Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prayer for the new year

My pocket inside out

yet time to tell

that I may live with love to give

and not a pain to make

nor grief to trade

or sell

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Canvas 500

Canvas 500

December 30, 2014

Fare thee well, hello

Now the master’s pipe is cold,
his hound is in its grave,

and you yourself like leather worn,
with time alone to brave,

sing out the old year, sing out,
rejoice for what it gave,

then praise the bride who suckles
her pretty newborn babe.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A list of the books I read in 2014

Following is a list of the books I read this year.
This is the third year I have made such a list.
The list for 2013 is here. The list for 2012 is here.


The Writings of Charles Dickens
with Critical and Bibliographical Introductions and Notes
by Edwin Percy Whipple
Illuminated with Steel Portraits and Engravings
from the Original Designs
by Browne, Cruikshank, Leech, and Others
in Thirty-Two Volumes

Houghton, Mifflin and Company



The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
(Two Volumes)

Sketches by Boz
Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People

The Adventures of Oliver Twist

Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
(Two Volumes)

The Old Curiosity Shop

Barnaby Rudge, Master Humphrey’s Clock,
and The Mystery of Edwin Drood
(Two Volumes)

The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
and American Notes
(Two Volumes)

Dombey and Son
(Two Volumes)

The Personal History of David Copperfield
(Two Volumes)

Bleak House
(Two Volumes)

Little Dorrit
(Two Volumes)

A Tale of Two Cities

Great Expectations

Our Mutual Friend
(Two Volumes)

Christmas Books: Tales and Sketches
(Two Volumes)

Hard Times and Other Stories

The Uncommercial Traveler and Pictures from Italy

Plays, Poems, and Miscellanies

A Child’s History of England;
also A Holiday Romance and Other Pieces

Life, Letters, and Speeches of Charles Dickens,
with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Illustrators of Dickens’s Works
(Two Volumes)

The Dickens Dictionary
A Key to the Plot and Characters in the Tales of Charles Dickens
with Copious Indexes and Bibliography by Gilbert A. Pierce
with Additions by William A. Wheeler


Never More Together : A Wordless Poem
by Steven McCabe

Monsieur Ambivalence : a post literate fable
by Thomas Fuller

Galileo’s Daughter : A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
by Dava Sobel

The Wanderer (Le Grand Meaulnes)
by Alain-Fournier

A White Umbrella in Mexico
by F. Hopkinson Smith
with Illustrations by the Author

Life of Charles Darwin
by G.T. Bettany

The Moon and Sixpence
by W. Somerset Maugham

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

The Dramatic Works of St. John Hankin
by St. John Hankin
(Three Volumes)

Remembrance Rock
by Carl Sandburg

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
by Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
by Carl Van Doren

The Words: The Autobiography of Jean-Paul Sartre
by Jean-Paul Sartre

Always The Young Strangers
by Carl Sandburg

Seeds of Man : An Experience Lived and Dreamed
by Woody Guthrie

East of Eden
by John Steinbeck

Memoirs of a Nun
by Denis Diderot

Jude the Obscure
by Thomas Hardy

The Metamorphosis of Ajax : A New Discourse on a Stale Subject
by Sir John Harington

Absalom, Absalom!
by William Faulkner

The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway

The Human Comedy
by William Saroyan

A Listening Thing
by William Michaelian

Molloy; Malone Dies; The Unnamable
by Samuel Beckett

O Lost : A Story of the Buried Life
(The original version of Look Homeward, Angel)
by Thomas Wolfe

Sister Carrie
by Theodore Dreiser

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
by Herman Melville

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(with 42 illustrations by Gustave Doré)

Van Loon's Lives :
Being a true and faithful account of a number of highly interesting meetings with certain historical personages, from Confucius and Plato to Voltaire and Thomas Jefferson, about whom we had always felt a great deal of curiosity and who came to us as our dinner guests in a bygone year.
by Hendrik Willem van Loon

La Vita Nuova
by Dante Alighieri
(translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti)

The Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri
(translated by Melville Best Anderson)

by George Eliot

The Betrothed
by Alessandro Manzoni

Goblin Market : a tale of two sisters
by Christina Rossetti

Letters from Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple, 1652-1654
Edited by Edward Abbott Parry

The Diary of John Evelyn
by John Evelyn
(Two Volumes)

Purefoy Letters : 1735-1753
by Elizabeth Fish Purefoy and Henry Purefoy
(Two Volumes)

