Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How sweet the ripe fall corn

How sweet the ripe fall corn,
the apples in the mill, the pumpkin dew,

believe me when I say
I go willingly,

now, will you
go, too?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Canvas 437

Canvas 437

September 29, 2014

First light

The cool air on your skin, each hair rising,
history, the moon, any illusion you so choose,
and how it chooses you, the way you play
and mean to lose, what you say as much
as what you do — the color, warm,
rising, the very mirror
of this room,

the season’s last bright flowers,

the winding street you’re carried through,

and how you remember kneeling,
the sound of wax as meets melting stone,

if you would so care to choose,
and you do — just as the doing is,
the choosing is, to tell.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sweet blue smoke

Now, let’s say you aren’t here, and that what’s happening to you is what’s happening to everyone, and that they aren’t here either, and that this is togetherness, and that togetherness is another word for solitude, and that solitude is so much like being here that you believe you really are here, and that your belief is enough to make it so, and that all else, which isn’t here either, is, and that seeing this, God, who isn’t here either, is convinced he must be — remembering, all the while, that this belief, powerful as it is, isn’t here either, since no one and nothing else is — and that this, in its grand, poetic entirety, is the sweet blue smoke rising from a fire that really is here, and that your present absence is its everlasting fuel. So much for thoughts, and where they go.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Canvas 436

Canvas 436

September 27, 2014


You — the dawning of the age and the great
moral argument — disarmed by beauty — the turning
of the page and the precious life you have spent.

Friday, September 26, 2014

See how the sturdy brush

See how the sturdy brush,
wet with dawn so cold it hardly runs,
held by hand so bold it trembles
none, must bend to paint
the rising sun.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Canvas 435

Canvas 435

September 25, 2014

How you bury a butterfly

How you bury a butterfly,
in glass, or stone, or amber past
passed on, yourself thus
worn — and how
the butterfly


have known.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Canvas 434

Canvas 434

September 24, 2014

If colors can be years

If colors can be years,
bright as the fan you hold,
and night, as it nears,
your memory

this leaf,

to fall,

will sound,
for each, and all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Bath, a meditation

sky, a womb

rain, a celebration

flight, a tune

mind, a constellation

heart, a room

life, a revelation

death, a broom

Monday, September 22, 2014

Canvas 433

Canvas 433

September 22, 2014

Not dying

Not dying, he said,
in such a way as rendered verse to stone,
and pleased the butterfly

But living, she said,
in such a way as rendered sweet to some,
and pleased the man he had

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Canvas 432

Canvas 432

September 21, 2014

Of time and mind

If you can’t find it, or them, or one, or the other,
you’re best to think such purposely mislaid,

that visitor of nocturnal kind we call the mind
has set aside your treasure stored as future pleasure,

and not that you are presently despised,
or that the object of your train has up and shied,

for though held through Time Mind knows no place best
as the very first and very last, and calls it This.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Love the objects
in your care, and hold them
dear, for who objects
to love, cares
more, for

Friday, September 19, 2014


A word, how they loved
the beauty of her broken shell,
and how she died alone,
written on a wall.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Canvas 430

Canvas 430

September 17, 2014

Canvas 429

Canvas 429

September 17, 2014

Canvas 428

Canvas 428

September 17, 2014

Jude the obscure

By an open window in the dark with fall coming on,
it comes to you that buildings age from prose into poetry,
and little boys and girls from poetry into prose;
then, everything is quietly reversed;
poetry is sage and worth;
prose, a kiss at first;
errant thought,
a word.

