Coyote

With a wicked sense
but no eye that could see
we sought —
but could learn no kind
of satisfaction.

There is this language of turning —

(coyote hunts the night) —

and I am lost to it.
Always there is the forgetting,

but the moon has spilled its silver on us again.

And again
and again —
a clockwork dream
that hides then reveals
its hand.

We haunt the constant return.
We sing out! —
and are our own again.

Cabin Fever

The words are begging at the door.

We all want out.

Our jaws ache and throb with withholding,
and we’ve grown a resistance to these medicines.

We wait for the break and the bend —
lose track in the make and the mend.

But we can feel your imminence.

And here are tires on the street.
And here are feet on the porch.
And here is a key in the lock.

Soon,
the unspoken will dissipate,
and the sun will catch
all those things that want to live.

over the ice

the words of banishing were on my lips but when my feet hit the ice they were only the second pair to make tracks on the fresh-fallen snow and I followed the coyote’s meander round a bent wood and through cattails and up down a hill past curious chickadees and rising again found him — the fog of his disappearing breaths — so close and for a moment felt the fear and enticement of prey

Invisibility

So this is what we can be:
a star so faint
as to be only
peripherally visible,
and transitory as moonlight
caught in an icicle.
None can take the care
to see —
so small and shrinking
to this pale point of light,
then blinking —
a remote pulse that fades
and disappears
with the night.

Snow falls

To avoid the folly
of a confidence —
silence.
As still and deep
as snow in the night —
I am not who I was.
And I cannot be
who I am.
But this needs no witness —
barefoot,
in the snow —
the silver of something
I cannot quite reach.
Let it fall.

Hoar Frost

I still see the evidence of my passing,
nine days gone now.
But we are ephemeral as hoar frost on the trees at false dawn.
And there is no permanence —
just this splitting and reforming.

I want to demand an understanding,
but in these depths of winter,
moments of truth or beauty are fleeting.
We try to catch on and hold them,
but they melt in the rising sun and let us go.

Three woodpeckers —
all the robins flocked in the hollow.
Things that are always and never the same.

We can barely comprehend it,
how we move in this place —
our scale so skewed —
where all is a fraction of a fraction.

Our small constancies.
The nothingness of it all
when we see the hoar frost.

Ride

We ride the moon hard —
invisible transit
of frost flowers
that bloom on the glass.
You slide into focus again.
Did you do that?

Dream the sky a sea dark and wide
where boats small and fleet
rock their way to port.
And you are always drifting off,
leaving me at the mercy
of its merciless tide.

Above us it still sails —
sympathetic but unrelenting,
it brooks no excuse.
Swim, it says,
or sink.

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