Monday, June 13, 2016



Without any warning,
No wind or dampness,
Just as I was about to
Step out from under
The empty stall,
Shake woodchips
After chain saw work
From my rubber boots
Then split the wood —
Sleet rained down all at once
As if someone whispered now
Caught even the chickadees
Feeding in the overgrown
Raspberry canes, but I
Watched as they regained
Themselves over the
Pasture, flying away.

The Long Way Home

January and no thaw
Freezing days and nights
Far back in the woods
I stamped caked ice
Off my snowshoes after
Breaking into the open
Onto an old logging road

Returning down into the valley
Sunlight rinsing the hills
Passing my neighbor’s pasture
I feel staring between the trees
Huddled in deep snow
The whole world stop
As horses watch

One Shot
      for Russell Denison

The one shot
I don’t think
He wanted to shoot
Put this deer down,
Found on the river ice
After the dogs
Had been chased off.

He left the body alive
Longer than I would
For someone to call
The game warden, or
Hoping 3 or 4 in the pack
Would circle back,
Put a slug in each one’s head.

But nothing returned —
This deer waits
Head flat
Muscles clawed from her legs,
She won’t ever rise again.
Bloody dog tracks
Pinwheeled from the body.

It is late winter
An open sunny day for a change,
The air is starting to melt
With new bird songs —
Her eyes are wide
She can’t move
Watches us as we move.

Sugaring Time

All at once
Off in the distance
Where an old hut
Sinks into the ground
Two small windows lit
And steam bellows
Up into the farmland sky —
You thought it was a fire
Until you tasted the air


Bob Arnold
Where Rivers Meet