Friday, October 31, 2014

At sea

Cling to the wreckage, or cut myself free?
Why ask, when the storm is me?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A coffin bright

What strikes you of the night, is how fit it seems
for wingless flight: at last, a coffin bright,
and with the depth of the spirit
meant for it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Canvas 459

Canvas 459

October 29, 2014

Rainbows and windmills

Sometimes we leave with rainbows in our pockets,
and sometimes we travel without them,
knowing there are always rainbows about;

and yet a crumpled rainbow is its own gum wrapper,
as the saying goes, prized for its juicy-rejoicing-mad scent,
and one cannot always stop to replenish the supply;

price-per-pound, mothers in line at the check-stand,
kids in tow, everyone going somewhere,
everyone missing home, by whichever grand route;

did I say rainbows, when I meant windmills;
kids, when I meant goats; pockets, instead of boats;
that we pass beneath willows, their locks in the stream;

deep as anything; deep as your grandmother’s mixing bowl;
west by way of a smoking train, staking your claim,
sinking your well; it’s something like that, along with its smell;

fun, too; I thought I had mentioned that; or am I thinking
of grandpa’s hat, and the way it sat, and that he would,
somehow, die and be right back;

oh, grandpa, rainbows and wagon wheels,
have I really lived that long, that white walls and trailer tongues
should be all rusted, busted, and cracked;

apparently so; so apparent is that, that I forget now
whether rain-mills are windrows, or the train’s on the track;
how about that; one for you, one for me; sweet, in my lap.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Canvas 458

Canvas 458

October 28, 2014

And though you were

And though you were to forget the words,
left, page by page, blind in the sight of them;

yet, living in their light, would you not see
a dawning age, another kind of birth;

would you not be, in the taming of your rage,
the very might that they are worth?

Monday, October 27, 2014

The way you look at me

Your little craft, on a boundless sea; the sea, itself,
so small, as to be a leaf, or breath, between two stars,
suspended, by the motion, in between; the motion,
a song; the song, as vague as clear can be,
as clear is vague, and clean; the way,
you look at me, when I say,
what you think,
I mean.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


The crack, in your face, where a flower grows.

Canvas 457

Canvas 457

October 26, 2014

The lightest touch

The lightest touch; so light, you wonder if you feel it at all;

a kiss; a butterfly; spirit-fingers;

love; a breath; the wight of vision itself;

omen; prophecy; a figure in the mist off the bow;

aught said in its presence, that your absence will count;

of this, nigh, it lingers; within; without; yet else.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A few grains of salt

A few grains of salt, a dash of memory;
here are my bones, here what I meant to be;
flowered so well, as rivers would stones;
grave is my halt, and listen without;
to laughter, the cry left of me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Canvas 456

Canvas 456

October 24, 2014

Chance meetings

If he seems a little ugly, with his features out of place,
yet heed the pity in his face for the like of you,
blessed with beauty as you are, and waste
that soon may be the blight of you,
when by your greed and haste,
you are justly framed
by every trace
of light on

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Canvas 455

Canvas 455

October 23, 2014


Fragments, yet whole; sea-lights,
burning, now bright, now obscured by the mist;
worlds, turning, youthful, yet old; thus sent,
here-tossed, we see each face
in our own; now whose,
then, is this?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Canvas 454

Canvas 454

October 22, 2014


From a quiet wet-black street, cast by a city lamp,
a reflection, as if the cause of clouds,
would pause, and speak,
of heaven.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Here is a door

Here is a door. Or, rather, four letters. A word.
The word opens. Light enters. A cloud. A storm. A bird.

The bird bears a message. Or, rather, the message bears her.
Four letters, four doors, four storms, four birds.

Forever. And on. Infinite doors. Letters.
Clouds. Storms. Messages. Birds.

No hands. No knobs. No frames. No walls.
Only doors. Infinite words.

Light enters. Where was it before?
No one has mentioned the dark.

No night. No veil. No blinds.
Once were. Then are.

No time. See how they fly.
Dark enters. Light. Light, as a word.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Canvas 453

Canvas 453

October 20, 2014

Upon a stream

Whence this scene, a blessing of your mind,
yet lived in, acted upon, admired, by other minds?

Whence this leaf, upon a stream,
soon departed, which remains?

And before you say, “old-fashioned,”
whither, save in kind, will ever, be the same.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Canvas 452

Canvas 452

October 19, 2014

The words you utter

How the words you utter, utter you.

How they grow, then ripen, on the vine.

How they color, and fall, when it’s time.

How bright, the birds, come to dine.

How blue, how clear, the sky.

How flight, is true, by design.

