October 19

First thing this morning the first
bridge closed, running late,
and over my shoulder a pocket
of lake, under a scowling sky–

It’s hard to say why or what
has changed, but the flat
glint of skyscrapers through
the downtown corridor
was so real it seemed phony–

not tortuous as that turn of phrase,
but clear and clearly resolute,
a setting set, not buildings I knew,
although they looked just like them.


October 18

In enough fog this house
is a treehouse, everything
come in close,

a leaf recoils
from an unseen drop
of rain,

only reaction
visible, here, there,
the leaves ring,

and it’s all too simple
to forget antecedents,
the silence is lazy

-making, the forest
immense, the pines
too water-laden to stir

at all, and maybe it’s
the same with you.


October 17

Looking at a map these days
my eyes drift up to the border towns

or over to the coastal towns
and linger longer than they should.

Our eyes are meant to follow lines,
some of us follow them religiously

away. Today is the first true winter
day, the sun won’t rise against

green and gray as I get dressed
and drive to the hospital.


October 16

I didn’t throw it in,
but I didn’t swim out, either.

If you are the ocean,
certain, certain,

then I am the bird,
open, open;

we share no common
phases or forces.

Without some heaviness
it’s hard to generate lift,

and without lift we’re left
treading, treading,

so where’s the shame
in being an albatross

around a neck,
weighty, weighty,

in not being slight
in not being forgotten

in not waiting, waiting?


October 15

Sometime in the night the fever broke
and morning dawned cool,

drops of rain adhering to the handrail
like blisters, the maples greener

for their washing.  One to the west
is turning yellow, one to the east

is not, instead rusting in spots,
anthracnose, a disease of trees.

It’s hard to shake the feeling
that this winter might be rougher

than the last, maybe blight
is only blight but if it’s a sign

what else could it mean?


October 13

I haven’t been out east in weeks

but the last dream I dreamed last
night was of the coyote;

with unreal immediacy I watched,
unobserved, floating by as it prowled
the porch boards,

emboldened by the late state
of sunrise. I know it goes there,
leaving clumps of fur and scat,

but only when we’re gone,

until now I’d never seen how close
it comes to the glass door,

assesses its reflection, having moved
from cautiousness to callousness
a long time ago,

it doesn’t flinch but moves along
as the day opens up, a pink dawn
until my alarm wakes me up,

returns me to the cold dark cave
of my room


October 10

This morning can’t win.
Though the doorstep fog
has cleared a cat drowses
next to the dryer vent,
exhaust curling like breath
into the stillest of air,
nothing else moves;
no one is there.

Except a squirrel
trying an open garage
and finding only paint cans,
a long held dream but
nothing to eat, only
smooth sealed metal
cool against his hands.

Nothing else, he moves
cautiously on, sticking
to the bushes, avoiding
the void beneath this
pale, dead sky.

He makes the tree.
I stay inside.


[Full Moon Social 2014]

West coast joining in the #fullmoonsocial2014 with a poem and a beer, and drinking it from a glass to keep this shindig classy:

We’ve given you a dark side, and labeled you pale—
maybe we are the distant ones. Still, you look
up to all things bigger, tugging on our tides.

Are you of us? We began and you began.
Somehow formed, you can’t escape us,
and for all our proximity, I’d say

we hardly know you. What do you want
up there in your vault? Struck, you default
to giving, giving endlessly, day and night,

seen or not, small at the end of the line,
which is not the same as coldness;
and constancy is not the same as oldness.

It’s closer to tumescence, or maybe,
say, wholeness. Why not give you
a child’s voice? Proud but uncertain,

often at a loss for how to feel,
keen to reflect, or bashful, hide.
With no light of your own you share

what you’re given without hesitating,
even as a sliver, you offer up, and full,
give all. Never questioning, never

caring what we already have. Graciously,
gratefully, you make your face to shine
upon us, we who are your world.