Again this early morning
I leave the kitchen light off
as I eat my cold cereal with milk
to re-mind me of our long ago
days at our Adirondack cabin
that promised an imminent
fishing trip to the backwoods
with each year’s hoped-for surprise
finds of new beaver work there
thrilling to Trout’s tug on our line
in this communion of the saints
my brother Matt holds the chalice
and then produces the bread
from his shoulder-slung creel.
Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’
Again this early morning
Belies the timpani of thunder that warns,
Trilling crescendo of avian flautists sounds,
As feathered soloists shelter in trees.
Couplet notes of dragonflies,
Scurrying, scrabbling snare drums of gray squirrels warn,
Rat-a-tat percussion of cascading droplets
Bless my skin, kiss my hair, soften my dress.
Wet blades of grass waltz and conduct in elemental time,
Primal heartbeat metronomes,
Washing my bare toes with their grace.
Every windgust turns a new page in it’s airborne aria and
As it always will.
There is a forest that
I can’t get away from.
A forest of tombs still
as tree trunks. There
is a forest. The smell
of red pine needles-
the pathways of my
ancestors. There is
a forest. When I am
not alive like I usually
am. There is a forest.
When I step in mink
tracks, I know these
tracks in my tendons.
I know this forest. It
pounds into the shale,
like a crumbling ravine
of hunger. I know this
forest. Returning from
vanished glaciers. A
ghost in the temperature.
Sultry, Summer breeze coasts gently,
Kissing the warm, cocooned forest lake,
Into rippling bliss,
Into living, surface reflections,
Of verdant, topsy-turvy perception.
Liquid, silver ribbons roll to shore,
In parallel synchrony,
Lulling the life on top and beneath,
Lulling the thriving microcosm world they feed,
Orchestrating restless thoughts in restless minds,
Into confluent melodies,
Back in the cabin after five wet days camping
five and a half miles back in these wildlands—
beside the long shifting beaver meadow kept open
since the loggers left their flooded “flowed land”
and its rotted log dam gave out soon afterward
—the pungency of wet wool drifts to the corners
of the front room as the fresh fire kicks up
when someone picks up your wet pack
whose surprising weight pulls them off balance
to tell us how what we don’t know while walking
can always come clear later like the brook trout’s
—you hope—first tentative tugs on your fly line
ground-truth the atavism of the limbic brain
to send you back to the city renewed
like Antaeus as maybe your father once said
while he taught you backpacking’s rudiments.
There is a forest that I return to
when I can’t get away from the pulsations
of thinking. A forest of tombs as still
as dead tree trunks and melodious as raindrops
on red pine needles. The paths of my ancestors.
In this forest, I am not alive like I usually am.
Stepping in mink tracks, I know this place in
my tendons like a ghost knows the temperature of
fog. Here, the Independence River runs like a lovely
ribbon until it pounds into a ravine of crumbling shale.
And I know that old hunger returning from vanished glaciers.
In this forest, my arms, as I meander, wave like prayer flags
hung out to the ragged border between life and death- a place
where I can survive outside the womb. A place where I can
become a wilderness dancer touching the mud softer than ivory.
Wild, is your nature,
Yet, in infinitely perfect
There was a time,
When I might have taken you
But never now,
Now, is when every minute with you,
Breaks my heart,
Both with my human transience,
And the permanence,
Of your beauty.
I cannot capture you,
I can only be,
As you are in me,
During our own Tang Dynasty we stirred
space-age orange powder in hot water
on cold mornings beside Johns Brook
stomping our feet for warmth outside
the Howard Lean-to.
My bro Matt’s wife Ann wanted to take a dip
in the brook, more like a small river
here at the base of the high peaks.
For Matt it came down to “I will
if you do” and Ann did do.
Later we packed-out by the well-worn
trail we packed-in on, but by then
it was a different way.
The Strand Theater of Old Forge
Rising from the bottom of an
unfillable sink of inside space,
the Strand Theater is a Mondrian;
its meanings come rushing over
hazy filters of digital luminescence:
a cosmology of sound and light,
blasting gigantic sweeping images,
like felled hemlocks on a forest floor.
Immerses and caresses sun-blushed skin.
White lace curtains billow,
In soft obeisance to an August breeze.
Sunbeams filter sparkling motes,
Into a wood-beamed bedroom sanctuary,
As a bejeweled lake ushers in the soft sound,
Of waves splashing a sandy shore.
Somewhere in the fiery pink, orange and blue horizon,
Haunting, triumphant calls of loons vibrate, emanate,
Owning the dusk, and heralding the setting sun.
All is well as Nature sounds its reign,
Over the cool, pine-scented summer night.
A kiss studied
is so much more beautiful
than a kiss performed.
It gives nothing away.
When I kiss my wife,
I should remember it.
It never was meant to be
a handshake. And why do
we kiss to say goodbye?
These goodbyes lasting,
stretching, crowding the horizon.
A sound is burned but a kiss is alive.
Alive like a moose scarfing wild rhubarb.
She looked at me
with curving, symmetrical
arches, and I knew right away
that souls abhor an untimely silence.
the specter of a daffodil blooms
in a radiograph. And somewhere,
somewhere, I wonder if
everything needs to be seen after all.
Yet when she looked at me, I felt
pale all over. Like uncooked chicken,
or a freshly sliced shallot, I felt the fresh
undifferentiated sameness of my mind.
A reflection under construction. Both rare
and dangerous. A meteorite falling
in North Wales or a cluster of nebulae in Hydra.
Isn’t this infinite region of emptiness fulfilling?
This vital break with the vicissitudes of life-
as they are slowly cooked in small earthenware dishes.
Ordinary Like Our Sun
There are many kinds of deserts,
but they all reject the notion that life
should flourish. That’s gravity.
A grim background disturbing the atmosphere.
But it can’t make you fall in love, or at least that’s
what Einstein said. With an exquisite fussiness,
it intones mystical equations
and leaks blood in -alabaster basins.
Gravity is a creature of two nights; it feels a certain kind
of anxiety in the litany, so it shakes the earth from the flesh,
as if the beast itself might sabotage the magic trick.
Like jumbled chunks of sea ice, always creating dead ends,
it is becalmed in an ocean of sand, or bread slathered with honey.
An oracle of falsehood always driven by the illumination
of alternative futures. It soaks in the nectar-laden flowers
waking to the touch, a fragile fiberglass skin. Ordinary like our sun.
When I Look Up
When I look up
I see the quiet survival
of the solar system.
I see the outbursts of
the disturbing meaning
of the Milky Way.
When I look up
I see the penetration of the
corona, a universe of stars,
the way Galileo saw it,
all ionized and catastrophic.
From the Beginning
There is a hush
from the beginning
of time, where you
can hear yourself blink.
There is a hush,
where a minute ago
we were two million miles
closer to this cluster than
we are now.
There is a hush
when we realize how it is
that we belong at the limit
of the powers of observation.
There is a hush
when the universe evolved
from the static.
I shall return to the hush.
I shall return in a moment
to the conditions which might
have existed at the beginning.
To a hush which can no longer be
distinguished from nothingness.