Tag Archives: afton mountain

Distant Lightning [from The Artificial Horizon, 2013]

Distant Lightning

Thunderheads cover the western sky
As I drive down the mountain.
The lightning shoots out, four or five bolts
At a time, some cascading to earth,
Others quilting clouds together
Into a single silent storm.
For here there’s no sound.
Only as I drive into town does a soft
Rain begin to fall.
As if someone were fighting their inner demons
And projecting it to the sky for everyone to see,
Even though it was happening only in a hallway
Of a small house somewhere.
And from that struggle comes that softest
Rainfall which does no damage
And from which lilies will bloom anew,
And peonies, and dandelions and a thousand
Things unnoticed in the grass.
And now through a window of open sky
The smallest hint of sunset on one cloud’s edge,
And the calming cool breeze that tucks
The entire town in is the result
Of that struggle, won or lost
And hidden somewhere behind
A single blind.

from Spring Songs (1)

from Spring Songs (1)


Spring storms roam across the valley.
On the maple, leaves appear like gypsy tents.

Wind off the mountainside ruffles the green edges:
inside one of the leaves sits a woman at a fortune telling table

laying the lone card of summer face-down.

At the Overlook on Afton Mountain, Last Morning of September

cloud sea

At the Overlook on Afton Mountain, Last Morning of September

Cloud Ocean lays over the valley as an unnamed sea
did before names, only the southern peaks

visible like islands in the distance. Clouds crash
into a coast of trees and in the slow motion violence of

white spray rising I sway unsteadily
on top of 400 million years of unmoving rock

cloud sea spray noir



Sunset Over Mountain As Seen Through a Cloud and a Crack in a Windshield

sunset with star break

Sunset Over the Mountain As Seen Through a Cloud and a Crack in a Windshield

Behind the cloud mass the sun is uncoiling and coiling
dragon wrapped around itself spitting fire behind a waterfall

And for a moment as I think of home  it is eclipsed entirely
by an imperfection in the windshield where six months ago

a pebble fell from nowhere as I drove up this very mountain’s
westward spine bounced with a crack, oblivion leaving its mark

A man wise in these things called this a “star break”
and of no danger to the integrity of my vision

Soon sun the mountain will shrug you off you will drop below
the ragged day’s line into tomorrow while I take the only road

I can to find what I left is now ahead of me and waiting behind
a light in windows, laughter drifting through the gap

Two Consecutive Nights

Two Consecutive Nights

[fog and ice]

Morning settled on the mountain and decided to stay.
When I passed through it earlier the peak stiffened
the moisture on my windshield into a new vision
neither reflective nor transparent. Now it is still
there! at nineteen hundred feet near sunset
morning is napping, the trees and shrubs and rocks
strangled in its white sheet. This ice-capped time
capsule; the past and future locked in a single seed.

[windy night]

Just last night the world was a bead
of dew caught in winter’s blink:
Now everything is moving. All things
fixed will flap, bend or break
and, even gently pulled free
by its invisible roots and spinning
westward must join a thousand
voices mourning the passing moment