With Myanmar, September 7

Miniature monk,
a tiny praying mantis
amid basil’s green

Quite Who

I never forget
who I am, since I’ve never
known who I might be

So Stealthy

Beautiful dry day
after beautiful dry day –
so stealthy this drought

A.K., September 24, 2007

We keep you in mind
as if searching for the plans
to build you again

Up Early, Worried

Up early, worried,
I feel the dread in the flesh
that is life itself


Acorns are falling
with the report of gunshots
on slate roof and deck


Autumn woodland fog
passes through the spiders’ webs,
leaves fresh drink behind


V’s of geese erupt
from dense banks of autumn fog
scream upwards and off

Time Reduces

Time reduces me
to something like an essence
but still not quite me

Slipping Through

I keep slipping through
the noose of my own knowing
so I stay alive

The Sky’s Flag

In dry October
the blue jay flies the sky’s flag,
darts through falling leaves


Windows in the woods
start to open as leaves fall –
I see sky patches

To Write

In order to write,
I step back from what I see
to find it again

New Surface

The act of writing
turns me inside out – how strange
this new surface is


I’m tired of me,
something sweet in this fatigue,
with a hint of rot


I’m shell within shell –
which one is the innermost –
or might there be none?


October’s still green
but summer’s fever has calmed –
the paintbrush is poised


While I still can see
I record the mysteries
I can’t comprehend

Dog And Doubts

Soft October night
I take my dog and my doubts
for a long slow walk

Dawn Mist

Dawn mist hugs the ground,
fills the hollows of the land –
a deer’s head floats by

Smoke Rises

The way smoke rises –
so words should go up to join
the sky of silence


Am I a wonder
only insofar as I
can’t help wondering?


Warm October night,
with the cicadas singing
amid painted leaves


Moonlit heartless night –
leaves fall from trees, flutter down –
ghosts of butterflies

Right Name

Separation grief,
that’s the right name, the one I
whisper to myself

Autumn Sleep

White dog’s fast asleep,
unaware two brown leaves have
landed in her snow


I wish I had names
for the plants that grow and make
jungle inside me


Warm October night
won’t let summer go, even
if summer is gone


Toothache in the rain
the cold of autumn is here
I’ve no place to hide


In autumn downpour,
gray question mark cat hunts mice
underneath the house


After days of rain
splashes of sunshine break through
huge pearl clouds, thinning

Old Stumps

Old black stumps rot out
into cities, whose skylines
are slick and jagged

Golden Sheet

The sun’s golden sheet
unrolls over rainbow woods
as breeze launches leaves


Five white tailed deer drowned
in a swimming pool – how strange
is animal fate

Stevenson Bison

Last year bison jumped
the net on a tennis court –
victory gesture?


A single red leaf
slaloms down October breeze,
doesn’t miss a gate


When I think of death,
my thinking is not thinking,
but the truth of fear

Cold, Toothache

I wake up in despair
with a cold and a toothache –
is this all it takes?


Today’s commonplace
was born in a world lost past
all imagining

Myself Ticking

Wherever I go,
I carry time inside me,
hear myself ticking


Were I a planet
my regrets would run as deep
as veins of silver


I’m remembering
November, when, like a leaf,
you fell and were still

Tree Of Life

How slender the stem
that holds me to the tree, life,
whose trunk is this air


I still hear the elk
bugling on the mountainside
twenty-five years ago


Stink of a dead buck,
decomposing, a youngster
by the river’s edge


Year after bright year
I watch the leaves slanting down,
search the wind for words

Insect Truth

Butterflies are gone,
but the mosquitoes remain –
a sad insect truth


The amber of tea
first traps all my reflections,
then lets me drink them

Simple Parts

Mother and father
are simple parts of the earth,
yet walk in my mind

Not Just

Not just in shadow
but in the very light that
makes me burn is death

Dying Oak, Autumn

Slant of dying oak
covered in ivy amid
the surrounding gold


Autumn is expert
in dyeing dying’s colors,
how wonder weaves woods

Up And Down

I go up and down,
thinking sometimes that I am,
sometimes that I’m not


I dream of eons,
yet come back to instants,
the talk of my tick


The dragon of hope
breaths flame and singes flowers,
burns us all to ash


Wind, weather change how
I hold myself in my hands
in my head in…what?


Words use me as I
presume to use them for earth,
air, fire and water

Inner Ear

Happiness of ear
trying to listen within
for an inner wind

Wordless Color

The wordless color
of these woods in autumn, fresh
even as I age


In empty moments,
memory lassoes me, drags
me from where I stand


Sunlight that made me
transforms an autumn morning –
a deer disappears


Red threads of saffron
I have plucked from the crocus –
how they’ll yellow rice!


How obscure I am –
each chance of intersection
finds me newly skew

Lacquered Reds

The autumn woods glow
lacquered reds and golds in rain –
soon they’ll be bare bone

Way Station

A red leaf lands now
on a lower branch, breaking
its journey to ground


Who can imagine
intricacy of what is
beyond strutting science?

