Tag Archives: poetry

This winter’s day

You do not have the flu. The cat is not sick, nor the dog lost. The bitter cold has not burst the pipes. The firewood is dry enough to catch the perfect flame thrown by the ordinary wonder of a rough-struck match. The small, wild things — plumed, delicate — fly hollow-boned to the feeders […]

I add to my list of questions for God

Why serial killers are handsome, and sociopaths charming, as if we don’t have enough trouble telling good from bad. Whether islands float, or go all the way down. Why baby animals are so much cuter than baby people. Related, why humans don’t have fur, which would make us more attractive as we age. Also warmer. […]

Mary Oliver is dazzled by heaven

So I got up finally, with a grief worthy of you, and went home. Just over the threshold, she cannot move quickly or carefully enough. Oh, what is that beautiful thing that just happened? On ageless legs, the last word she heard with mortal ears still sounding: Come. The angels themselves weary of our meanness, […]

Rumi clarified

  Discharge the surly tenant who has lingered too long in the room previously occupied by happiness. A guest house is not an asylum, indefinite lodging for your secret insanities. It is not a brothel, perpetual indulgence of your basest impulses. It is not assisted living, nor long-term care for your crippling inability. A guest […]

After, in the House of Windsor

Philip walks beside, not behind.  Actually, they run, death having undone decrepitude as well as investiture. Fleet horses canter Elysian meadows, where no fox or stag stays dead. Obstinately happy corgis circle on stubby legs, barking against the faintest memory of mortality, of which they, too, have had quite enough. Bertie still smokes like wildfire, […]


Word from you aches like an old injury, a bone broken and healed but never again unassailable, ever sensitive to the plummeting pressure your proximity announces, the atmospheric disturbance of your many promises, breaking. Sheltered by time and space, I nonetheless roil at your slightest approach. An obstinate naivete persists, trusting as a newborn, set […]

For now

Shy as beaked whales, my metacarpals surface from the swollen sea of my downstream hand, breaching a bruised ocean, a flood of healing. A mile away, ALS gathers the last of my friend, whose eyes no longer contain her. If dying were personal and malice medical, it would look like this: ruthless, relentless, clear and […]

Words escape me

through the latest perforation, this Swiss cheese, this colander, the hole punch of each passing day, the mute minutes in which my ability to name and thus constrain becomes ever more soluble. How readily they slip from my loosened grasp, scatter and gambol through meadows outside my purview, freed from the meaning I made them […]

Closed captioned

(pensive orchestration) I contemplate my life. (distant music; eerie, tentative) It is dark in here. What is this place? (music intensifies) I am born, wailing like I know what I’m in for. (Baby Elephant Walk) 10 pounds, 11 ounces. (baby crying) Colic for three months. (playful orchestration) I learn to talk, walk. Nothing goes really […]

The world’s most perfect couple

She lays herself out on the slow current, neck extended, orange paddles holding her steady as he circles, bobbing his shimmering head, then climbs aboard, mates, nibbles briefly her elegant nape, dismounts and circles once more, fast — an exhilaration, an exuberance — exhausting his fletched desire before settling beside her on the bank, resting […]