the moment we have waited for is finally come.

When ideas aren’t needed. Take me up. Lay me down.
Bid me farewell. I am your bones. You are my tongue.



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My bookish year


During the past few years, I’ve kept a detailed record of my reading and shared it annually as a quiet celebration of the printed word. This year, though, the list fell by the wayside. Making it simply didn’t seem interesting or feel necessary. You know I read, I know I read. You know I collect old books, and I know it. As for remembering what I read, that has never been a big concern of mine. I read it, and, like the very life I live, I love it, I savor it, and it goes.

Still, there were a few highlights this year, beginning with the Sir Thomas North translation of Plutarch’s Lives, which I enjoyed immensely in a beautiful limited edition published in 1928 by the Houghton Mifflin Company and printed in eight volumes, in its original spelling, by the Shakespeare Head Press at Stratford-Upon-Avon.

I also read all of Thackeray’s major novels.

Since July, my book-reading has been almost entirely in Spanish. This change in gears caught me completely by surprise. One day, I simply decided out of the blue that I was going to switch languages. I have no real goal, other than fluid reading, proper pronunciation, and reasonable comprehension. It’s going quite well. I’ve read books for children, books for young adults, a translation of Machiavelli, several volumes of literary criticism focusing on the novel, from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth, and a few other things. This quiet, solitary process gives me great pleasure and satisfaction. It has revealed to me a lot about learning, and about how I learn in particular. Don Quixote is waiting in the wings. No doubt Cervantes will have the last laugh, but what could be more fitting?

Anyway. There you have my bookish year, in all its vague and unremarkable glory.



Canvas 814



Canvas 814

December 28, 2016




Sunday, December 25, 2016

Symphonies and bridges


Deep down, you know it’s all true — the war, the poverty,
the symphonies, the bridges, space flight, the cello, the monastery,
the pilgrim, the wind chime — and you know it’s perfect
and sacred just as it is, as right as a recipe
written in your mother’s
own hand,

oh dear lord look at you, where have you been?

out playing, out sleighing, out walking this land,
out in the moonlight, seeking the daylight,
out being a child and being a man,

sit down, then, but first wash your hands,
and I will clothe you and feed you
with all that I have,

with symphonies and bridges,
and sugar thrown in,

with love and with riches I still can’t explain,
but deep down, I know it’s all true,
and that’s what I give, and that’s what I am.



I get up, and what do I find


I get up, and what do I find, but the sweetness of pain and infinite light,
nothing to lose, nothing to gain, and everything right,
as reigns in this world this death and this life,
this hurt and this strife,

I get up,
and what do I find,

but a star so bright I am gloriously blind.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

O holy night


I do love the short days, the early closing in of the dark, the long nights beginning in the afternoon, the afternoons even earlier on the rooftops through the firs. There is so much light in everything everywhere I turn, in objects, faces, and books, the darkness in its abundance and wealth seems to me like rich chocolate, like kissing, sightless and soundless, and wholly and holy through touch.



Somewhere around there


Ten. Maybe twelve. I don’t know. Somewhere around there. And so the shaving mug is a good fifty years old. I say shaving mug, but my father never used it as such, because it was too small. It was so narrow inside, his round Colgate soap couldn’t even rest on the bottom. What he needed, and what he already had, and had been using for years, was a heavy coffee mug, as wide almost as it was tall, with ample room for vigorous brush-action — ah, that sound, I remember it well. Anyway. That’s what I gave him that year. He liked it well enough for its form, though, and who wouldn’t, really? A mug with an old Ellis Island sort of face, part Greek, part Norwegian, a little French — he could be one of the family. And is. Do you understand me? No worry. No matter. He’s here among my books, atop two old smelly German volumes published in the 1830s, looking at me, through me, and beyond, out the window, down the street. Waiting? Content? Both. That’s it, Pa. Nice. And easy. Oh, how I love your dear mug.



Canvas 811



Canvas 811

December 22, 2016





Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I forgot to mention


Snow. And then a hummingbird at our kitchen window. A flower inside, on the windowsill. Begonia. Pink. Tiny yellow center. Poised. About to fall. The bird, right up to the glass. Pondering the impossibility. The implausibility. Next, a sudden shift to where I was standing. Eye to eye. Face to face. Graceful space. Present tense. Presence past. Winter fast. And to this place we come at last.



