Posted in Poetry

Nothing to Be Done

Dry brown leaves skittered across the boulevard, their tips scratching the blacktop like the claws of runaway squirrels. I was there, but also far from there, a reverie having lifted me to an Andean spring near Quito, astride the equator, half north and half south of the middle seam of the world. In my memory, I felt the place ineffably strange, infused somehow with a wild geometry shimmering just beyond reach, as unsettling as the auras the trees had, mourning clothes, along the road the day the man came too early for anything good and spoke to mom, who urged us out of bed and dressed, and drove us all to where there was nothing to be done.

This piece appears in the CP Quarterly.

Posted in Poetry

Birthday Skates

A night nurse
makes her rounds
with the gentle tread
of a librarian among
half-forgotten volumes
so fragile they might
crumble at a touch, and
Angie, as she was,
glides in sleep
across the winter ice
of her eighth year,
birthday skates agleam.

A version of this piece appeared in the Boston Literary Magazine.

Posted in Poetry

An Interval

Sometimes the troubles lift away
like startled winter pigeons,
and I’m free alone, open to the sky,
humors balanced on the pivot
of equanimity, imagining myself
forever light, the troubles never
turning back to perch again,
heavy, and indifferent as the moon.

This piece appears in Molecule.

Posted in Poetry

One Spent Leaf

Leaves in their prime,
Open for business,
Conjuring fuel
For roots and
Trunks and limbs,
Give no thought
To us, yet it’s they
We have to thank
For breathing out
The very thing
We need when
Breathing in.

And when they hoist
The hues of summer’s end,
Their unwilled bounty’s
There for us again,
Their autumn art reward for
All our respiration.

And when one falls
And comes to rest
And waits for me,
A rich brown symmetry
Veined in black and
Glistening wet with
Morning dew,
I wonder whether
Any other death
Might be as fair
As that before my feet,
The final elegance
Of one spent leaf.

This piece appears in The Ravens Perch.

Posted in Poetry

The Bridge Near Genoa

I saw the first photographs on Twitter this morning as I sipped my cappuccino at a local coffee shop. The broken geometry. A soundless astonishing gap where a great section of the bridge had been near Genoa. The rest of the day would be punctuated by new totals of the dead, and in the days ahead, the totals would rise further, and the grief would settle in, a fog of ache that would take years to thin and never fully dissipate.

This piece appears in the Black Coffee Review.

Posted in Poetry

Drought Notes 2018

They’ll have something to say later about these parched weeks, about the heat, and much more to say if the potatoes die of it. But the chill of a welcome early breeze lifts the hair of my old arms, and I’ve no crop or garden under threat as I make my way down the hill, passing without comment the bleak gray walls of the shuttered convent where the nuns once did what they must have thought God wanted and where now the pigeons live in unruly spaces beyond panes broken by who knows what — winter storms or naughty boys or other free things.

This piece appears in the Tishman Review.

Posted in Poetry

Where the New People Live

Don’t think I haven’t dreamed my way
Down the 8-Mile Road to the seam
Between the hollow and the world
Where the New People live, riding
The buzz of New Caffeine
And the techno-pulse of EarPod beats
As they eHuddle over MacBook screens
To code the next New Things.
But I’ve drunk the valley mist
And heard the owl on evening watch
And felt the fox brush by my feet
On silent moonless winter nights
And seen the blackberries waiting
For the birds and me, so I think I’ll stay
Awhile among the shuttered mines
And mournful diesel lullabies.

This piece appears in the San Pedro River Review.

Posted in Poetry

Delicate Geometry

The spider never sees its web.
Not really. Not as we see it.
The delicate geometry of it —
The implications. There’s
No real cunning, is there? No
Stratagem. Every inch of
Every thread the spider spins
Is coded in, fashioned
Down the palimpsest of
Geologic time.

This piece appears in the Tiny Seed Journal.

Posted in Poetry

5:42 AM

A cool, empty dark,
Untouchable for the moment.
The mourning doves
Still, dreaming. A wind
Turning in its sleep.
Bleached light of a
Shoeless dawn slipping in.
Madness sealed away
In bone, cupped
Indifferently in the give
Of a cotton pillow.

This piece appears in the Broadkill Review.