Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013


The wind, the roar aloft from a distant road,
a restless jay cracking nuts on the walk,
a door, a song, a gentle old mom
looking up, and long,
and in.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


In the park at nightfall
the hero dismounts,
consoles and feeds his horse.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


A bath
for the leaf,

a drink
for the root,

a callous
for the hand,

a grief
with folded wings.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Stone bunnies in impatiens

Stone bunnies in impatiens
deep along the walk,

child sees them wait,
about to hop.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Such dizziness! Why would my friend, three years dead,
lead me here? Past the rocky cliff, a narrow ladder descended.
Looking down, I nearly fell — could still feel myself falling
after crawling back to safety. Into his puzzled, gentle,
helpless smile? Is that what drew me on?
Is that what saved me?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This year after bloom season

This year after bloom season
comes time to dig and trim the irises,
for they are choking

It’s so easy, though, to let them be,
to let the tops die back,
and the weeds

Yesterday among them
could be seen rhizomes thick
as a young man’s arms,
one atop another.

And a young woman’s arms
could be seen, for they were seen,
lovers coiled in spring.

Child atop a mountain,
soon the flowers will come,
and the graves will be
hidden once again.

The uncle I never met
was born on this day.

His name is on a cross,
surrounded by other crosses,
in a field of crosses,
in Italy.

The irises are choking themselves.

A shovel’s depth is all,
the illusion of a world to gain,
the unturned page
of a fairytale.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What to say

What to say, except that words betray their meaning,
and that their betrayal is what we understand?

This? that even if they were clay,
we could never hold them in our hand?†

† That is, if the betrayal isn’t ours of them.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Stale in her pages

The old aunt forgot to eat her soup, forgot to die as well, as old aunts sometimes do — forgot to die, forgot her soup, gazed out instead at the world drowning in sunlight, as in afternoons she was wont to do, keeping evenings for memories dim or bright as stars — forgot to die, forgot her soup, drowning in sunlight, keeping evenings, lost therein until her niece arrived to find her a long unopened book, so stale in her pages she did not turn away quickly enough — forgot to die, forgot her soup, drowning in sunlight, stars in the evening, setting thus in motion — a fan to move the air, a flame to warm the soup, a brush to tame the hair, courage to read on, patience for the end.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In the garden a severed worm

In the garden a severed worm
with clotted wound
teaches true

a child
two years old
whose very breath is vision

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Little girls stealing tulips

Little girls stealing tulips, bless you for your first gray hair,
love you for the weight you bear, choose you by the sun to wear
the grace, the smile, the color of your days.

Friday, April 19, 2013

That perfect time

That perfect time when

raindrops on the vent
above the stove

become the sound of doves
that takes you home.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Someone will say

Someone will say
it’s more complicated than this

a voice in your head
you can’t dismiss

simplicity is beneath you
love bores you

is an idle wish

a tasteless kiss

I had so far yet to go
your unread epitaph


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Old Age (traditional)

Old Age

April 17, 2013

[click to enlarge]


Had I not been a leaf ’til now
here on the ground beneath the bough

I’d still rejoice in these
sweet green buds

loved ones


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


It’s not a new thought,
the sun having a mind and soul;

nor the grand assumption
of our own;

yet what a child knows
goes far beyond

the blinding light
of dawn;

or so it seems
to one.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Just a breeze to move the web
that holds the gem — enough to be
the timely measure of a man.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In so many words

When I was a boy on the farm,
I wrote in the dust with stick, finger, toe, palm.

Canvas 293

April 10, 2013

[click to enlarge]

Are these drawings a form of shorthand,
or are they a form of writing so long
that they almost, perhaps even purposely,
forget what they seek to reveal?

Or are they simply a record of inward travel,
to and from an outward shore?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013