Sunday, December 18, 2016

winter walk


these brittle leaves are hands, and faces,
and spirits — and now, in this land gone cold,
only wings will save us from ourselves



Canvas 808


(click to enlarge)

Canvas 808

December 18, 2016




Saturday, December 17, 2016

snowflakes are kisses


snowflakes are kisses

as we statues well know

what the cold world misses

is love that is slow

as this bliss is



Thursday, December 15, 2016

helpless


your eyes are a dance
and their veils
make a fool of my face

by choice and by chance
helpless
in any case



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Canvas 805



Canvas 805

December 14, 2016




My first snowflake lesson


On days like these, I remember my first snowflake lesson.
Simply breathe and fall, my teacher said, And don’t worry about
if or where you land.

And then she placed my hands on the piano keys,
and I began to sing. That’s it, she said.
And now, let’s fall again.

And I’ve been falling
ever since.



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I love the little chores


I love the little chores, and think not a one beneath me. Dishes, dusting, washing, sweeping, wiping, cleaning. Indoors. Outdoors. Rooftop. Windows. Garden. Gutters. Worn out rugs. Scratched floors. Blinds. Corners. Each says, “You are here. You are lucky. You have food. You have shelter. You have shade. You have warmth.” I commune with keepsakes. I admire the wear and tear on our old family silverware, the chips in everyday cups my parents used and that we still do. To me, housework is a time to marvel at the beautiful, mysterious lives of what are thought of by many as “ordinary objects.” It is not a job to do, but one more opportunity to be grateful. I never say, Now I’m writing, Now I’m drawing, Now I’m dreaming, Now I’m cleaning, Now I’m shopping for groceries. I say, Rejoice. Each breath is a poem.



Monday, December 12, 2016

He took the morning in his hands


He took the morning in his hands and said it was an orange.
I’d never seen one peeled that way. He offered me a slice of daylight.
I remember the way it felt on my tongue. Papa, I said, Tell me,
Is this really the sun? He laughed. Yes, he said, As long
As we’re young. He peeled it up. He peeled it down.
He peeled a house. He peeled a home. He peeled
And peeled, and then he was gone.



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Akitsu Quarterly, Winter 2016



like raindrops
too many treasures to count



Akitsu Quarterly
Winter 2016

fortunate to contribute, proud to subscribe

http://www.wildgraces.com/Akitsu-Quarterly.html



Canvas 804



Canvas 804

December 11, 2016


And when I say you are all I have,
I mean this world,
and the way you hold it in your hand.



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Canvas 803



Canvas 803

December 10, 2016

From a wise old man in a child’s body,
to a child in a decrepit frame, as ash is snow
and hill is plain, and one is flower,
the other rain.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

When I stand


When I stand, I marvel at the almost-feeling where my appendix used to be. It’s as if its ancient forgotten function is still in silent operation, or willing to be. The faint dimple of a scar left behind after its removal some thirty-odd years ago is like a baker’s thumbprint in oven-ready dough. It reminds me of our family doctor and surgeon, who liked to study his patients over his half-lens reading glasses, waiting to see if they understood the humor that permeated his being and which rose to the surface in the subtlest ways. Quite simply, you had to be alert. You had to be ready. You had to realize that the gurgling sounds in your innards meant that the entire universe is predicated on humor, even as its foundation is musical, and its fleeting nature is represented by wings. And when he passed by our house in the country in a hearse on his way to the little Adventist cemetery at the corner of Road 64 and Avenue 408, where dust prevails and coyotes howl, we removed our hats and said he was the best doctor the town ever had. Dead at sixty-six after a clean life, a man who knew us inside and out, and who said my father’s gall bladder was beyond his surgical ability, meaning my father himself. Well, you see now why I marvel, and how. Ripe and ready to go, I could just as well have been dead at the age of twenty-six. As I’ve said often since then, I’m living on borrowed time. Half-joking, of course, but completely serious too, because each and every one of us can go out like a light this very instant. And I must say, that is one of the things I love best about this life, this grand poetic recycling experiment, this almost, not quite, surely it can’t be, but must, because it is and it isn’t, all at once. And in the cemetery there is a thumbprint, if you know what I mean, and we’re all in the oven. When I sit? that’s another story.



