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


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 —
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 —
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.


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.

Darkmoon Solstice

We ride the dark down deep where you sleep
under the surface of seeming.
Long hour of night
birds that wait on the wire
to carry the dream electric —
Who can reason out
its irrational, radical geometry?
We hunger for it so.
A year that falls away like sand,
all the things we thought we knew,
and too vast to carry the day-to-day.
We are out of season
with our hands in the dirt.
Let the dead fall away and wait below.
We bury what we thought was true.
And we can still reach
across this space without touching.
Like the birds,
we can wait out the night.


More the fool,
I walk layers of proximity,
and the meaning one makes of it.
Tracing circles ’round truths we avoid
(it is so late, love) —
I could raise my hands just so.
How I want to reach you.

How to control the racing
when you are so close,
I can feel the electric
that sings the space between?
We’ve already wandered
from the map.

I wait for you to run again.
I watch and wait for you to run.
But you don’t.
fearing the transparent wild,
I take it upon myself.


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