Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And a bit more thanks...

by Mary Oliver

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Some thanks....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A little poem still in progress, I think.


After all these years
we’ll meet again.

The whole week before,
I remember
in glaring Polaroid flares,
faded and stained
around the edges.
Brittle little memories crack
and crumble,
disregarded leather covers
at the corners of this fiction,
leave flakes to sift
through fingers
and settle in the floorboards.

Still, here you are--
standing on the stoop,
reaching for the bell.


Monday, November 24, 2008

pieces of shredded letter

To Be Saved You Must Be Spent

by Michael Chitwood

The blast from the bees' wings
is enough to knock the blossoms
from the wisteria, late spring
and the sexual clouds of pollen
are dissipating in the backyard.
The blooms' purple confetti litters
the yard, the parade gone by,
and the dogwood is dropping pieces
of a letter it's shredded,
white scraps with just a dab
of ink staining each one.
The words might have proclaimed love
or been an official notice of death.
All that can be said for sure
is that the blue torque of the sky
has tightened.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"that back-of-the-neck lick of chill"

Finding a Bible in an Abandoned Cabin
-Robert Wrigley

Under dust plush as a moth's wing,
the book's leather cover still darkly shown,
and everywhere else but this spot was sodden
beneath the roof's unraveling shingles.
There was that back-of-the-neck lick of chill
and then, from my index finger, the book

opened like a blasted bird. In its box
of familiar and miraculous inks,
a construction of filaments and dust,
thoroughfares of worms, and a silage
of silverfish husks: in the autumn light,
eight hundred pages of perfect wordless lace.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Waste Management

Every night a bear comes round our house to scare up
some windfall pears or to forage for fragrant garbage,
trudging on soft-padded feet & slightly open-mouthed.
He's an ursine Tony Soprano, I think, seeking refuge

from autumnal hungers as he forages the town's alleys.
Burly as a nightclub bouncer, near-sighted, he browses
through our lives' detritus, appearing as a refugee
from day's ample shadows. Our bear noisily chases

a neighborhood cat, a disemboweler of mouses,
then he eats the worst types of underworld scum—
larval worms in day-glow trousers-food storehoused
in a huge belly that sways to & fro when he travels.

Despite his slovenly slouch, our bear's a marvel
of Mafia etiquette as he curses & wantonly carouses
in the dim byways of the forest, as he sways in raveling air
to snap the bark off trees with his tough teeth & calluses.

We curse the furry rampages of our famished bear
who's surely gotten high on gruff power as he struggles
to grip trashcan rims with iron fingers—ever roused
to action by brisk whiffs of winter or our ribald catcalls.

O made man, living drunk or dour, don't settle
for trudging on soft-padded feet, staying tight-hearted—
know, as I do, how fear & desire drive us all. Look how
nightly a bear circumambulates our lives with such ardor.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

iced rosehip

an old poem found

On Spilled Milk

I spilled milk
on that sweet
heart note
you wrote.

You stuck
it to my screen
right where you knew
I would look.

Some time, during the day,
during the hustling
rustle and shuffle
I guess it let loose.

Found again later
on the desk,
it is still damp,
and slowly souring.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cider Days

Cider samples

No one says it like Wendell Berry

How To Be a Poet

by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Friday, November 7, 2008

like a root

Eye Mask
-Denise Levertov

In this dark I rest,
unready for the light which dawns
day after day
eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me.
I need
more of the night before I open
eyes and heart
to illumination. I must still
grow in the dark like a root
not ready, not ready at all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

good night

A Clear Midnight
--Walt Whitman

This is thy hour, O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best.
Night, sleep, and the stars.

on the cusp on winter...

At sundown when a day's words
have gathered at the feet of the trees
lining up in silence
to enter the long corridors
of the roots into which they
pass one by one thinking
that they remember the place
as they feel themselves climbing
away from their only sound
while they are being forgotten
by their bright circumstances
they rise through all of the rings
listening again
afterward as they
listened once and they come
to where the leaves used to live
during their lives but have gone now
and they too take the next step
beyond the reach of meaning