Before a Spring Storm

Before a Spring Storm

Who am I in the porch’s silence
Before the storm? A song

Of any more sense
Than mindless wind chimes?

They say merely ‘something is happening’
Good or bad it is the same thing

Until something drowns them out
Knocks them down or finishes

Happening their silence means
Not that nothing is happening

Because nothing cannot happen
Nothing is not phenomenal any

Wind chime could tell you but rather
That whatever may be

Happening is not moving them
Nevertheless they have enough

To say right now as cloud shadows
Chase light back into the sun

And knowing nothing really goes
Backwards I’m listening for the storm

To sing a song that chases
Rain faster forward into flower

Higher Things

Higher Things

Loss swells like a bruise,
inhibiting movement,

making everything that’s tender
a trial: though it’s permanent, the

loss, I mean, the swelling goes
and takes the tenderness away

even when you may want just
a little to stay. Absence, though,

can inflate like a nylon balloon
on a cool spring morning: filled

with warm emptiness absence takes you
Above it all, floats you over the impasse

that seemed impossible to cross
on foot, shifts perspective to higher

thoughts: here in this basket
of bewilderment and wonder,

you can stay with me even
a little longer than we thought.

Visible Space

inkedspace

Visible Space

On the sky press even the spaces must be set in metal
And sit above the text of dreams to print night’s pure black.

Sometimes that space like the space between us
Slips into the day and rises above the waking words

and becomes visible space. It ascends from the pull
of the moon and pushes forward like a panther,

Like a runner in a darkening wood who suddenly sees
The trees don’t block the path, they make the path.

Early spring thoughts while waiting

Early spring thoughts while waiting

The reflection of two in the morning
Is the first mirror. Look into the night:

A found piece of obsidian
From the volcano inside the piano

Playing softly — only your heart hears it.
A dark screen. A dark sky. No password

To that star or the imperfections
That built around us a radiance

Invisible to all but those in the dark.
Is it any wonder the first stare

Into obsidian was unbearable,
They turned it to knives, arrowheads,

Jewelry, money. Anything but their
Selves. I am here in the dark

Inside a stone, listening to the music
Turn time’s pages. I swear

to you I will not polish this
memory into a mirror.

Late Winter Dream

Late Winter Dream

How long has it been since the mail has delivered your thoughts to me?
Now in a package no larger than a driver’s license I find

Hundreds of small notes pressed together into a block of paper, a sediment
Like stamps stuck together. It has been at least seven years since

I drove 700 miles to take your car keys away after you got lost driving home
From a church ten minutes from your house and beached your car

On a concrete island between lanes of traffic.Safe but too shaken to be sorry.
Pop couldn’t do it, my brother and sister couldn’t do it, they were too close.

They all stayed in RI. You would not have given those keys to anyone else
And we all knew that and it’s why I love you. Because when I asked you knew,

Some part of you, that it was the beginning of losing everything.
I remind myself that this is a dream, this package of your words, but I know that

Everything you haven’t been able to say, your language slowly leaking from you,
Is in this small block of handwriting, and I know that as I begin to cry

Surely it will wake up my wife, who will then wake me in order to pull me
Out of a nightmare, and with my waking I will leave behind that palm

Full of your words, which I will never get a chance to read.
It would not matter if they made no sense. I would understand them.

Joy

Joy

The body in stillness has its own song
For hands alone to hear

Stone in shadow and wing-beat of swallow
Collarbone and the pulse behind the ear

The absence of fear of touch is a voice
That only lips can read

The eyebrow of remembering arches
comes slowly down

to need