Tag Archives: Cape Cod

The Draw

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The Draw

Almost solvable riddle of woods.
We are rooted in the underword.

Absence the untitled chapter.
The drawer of memory creaks

In its not quite closed position
Warped by incremental tears.

An empty house draws me
Dug into a soft hill of oak and arrowhead.

Crows zoning over the tree canopy
Level with the loft room windows

And my mother’s abandoned dresses.
Send a sand dune home.

The Mays

The Mays

 

I walked in the scattering
shadows beneath scrub

oak those Mays each step
Compacting years whose

Deaths I’d not earned
Such leverage from

Toward wild blueberries
And the cairns of earth

Behind the drive-in past
Hokum Rock Road and

Its eponymous stone dropped
By god or glacier– if names

Went the other way I didn’t
Care — if the stone dropped

The god and abandoned
There it turned to stone it

Hardly mattered — all the Mays
Sweetened to summers

The water warmed in the bay
And at the drive-in the boundaries

Of story cut corners of moonlight
Now decades later and deaths

Cantilevered one on the other
And anticipating the next step

After messages passed while
Thunder flexed against the rainless

Night comes a quiet whisper
In the trees reminding me

Of rumors in the scrub oak dark
The unvisited stone cracked

Down the middle a gap a child
Of a dozen Mays could leap

Squinting like a dimming eye
That’s earned all it’s seen

Rock before names eyes before
The warming waters

November hymnal (30)

November hymnal (30)

I have cast these songs as a spell
Against the clarity of faith and doubt

Drafted the lyrics on fog
Or as water freezing on a windshield

Light still coming on through
Not broken but improbable

Temporary refractions where
Nothing’s lost to trust

I have cast these songs as a counterweight
To wings who’d take me from creek wisdom

And these songs I’ve cast like rocks
Through the windows of sunday

Thirty days leave like clouds
over cold jetty stones

Remembering oceans in early July

seawilmingtonaurora

Remembering oceans in early July

So it is surrounded by mountains
Fine grains of memory wake me like the light sand

on a Cape Cod beach that stay
In your sneakers till autumn’s almost

Another half forgotten friendship
Or like the harder brown southeast sand says

You won’t remember because it will never
Leave you long enough to become the past

Heat splits into horizons and in this world
of horizons we are strangely upright

Thoughts try to stand up beside us
but at best bubble like clouds out of reach

Memories fall flat another shelf of sand
To be worn away by the liquid nature of life

The sky a giant tv screen between stations
Bright gray and vibrant starts telling its story

I am here where the ocean renews itself
Among ridges reaching to the sky and when the sky

Reaches down the late afternoon rain
Darkens the road except

Reverse shadows in the shapes of trees
Where the street is still dry what does it take

To absorb our shadows what does a storm-bred
Streetside stream know before giving itself to a creek

In this valley what will I know before I am gone
Before all memory of this storm passes

 

-photo by Aurora Schwaner

Solstice

Solstice

Unseen rain four hours away on the black horizon.
While you focus on the empty branches above your head

the stars blur into overcast, a milky blue apology
the child within me will not accept.

The Cape Cod inlets flow through him
like the roots of these trees thread mountains.

He is a trick of the light, of beach grass and sand.
And now the days are too short, he will never get home.

Vanishing Tracks (II)

Vanishing Tracks (II)

What is resilient in us is resistant to memory
When the memory goes she will be some other self
Still resilient to the sailing light and shadow
And hungers and exhaustions of love
Made maybe even more immediate

When the resilience goes what is that then

When the resistance goes what is that

Just outside her heart she hears a sound in the night
I am out there knocking on the dusty porch
I have brought a friend with me
When she opens the door will she see herself
Holding my hand?

Do you remember when the car door opened up
As you drove and I hung out there clinging to it
Legs dangling and hollering your name?

Do you remember hollering my name
In encouragement
As you sat in the bleachers to watch
The smallest second baseman ever?

Do you remember the rides on rainy days to school
In the golden Rambler you called Goldilocks
Your children and their friends sitting forward
And backward like sardines to fit more of us into the back seat?

You spent so much time doing these things you have the right
Not to remember

Nothing can change what you have done
What it has made in me
I will remember these things
For you and when I can no longer remember
Nothing can change what you have done

Everything I can remember makes up only a small part of your life
The rest of it now becomes more you to me I see that now
You become your childhood your mother in that picture
Is you now as you look at it which is not
A bad thing as you tell me laughing
Your nephew becomes your father in that picture
Standing beside you younger than you somehow
It doesn’t matter
He has always stood beside you
From the moment he died when you were thirteen he was there
And you grew older as he remained a young father
I only understand now
how you see that picture

The mind’s tide’s becalmed
The beach endless
These memories now rise
Or settle
With little difference in depth
To the step of the moment that splashes

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