Tag Archives: birds

April 28

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April 28

A thousand miles up and over
a rough-hewn stone sits atop

the bodies of my parents
A smooth space on the side

for a name that will mean
Nothing to anyone in time

On this their anniversary
beside each other for

the first time in almost
a decade the rain has fallen

As if they planned this day
when they picked that stone

with the rough divot they hoped
would collect rain for the birds

November hymnal (15) / November dream warning

November hymnal (15) / November dream warning

“Get ready for a mix of disappointments over
night! just after midnight some hard truth moves in

and stalls, followed by heavy accumulations
of regret, turning to desire before dawn.”

But I didn’t dream.
Instead strange birds surrounded the house

and told me how earlier a rainbow crashed
like a cold war satellite into the house next door

without a sound but the couple who live
there were playing folk music on a stage

ten miles long. They could walk from encore
to foyer in one step. We have both buried

dogs like best friends in our yards; we have
both practiced songs with windows open

and the birds squandered the pot of gold
with outlandish poker bets on the back porch

as black walnuts fell, never upsetting the game
or the oversized cards as big as pillows.

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

Cool Morning, On the Road to Work, and Later

Cool Morning, On the Road to Work, and Later


Sparrows huddle under the car’s warm frame.
As I come back with my coffee they flow out

between the tires like a sound. Gray clouds nest
on the ridgeline. Driving into this image of sullenness

lightens me—as I pass through the opaque menace thins
to harmless mist. On the road home the light rain

drones outside the window like a distant train.
From my porch my daughter and I watch bats

sweep away the dusk. Pockets of light appear,
tuck into lamps for a few hours, then go out.

The Ancient Ones

The Ancient Ones


We think we see them flying by
in a whir almost invisible

until one alights by our table
I know from the way it looks at me

that we are the ancient ones
outliving fin and hoof and claw

outliving the water’s eyes and the wings
outliving these young things our spirits

After a Moment of Silence for a Sudden Death

After a Moment of Silence for a Sudden Death

Who are these birds gathering the empty branches
outside my window into a tree again?

Thirty feet above the roofs of a hundred mourning cars
they wick out patterns of mid-afternoon orange and black

that amplify the slanting sun then come back to settle,
at ease, as if already new green leaves protected them.

As if all our thoughts about our departed colleague
had gathered outside to look back at us, prepare

as memory does for flight, disperse to the future
wherever winter thoughts fly to in spring beyond sight