The day so far: still searching for that epic.
Seafaring? Great mystery of the shadowy deep?
Cataclysm? The earth opening beneath my feet?
No, just the measured stillness that slides
out of my pencil one word at a time.
The vision of my old friend, fresh from cataract surgery,
saying he can once again enjoy looking
at the stars, “connecting the dots.”
A modest return to wonder, the windows washed,
the old universe swimming into view,
Read more "It Never Ends"
a moment of darkness and silence and the awe
of retracing an old riddle, finding north,
I do not know how it is possible
not to pause, to stop, to listen
when a single bird’s first notes
suddenly rise above the subtle hum
of the city’s opening or to ignore
the wonder when one spring day
descends unexpectedly to revive
this town in the midst of winter.
I do not know how to sing praises
as wholeheartedly as the throng
of crows gathered at the crown
of a leaf-barren tree whose cants
seem like cacophony to me
but must be the joyful noises
that they were made to sing.
I do not know how.
Read more "How"
Once only I use this word –
Read more "Mauve"
as winter white cedes
its clutch on deepest cold
to end-of-day, sun down
low with bare trees
that hold up clouds.
Read more "Twig"
you are a small thing—
a slight appendage to the astonishments of the universe.
But to me
your slender, silent testimony,
your sheltered winter sap
sticky with promise, your fullness:
they seduce me.
I want to share
your slow, secluded breathing,
breath in my breath;
to search, to caress
your leaf scars,
your lenticels, your shy buds
Round fire in its tent of sticks shedding chalk and cold
on the edging of my pillow.
So sad. All I can recall is no one to hold me.
After all my skin-chafing labor with the adze, the struggle
to haul your coffin across the river—
cracking and lowing like a barge
in the deep, bleeding furrow
closing in on itself—
your severed arm gone ghostly limp,
flailing like a wave crest along the bank
beneath the claxons of a migrating goose flock
Read more "Winter Undertow"
beneath blurrier migrating stars.
In deep troughs between
the dark hills of water passing,
Read more "Sand and Soft Coral"
at ‘Ehukai or Kahana,
and later along the smoothed beaches
of Waikiki, its accrued history covered still.
She rose at 3:15 from her plastic chair,
the wooden desk carved with curses.
Her bones began to sing.
She ran home to unwed shoes,
lost socks, and blue shadows,
chores to complete until dark,
criticism swallowed like bites of tough meat.
She focused on the bright stars,
Read more "The Girl Who Wanted Soup"
the winter air, crisp as a white shirt,
black patches curving slick
extraordinary in its bloom
lights last flecks of
two by two geese
flee into darkness
tracks melting under toe
I’ll meet you here, tomorrow
as Seven Sister skate the sky
Read more "headlights"
moon raining crystals.
February morning I face the brittle air
Read more "Backyard Bird Counting"
checklist in mittened hand
two male Dark-eyed Juncos
one Northern Cardinal, male
a flock of Black-eyed Chickadees.
I estimate forty
mindful of the growing dawn.
Comfortable in the cold,
Read more "Wildling"
mist tendrils rising
across morning garden,
dry in the rising wind.
Cracking this year’s journal,
I release pleasure to the river.
Behind a dome of December clouds,
the sun struggles.