Monthly Archives: January 2017

Travel Tale

Travel Tale

Nobody can sleep in a room in the renovated hotel’s fourth floor
because the lovers have not left. The businessman before dinner

finds the sheet thrown to the foot of the bed and before he knows
what he is doing he is stepping over jeans, socks, a bra, a colorful

dress that smells of flowers and wine, none of which can be seen
with the eye, but the businessman has seen love before, he has spent

many nights in rooms like this and he respects the lovers.
He does not remake the bed. He hangs his jacket on the chair

and lies face down on the open bed, absorbing the singular scent.
He cannot sleep, the bed is too busy, he hears breathing

and the ascent of a name new on her lips. The wind moans outside
Because it would like to lay quietly across a small landscape

The size of a sheet and rest, too. The man wipes a tear, gets up.
Later, over dinner, he makes the biggest deal of his career.

Groundswell

Groundswell

A fleet of winter flowers
Sails out over the brown ocean

To war. None will come back
But their song is light.

*

When a thing grows where we think
it shouldn’t, we have misunderstood

Its nature, or the environment
It grew in, or both.

*

Tell me about the mountain stream,
Cloud chasing cloud like a fleet

Of winter flowers. A song as light
As rain has reached our roots.

Laughing out loud

Laughing out loud

The soul embarks on its journey.
Nobody is there to wave it goodbye

Or wish it safe passage. Yet it looks back.
The soul feels it is traveling in circles.

The passage is both long and short
Because it is the soul that is growing,

Not the journey,

Blossoming outward like a sphere
Where for the outermost edge the journey

Is the longest and only gets longer
Until looking back it sees itself

Waiting for its arrival at the beginning.
Who is that standing by you, laughing?

Rolling the trash to the street, Monday night, cold rain

Rolling the trash to the street, Monday night, cold rain

In the neighbor’s security spotlight, activated by my foraging,
The rain is turning to snow. No longer just the path of a motion

But the substance of a season. No longer a man in the dark
Putting out trash but, striding through the door, carrier

Of a million fragile messages of light, change, gravity.

Portrait of a Daughter, 5:45 a.m.

Portrait of a Daughter, 5:45 a.m.

She gets up before everyone else, goes downstairs.
Turns on all the lights in the house — upstairs hallway,

Foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen. The back
Porch, the storage closet, the downstairs bathroom.

She stands and watches as the ghosts charge her,
Trying to find the chinks of darkness to escape into.

Always just as her fear begins to give in, they dissolve
In the light. A ragged pause, a short breath. Now

The rest of the family can be woken.

Meditation on an empty field

Meditation on an empty field

The winter field’s as many colors as kinds of loss.
It gets no bigger but grows every year.

There’s still sweet green, scuffed gold, brown verging
On yellow. Things beneath with code for new color.

Where the digging root took deep hold, maple and oak:
Identifying grief is like recognizing trees in winter

In this season of missing. Look closely.
There are months to learn them all. The wind

through this one is my name, your voice.

Conversations (XXI) — to the lost ones

Conversations (XXI) — to the lost ones

Months into the journey the sign
at the arrival gate said Not Yet

The placard held by the limo driver
By the baggage check had no name

But we had a name for you
We do not know if you came again

Under another name if that was
Your only name the only chance for arrival

Or if you filtered like light filters
Into different rooms in every house

On the street in the town that would
Let light in we don’t know what became

Of that light because it lit us from within
And then was gone before we saw it