Poem to be read in the middle of the night (iii)

Poem to be read in the middle of the night

dreamish

In the forest path dream where the light slashing through
leaves are words written too fast for me to read

And your spirit animal pauses, its white head shifting as if sniffing
the undergrowth and pulling the colors of the undergrowth into the air

I am the trunk of the blue tree, observing silently as you walk by,
grazed by your eyes like understanding is a wounding season

Still unaware the words in the air are poems I am writing
by the light that filters past me unabsorbed and I’m growing only

to be still, rooted deep at passage’s edge to the turning earth
beneath the whistling sun shuffling its days

 

-painting by Mary Winifred Hood Schwaner

Poem to be read in the middle of the night (ii)

Poem to be read in the middle of the night

Crow shadow passes across the shrugging pine
In the dark a shadow cannot move

It is paralyzed even when the body moves
the shadow stays you cannot shake it

When light filters through the branches
the bird long gone the shadow will

hold still, as if it were never there

Poem to be read in the middle of the night (i)

Poem to be read in the middle of the night

In the daylight the wind in high branches
can at least be seen if not heard

In the spring it will regain its voice
the trees will put on their hands and applaud

Their applause is what we hear
The performance itself slips through ungrasped

Sky to Star

treeline

Sky to Star

How can you lose the sky
When you can look right through me

And see the gears of the earth
Building themselves to your motion

Down on the ground where it’s all
silent as time I weave the weeds

On the river of dirt
Into my invented life

But the least rooted stalk
Will have none of it and flows off

and the weeds see through me
They see you   they see you

Last Days

Last Days

Told me to wait another two nights.
and the truth would rise like ice cubes

In a celebratory drink. Without taste
But accentuating the taste that’s there

Already, then adding volume to it
While weakening the taste but by then

It’s not the taste you’re after is it and where
Has it got to finally, absorbed, invisible?

The moon looks full but it’s not. Not that
It matters but it does. Like other things

That never happened but did anyway
And because they never happened never end

Dusk and Beyond

Dusk and Beyond

 

The dusk sky is a gameboard of bats,
everyone’s lost apologies for what

They knew they did wrong but could not find
The words to admit. Homeless things.

The poet’s night shift has me emotional–
The moon’s pendulum scythe swings

Below the tree line and I wake up astonished
To be alive. The poem holds a word

To my throat and the word is your missing
touch. In the world are some animals whose feet

Never touch the ground. Birds who only
Land on the uncertainty of open water.

Just as in you there are poems
that may never land on the tree of language

But whose wingbeats keep you awake,
Whose migration over open space

Turns everyone’s heads though they hear
Only your voice on a quiet morning.