Thursday, March 21, 2019



The moon in the bureau mirror

looks out a million miles

(and perhaps with pride, at herself,

but she never, never smiles)

far and away beyond sleep, or

perhaps she's a daytime sleeper.

By the Universe deserted,

she'd tell it to go to hell,

and she'd find a body of water,

or a mirror, on which to dwell.

So wrap up care in a cobweb

and drop it down the well

into that world inverted

where left is always right,

where the shadows are really the body,

where we stay awake all night,

where the heavens are shallow as the sea

is now deep, and you love me.


Elizabeth Bishop
Poems, Prose, and Letters
The Library of America

Tuesday, March 19, 2019



To Painting

To you, flax in the field. To you, expanse

of surface for the eyes: expectant glance.

To you, imagination, ice or coal,

exact design or fire out of control.

To you, line unforeseen or always known.

To you, heroic paintbrush, wax or stone,

complaint to whatever style's envisioned,

to measure or the lack of all precision.

To you, form; color, resonating scheme

by which life shows the volume of its space,

dark next to light, light next to sun, now fainter.

To you, fictive reality of dream.

To you, real object, palpable, in place.

To you at last, the hand, all Painting's painter.

Rafael Alberti
translated by Carolyn L. Tipton
To Painting
Northwestern University Press 1997

Monday, March 18, 2019

HEAVEN LAKE ( 25 ) ~

An Answer To 
My Problems





Turn Around

You can live in fear

that’s all there seems to be

newspaper to television screen

even people’s faces on the street

stop your car by the side of the road

get out and walk into the field

sit there, be there, your back to the road

everyone will think you are crazy

you are crazy

now that that is settled

sit there until the field takes you

then the trees

False Idols

we brought apples on the trip

and never ate the apples on the trip

nothing like an apple


Tonight while sitting on the


the little kitten we saved from

starving and freezing to death

is a month now with us

and 12 weeks old

and as I sat there he crawled

without hesitation into my

pulled down pants

a little pocket of

kitten, and no one but no one

would think of doing this

but him

The Sort Of World I Like

I’m on the roof today cleaning the chimney

Without a sound a bicyclist floats by on the

Dirt road along the river and spots me and

Shouts, “Your house looks great!”

I’ve never seen her before

I look twice to make sure I haven’t


Don’t know her

But she’s happy


Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018

Saturday, March 16, 2019




You'd be surprised

how black black is

when it's blue with rain.

And what do you do with the light

that comes in off the sea?

You might as well

forget what you look like

before you could ever begin

walking in it.


The greatest high-tide,

the happiest birds,

and the drunk on the road

who has been hurt in love.

The Prayer

for Noel Kilgallon

When Peggy was dying

her son leaned over to whisper

the Our Father into her ear.

She opened her eyes.

'Things must be bad, ' she said,

'that you've started praying.'

The Wandering Cat

If you find your cat

wandering far from home

don't lift him!

He'll weigh so heavy

he'll never leave your hands.

My House is Tiny

My house is tiny

and my sorrow

is the smallest

at this end of the country.

And yet the whole sea

at my back

can fit into

the most frightened

human mind.


in memory of Aidan

If you let the fire die

the soul scurries across the field

like a burning coal

off to another hearth.

Oh disloyal soul

separated from me

in my cold house!


Dermot Healy
What the Hammer
Gallery Books (Ireland)

A marvelous Irish poet, and this small clutch of poems
may be my favorite of all his books. He catches where he
lives and works and eats and breathes, and who with. Healy
writes much longer poems as well, and as well, but I first
got smitten by these.

Friday, March 15, 2019


1927  ~ 2019



The Secret

Where are you lying

secret of the world

with so strong an odor?

Sometimes a gentle workman

in the feverish town

falls from a scaffolding

and the wind always smells of lilac;

a tenacious misfortune

lodges in the loveliest bodies

hands tighten in the evening

an animal sleeps

within walls rough by men

peace forever decays

and war no longer

has an age.


From the bones of animals

the factory had made these buttons

which fastened

a bodice over the bust

of a gorgeous working-girl

when she fell

one of the buttons came off in the night

and the water of the gutters took it

and laid it down

in a private garden

with a crumbling plaster statue


naked and laughing


A child is born

in a vast landscape

half a century later

he is simply a dead soldier

and that was the man

whom one saw appear

and set down on the ground a whole

heavy sack of apples

two or three of which rolled

a sound among the sounds of a world

where the bird sang

on the stone of the door-sill.


W.S. MERWIN (translator)
Transparence of the World
Atheneum 1969

what a book to discover back then, as now!