Monthly Archives: December 2014




Frost flourishes in the shade like flowers in the sun–
the gain may be temporary but isn’t the temporary

gain all that can be measured and for frost after all
isn’t the temporary a permanence itself? External

conditions set it stony and sharp, a marker
of the cold we feel—things being different

it might be the drop of dew in which
you glimpse the moon you’d otherwise miss

Walking in the Dark

Walking in the Dark


Late night walks are making more sense
as I realize how little of my life

I am really seeing.  Making it home each night
through the black ink of every word of hope

and doom engraved into the emptiness
surrounding me—isn’t it much better

practice than bounding about in daylight
thinking I am understanding everything?

In the dark the actual tree spreads without end,
across time and space, and I begin to sense

that my blindness also travels a route
set in deep earth, exposed to the sky.

Setting Moon, with Constellations, One Night Before Its First Quarter, Late December

Setting Moon, with Constellations, One Night Before Its First Quarter, Late December


When the moon sinks low in the western sky
I pour a day’s memories into its gold cup

as the old rules state. Evening is cooling off
but mild, as if between myself and

the stars there is an owl flying away while at the same
time a distant unknown bird is approaching.

When they pass each other I am finding the key
in my pocket and feeling blindly for the lock.

When the cup is locked in the cupboard
of the past for another day, in the quiet house

I take out the moments I withheld from the moon
and place them in the dark above me: your hand

on my arm, your head against my shoulder.
The phone ringing. The living warmth of you

like a foreign language I can suddenly read
as words pour into the room and we listen.

The Invisible

The Invisible


Roads diminish and clarify. People disappear.
The skunk is just being himself on the edge of the dark sidewalk.

On a certain night even he can see the dog-star.
Not shaking off the weather. All last summer the stooped old lady

laid her traps and could not flush him out of hiding. All summer
I spent mornings freeing trapped squirrels and possums

before the noon sun dehydrated them. She never came out
to see and neither did the skunk in her crawlspace. Now, crossing

the road, he looks up to the house as if remembering
or as if seeing through walls and latticework: here’s a place

I could make a home beneath. Here is a place I can depart
and come back to. A place I can impart the secret:

How to disappear but never leave. How to settle in
when all you will do at this age is preparation for leaving.

I would kneel with you any hour and pray to find that place.
If we wait long enough the wind will move the invisible aside.

Fog, Near the Summit of Afton Mountain, Just After the Winter Solstice

Fog, Near the Summit of Afton Mountain, Just After the Winter Solstice


We disappear into the unseen ahead of us:
Already built, a bridge will reveal itself

when we arrive where a bridge is needed.
We’re not the first to make this trip.

Poem 1

Note: My 11 year old daughter Sophia wrote this poem earlier this evening.

Poem 1

Swooping down the sky
reaching what grasp cannot
through chiseled spaces
of interlocking earths
Gone to the time’s end
old darkest wrinkles
Voracious sounds of sight
always forward looking

What is never is now appearing
foretold futures swaying
on lines of pure balance.
Grains of gold including the factor

deepening eyes of she did swell up.
Raining waterfalls that did
forever secrets handling.



Primitive Resonance

Primitive Resonance

I don’t want to believe it, either—
so I won’t, until the image clears.

Then there is only what there is
and I won’t have to believe anything

I can’t see, or in anything I can’t see.
Maybe belief is only what we practice

while waiting. I only know I’d kill anything
and hold it up to the sun to see you safe.

To the one missing her father inexplicably on a warm day after an ice storm

To the one missing her father inexplicably on a warm day after an ice storm

Mid-morning snow after a night of sleet.
Ice is melting off the roofs, descending

faster than flakes can fall, but they go
only their own speed, unconcerned

with making up the distance

Through a window, December night after rain

Through a window, December night after rain

Negative space of roof and branches
are defined by the rising moon, crow-sized

negative image of the crow’s solid eye. Just the other
day, a young pileated woodpecker stood

right where the moon is tonight, as bright,
exactly as big, cartoonish, sounding like a monkey

afraid of the moon in the leafless branches