How love, makes you, from your mind.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Canvas 451

Canvas 451

October 18, 2014

Canvas 450

Canvas 450

October 18, 2014

The ghost of a chance

In the old family album, comes that turn in the dance,
where you, are the ghost, of a chance. By her wings, in his glance,
just as we find them — do you see what you couldn’t,
now that they can’t?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The perfect place

The perfect place, a cedar jewel box
for a grave; a thousand ways forgotten, save
the one that stays; a leaf that speaks for autumn;
sinks deep, the pin, the blood,
to spring.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Canvas 447

Canvas 447

October 15, 2014

Tell me

If you cannot see the beauty, in your beard,
in your body, in the brevity, abundance, or absence,
of your own tender breasts; the down, or the scar,
or the curve, of your back; if you fear this;
then, tell me; where does fear end,
and where, does beauty,

Note: two poems today; the first, “Child, hold your lantern,” is here.

Child, hold your lantern

I am a wind-tossed hill;
you are a poet of painted leaves;
child, hold your lantern, still;
if not in this, then what
will we believe?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How, in a way

How, on a map, you find this word, and that word,
and how, on a face, you find rivers, rails, and towns.

How, in a word, you find this place, and that place,
and how, looking back, you find ways, to carry on.

How, in a way, you find this face, is that face,
and how, in your place, they find words, of their own.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Canvas 446

Canvas 446

October 13, 2014

Out of pain

Out of pain, a little breath, and back again.
Face, hands, neck, limbs, the lungs of sacrificial lambs.
Into grace, clamber for your lap again.
Man his wife, woman man.
Girl boy again.

Face, hands, neck, limbs.
A little pain, out of breath, and back again.
Clamber grace, wife her boy, girl man.
The lungs of sacrificial lambs.
Into your lap again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Canvas 445

Canvas 445

October 12, 2014

Chew well this apple

Chew well this apple charged with stardust,
exhale your sweet, blind breath,

by all the light that’s in you,
go down, go down,

this is your

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Little glass bells

An old shaving mug full of upturned pencils.
A face, in the glass, through the storm.

The sharpest lead to sketch the restless maple.
The softest bed, the oldest rug, the place you’re born.

Long last, first life, lost love, gentle touch.
Know not, present best, carry on.

The flattest, for the mold, rich, ground.
The breath, the itch, the scratch, the hair, the arm.

Moist, in the eye, most, blessed, crown.
Now, the tune, the tone, the talk, the song.

Slippers, socks, figures, clocks, little glass bells.
Something, stops, a rooster, crows.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Moon so bright

The moon, so bright, I cannot sleep.

In sleep, I dream, the moon,
so bright, can sleep, through anything.

In moon, I sleep, so bright, the dream, is everything.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Something in the grit

Have you washed your hands with soil?
There’s something in the grit — a rock, a fable.

Autumn. My shovel creaks a little more now.
Like the joints of a man who smiles growing old.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Canvas 444

Canvas 444

October 8, 2014

Blood moon

You love the words blood, and moon,
and how they become your new day’s clothes,
while out of the bath, your scent, your hair,
and in your mind, your mind’s repose,
you find your true love there, now
red, then gray, then all alone,
your kiss’s kiss, as wishes
bliss, on blessed

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Canvas 443

Canvas 443

October 7, 2014


Meaning, as grounds for reason;
believing, for reading what’s found in our cup
when the coffee is gone; speaking, for the sake of words
alone: dear ones, sweet ones, bringing,
our language along.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Canvas 442

Canvas 442

October 6, 2014

Who is it listens

Whichever speaks first, who is it listens,
as mind and tongue converse? who is it acts,
who is it suffers, this strange-sane triumph
of words? whichever speaks first,
who is it fathoms, the pain,
the joy, the curse?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Canvas 441

Canvas 441

October 5, 2014


No color the same, no sight, or sound,
but the same enough, and enough the same,
that their names seem right enough while others
crowd around, like brothers bright enough,
but seeming slight enough, to blame
your troubles on.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Canvas 440

Canvas 440

October 4, 2014

Fall away

Your mother’s thimble; that cedar smell; and your mind,
on the eye, of the needle, as you sigh, in the sweet, by and by.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Canvas 439

Canvas 439

October 3, 2014

Sound, sometimes

Sound, sometimes, is like a faraway city on a faraway hill,
it is that beautiful, you have been there, you have not been there,
going, staying, living, not living, still, it is that beautiful,
nearer, farther, you must love it or you would not
know it is there, you must seek its origin
as the origin seeks itself, that street,
there — that mirror, that bell,

that dream? that hope?
that hell? —

there, it is,
that, beautiful.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

How we are a group of stars

How we are a group of stars,
mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son,
and how we dream alone and sail on,
nearer, farther, either, other,
ever, gone.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Canvas 438

Canvas 438

October 1, 2014

You think you know yourself

You think you know yourself — then comes a word,
a phrase, a night, a moon, an oak in rust on a time-worn hill,
leaves, twigs, and cloud-debris, horseless riders faceless
until they swing right in front of you — did you dream
them or did they dream you? — swing by their necks,
smiling, still — and you look down at your hands,
at the flowers they hold, rainbows, lanterns,
beads, gold, at a train passing through
impossible views — at your breath
in the cold, at your age and its
clues — and find, yes,
find, that you