Wednesday, May 30, 2018
(for Maureen Owen)
Years ago in a migration
we each carried our own
rug and pillow,
telescope and strings.
Our tent was portable and able
to be dismantled.
It could be rolled
and stuffed very fast.
Flowers and grass
still grew freely and sea-lilac
had already cracked
the tarmac. So there was sustenance.
At the estuary nearby
two continents had split apart
and a curlew
flew alone and crying.
Carefully a book
would be buried
with iodine and wine
and food that doesn't rot.
The cross is a good marker
for an avenue and white clover,
trampled where little
sweet pea is growing higher.
Down the hill comes a poet
with ginger hair, he puts
violets inside his hat,
herbs and water and says:
There was once music here,
a round table
and gang prayer
and an exploding glacier.
Women kept each tent clean
until one cried,
I'm going to take care
We heard her packing
the woods into her tote
like a nymph
managing a shipwreck.
After all, for us all
empathy was our only hope.
Graywolf Press 2014
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Monday, May 28, 2018
It Is Now The Birds Settle
You would walk
Upstairs to our room
In the early evening
Undress, while looking to the woods
This has to be love —
she could be anywhere else
she could be under soft quilts asleep
she could be in a warm kitchen stirring
she could be in a playground watching what she loves
she could be in the garden dreaming
she could be walking the dog, petting the cat, singing with a bird
she could be by the ocean with all the day ahead
she could be in another's arms but no
she could be and is in my arms
beneath the driftwood of huge trees brought down with a flood
this little cave we've made under horizontal trees
it looks possibly dangerous and if it all collapsed
we would be crushed
and she has joined me there
while it rains
In A Cabin, In A Wood
It’s a good day —
my work boots are off
I have rolled up
5 inch cuffs
on my jeans
I’m in a short sleeve
we cut the grass
my love is wild ex-
cept for the sun dress
she’s thrown on
waiting for a rain
that never does
we draw buckets of
water for new plants
from the farm pond
we cut crackles dry
in all this sun
let the satellites that
circle the earth
try to find this
I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Thank you, I managed to get a seat
on the right side, on the side of the river
which attracts the overflowing shoreline.
With the sign Riverside and overgrown
rocks, the red-brick building.
With the sign Yonkers which turns
gently to the left, then disappears.
Thank you, I can watch. With the bridge
which we have laid from here
to the other shore, in the vicinity of Tarrytown,
with its almost imperceptible embankment.
And yet, the river sometimes appears
at the tracks, as a reminder,
and the steep hills on the other side,
unmoving, nod, the light alone
moved by their fate. And by
the river's? — take your eye off it
for a second — it gets away
at Croton-Harmon, under track three
at platform two.
If on the other side
I'd watch the houses, roads, the trees
stripped of their leaves, but shining
with this delayed December light, because
it's January now — here and there shadows
adhere on the trunks. On the rocks at Poughkeepsie
I could study the icicles because the sun
hadn't broken all the ice yet
and January is snowless. And the light,
bouncing off the water's surface, even
through the tinted windows, draws
my inattention. Because the river has
widened again and the power lines help it
not to lose the way. Thank you. I managed
once again to get a seat on the right side,
even though the far shore turns away and
floats out of sight somewhere to the left then
returns, straightforward, and the hills
stand just over the water soft strong,
not hills, cliffs.
But then on the river bottom, too,
things shift, the terrain changes,
the water's temper wavers. At Rhinecliff
the water's cooling down, as in that other Rhine, so
all the sun's for nothing. The water or the river? Am I
my body, am I my eye that's also
cooling but sees further off:
mountains and, right here, the ice flow?
And there's another bridge, frail, bright-dark
above the ice, with cars easing
into the air so clear and uncountable
that you don't know how to return
to a place full of individual days
and dreams that don't have time to take
like buds in April after a late freeze.
Thank you, today I sat on the right side,
on the side of the birds who don't feel the chill
and sit, feathered, on the water, paddle, flap,
look for food.