Between the ivy and the big rhododendron


Yesterday morning in the kitchen we were talking about our old cat, Joe, and how at peace with the world he was in his declining years, which he spent in our backyard staring off into space, simply listening and taking it all in — the bird song, the sounds of the neighborhood, the opening and closing of doors — and what good fortune it was for him, and for us, that he was so calm and secure in his present absence and absent presence. He died and was buried on a cold night in November. I rake over him every so often, lightly, through the fir needles and birch leaves between the ivy and the big rhododendron, near the massive fir root that keeps his grave from floating off into space, and when I do I always think of him, his life, and his funny ways, and know that he too was, and remains, one of the countless angels in our lives. And anyone who thinks human life has more value than a fellow creature’s of this earth, is sadly missing the value of his own. But that misunderstanding can change in an instant, and will, and the revelation will be grand — like a poet’s cup of tea when the last and best of him is up in steam.



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

So many angels


So many angels in our lives — the doctor, the mailman,
the cashier, the bell-ringer, the child, the parent, the friend, the adversary,
the barber, the field hand, the writer, the artist, the nurse,
all creatures wild and tame, rocks, waterfalls, deserts,
trees — there when we need them, sweet mist
when we don’t — and suddenly,
that moment we realize
we are angels
ourselves,

and that each time we meet,
in flesh, in pixel,
in print,

we are on a timeless mission,
in the right place, in the right moment,
and that there is no way and no need to resist,

O dear ones, our innocence.



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Canvas 801



Canvas 801

December 6, 2016




I found a poem with leaves


I found a poem with leaves where commas might have been,
or so I thought, until I read the limbs, which suggested deeper roots,
with patient influence, like my grandmother’s handmade quilt,
and so I read and read and read, and warmed my knees
with the voices of her hometown Swedish friends
just as the snow began to fall, their breath
my life her hands your love
so pleased to praise
and sing
it all.



Monday, December 5, 2016

That little bit I say


That little bit I say before it gives way
beneath its own weight,

and the icy wind upon the face
of the statue I’ve become

in this garden
of wonder,

O dear one,
hasten,

grace alone
can make the blood run,

love erase the trace of stone
and free the dove

I once was
winging home

before more words were spoken.



just enough snow


just enough snow on her limbs

to make the light dance

of words



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Canvas 796



Canvas 796

November 30, 2016




How do you feel?


If you are feeling helpless, angry, powerful, righteous, superior, inferior, empty, bitter, or fearful about the future, look to your daily life. Everything you need to know is there, in the form of the same tired thoughts and the huge amount of energy they consume, in your useless and unnecessary acquisitions, in your table barren of simple wholesome nourishment and absent of guests, in your drab or gaudy walls, in the averted glance of your neighbor, in the competitive nature of your conversation and business dealings, and finally in your looking to others as the cause of your unhappiness and lack of joy in your life. Each is a source of conflict, nervousness, exhaustion, and discontent, and, if not understood, illness in its deceptive, myriad forms.

It is not a question of rich or poor. If you are breathing, and can read this (on the internet, no less!), then you are your own revolution. Revolution is not millions of people rising up and exchanging one leader for another, one system for another, only to start the same disappointing, bloody process over again. Revolution is what you do, now, this moment, whether you are alone in your room or waiting in line at the grocery store.

The choice is obvious and clear. You are not only what you eat, but what you think, speak, and do. A simple, sane, calm, helpful act has infinite range in this world. By setting it in motion, you become the proverbial pebble in this miraculous pond, this magical life that we are only beginning to understand. The same can be said of your negative actions, those intended to hurt others, those meant to show how right and intelligent you think you are, even when you are missing the point entirely and society and family is collapsing around you. They too have an infinite range, and, as sure you as live, will come back to haunt you. The truth is, you are living with them now.

