Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Home Place

The old house went down the basement stairs
And didn't come back up.

The people
The cows
The sheep
The pigs and the chickens
Have disappeared through a great hole
In the landscape.

Cold in the Trees

The hoot
Of the owl
Is large enough
To carry off a whole sheep.

Knowing Nothing

The hole in the landscape is real.
I can walk through it and back again.
Every time I do
My clothes look baggier.
My hair sticks out.
My boots become untied.
My coat unbuttoned.
My education gone.
I don't care anymore how the world thinks.

I only know that the snow
Has reached my knees.

After a Long Trip

The river is going to the Gulf of Mexico.
The moon on top the water
Doesn't move.
It's not interested in a
Trip to New Orleans.
Its light is already tired from traveling
250,000 miles
To shine on some trees.

Love for Other Things

It's easy to love a deer
But try to care about bugs and scrawny trees
Love the puddle of lukewarm water
From last week's rain.
Leave the mountains alone for now.
Also the clear lakes surrounded by pines.
People are lining up to admire them.
Get close to the things that slide away in the dark.
Be grateful even for the boredom
That sometimes seems to involve the whole world.
Think of the frost
That will crack our bones eventually.

Found on the Earth

The simple words no longer work.
Neither do the grand ones.
Something about
The hanging bits of dark
Mixed with your hair.
The everlasting quietness
Attached to the deserted barn
Made me think I'd discovered you
But you already knew all about yourself
As we stood on the edge of a forest
With your dress as languid as the air,
The day made of spring wind and daffodils.
Then the sky appeared in blue patches
Among slow clouds,
Oak leaves came out on the trees,
Grass suddenly became green,
Filled with small animals that sing.
All the parts of spring were gathering.
The earth was being created all over again
One piece at a time
Just for you.

Late March

A dark day raining
A bright flash
Of blue jay disappearing
Into black folds
Of a dripping spruce tree.
Bark of ash and apple tree shine
In the dim drizzle.
The woodpecker's
song this afternoon
Is a chipping noise,
A sound that puts little dents
In the wet air.


Darkness Sticks to Everything
Copper Canyon Press, 2013