By an open window in the light,
Jude is less obscure,
and you are

What better curse,
than the sacred verse of being

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


How objects in our view
conspire to seem what we think they are,
and how we conspire to believe
what we see is true,
even as it takes
our breath

Monday, September 15, 2014

As reason might surrender

The kindness of the changing seasons,
the light and mist and blush, and as much
to touch as reason might surrender
such brave and frail claim,
that we will change,

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Or is it

Forests, oceans, and wars on a sphere
hung in space. Symphonies and bridges. Stars,
like moths to a flame. Or is it
your face?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Canvas 426

Canvas 426

September 12, 2014

A long minute

It’s a long minute, a spider hanging by her thread;
and in that minute, limb to limb a shadow spreads like a blue canyon;
death cannot describe it, motionless as it is,
though a held breath might,
when she once

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Not quite light and already the breeze is up,
like a rattlesnake bite on the east side of your carcass
moving west, and the rest of the night is down
a squirrel hole with no soul to tell
but the bees buzzing after it,
right to the bottom
of the world.

Had a dream like that once;
turned out war had been declared
and all the boys had gone in to enlist;
rattlesnake-bit, I stayed home to look at my fist
and refused to raise it — had seen enough,
if you get my drift.

Rattlesnake, take me home.
Rattlesnake, bake my bones in the blue light.

For a minute yet, my west won’t know
what your east has done,
but you can bet
that’s long

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The greeting

Now the greeting is this,
that each in our eyes beholds
other bright fragments
of ourselves come
to love —

street angels turn butterflies,
grow wilderness-wise,
shine by elemental
strength —

one dream, one language,
one common root —

enough to make a moon rise,
and that is the truth.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Canvas 425

Canvas 425

September 9, 2014

Kind of slippy-slopey

Kind of slippy-slopey, like you have too many feet
for your worn-out shoes, and stickery-thorns in each big toe,
and when the wind comes up, and the rain sets in, down you go, friend,
down you go, muddy-hen with a crooked claw, where there ain’t no hope
and there ain’t no law, but the hand in the cloud and a smile so odd
it might be God, so let the old man in or we’ll all go sane,
and we cain’t tell where the hell we’ve been —
yep, that’s right, friend,
I said rain.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hat-rack song

Hat-rack in the corner by the basket-chair,
way high up in the mountain air,
one step more and you’re almost there,
hello, clouds, good-bye, fear.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

There is a story

There is a story in the man with his back to the fire,
and the fresh cigarette between the second and third fingers
of his right hand is part of his hypnotic effect;

when he goes up the chimney and back,
the story turns black;

this is the past;

the cigarette to his lips,
the smoke through his nose,
the bright-tragic eyes;

and I wonder what’s painted up there on the chimney’s insides,
what starry nights and streets lined with huts,
what flowers in the hair, what girls
by the well.

The story runs low; there’s ash on the bricks.
He swallows us all, like Charybdis.
I grow up like this.

The fire spits at the screen.
The fire spits, half-dreamed, dreams.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Told me the wind

Told me the wind was down by the graves again,
knew it was lonesome, and I said I most remembered
the markers of wood with their names rubbed raw
till they bled like the very elements,
and how I liked that kind
of talk.

Then he just sort of drifted off,
no need to stay, or smile, and none to walk,
while I stood like the wood
with my name

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Canvas 423

Canvas 423

September 4, 2014

Light is a white feather in a blue wind

Somewhere between a clothesline and a waltz,
we lose count — and like those other things we talk about,
the cold blue wind comes up again, and we are gone
before we know the light is out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Then again

When my grandfather bought the land
that became the farm that became the place where I grew up,
there was near its north boundary the remnant of an old vineyard
of Alicante Bouschet. I never saw those vines, but now,
before dawn, on this cool September morn,
their dust-red bunches coming on,
I give them to you.

Then, again, maybe I give you a song.

When I was eight, my father planted five acres more,
then five again the following year, and then, in his mind, again,
I wonder, how many times more.

I give them to you, the years, the sun, the hail,
the rain, the ruined crops.

The bright-red juice,
running down
my arms.

Their dust-red gravestones,
overhung by the shadows of street-trees.

As much, here, as gone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Glass music

In glass music, breaking is making,
just as clinking is thinking, fragile or not,
as the blower himself,
when his vision
is hot.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Your body so light

Your body so light it isn’t there,
until a hand passing through it reminds you
it is, love, free to roam.