The solution? There is none. And that is the beauty of being alive. There is no road to take, no direction, no answer. Time does not exist. It can not help you or hinder you. There is no great rule to live by. There is only opportunity. You can make the leap. You can make something beautiful. You can be irresistible, and irresistibly in love with this life. You can extend an open hand. You can smile, you can forgive, you can let go, you can breathe deeply, you can understand the tragedy that others are living without sinking into despair, you can be the dear child, the wise parent, the tender grandparent, the faithful friend, the steady companion, and the unselfish helpmate all in one. But not by waiting. Not by pressing buttons and shouting and denouncing those whom you have consciously or unconsciously placed in charge. They cannot hear you. They are you. You must hear yourself. If you cannot take the simplest step in alleviating the pain of someone who is near, or share in their joy, then you must see the absurdity in condemning and blaming others. There are no others. That very concept is a mirage. The closer you come, the farther away it is, and in the end, you die with a mouthful of sand.

And that is the end of this letter. Or is it the beginning, dear friend?



Now comes the sunlight


You are a basket of flowers, and I am a table across the room. In this life you will have a thousand lovers before I bloom. And I will wear a thousand puddles from a thousand glasses, to emphasize my gloom. Now comes the sunlight. The house will be up soon. And here is the awakened princess, with her dark tea and her spoon. Such a deep sigh! as if honey were not sweet enough, as if birdsong did not greet her at every window. Ah! Another clink. Another sip. A fingertip, and that sensation of my dust being disturbed. Or do I imagine it? Impulsively, she picks you up. “They will look better here,” she says, and places you in my lap. And I hold you there forever, and the story ends, like that.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Canvas 795



Canvas 795

November 29, 2016




Good to see them, and you


Just before I awoke this morning at four, I dreamed I was with both of my parents and we were walking on our old family farm. The harvest was in, but here and there some of the vines and trees still offered ripe gems. By and by, my father faded away. And then my mother and I came to a place where there was a long, steep grade. And though the climb seemed well beyond the ability of her age, she willingly started up, and I supported her with my arm around her waist. Part of the way, we began to slip. And then she summoned her strength and pushed us both to the top. It was a place on the farm I had never seen. At least not that way. It was day, with an added twist: I am a child, writing this.



Lifeline


The gentle know, violence is that part of us that died in a bygone age, and that what keeps the stars in space is not power, but grace. We may be imprisoned and slain, but our presence is not erased. It is magnified. See us in your mirror. Are you at peace, or are you terrified?



and all of this


and all of this is a thistle-wish



Canvas 794



Canvas 794

November 29, 2016




Monday, November 28, 2016

Canvas 793



Canvas 793

November 28, 2016




How words go off on their own


How words go off on their own
when no one is listening

pillars

edifices

names

the wind through empty spaces

an approaching train
an approaching rain
an approaching sensation

as if you were their skin
longing to be touched again

and distance is all that remains



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Surrender is my prayer


Surrender is my prayer, and should it end right here,
in breath and sight, in sleep and night, in death and light,
I ask of you my brightsome fair to surrender
to this blessèd flight and be my heir,
until the ending of your own
sweet prayer.



Saturday, November 26, 2016

November postcard


During the past four days, we’ve had another four inches of rain. Very mild out. Still no frost. The jade plants on the front step are thriving. The earth worms have pushed up countless little air holes in the yard, among the fir needles blanketing the ground. Moss mounds everywhere. Where does the water go? Into gutters and dreams, rivers and streams, and vast mental crevices. Into me, and into the sea. That’s all I know. Until you join me. Then I’ll know everything, love that you are.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Canvas 792



Canvas 792

November 25, 2016




Words and deeds


Only a few words today.

Pink lungs a prayer, perfect nails,
mist for hair, and wings
where their new life
is about to be.

Or are they deeds?

They must be, if you care,
and love is what you want to see.



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gratitude


In her hand, a dish of pomegranate seeds.

And the dish is the earth,
And the seeds are men,
And she is the one who made them.

And the dish is a pond,
And the seeds are leaves on the water,
And her face is a reflection made by the moon.

And the pond is blood,
And the leaves are spirits looking on,
And the moon is the nearest, softest thing imaginable.

And I am mad,
And she takes me to her breast,
And the dish and the seeds are a fable.

And the fable is a pomegranate flower,
And she is a hummingbird,
And I am the space between two clouds.

And the space is a star,
And the star hangs from a necklace,
And this is how she enters the room.

And the room is history,
And history is summed up in a smile,
And love is a bright-red seed on her tongue.

