With a flap and whoosh he alights
to rule from the clothesline pole,
his shield casting a shadow
of gloom on the bush branch that once
held the quick morning sun finch
whose seven-tone jazz riff played,
wee wee see wee dee wee dee.
Answered by unseen, trading sevens,
who who wee wee see wee dee.
Sweet memory of morning chirps,
Read more "The Raven Roosts"
the flash of red and yellow breasts
serving up my teacup of jazz.
Even the universe was young once
but though it was small
its events were immense
and shaped the course of all that followed
the matter inside us
the starlight around us
No memories remain of that formative time
Read more "3 Degrees"
but its afterglow is everywhere
faint but unmistakable —
three degrees in the background
pervading our world
whether we see it or not
We are in the floorboards here
I kneel down and lay my hands
On the old barnwood planks
Our first house—big step
Baby steps, first steps, dance steps
The big picture window where
I always beat the sunrise to the sofa
Pink tumbling over a sleeping mountain
A nursing baby at my breast
Another sun another son
We carved our traditions here
Read more "Before The Move"
The turkeys and the pumpkin pie
The Christmases the Fourths of July
Birthdays, holidays—all holy days
Our rituals rooted in the seasons
I saw you pluck a piece of sapling from the hills
A present, I don’t know,
A sun-scorched story,
A massive ambience of the liquid time.
But the manner you beheld it
Read more "Regeneration"
Like you could see through its bare bones,
If you lick up the juice, now and then.
I remember the day you broke from me
A blue and viscous blood-soaked pearl
And though I’d grown you in myself
An alien from a secret world
The cord was thick and rough and red
A rhubarb stalk tying me to you
You wailed I cried they held you up
My universe bound by one sinew
Your father sawed the surgeon sliced
Read more "Graduation Day"
Surprisingly it didn’t hurt
I felt the pressure of my love
Shift from my belly to my heart
the settling of ashes.
the loss between
house and souls
windows left open
front door half open
a pink ribbon
on the floor
Read more "Aftermath"
paint the yard,
chairs and toys
like still life
I feared it would be like pulling teeth,
all hide-and-seek to avoid betrayal, not easy
like removal of a five-year-old’s wiggled incisor.
Then the miracle that my cupped hands
in hers hold water, no leaks,
no protruding river veins or age stains,
they look prayerful rather than begging.
Read more "Interpolating from the Inspection of My Shadow "
My pointed toe could be bold, an arch
to perfect the gymnast’s leap in open air.
The cowbird cares only for her own
Read more "Brood Parasite"
propagation. Nest-stealer, child-trader.
A clutch of brown-spotted eggs
sheltered elsewhere. The cowbird
merely uses what others have created.
Others raise her children.
Others feed her young.
If her child stabs a fragile fledging
from the colonized species
with a beak that hungers for more,
this is no injustice. The cowbird is not evil.
Survival is a promise of life, not a tragedy
They say salt
was once so precious
that soldiers were paid in it—a salary.
A common, bitter thing
I add salt’s tear-tang to the dough
and feel my wrist and bicep work
(the ingredients of my life
are not measurable things
though I feel them pulse just out of sight)
now I see the sight I always see
Read more "Ingredients"
out the kitchen window
as I knead and knead and knead
This is to let you know I’m newly funemployed.
Read more "Dear Type-A Friend,"
I’ve grown weary of the restless noise
of earth, so I plan to gadabout the universe
in search of alternatives to humanoids.
Perhaps I’ll terraform an asteroid
and confirm the latest scientific claims
it contains quintillions in gold.
I’ll appoint myself its CEO
and send you a prospectus once
I’ve penciled out investment strategies.