Archive | August 2013

Near View

There is this moment —
a mote of dust
catching rays of sunlight
as it settles to earth.
Yellow coneflowers
have lost their petals —
their dark eyes remain
to hover amidst
all the golden days to come —
soon enough,
these will be
a point of attraction
in the gray.

And we are these moments:
nomads among the well rooted,
grains of sand
eroding in the riverbed,
and diminishing
in the great unfolding.

Keep the lens
a moment longer.
Don’t close your eyes
before you can see.

Before you can find
the definition of these words,
and choose among them,
success or despair,
regret or gratitude,
you must find
the point of tension —
that settlement that lies
halfway between
the near view
and the far.



Our position changes
relative to the sun
and now a fiery light
blazes through
the windows on my door.
And the migration
changes direction too —
with prairie warblers
following the river
and the sun back down.
We await a riot
of carousel color
and falling,
into golden days
and clear nights
when the reaping scythe
sweeps the stars out
brilliant scatterings
casting runes and
of bone dust,
scales and feathers
to sing our sleep.

That Uncivilized Piano

Tonight was going to make yarn. But the piano next to the wheel was insistent.

Have only a handful of songs. I sing at myself. 10 or so, maybe. And more when working regularly. Chopin and Cave. Angel from Montgomery. 200 more miles. More. But mainly, just 10orso.

Catching a new is joyful but the figuring a challenge. Arduous. Old dogs. Excuses. Only need the one thing: Time will turn that page.


There were two new. And then three. A love letter but missing one chord then found. And you wanna make it hard on me. Need to hear you say goodbye.

Couple more to sing at myself.

No. Never. Funny you should ask. No. Yes there was a time when it was so. I don’t think. But


There is no one knows my voice now.


We live vicariously through these voices —
keeping one eye on the egg of the moon,
poised to wax and hatch the coming year.

Nights like this,
the shards of voices that ring from every quarter
fall quiet.

And we think of all happy endings,
but in silence,
turn away from the golden cup.

We mark time with strings:
woven and knotted and twisted and knitted and spun and electrified and singing and speaking,
a slow fade.

And meantime give voice
to all the always-passing-on bodies of lightness,
always waiting for nights like this —

when the station is closed and quiet,
when all trains are only heard distantly,
when the choir stills its demands,
when the rivers find the confluence,
when all angels lift their wings from our eyes,
when we sleep in the long grass,
when we let it all run away through our hands,
when we forfeit belief and integrate this expansion.





And still


This year of death
is almost done,
and north winds gather
a glowering sun,
as subtle snakes
warm themselves
and hawks wheel high
over trees that begin
to turn over
each golden leaf.

And it would be better
if he could find
a weary silence.
he keeps offering
this dangerous feast.
And does anyone
ever grow immune
to such poisons?
Those that work
deep and secret
in the blue vein?

Love falls
to ruin all around,
dropping from grace
as all seek loneliness,
as all seek endurance,
as all seek
and seek
the ancient strains
of fight or flight.

So let him rail,
then say, “There is a train.”
Let him pour poison,
then bring him the cup.
Let him take the wheel,
then point to the road.
Let him dangle the blade,
but refuse the choice.
We will spill no blood
in truth.
But he may do what he will.

Hummingbird Lessons

Knees in the dirt,
I make room
for one more harvest,
as the little bird
dances in the grass,
sings to a cloud,
holds court
with worms and toads.
He passes through,
pausing here and there,
zinnias and Russian sage
cosmos, dill and bachelor buttons —
blurred wings,
a flash of green.
Now here in the garden,
now out in the old orchard,
now in the woody edge by the marsh —
always drinking deep
and moving on.

And though every flower
must fade and pass
into the long dark
of winter,
every season’s fruit
wax heavy
then fall,
and every joy
spend itself —
in his fleeting
but deep tastes,
he never takes
all at once.
And in this way,
he might make
this honey-sweet summerwine
just a bit more lasting.


The stage is yours,
my friend,
and I watch
among strangers,
and the night
takes me cool
in the receding
rhythms of
their dark hymns,
I descend
back to it.

And the strangers
stand enthralled,
and they hold you
with half-closed eyes,
and I wait
again at the back
of a room,
low light,
in communion
with the night.

And somehow
all songs —
your blues,
the mantra of crickets,
the frogs who
shake their throats
at the moon —
rise to one
holy chant
that we can’t
help but follow,
like rainwater
seeking the river.

And I will wait here
until all sound
blows whispering
to dust
and covers me over.
And I will wait here
while my hands
grow strange.
And I will wait here
as these candles
and stars
erase themselves.
And I will wait here
until we have
something more
to say.