And I could say more,
And I could go on,
And I won’t, just now.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I could fall for you


I could fall for you, like the first leaf,
before falling is fashionable, when everyone else
is still clinging and green and oblivious
to change.

I could fall for you, without you seeing
or knowing what I have done, and wait patiently,
and calm, until all the other leaves
have come and gone.

I could fall for you, like a mysterious, scented glove
on the dance floor during your favorite song,
five fingers and an open palm,
alive, yet still, like love.

So, fall already, I hear you say, fall,
you old romantic fool, fall the way you did
in school, and I will fall for you,
as all the leaves come down.

And so we will, so we will, even to our end
in the cold, hard ground, so we will, so we will,
that the young may know that letting go
is the sweetest love of all.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More than anything


Love does not say, “See the bad man.”
Love says, “Come, let us find the good in ourselves.”

Love does not heap shame on those who are lost.
Love remains near, that they may be found.

Love does not say, “This one, but not this one.”
Love says, “In good time, all.”

Love does not wait with a flag at the wall.
Love is a lantern in your heart, filled with starlight.

Love does not say, “Peace is a dream.”
Love says, “Love, more than anything.”



Canvas 791



Canvas 791

November 22, 2016




Saturday, November 19, 2016

The flowering dark


Cells in the body. Cells in the earth. In the sky. In the galaxy. In the universe. In the grand mirror known as the eye. In the unknowable and in the unknown. Coming, going, being born, glowing, fading, passing on, giving their lives to other cells, all of it poetry, all of it song, each depending on the other, informing the other, working, corresponding, checking, reminding, teaching, vibrating, dancing, rejoicing in an infinite number of moons, loving gravity, flight, and weightlessness wherever they are found, casting mind-shadows, being crushed and ground like seeds, creating light, keeping stars together until their time has come — and in the flowering dark I sing, “I too, am a cell.”



Friday, November 18, 2016

Jupiter Mezzanine


Thank you. You know, I was thinking: if we were to meet somewhere, say in a celestial city with beautiful glass elevators built into cloud-knowing trees, and you were going up and I was going down, or vice-versa, we could stop the car at the Jupiter Mezzanine and get out then and there and go for a nice long walk through the mist-loving leaves. Or have I just described where we are? That would explain my halo, and the rainbow in your hair. Oh, love, you’re so easy to please!



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

If we’ve forgotten


Of course we’ve seen how children, even those brought into the world in anger, confusion, ignorance, and despair, begin their lives with hearts free of prejudice and hate, looking on the world and the faces around them with wonder and love. We’ve seen, likewise, how they must be taught the things that divide us, taught about skin color, taught about flags, taught about guns, taught about borders, and how every superficial difference must be emphasized in order to make them proper patriotic individuals able to justify violent physical and psychological behavior directed at those they now perceive as “others,” to the point that they are willing to kill them, starve them, mock them, shame them, embarrass them, isolate them, and shove them aside. We’ve seen this, and have perhaps even participated in it to some degree, even as some deep part of us laments and decries such behavior, that deep original love that we were born with and that has been silenced through the very same means. We’ve seen this, and we’ve seen the results, the wars, the riots, the starvation, the posturing, the lying, the name-calling, and yet we are willing to think it has always, and must always, be this way. We yell, we vote, we point fingers, we wring our hands, we predict the worst and say I told you so when the worst comes true, without realizing that the very prediction, made millions of times over, helped to strengthen the possibility, without realizing that every time we uttered the unspeakable, every time we emphasized our superficial differences, we helped strengthen them, helped polish their armor, helped sharpen their battle axes, helped dig their trenches, and joined in bristling along their flimsy, fleeting, imaginary borders. Instead of saying and living and believing in love, we buy political, religious, and philosophical insurance policies, only to be surprised when the companies we invested in are spiritually and morally bankrupt. We, once innocent children full of love for all, with little children still springing up hopefully all around us, beseeching, teaching us with their eyes, we, safe on our couches, throwing our little poisonous darts on social media, perhaps even with children of our own under the very same roof, in the very same room — lord almighty, folks. And we’re still surprised? If we’ve forgotten how to love, if we no longer know what love is, the children are still here to teach us, without judgment, without coercion, without the desire for any result. And they are inside us, too. Here, in the hands we hold out.



