Winter Solstice

Dawn after solstice
first pale pink light tells me sun
has not deserted


I am always stuck
between “Hello” and “Goodbye”,
mispronouncing both

Snow News

News of snow can’t reach
the worms in the earth until
it melts and then delves

Afternoon Tea

In a cup of tea
I fall asleep, kept afloat
by a raft of dreams

No Way

No way to retrieve
a flake of snow, not quite like
all the rest, melted

Sudden Now

Now’s always sudden
for here it is, and then not –
whisper of regret

Pearl And Grey

Sky’s a patchwork quilt
of pearl and grey, whose restless
seams are never done

No Hurry

No hurry’s shut up
with the snail in its dark whorl,
slide on slimy foot


While I am reading
my mind flies away, a bird
seeking its own sky

Like A Wedge

Grief is like a wedge
that waits for sledge’s impact
to split me open

Oak Smoke

The smell of oak smoke
in winter sunlight tells me
I’m alive right now

Unruffled Ocean

The winter sky’s blue
as an unruffled ocean
free of continents


Whisper of water
as flames lick a new oak log,
one hour from ashes

Stained Glass

Arms of winter oaks
carve blue sky into a maze
of stained glass windows

Skins Of Night

Grapes with skins of night
hold the fervors of sunlight
of a season past

Vanilla Moon

Setting in the west
vanilla moon’s reclining
on its bright backside

My Worries

All afternoon I
tried to sleep off just the fact
of all my worries


I am a scholar
whose subject is ignorance,
my own, massive


I’m next to nothing,
like lace chewed leaf or the frost
that morning will melt

Last Day

I watched the gold sun
set this last day of the year,
half moon at sky’s peak

Do Does

Do does carrying
next spring’s fawns have rough mornings
getting used to it?


How polite the splash
of small dark ducks taking off
from the blue of lake

New Year’s Eve

This year’s last evening –
when midnight comes we’ll drink just
as time’s drinking us


Sometimes I can read
my parents’ shapes in the clouds,
then wind scatters them

New Year’s Bloom

Next door the yellow
forsythia is blooming
in New Year’s moonlight

Old Hut

Something stirs in me
when I come on this old hut –
did I once live here?

Soft Clouds

Soft clouds floating in
from the west cover the face
of the waxing moon

Manhattan Wander

Manhattan wander
brings every face I’ve known
new before my eyes

Frisco Climb

San Francisco climb
takes me over a hill’s top
to another world

First Location

Cleveland’s sky of soot
keeps ashes before my eyes –
who were my forbears


Here, inland, right now,
I’ve a longing for the sea
and not a clue why

Meadow Knoll

On that meadow knoll
a lone oak flirts with lightning
that’s branded it once


White dog lifts covey
of mourning doves twittering
into the soft air


Listening is hard
and not work at all, no way
to trace how it blooms

Old Stump Cathedral

Old stump cathedral,
green moss spires, a vast dark vault,
insect worshippers

When I’m Not

I’m brushing with light
the facts of my life, so that
I am when I’m not

January Blossoms

This same cherry tree
blossoms each January,
pink flakes with white ones

January Twilight

Pink light slips from lips
of cold blue bottle of day,
as full ice moon climbs

Moon Pitch

From far far away
a full seamless moon curves through
half built hospital

Sudden Snow Squall

A sudden snow squall
last five minutes, then stops, gives way
to blue sky, gold sun

White Ice Full Moon

That white ice full moon
has been waiting forever
for a billiard cue

Fingers Of Cloud

Fingers of cloud stretch
across the sky, but can’t flex
to catch flying geese

Cold Dawn

Each paw a column,
white dog moves like a draft horse,
breathing plumes of steam


My questions are like
the quills of a porcupine,
helpless underneath

Fox’s Footprints

The fox’s footprints
cross the ice on an errand
known only to him

White Dog’s Happy

The white dog’s happy
in the cold with winter wind
roaring through the trees


In a single day
I travel so many moods
I confuse myself

Map Of Japan

a crystal map of Japan
in stream’s ice islands

1 Mockingbird

In a world of white
a lone mockingbird unsure
what to sing or how


What’s the fire thinking
that it whispers so softly
in so many tongues?

Snow Laden

Dark snow laden clouds
are seeping in through the trees,
like smoke without fire


A blizzard wider
than half this continent with
not a single thought


In a white snowfield,
a solitary oak, dark
as a lost eyebrow

White Table

On a white table
the white dog and I walk, two
tiny moving dots


Justice is longing
for simple freedom to be,
bloom without a pose


Sunrise of salmon,
flesh of pink boned with bare oaks,
leaping up the sky


Always reproachful
my mother keeps her distance
even in dark death

Wind’s Broom

The sky has gone blue
again swept clean by wind’s broom,
its mindless impulse

Midwinter Peony

Peony’s pink buds,
rockets reaching to streak white
into spring’s blue sky

Strange Coin

Loss enriches me
as it impoverishes –
how strange is life’s coin!

Four Seasons

Past salt and pepper,
my beard has gone white as snow
through all four seasons


A crown of blue veins
the first woman I saw die
wore, slumping forward

Lake Ice

As the sun brings warmth,
lake ice begins to mutter
its age old complaint


In forgetting you.
I’ve come to know you better
than I ever dreamed


A fly buzzes by
and it and I are both one
and the same, sun-struck


My dead parents now
have no place to live but me,
larger than I thought

Like Smoke

Grief’s like smoke, writes what
fire has said, then goes to hide
in far-seeing sky

Old Picture

In the old picture,
my dad stands on autumn leaves –
now he’s under them


Music and sunlight,
Sunday morning stubbornness
of the white dog’s snore


Now, subtlest stirrings
of willow, weeping cherry,
new song in the hedge

Seventeen Year

Now, I’m waiting for
seventeen year cicadas’
weird resurrection


Death’s an acquaintance
I made only after I
knew life, found I was

Pale Sky

Pale sky, paler blue,
a white moon rising in mist
at the door of night


Will I remember
how I sat at twilight, still,
remembering you?

In The Wind

Spring is in the wind,
impatient, impetuous,
as spring has to be

All New

I remember not
a thing of spring -it’s all new
as it always is

Tongue Of Flame

Just one cardinal
in a bare dun and gold bush
speaks the tongue of flame

Bull Roar

Like some god struggling
to break free, the bull roar
of spring melting ice

Complete Spine

A deer’s complete spine,
hips still attached, is off white
in the melting snow

Taste Of Green

Before the last snow
has fallen, I plant spinach,
dream the taste of green

Spring Missiles

Skunk cabbages, green
tipped, purple horned, are rising
from their dark silos


Wind, river of air
that banks on nothing, my lips
twitch to set me free


Squirrels haven’t found
two pale purple crocuses,
the first of the spring

Wisps Of Cloud

Wisps of cloud make veils
for the moon’s shining face hung
up high in an oak

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