Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mountains Poured Over Mountains

Mountains Poured Over Mountains


A cloud shadow crawls across the bare mountainside
touching every tree. Small clouds seep and spread

along the ground like water, large clouds drop
heavily like whole trees being painted suddenly black.

One, then another, backlit by the trees still in light.
Funny to think of something bigger than a mountain

pouring over a mountain, its own peaks in constant change
enveloping what seems so changeless

but is really two images in today’s mirror.
Funny to see how quickly it spreads then leaves,

like something huge suddenly not remembered.
Yet it was there. Pushed by the invisible hill of wind

And over on this peak the sign of an old inn groans
and the paper darkens beneath my pen.

Morning Sounds on a Day Off

Morning Sounds on a Day Off


Some repetitive bird calls, punctuated by crows.
Closer in, my wife sketching icons

across the table, pen going back and forth
on rough paper. Two cats breathing

still closer on the table by my open book.
When I open my eyes all sounds disappear.

Except the old wall clock ticking, ticking
which I hear even where there are no clocks.

Full Moon, Clear Night, Looking at Tree Shadows on Snow

Full Moon, Clear Night, Looking at Tree Shadows on Snow


The yard could be silver overcast sky
seen through the lean branches crossing.

I could stare all night, disappointed thinking:
where is that confounded moon?

When Walking Down Stairs in the Dark

When Walking Down Stairs in the Dark


No vision beats some vision. I have fallen hardest
in broad daylight—it’s not about what you can see

and that is no way to go down stairs. The light behind
casts your shadow too large—do not rush to meet your past like that!

The light below flattens the depth of your going—
never guess the shape of what holds you by what awaits you.

Better to close your eyes if you cannot include the emptiness.
Better to not stand on ceremony when the foot needs so little.

Full Moon, mid-winter, two days after a snowstorm, I walk through our house in the dark

Full Moon, mid-winter, two days after a snowstorm, I walk through our house in the dark


The moon, that old toad palace, has seen it all and tonight
I am seeing the world with moon vision:

from my dark house it is a soft ghost
of all the worlds it has ever been to someone

Looking out at it from their window at night.
I don’t dare turn on a light; then it’s my ghost

that will be visible. Pausing outside my son’s door
I look in—the moon’s light freezes on his floor,

pretends it’s not there until I leave. By a lamp
near our bed, my wife plays guitar while I write,

Years from now, when this house has fallen in and
a squirrel skitters across a branch at this height

it will hear a soft music, some murmured words
and see the moon slide behind a gypsy’s leaf.