We think it’s our skin


We think it’s our skin the rain is falling on, and since we do it probably is, at least in some dimension. After all, it does seem fairly obvious — until, of course, we recognize this widespread flesh conspiracy, meant to cover up the simple glorious truth, which is that the rain is not falling on our skin, but our spirits are rising to meet the rain, and when they touch, the skin, looking on, rejoices. And now, dear ones, let us go back to bed and see what the next dream is.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Moonlight and rain, rainlight and moon


This mild November continues with moonlight and rain, rainlight and moon, fir needles, maple leaves, broomswishes, kisses, and hope. Bugs in the bushes, spidernight wishes, hugs in the kitchen, cats on the roof. And the joy we proclaim, through health and through pain, we help bring about. And peace is our name. Some call us children. See us, naked and bare. See us. Where is our doubt? Dispersed by the wind. The moonlight and rain. The rainlight and moon. See us. Come out!



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Yesterday my revolution was a smile


Yesterday my revolution was a smile for everyone in the grocery store, and here and there a friendly word. You should have heard the quiet roar, as willing hearts took up the cause. And then forth into the parking lot, where no one was a stranger. Yes, you should have heard the quiet roar!



Saturday, November 12, 2016

A pale thing indeed


A pale thing indeed, the need to feel right,
as if a pond could choose the stars it sees at night,
or you your frail shell, which breaks
and burns, at the very touch
of light.



Thursday, November 10, 2016

The old tree you happen to meet


A warm afternoon pulling weeds, new shepherd’s purse, mostly, around the strawberries, which also lose their colorful leaves. The world, so beautiful, from my knees. Fingertips stained, moist earth under my nails. I’m really quite flexible on most days. And I breathe. At a natural pace. You wouldn’t think I’m sixty. A hundred, maybe, or three hundred and three. That old tree in the forest you happen to meet, when you’re tired and think all trees are the same — and then, there I am, reveling in decay, right to the very heart of things. And I don’t have a name. And I don’t mean a thing. Except for the ones you’ve given me. And if I say love? Will you linger a while, or part from me? Will you stay, and be free?



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Canvas 786



I know a young man who says he has lived too long.
I know an old man who has faith in his cane.
I know them so well, love, and both are the same.



Canvas 786

November 9, 2016




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Through the night, thousands of voices


Through the night, down in the wetland, the geese keep up an amazing commotion, thousands of voices among newly sprouted blades of grass, proclaiming in the mist by whatever light there is the pungent November warmth, the rise of the flood and the rot of the mud — Lazarus, come forth! And he came fifth and lost the job. Ah, Ulysses, rejoyce! Everything is here, nothing is found, nothing is lost, save a mind not worth saving, by a man and his raving, whatever the cost.



Monday, November 7, 2016

How do I really feel?


How do I really feel? Like a leaf. As long as I’m needed, in vigor or decay, I’ll be here. And this is my blessing, to want nothing, to need nothing, to love everything, even my very own end; to express joy in uncertainty, vulnerability, and pain; to be astonished by birth, again and again; to be color when melody is near; to speak without shame and say without fear, I don’t know. I’m falling. How sweet is the air!



Canvas 785



Canvas 785

November 7, 2016




Sunday, November 6, 2016

Yesterday I almost wrote


Yesterday I almost wrote about my life as a child — not in terms of years, of long ago, but of the childhood I am living now. I thought about this for quite a while, but instead got involved with moving books around — it rained an inch yesterday, a warm, steady, windless rain — and eventually rearranged most of a tall bookcase, a pleasure I will take up again soon after I finish breakfast, which I am eating now. And so today, in effect, I am not writing about what I almost wrote about yesterday, except to say time is not a factor at all, for the simple reason that it doesn’t exist, and therefore can’t be used, or saved — unless, of course, you are, in the most common, tragic sense of the word, an adult.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

What is wisdom?


And what is wisdom, but the hole in one’s roof, at the advent of dawn?



Friday, November 4, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

At the foot of the bed


At the foot of the bed, the chin of our garden space has a sunflower beard. The face of the space has tomato sprout down. The eyes, looking up, wear manure on their frown. This is the ground where our peppers have been. Go ahead — bury me here. Winter this mirror, the spring of I am. Flatter me, scatter me, shadow me, pillow me, turn the sheets down. Rain me, dream me, love me to sleep. Snow me so deep I can’t hear a sound. Snow me. Snow me. Snow me. Snow me.



