Wild White

Few degrees warmer-
late March morning carpeted
with wild white flowers


Each word exacted
from heart’s beat approximates
what can’t be spoken


The black cat is dead
whose swift and lithe loveliness
leapt twenty quick years


Up the river, down,
kingfishers, needles piercing
this cool April dawn


White dog is sleeping,
white snout propped on mud black paws,
souvenirs of stream

A Single Breath

Every word I write
shorthand for a single breath
shorthand that falls short

Spring Frog Song

Bright chirps of small birds
overlaid on spring frog song
boiling in the bog

Dying Fox

In our tiny wood
a dying fox lies quiet
in deep green ivy

Horizontal Snow

Horizontal snow
in early April before
cherry blossoms come

Whimsy Whinnies

When whimsy whinnies
like a horse, I kick my heels,
run under the moon


I can’t remember
when, so full of emptiness,
I’ve been so content

Green Eden

White dog is sleeping
on her back in green Eden
of a spring evening

Young Again

Pink cherry blossoms –
the old tree is young again
under a gray sky

White Fungus

How white the fungus
on the trunk of fallen oak –
white as dogwood’s blooms


Unopened lilacs
are stains of a purple blood
against green branches

Exact Pink

Blossoms’ exact pink
I’d forgotten – old cherry
takes me by surprise

Wonder Of Sex

The wonder of sex
is in the morning’s white mist –
and the worry, too


Sorrow rasps in me
like a cat’s tongue on my hand –
peculiar pleasure

Step To Wisdom

Each step to wisdom
is a new embarrassment –
what awkward freedom

Yellow Surprise

A yellow surprise
fluttering up from ivy –
year’s first swallowtail

After Two Decades

After two decades
sky blue blue jays all about –
mockingbirds vanquished

In Bamboo

Blue jays in bamboo –
is that swaying brown nest theirs
after twenty years?


Exuberant spring –
shovels of red and yellow –
long-handled tulips

Rash Vision

Interior dark
is where light most surprises –
sudden rash vision

Spring Bursting

Cormorant on rock
near the lake’s shore with green spring
bursting all about

May Apples

Like furled umbrellas
May apples break the surface
and then spread green arms


A door worth seeking
is in and out all at once,
anchored by a hinge


I’m my privacy’s
pirate – I hijack vessels
that sail inner sea


I tire easily
and indefatigably
go on being me


Giraffes in the air
Chicago construction cranes
work on the Sabbath

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan blue
flat plate to the horizon
holds an ore boat up


I try to resign
from words and into them, too –
such deep confusion

Bare Wood

The feel of bare wood –
intimacy with my skin –
carbon knows carbon


A single morel
amid leafy detritus
is a monument

Phlox Filled Meadow

In phlox filled meadow
a patch of white violets –
a cloud in blue sky

No Order

I can’t put my mind
in order no matter what
season I am in


Gold centers of white
peonies are overrun
with small greedy bees

Spring Sickness

Sick in the springtime –
old fox has been dead a month –
white blooms everywhere

Lost Beyond

The dark uncertainty
of my deepest dreams, when I’m
lost beyond myself

Sixty-First Spring

My sixty-first spring
hair and beard almost as white
as the peonies


In my dreams the dead
wear the camouflage of life
I’m not done weeping


The trees are restless
in the night and so am I –
wind blows through my dreams


Now I inhabit
is just as vast as ever
as death shadows it

Ghost Moon

I sit down to sketch
without a clue what’s coming –
ghost moon in blue sky

Small Things

Small things are the keys
to the biggest locks, riddles
of being right here

True Rubies

These false strawberries
gleaming in lawn I’m mowing –
tiny true rubies


Wherever I am,
there is wilderness, baffling,
unkempt, riotous

Hollow Oak

In that oak raccoons
have lived more than fifty years –
now home is dying

Rasping Voice

I’m dying into
this tiny form – grain of sand
with a rasping voice

Illness Fades

Illness fades away
leaving shadow and promise
of future demise

In Silence

Something in silence
strives to be released – a bird
in the subtlest cage

Lithe As Ever

The black cat is dead
and still as lithe as ever
in mind’s undergrowth


palace of morel’s making
pocked spires’ inventor

Gathering Clouds

May afternoon’s sky
as white as an egg’s inside –
I’m always hatching

Ambition And Dust

Ambition and dust
are closest kin, for they both
steal the touch of now

Next To Nothing

I’m next to nothing,
always hard up against it,
persistent phantom

Ruined Hopes

In the aftermath
of ruined hopes, quieted
beauty starts to sing

More Clearly

Ever more clearly
I see what I’ve lost – losing
and finding – are they one?


I speak in fragments
aspiring to mosaic
as yet undefined

Birth Of A Perfume

Aroma of skunk
and the scent of wild roses –
birth of a perfume


Turtles were shining
on the bank – did swallowtail
flitting by spook them?

Evening Calm

Evening calm, white dog,
purple allium, birdsong
in the green of oaks

Old Fox

I can’t help missing
the old fox who used to pad
through our woods each day

Moon Knows

I’m trying to fold
the tent of my ambition –
moon knows I’ve been drunk

Last Night

Here’s where the deer slept
last night away – a bower
of white wild roses

Gander On Rock

Gander stands on rock,
stretches his neck and bugles,
his brood at his feet


Leisure is rough work –
when the fish aren’t biting,
that’s when regrets do


I’m trying to find
the bottom of what I am –
under all the waves

Snake In The Grass

A snake in the grass
stops the white dog in her tracks –
an old enemy

Small Dryad

Huge Dryad’s saddle
is joined by a tiny one
for a small Dryad


Berl in tulip tree
is the rough head of a god,
some lost Orisha

Sun Comes Out

The sun comes out
from behind a cloud, I do, too –
where have I been, where?

Restless Leaves

The breeze stirs green leaves –
desire searching for balance –
restless leaves stir me

Someone Else

Ask me my name and
I’ll invent myself for you,
become someone else


Gray cat doesn’t mind
going through life with question
mark for a tail?…tale?


Nothing and something
tried to part ways, but found they
were joined at the hip

Deer Sleep

In wild rose bower,
deer sleep under bright May moon –
can dream surpass this?


Early June morning –
heavy honeysuckle scent
floats above the creek


Almost open now
the lavender blossom just
hints at its own scent

Home At Last

Magnolia’s first
giant white blossom crowns it,
star that’s home at last

White Mountain Laurel

Brown deer are sleeping
amid white mountain laurel
above the valley

Special Bark

I still miss old fox,
the special bark the white dog
used only for him

Hunter-Gatherer Glee

The first ripe blackcap-
a hunter-gatherer glee
awakens in me

The Old Clock

I wind the old clock
as if it could tick time new,
so tick me new, too

One Purple

One purple iris,
unaware how it changes
everything that’s green

Hot Day

Hot day of late spring –
the gray cat is stretched out – when
will she melt away?

White Clover

Sea of white clover
here in late June, each head fine –
I won’t mow today

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