Saturday, October 15, 2011

On Being Human

i am changing colors
like the leaves…
claret, pale orange,
butter colored -
and falling through the
atmosphere, drifting down
through the ages

landing upside down
at the foot of a statue
standing in the commons
forgotten by children

and here are my tears
streaming on ivory faces
in all the places
that come to mind
when the skies are
filled with bare branches
and stars that shine
down on every thought
that threatens to unpin me

what can i tell you -
that i don’t feel pain
that my mind is stable
that prayers are answered
that life is fair
that a heart doesn’t break
that everything will be alright
that God is watching over us?

Friday, May 27, 2011

For Now

I had given up on spring
when you called me to the
kitchen window to show me
the orioles in the quince bush,
like small brilliant suns -
buoyant and cheerful.

Watching them,
I tried not to think
about the mountain birds,
with their dark shiny eyes
like tiny glass marbles,
and their somber evening calls
heard from clear across the river –
where they roosted shadowy
in the branches of the redbud,
some missing parts of their
hind wings or tails,
proving that life is hard
in the upper Alleghenies.

Even on this dismal,
cool and rainy spring morning,
I’ll not think about the cold
that got inside of me there –

For now,
I’ll take pleasure in
our delight of the orioles,
so busy with the quince blossoms,
they hardly notice
our smiling faces at the window -
or our love for them that leaps
and bounds from somewhere deep.

Friday, January 21, 2011


away from the creamy
smear of a gibbous moon

I hide myself in Shakespeare’s
coat sleeve breathing only

when I remember to breathe
and coming out only to eat

the stale offerings from
an old man’s crooked hand

Monday, January 3, 2011

High Lonesome

"High Lonesome"
watercolor by Terry Clark

Winter comes effortlessly
on the High Lonesome Ranch,
where the snow piles up -
white on white,
and the elk scream,
in the frozen pine forests,
like banshees.

I imagine what it would be like
to stay there in the cabin -
enduring the brief ghosts
of miners, cowboys, and outlaws
humming in the corners.

I’d see the stars arranging
themselves around the
windows at night,
and resting on the trellises,
as if they were the white
and lavender Columbines
of summer.

And in the utter stillness,
I’d hold the moon close
to my breast and listen,
over and over again,
to the rising silence
of my thoughts.