Thursday, February 15, 2018

Heaven and hell

A pebble in a child’s pocket, a feather, a shell.

A child in God’s pocket, a star, a well.

God in a pot on a stove.

Soup in a bowl.

Where is heaven, Master? Where is hell?

And the old man smiled.

I too once asked foolish questions, said he,

And brought his spoon to his mouth.

And when we die, and leave this world?

Maybe when we arrive, we will know.

But for now, I beg of you, please, sit down.

This is better warm, than cold.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Canvas 1,152

Canvas 1,152

February 14, 2018

Old-fashioned valentines

Beautiful old-fashioned valentines. There’s a box of them here in my mother’s desk that she kept from her grammar school days. Delicate, simple, intricate, ornate, all with familiar names. Off to the library, now, to high school, to marriage, to war. Home again, home again. To clothesline. To family. To a walk through the park. And what have we here? Someone’s initials, in the heart of the sycamore?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Twenty degrees this morning. Up since four, reading, coffee. Now to write a few words, then out for the first walk of the day. Just a few words, for what is there, really, to say? Like the birds in the trees, I’m free! I’m free! I’m free! and may, at any given moment, fall dead at your feet. But not really dead. For such is the nature of this dream. That you trust only movement you can see. While granite nears and beach cliffs recede. An old photograph in the family album. Is that you? Is that me? Habitante du ciel, passagère en ces lieux!*

* Dweller of the sky, a mere traveler here! (Lamartine)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Canvas 1,151

Canvas 1,151

February 12, 2018

I made this with the little finger of my left hand.

Go gently this day

Go gently this day, dear one,

for you may well be the angel we need,

not quite knowing, yet sowing,

the deed.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Canvas 1,149

Canvas 1,149

February 10, 2018

I made this with the little finger of my right hand.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The dream continues

Lower South Falls

February 7, 2018

And meet here an angel

We return to the well, and meet here an angel,

Filling the jars of all who come.

Some leave with water, some with earth, some with sorrow,

Each, in turn, a great measure of love.

And some remain, trembling,

The light strikes them so.

These receive dawn.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Canvas 1,147

Canvas 1,147

February 7, 2018


Yesterday morning I heard the towhee again. The robins were also out and about. But what surprised me was the dove, which, for all the world, sounded surprised itself. What else? Years and years ago, when we still lived on the farm, a hen flapped down from its roost and stood in the dimmest light of dawn, not quite knowing why, or what she’d done. She was a kind of ghost, and so was I, looking on.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Butterflies and bee toes

Am I being vague? I don’t mean to be. I love words. And they love me. We’re naturally hesitant, wondering, each time we meet, who will be the first to speak. What should we mean? We aren’t nails hammered through wood. We’re more like butterflies, or bees with pollen on our toes. Documents? Manifestos? We laugh. We can’t all be bibles or epitaphs. Some of us must be free.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Night replies

Everything is so familiar. And so strange.

I am here, I am not here. I am, and I am not at all.

Then your hand passes through me.

And I think, what a wonderful reminder.

And ask, how have you conjured these bones?

And night replies, perfume.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Nothing to say

I have nothing to say today, except that when I was out for my early morning walk, I heard a towhee spinning its song. I say spinning, for those few notes seemed a kind of musical galaxy. I couldn’t see the bird. All the better.

Friday, February 2, 2018


The old man, they say, has lost his mind.

But we do not lose what we give.

And it is cold where they wait to be known.

It is cold where they wait. It is cold in the ground.

And what is the mind, once it has flown?

You might ask the river. You might ask the snow.

You might, when it lights on the stone.

The old man, they say. And he laughs. And he loves them.

And we come and we go, we come and we go.