Thursday, February 17, 2011

Poetry Is Probably Not An Appropriate Vehicle

o holy
love, each to each
dark gateless sea, you reach
yourself, massless, complete
divine -

oh sing
small soul, an old old
song, wordfull with ancient
gold. Sing ineffable,
sublime -

hangs starbright
a countless thousand light
across my midnight

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Winter: Haiku and Oddments

Thickness of white.
Only a dark uncertain line divides
white sky from white.


Behind thick snow
cars, houses, valleys, branches:
wrapped up like secrets.


 wit wit! and sickle! 
do ti sol: arrows
streak tree to tree
fierce lyrics, to a drip
a drip a drip
of melting snow

so, wing and throat
warblers, warbirds,
fleet and sing
advance, retreat:
dance (wit wit! then sickle!)
tree to tree.


Snow blows in, starved. Eats
outlines: no trees no road
no tracks no path.Only
snow remembers them: full now,
snow grins (white teeth): oh,
snow knows!

on the way home, mom starts talking

I'm finished, mom says. Her eyes
focus, calm, on the road.
Things have to change. I'm changing
them. I can't wait on his
how --

Outside us cars slide
by, blind machines. I've never seen her,
this woman who knows.
I'm forty-five, she says. I've learned a lot.
She drives.

It's true: she knows,
she's sure. I feel it in me
a square strange organ, newgrown.
X ray it, unknown flesh
of my own flesh:
i need a new readout.

Her sureness settles in
at home beneath my ribbones,
presses, heavy
in my chest.
I push
i breathe.

I am breathing, crying:
i am (newmarried into womanhood)
too old
Too old to learn
this way to be.

Beside me this woman now, somehow,
my mother, she keeps
driving down the road.
She is sure and
not silent.
She says: I've finally begun,
I'm beginning,
I'm getting started.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Sonnet

Those wasted years--the years you grieve,
poured out in bitterness, so many barren showers--
Don't grieve them, but be still. Those seed-
truths you heard and buried, and thought drowned--
Beneath unhope, softly, those Words uncurled
themselves. Spun silver tendrils: tender green
trusts that only now seek out the world,
unwind into shy threads, still tightleaved
and half translucent. See how, tentative,
yet growing bolder, into every hour
now golden they unfold themselves. They live,
they thrive, they leaf out. Believe that they will flower
into full fruiting, every bitter pip of grief
matured to a ripe sweetness of belief.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Skunk

Walking up to the trap, he was striking, in the grey thicket.
Up close his fur was glorious. Luxurious.
It might have made a woman's hat. A queen's robe--
ermine reversed, argent on sable. But he wore his skin
for everyday: it was mudstreaked, stained around his feet.
Already the blood was caking brown, another mudspot 
marking the bullet's invasion of his tiny brain.
Oh, he had a wicked little head, pointed to his nose,
like a weasel, or a miniature bear. Such a pretty,
wicked little head,
and that dainty mouth
full of needle teeth and meatsmell.
My brother says skunks are clever beasts,
like foxes. This one had a clever face, but his black eyes
by then, looked only dead.
Already the stink of his panic was fading.
We tied his feet, like little hands, with a plastic cord
i carried him an armlength away from me
as the smell faded,
and we walked home together, Ben with his .22 and the trapping bag,
and me, and the dead skunk,
such a little weight.