Canvas 783



Canvas 783

November 2, 2016




Monday, October 31, 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

As much and as blue


The path through the park — and by park, we mean sprawling acreage by the river, buried in leaves — is flanked by brambles and cottonwood trees. In sunny places, dandelions and rain-patient bees. In shade, maple leaves seem thousands of hands — a father’s, a mother’s, an aunt’s, all blessing, caressing, the land. Frog-song. Birds in the breeze. A rich-pastel ocean-sky, as much and as blue as you need, as white and as gray, and as each in-between, rich-rose, dawn knows, evening shows, budding at noon, blooming at three. Muskrat-splash. Trees down. Water up. Scum-pond. Lilies gone. Wake out to center. Shimmer of sun. A hush and we’re gone.



Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mushrooms


The mushrooms emerge as white and perfect little buttons, then quickly grow to clown-size and are nibbled by squirrels. Then they suddenly flatten, turning themselves into wide shelters for who knows how many elves and other forms of life — triple, quadruple, dimplyduple — only to become concave sky-mirrors holding perfect pools of rainwater, which sits in them for days. I suppose you’ve seen them, perhaps even given one an inadvertent nudge, only to find you’ve toppled a great city. But fear not, for the great communication goes on — the whispers, the chasms, the rope-bridges, the scented language of their song.



Friday, October 28, 2016

Sweet smoke unseen


Kicking through the leaves, sweet smoke unseen clings to me, as if I’m here — as if it means in part to be that part you see you think is clear — as if it dreams we’re gently naked trees, our limbs so near — as if it brings awakening, without hastening, my love, my dear.



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Canvas 781



Canvas 781

October 27, 2016




Fall guy


Speaking of birch leaves, they’ve given us a yellow roof and rain gutters full of fluff. And during downpours, pouring durdowns, sheets of yellow stuff. Hands in downspouts, believing is deleaving, and that is no ladder day bluff.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Warm between rains


Yesterday, through our bedroom window, we noticed a birch leaf caught in a spider web above our blueberry bush, the fine lace secured by main lines attached to fence and eave. Thread by thread, the spider untied the lace from the leaf until it fell and landed in the bush, yellow on red, as if names could color such things. Then she set about her repairs. This morning, she is hidden away, sheltered from the wet, perhaps beneath the very same leaf. And life — life, is our sanctuary.



Monday, October 24, 2016

Lamp



(2001)

We used to have a table that folded. When I tried to draw it, it rebelled.




Friday, October 21, 2016

all you believe softly


all you believe

softly

softly

to the ground

a rainy mushroom mound

a yellow leaf to make a sound

so near your far

is here



Thursday, October 20, 2016

light as light as light


little lights, glowing in the dark,
yours in your dark, mine in mine,

make our dark, make our light,
dark in your light, dark in mine,

light as light as light,

little stars, twinkling in the dark,
twinkle your eyes, twinkle mine,

bright as bright as bright,

see us dark, see us light,
no more wrong, no more right,

sight as sight as sight.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reflection


Leaves adrift, across a pond, faith in life, faith in love,

bless this day, the earth below, the sky above,

this everlasting childhood!



Sunday, October 16, 2016

the moon behind clouds


the moon behind clouds where no one can see her

and I dare say she feels the same way

about the grace of a face hidden by lace that the sea wove

and that the night holds in place with kind fingers



Saturday, October 15, 2016

I love the dream of touching you


I love the dream of touching you so lightly
you don’t know I’m here.

And then you touch me,
almost knowing, but not quite where.

As if, love, we are air,
and touching is our only care.



Friday, October 14, 2016

Canvas 776



Canvas 776

October 14, 2016




yesterday afternoon, in the deep-dark rain


yesterday afternoon, in the deep-dark rain,
a hummingbird paused long enough to explain
the joy it all is — the hunger, the pain,
and all that remains

of the print of our lips
on the steamy-wet window glass.



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Canvas 775



Canvas 775

October 13, 2016


This was done with my fingertip,
as were the last several drawings.



Canvas 774



Canvas 774

October 13, 2016


just enough to satisfy the urge