Black River

Cardinal over
the black river makes a shock
something like waking

Right Hip

I slip on the ice,
land on my right hip and see
the world made all new

Print Roosts

Blackbirds in bare oak
shadows of blackbirds on snow –
print roosts then flies


In such recesses
of me as I but half know
I invent a life

Dark River

Across dark river
sycamores reach bright white arms,
join against sky’s blue

One White Whisker

Just one white whisker
caught in sun says sleeping cat
is not a gray rock

Sloppy V

Geese in sloppy V –
the settled ease of rich fields
has wrecked discipline

Clocks Buried

Sixtieth birthday –
clocks buried in my cells know
nothing comes easy


Today’s dawning is
unlike yesterday’s, unlike
as peas in a pod

What I’ll Never

I swim in detail,
what is unaccountable,
what I’ll never say


Garden lies fallow,
but underneath is ferment
just what works in me

Heavy Heart

Dad, I watched you pry
boulders from the earth and knew
your heart was heavy

Mute Transmutes

Now clouds cloak the sky
as a mute transmutes horn’s sound,
finds a new beauty

Light’s Insignia

I don’t mean to tell
the whole story, just to show
light’s insignia


Dozens of finches
in tangled winter bare vine –
all still an instant

Piece Of Cloud

Dog’s a piece of cloud
come down to wander the woods
sniffing for squirrels

Not White

I’d begin again
if I could find alphabet
whose hair was not white


I cherish the crows
who lived through West Nile virus –
surviving’s glad, sad

My Creation

My creation is
a dog howling at the moon
which is a deaf pearl

Almost Twenty

Black cat I wait on
demands water fresh and cold –
she’s almost twenty

Fierce Photon Flood

Trees hold their arms up,
children as we are of sky,
the fierce photon flood


Contraptions of breath,
these words try to seal my time
into small capsules


The sun is a smile
in a pale blue winter sky –
its warmth is a kiss

Last Year’s Compost

The garden is black
where I spread last year’s compost –
once and future food

All New

I keep wandering
both in the past and present –
it’s all new to me


What’s concentrated
can be small and then explode
beyond all scales

Gray Cat Jumps

Gray cat jumps white dog
this rainy winter evening
and heads out the door

Hard As A Pebble

Feeling can be round
and small, hard as a pebble,
ten thousand years smooth

Right There

Every single day,
I start from the beginning
and end up right there

Soft Sunlit

Soft sunlit morning
and the birds that are singing
brighten it further

Rich Beyond

Circle I survey
is small, perhaps just a dot –
still rich beyond me


Faces of the dead
are so alive inside me,
full of expression

Do I Keep

Do I keep the dead
or do they keep me, each one
an inspiration?

Traveling Still

All places I’ve been
fit easily in my head –
I’m traveling still

Least Exact

What’s least exact, though
most exacting, is how love
enters a heart, leaves

Winter Sky’s Cotton

Winter sky’s cotton,
as far as the eye can see –
bare oaks are pitchforks

Listening For

I’m listening for
what barely announces
it’s coming to be

The Huge Now

What I remember
flowers in the huge now, casts
the spell of its scent

Old Elms

Under those old elms,
I read books – they held sky,
wouldn’t let it fall

Lipless, Not Lifeless

Lipless, not lifeless,
those elms didn’t criticize
but let me read me

Ancient Elms

I couldn’t suspect
ancient elms rooted in me
to outlive themselves

Gray Drizzle – 12-31-2005

After gray drizzle
comes golden sunshine, last day,
unexpected joy

How Loud

I’m surprised how loud
a downy woodpecker is
drumming under clouds

Red Gold

These winter meadows
are red gold with last year’s grass
bent low to the ground

Reddest Berry

The reddest berry
on thorned cane is cardinal
that flies up, away

Drowsy Gold

A warm winter day
the sun is a drowsy gold
willows start to green


The skunk cabbage tips
come up out of their silos,
point into blue sky


In autumn I lose
everyone – leaves falling
from the tree I am

Tawny Winter

Tawny winter fields
under silver rising sun –
white dog and no snow


White dog patches holes
in my heart even before
I can feel their hurt

Silver Snakeskin

The river at dawn
is silver snakeskin, moving
and still all at once


Skunk cabbage bursting-
a green rhinoceros horn-
from winter puddle

Like A Blanket

Silence is on me
the way a blanket of snow
lies on winter woods


Winter aconite,
arrowheads of fierce sunshine
piercing the doomed snow

Greta’s Gone

Now that Greta’s gone,
the white dog and the gray cat
lie together, still

In The Ground

Greta’s in the ground,
yet she leaps swift in my head,
meows, as black as coal

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