Early-morning streetlight

For every love, every grief, every pain,
an early-morning streetlight — but there is,
I am certain, one star to explain.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


The divine quiet, so tender to admit
a boy and his toy trumpet
of out-of-key

Saturday, December 27, 2014

zen érotique

no need to comprehend
this rainbow of naked limbs
a hummingbird ascends

Light upon the stairs

This life is a stained glass window;
see how the light illuminates the stairs,
and plays upon our sacred-weary fears;
I do declare, ’tis joy to meet you here.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The bone beneath your brow

With your fingertips, trace the bone beneath your brow,
then notice how your breath, so low,
is slow enough to make the flowers grow,
and bow.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Canvas 499

Canvas 499

December 25, 2014

All the dear child sees

Upon your knees, and in your mirror,
if you will love me,

love all the dear child sees
looking on, looking in,

looking out, looking back,
looking up, looking down, from here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Canvas 498

Canvas 498

December 24, 2014

enlightenment the plum

enlightenment the plum you were eating all along
plum the enlightenment eating all you are is gone
gone all along you are the enlightened eaten plum

On the eve

Such joy in letting go of letting go
of letting go of letting go

O the scented ground
beneath this windswept pine

Strength of your strength

The strength of your strength
is your joy to yield

ripened grain as rain arrives
your table full

the sacred way
you close your eyes

sheds more light
on what was thought


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

upon a nest

upon a nest and in the nest an egg
upon an egg and in the egg a nest
upon a nest an egg to bless an age

gray geese white sails

gray geese white sails wide silence church bells
gray geese wide sails white silence church bells
light pales night silence gray geese church bells

Monday, December 22, 2014

rain moss stone

moss stone
rain moss stone
same rain moss stone
rain moss stone same rain
moss stone rain moss stone
not same rain not same
moss not same stone
not same no not
same rain

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Those old bells in distant times,
counties, hills, fences, crows,
not unlike the words I find in old books,
tolling, still, their census shows,
how straight they go in stately lines,
on winter roads through frosty rhymes,
with woolen scarves and proper looks,
and do my life apostrophize,
as one who rings, and leaves,
his rain thoughts,
in a brook.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

To be sure

is that number
between one
and then

The great dark

The great dark

The winter dark the water dark

The careful feeling for the bottom with a long pole

The fishing for a face you pray will know

The touch of a kind finger upon a blind eye

The dark will show

The way to go

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Canvas 493

Canvas 493

December 16, 2014

Canvas 492

Canvas 492

December 16, 2014

How your speech

How your speech, speaks you;

your thoughts, think you;

of these, your life, be proof;

your life, your face, your face, your mouth;

how peace, seeks you, where words, are deeds, in truth.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Leaf prayer

How lightly, by strokes just so,
you keep me here, then let me go.

(now dying, now painting, now flying, still)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Canvas 489

Canvas 489

December 12, 2014

Storm prayer

This tree a tongue, through wind and calm,
praise life a song, by grace all one,

(blow now, blow here, blow by, blow on)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I go sparkling

I go sparkling, I go imagining, the tinkling of a bell,
of a boy, the bell on his ankle, the boy walking beside an elephant,
I go dreaming, I go deep into the shade of the banyan tree,
they are seeds on a branch where hunger teaches light,
life is a melody, a wise elephant, mother,
round, with another, I go,
where she carries

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Canvas 487

Canvas 487

December 9, 2014

Knowing prayer

Let me dwell not on what I know,
or even on my need to know;
let me dwell, on and in,
my willingness to let it go.

Riddle wise

One by one, neath the lilac down,
we meet the mossy stone; each the other
held lief and dear, the riddle wise,
we most become.

Monday, December 8, 2014


Upon my face, crows’ feet frozen to their prey;
such a way has black to say, that night is right to play
blue songs; that sight may come by day,
to melt the ice away,
and lead me

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Canvas 484

Canvas 484

December 4, 2014

Here before

Life, a familiar echo, a hound on the porch, the sweet pull of smoke;

You say I’ve been away, and I dare must believe it;

Or how, does your hand, cause the beating, of my heart?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Hurry is the assumption that the moment is beneath you,
and that you will still be here when it ends.

The head a great cavern

The head, a great cavern, windswept,
hoary with rime; at its farthest reaches,
words, like gulls, mad, with their cry.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thinking as softly

Thinking as softly as you speak

thoughts spoken more softly still

thinking thoughts that in your speaking

speak like snow