Drop

Was this one last warmth
before snow covered your bones?
Or have you found shelter
in simple?

Either way,
we howl with wind that plays the trees.
They stand in black and white lines
we learn to see between.
And we howl again
because we are not gone yet.

Like water,
you seek the path of least resistance,
downward and downward,
forgetful of freezing
that slows progress to glacial.

But you know where to find us.
We still make this habit
of endurance.
And the embers glow fitful,
drawing us in.

And there never are answers –
just a turning into wind,
a walking into snow,
and movement,
whether glacial or sudden.

The Clock Dream

Oh, delicious distracted –
we dream its circular progress,
but it is always now and now
days of sustenance –
a season’s worth of honey –
we are so drawn along.

A wind to bring on
gray southern rain,
with air soft but metallic
with winter’s whispers
along the horizon’s curve.
Its hands have stopped,
and now is all time
and no time come.
Pebbles and windows,
the fire in the coals.
So long you learn
not to believe.

Drawing everything in,
we are the constant regeneration
of a minute architecture
we’ll never comprehend
it is so far.
And the rain breathes,
and I breathe it in,
your breath –
just as the clock stops.

Slowly

Our blood thickens and slows
as color is taken up and away
by November’s wind.
Again,
we learn endurance,
with tears that freeze
in silver lines
on skin that can’t hold heat.
But we still turn in
to face it.

A dissipating fog of breath –
who knows where it is?
Who knows where it goes?
Let it,
and mark its slow progress
on the map.
Somewhere on this skin,
you also find home.
And I want to spill,
but slowly and unfrozen.
There is no safety
in this silence.

Stone

You’re the one I keep –
for the imperfection
of your language,
for measuring eyes
and dancing hands,
for all
of what might never be.

Sometimes carry you in my pocket
and approach the water’s edge,
running thumb and forefinger
across the contours
we’ve created.

Watch the mirror:
gray sky,
gray water,
gray stone.

Think on possibility –
the potential of a perfect arc,
mind’s eye counting
the outward ripples
as you skip across the surface.

But despite the delight of means,
the murky end is too much.
So I keep you close –
a meditation on could-have-been,
a stone in my pocket.

Touch

Do not know
if I was wrong
or am.
You’re such an engaging purpose,
but I forget how
to take up the cause.

Before I skip it away,
turn this stone in my hand –
its rough and smooth
sides and edges,
hours into years –
and despite the progress of erosion,
we end the same –
afraid to touch
or be touched.

Suspension

Can we let this minute be –
without what’s done?
Or what’s to become?

Surrender one breath
to the suspension of time.

And because nothing stays with us,
and because nothing ever goes –
we are easy with it.
It is well
and you are never here,
but always presence –
my lover of a different stripe.

How we have been transported!

Ascent or descent –
let me touch you now,
then.

We can rise or fall into it.

And breathe.
And breathe.

…breathe…

Ground

And the quiet that builds in the bone
begins to ripen and burst.
And we are reminded by purple aster and milkweed.
And we are reminded by heavy-headed indiangrass.
And we are reminded by the slow-fading goldenrod.

The thread was never cut –
only silenced for a season
so we might learn how to listen.

And today all the golden brown
bends in the gray wind.
And bending with it,
I can feel it –
its coursing joy and the electric hum
of feet that more than touch the ground.

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