I Wait

I’ve planted tulips –
now I wait for mystery
to explode in spring


A leaf’s suspended
by a spider’s thread and so
makes a pendulum

Fine Gold

On fine gold carpets
I walk mile upon sweet mile –
such is autumn’s wealth


When I was little
I walked the woods in a book
now I walk them still


Raucous cries – a mob
of crows in the pin oak tree –
are these football fans?

Like Rubies

Glowing like rubies,
the fall crop of raspberries –
the white dog grabs one

Wordless Balm

What I see goes far
past what I can say – beauty
is a wordless balm


How can I follow
the promptings of my nature,
which but half exists?

November 18, 2007

The weeping cherry
has put on its yellow robe
prelude to the nude


I’m dreaming reasons
for my puzzling existence –
x’s and zeroes

Raw End

This bone chilling cold,
the raw end of November,
sun a ghost in grey


I’m a convention,
those inside me so diverse,
I never agree

This Fog

Talking to myself,
I can rarely find clear words,
so I speak this fog


It’s a simple thing –
happiness coins such splendors
as surpass dreaming

Of That Doe

Beauty of that doe,
young, slight, alert, stays with me
in me for days, weeks


Lush warm night comes down
on leaves of many colors –
holly has white blooms


The poaching of pears –
the white dog is fast asleep
as Thanksgiving comes


Print of each instant
is distinct as a finger’s
in the dust I am


The whisper of hope
that something can yet be born
inside my own ache

Near Shore

Deer bound for the woods,
beaver scrambles for water
as white dog closes


On warm autumn air
a soft signature of skunk
almost beautiful

Red Berries

Eating bittersweet
berries as red as itself
lone fall cardinal


Each parenthesis
is nest for a mystery,
as I am, (myself)

A. K.

In dream came A. K.,
said she had spliced time so she
could be still alive


Memory fights death,
then slowly concedes, recedes
to join what it fought

Lost Gold

The weeping cherry
is newly nude, its lost gold
strewn over the ground


Fall of baked brown leaf
makes such a slant in my mind
I feel newly waked


Mulch for what comes next,
each leaf was once a story –
I drop from my branch


Ruddy fade of day
into wide rudderless night –
how my mind careens

Here Here

I don’t go back where
I came from – there’s no there there,
barely a here here

Bronze Red Hands

Large as bronze red hands,
leaves of the pin oak can’t grasp
the wind that flaps them

Lost Worlds

Sorrow makes me tired
as if I had to carry
the bones of lost worlds

So Blue

Now the sky’s so blue
it is hard to imagine
any other sky


Wisdom hides nothing,
is drab not from modesty,
but just to be free

My Waking

More than I sing it –
so much more – sunlight sings me,
gives me my waking


Inverted blue bowl
of late fall sky – my breath steams
from furnace I am

Red And Blue

Crossing suddenly
so close – blue jay, cardinal –
the red and the blue

No Eyes

Wind choreographs
dance it has no eyes to see,
ballet of the leaves


We’re in love with stuff,
so that ourselves we do stuff,
so we turn into stuff

Long Sunny

In trees’ company
I wend a long sunny way,
doubting my sorrows


This autumnal ache,
that the chain of tomorrows
must soon be broken


In the year’s first snow,
burl head wears a cap of white,
really quite jaunty

I Don’t Rule

I float on the cells
of an empire I don’t rule –
I dread its collapse

Leaves, Suddenly

Leaves suddenly yield
a stick which becomes a snake
beige and beady eyed

Lightning Fingers

Mother in my dreams
you’re thunder on the piano
with lightning fingers


Nature knows nothing,
is wiser than all knowing –
how empty why is

Same Windows

These last two decades
I’ve looked out these same windows
as my vision changed


Drizzle, darkness, fog,
another year is ebbing
as the white dog snores


I’m still bewildered,
most of all by simple things –
am I possible?


White dog and white swans
on a leaden autumn day
before the rain falls


Beloved old house,
almost in ruins, just like
my own childhood


Listening to dreams,
I hear a thousand voices
I could take for mine


I mine what is mine,
although the risks are so great
the shaft will collapse


each instant experiment –
this is how I am


I keep wondering
why is it I’m wondering –
there is no answer


I know less and less,
but can’t quite get to nothing
which holds all there is

A Thread

A thread so slight, how
it meets fingertips is right
at illusion’s edge


How render the truth
of what’s vanishingly small,
of my own estate?


I’m diving into
the infinitesimal –
I don’t make a splash


How strange the mind is,
for it goes a thousand roads
and holds a million


Twilight is oak strokes
of different dark barked inks,
no trace of the pen


Only my habits
know how frightened I am – I
trust them not to tell


When the night comes down
the day gone by starts to glow
like stars with questions


Year’s shortest day –
moon is a pale wafer caught
in slim oak fingers

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