Monthly Archives: November 2014

Seen in an Almost Empty Elementary School Parking Lot One November Afternoon at Four-Thirty

Seen in an Almost Empty Elementary School Parking Lot One November Afternoon at Four-Thirty


Through the honest tree limbs a hundred vultures float
like a cloud of gnats. No like the floating ashes of burning leaves.

No as they get closer I see they are stitching something
into the air, shape of a common hunger borne aloft

and visible only through this inscribing of individual
wills in contrast and in wind, swirling like the last

sip of wine in a glass, up, down, settle, rinsed away,
all just a matter of perception of a form against

its temporary constraint, not ever really part of your
moment when it continues on, or ceases holding

your own thought against the edges of your world
as if the world was something to hold your drink

or your memories, or even your body in its form
perceived from two hundred feet up and a quarter

of a mile away as something too big to land on and eat.

Mildest Day, mid-November

Mildest Day, mid-November


It’s the mildest day in weeks, in the neighborhood the heat pumps are quiet
and where last night was dry wind raising the leaves for another ride tonight

the rain wanders in around dinnertime, so fine you can’t even feel it but in the beam
of a parked truck’s headlights it looks like it is pouring. Later it will rain hard

but it’s here mostly for the duration, to check off the seconds of  the night, like a reminder,
that the next one will be colder and harder, and that after that there will be snow.

Four Things I See in the Sky on a Windy Day

Four Things I See in the Sky on a Windy Day


Leaves stampeding past a second floor window like escaped horses.
Gray scales of a dragon’s vast belly slides over the city.

A cloud viewed through empty branches, ghost of foliage.
A vapor trail unwriting itself across the day’s crisp paper.


To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [4]

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written [4]


I walk up my own street after sunset.
The moon is not yet up and the last streetlight

is behind me. Slowly, slowly I trudge up the hill
and slowly, slowly my shadow fades into the dark bricks.

I have lost myself and where I am going
but with no streetlights the roof has been taken off

the world. If I stood still I could find and count a star
for each of the eighteen thousand days I have lived so far.

Here in the dark stretch of street they are with me.
With my shadow gone and the dark bricks

pretending not to move at the speed of stars.

Atlantic Flyways, or, Males Never Asking for Directions

Atlantic Flyways, or, Males Never Asking for Directions

Someone tell the two Canada geese
flying up the street at quarter past nine

this November evening they are heading
to West Virginia

Mid-Autumn Figures (Moon and Maple)

Mid-Autumn Figures (Moon and Maple)



Stone in the sky
tumbles through centuries

of clouds  smoothing out
absence with its presence


Just past their peak, wind-lifted
and let go like a child flung off a swing

higher than they have ever been
Meanwhile on the ridge line the trees

link arms and begin the walk home


Unfinished Dedication

Unfinished Dedication


Now that it is done I should know who I am
and why I did it and who I did it for now

that it is arrived the end should be a secret
passage back to the beginning and this

unfinished space a private garden at world’s
end and the buried seeds break anew now that

destruction’s heat has called them open and when
things begin that are unexpected we should have

expected them back here at the beginning knowing
everything that follows but because nothing

follows the end I should know I’m not there now
that it is done and where are you now that

It is done you should know who you are

November Mountain Scene

November Mountain Scene


Deer have ventured out through thinning trees
into thickening traffic.  Men in trucks gentle them

to the breakdown lane with shovels. The last leaf’s
twisting stem is the voice of the deer in November.