Tag Archives: Frederick

Landscape, with a small city in the mind

dog

Landscape, with a small city in the mind

Even when nobody can see what is
Skirting the village lights,

a sleeping dog’s ear may twitch
To death’s threadbare approach.

A vulture pulls stillness out of crosswinds,
Becomes a null sum that is beauty,

An ever adjusting stillness mending
The ugly and the invisible,

Right above the house, whether you
Are looking or not. I have heard the sigh

Of loblolly pines scratching their shorthand
Onto the sky’s white page. Everywhere I see

Words except where words are. The news
Is sheet music for yesterday’s song.

I worry we will all be out of tune
When the clouds flee like an octopus

Leaving night in its tense wake.
And at the edges, a visitor

You have to welcome. You know that
Voice, like the long space at twenty minutes

Past the hour, when it seems the next
Hour will never arrive. Even the church bells are

Weather-stopped. And over the hill
The wind is coming

 

[art by Mary Winifred Hood Schwaner]

Dog Days

Dog Days

Nothing sturdy in the stem.
Nor of legacy in the one-season leaf.

All dogs must die, but not at once.
Like grass, let’s grow monuments

too numerous to be destroyed
in a single death. We’ll sit with this one

through the moments
we’ll not remember in a year

to remember we can build
what matters from pure light

recognize love same as we know
the texture of both sides

of this summer leaf waving
welcome and farewell

in the single breeze passing
from invisible past

to invisible future. All dogs
like summers will pass

but not before we live them
through. Let’s leap into

the coming stillness.
Let’s make the favorite meal.

Let’s sit with this one, no more
special than a blade of grass,

great as any dog or summer ever lost,
and let it last as long as it lasts

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