September 7

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poetry

it’s those in between days
now the shock of cold

at dawn but then the old
familiar heat

red flag watch east
of the Cascades

the fires taking off late
the spiders out early

even instinct stupefied
it’s time to accept

the tomatoes on the vine
have gone mealy and sour

there is a cost
to holding out too long

a loss in holding on
I take the chicken wire

off the garden beds
and let the rabbits feast

September 4

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poetry

they were all flickering
like moth wings

powdery and self-reflexive
befuddled by the light

or the darkness
the enormity of it all

you don’t see people
like that

pale as day moons
voices soft as sunset

sometimes confused
and already receding

leaving the hospital today
the car in front of me

ricocheted and spun
as another car pushed it

across the intersection
until crumpled and steaming

it finally came to rest
these are the things

I wanted to say
but didn’t

silence less a shield
and more a weapon

better to face down loss
than this indifference

August 21

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poetry

This is a language
I can’t fully speak

but clearly
these waves break

the way they break
with intention.

I couldn’t remember
the topography

of this beach, thought rocks
not sand, misplaced

the tree that straddles
the void where the yellow

clay blank was bitten
by the surf, although

I’ve been here many times
as myself, and as someone else.

There must be a shallow bar
where the waves are breaking,

beyond that, the steely water
goes on and out interminably.

And here I thought loss
was the worst thing,

not yet able to fathom
a land beyond expectation.

June 18

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poetry

I watched the bear
in the meadow

and felt no fear
a vignette

at sunset
not really a trait

a descent tomorrow
and already the night

is rough against my skin
animal misgivings

lumbering in the tall grass
the wretched unease of an eve

June 15

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poetry

we took a vow of silence
but it was anything but silent

rivulets of water
and thunder at the base

of the falls—
we tried to find stillness

but it was anything but still
filigree alder leaves

flashing in the breeze
the slow sway of pines

and so we abandoned
absolutes in lieu of ablution

the staggering coldness
of the river

glacier-fed
my heart beating again

June 10

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poetry

I take us out to walk
in the rain

I suppose to shape
your character

but two is autarchic—-
a litany of tribulation

as we walk along
runoff courses

in the gutter
and pools

on the sewer plate
so we fill them

with buttercups
then run away

June 9

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poetry

can’t see the bay
but there’s a river in the sky

the world has gone gray
without distinctions

the ground slick with water
the air thick with water

traffic ground to a halt
ribbons of cars

suspended in motion
above nothing

a bridge is a structure
or something that makes

a connection
this is an assumption

and we’re getting
nowhere fast

June 8

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poetry

early summer motifs:

i

something in the brush
heard but not seen
light conjecture
bird or beast
no conclusion is reached
and everyone proceeds

ii

there are multiple seasons
within the season
nothing blooms all at once
one buds one bolts one rots
even in the most manicured lawn
a wildflower is speaking out of turn

iii

it’s later than it seems
July said with certainty now
long-tongued shadows
a growing lingering heat
addled by the northern sun
we forget the hour
dinner is late again

June 7

comments 5
poetry

When does desire
turn into greed

what is an appropriate
allotment of want

unseasonably muggy
in this forest

water has cut
a deep ravine

beneath cedar boughs
through carpets of moss

it funnels and pools
below perfunctory logs

and drops again
resisting direction

this is the work
it cannot be worked at

I know this well
and yet

June 6

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poetry

a great displacement
by such a small bird

mostly beak
and jewel-hued neck—

all other motion
stagnant

below his arcs
craning to look

we are too late
he rifles each page

of the evening sky
etches out some new

invisible rune
cleaves air

from air
we duck again

as chunks of it
come crashing down