rope swing (for Sonyusha)


It’s now been years
since you told me
in a whisper
you’d forgotten the words
you used to know
the magic

yet on your first swing out
here over the water
you already know
to only let go
just as the rope
will go no further
and untethered you rise
then hang there
somehow more than an instant
as though the sun itself
couldn’t bear to let you go.

The Stolen Man

for Sonyusha, again

Halfway between here
And the bay,
Between the window
And the water,
Under gray clouds
In quiet rain
You sit cross-legged, golden
On the high rock
While here in the kitchen
Your mother talks about
Something —
I’ve lost the thread.

You’re waiting for me
Talking as you watch
The window, while I too
Watch you.
Of course I worry —
Wet ground
And it’s raining I know,
Light, perhaps,
But it’s darkening
Your golden hair —
I worry, but more
I wonder
Watching you talking
And wanting
To hear the world
You’re weaving
Out of clouds rain bay —
Come away
Come away

I watch you talking,
Listen as though
I could hear, as though
There was no
Glass, no rain, no space
Between us.
As though
Just wanting
Could ever be enough
To let me always
Reach you.

to the real itself


“There is only
the restoration of innocence–”
“I pick up on
calm, or passivity —
a mighty mildness
of repose in swiftness–
joined to the most instant
and powerful actions”
which — looking up
suddenly I see
in a quiet face
atop upsurge of neck
A mighty calm
cresting¬†— a swell
to a world away
Gray eyes already a horizon
falling off into unseen blue
So no — harpoon in hand
perched on wavetossed boat
poised for the strike —
I would not hurl
but — held fast
by this untamed stillness —
hope only instead to be
struck myself and thus — restored.

spring tide

No wind no rain
no storm — no —
a darkness deep and quiet —
still as the heart waiting
the heart holding tight
to black starless hope
while in the moonless muffled night
rises a deeper darkness
silent — patient —
taking tenderly back
what once never was.
Taking pebbles rocks
reeds grass —
rising dark — unknowing —
consuming everything
as if to join
the emptiness above.

Then, O heart holding fast
release —
take wing —
If there’s no wind no rain
no stars —
that only means
the sky at least
is yours.

beauty when you rise (notebook poem)

White as sunwashed breaker
and careless of the rain the gray
heavy sky pressing the morning
birds to stillness
careless of the muck
of the marsh rainpond
stepping slow
delicate deliberate and watching
O long white body drawn up
in neck excruciating in
length in fineness
in grace
and head blackeyed
that transforms the riverine
run of neck into gold
a spear of sun poised —
Everywhere gray and rain
and gray —
but no — because following
the flight of your striking beak
the reeds I see bloom dense
brown gold light
greens of coming life
life so long waiting
now under the gray
the rain
come to blossom out of you
your whiteness
still and solid yet tumbling
breaking —
O beauty when you rise
into it the dull gray the wet
O white curved wings slow
indifferent it seems and yet
for all that
you catch me
carry me
grant me
one rising breath
on your featherborne
upsurge of grace.

sufficient mystery (notebook poem)

A gull hovers openwinged
in the still morning air — unmoving
between bay and sky — both blue
glow gathering — lit by morning
madcap of birdsong
that fills the dawn as it rises
over the ripening marsh —
The gull up there indifferent — calm
unmoved but — sunstruck —
aflame as though the light itself
impatient to hear it all
caught in her feathers
to ride her wings
into the bloom of song —
The bay then too — deep blue aglow
and the sky stretching
laughs above —
It’s only an instant though
before the sun breaks
over the horizon
searing everything —
the sky pales
birds hush their madsong
and even the restless bay
gives up its glow —
The gull alone — unmoved — still hovers
on the unseen rise of air
indifferent — white — alive —
sufficient in herself to save
the mystery of the world.

blue jay memory (notebook poem)

A shriek shattering blue
high clear calm
of summer morning sky–
Again — a hook
catching fast —
taking flight
through black pines
darkleaved oaks —
always just
at the edge of unseen —
bluegray — white
knife flight —
and again — a-wing
an arrow shriek
striking home
out of the hope
of dawn.