Saturday, April 22, 2017


You said the poem was spectacular
then let me know

you would be going home
once more.

Your body’s failing strength
left only its mind's

clarity to return with,
which you did, offering

its spaciousness to others.
At the transfer station,

everyone clings to you,
but you no longer cling to anything

while everything about you
points beyond

to the Mother's final solstice
and her pairing of two cardinals.

I see the female first;
swooping in at my window

under the porch roof,
hovering mid-flight.

Then the exchange:
its mate, melodious,

his red headthe color of ribbon
poking out

from inside the center
of the wreath,

not to be removed, not yet.
Spring snows would fall,

and over the mountain
at Mad River Glen

I would drive past skiers
and cars with out-of-state plates,

as if shaving my face
for the first time in a month.

for Kathy Eldergill

Monday, May 9, 2016


What’s in the head
with the library?
More than a corpse.
Words meander
over circuits of breath;
a shade moves
up, then down.
Are you naked?

Stepping out from the shower,
a ghost hitches up its scars.
Talk, damn you!
Once upon a time
our eyes closed
in the silence.

Monday, February 8, 2016


A rifle shot comes
from the direction of Main Street,
but the sounding doves outside
the bedroom aren’t startled,
and the noise of traffic
hasn’t stopped.

I should pull the window shade up,
let in the eye-riveting light,
call again for help
from one of the strangers
who moved in.
The darlings always keep busy.

They must be struggling
to make sense of the laundry
hung out to dry on the porch.
I will give the sheets names
for when it gets dark,
and give them a piece of my mind, too,
for their flirty bedevilment.

I’ve always known my husband
couldn’t be trusted.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


            Let yourself go: mourn in the evening,
            with your curtains pulled open and your lights turned on;
Wail, from dusk to daybreak, straying across your neighbor’s yard.
Go into the hedgerow, safe for a blind bird’s sleep.

Relax!  The moon ladles clouds out of its halo,
and still there is time for your wounds to heal.
            Pray for the starved and cold departed.
            Plead for capable hands,
feeling for reversing the sun’s dementia.         
            Let yourself go; trust the gusting wind
            and the fright outside.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


First, the lost guy says, “At last,
a street I recognize.”
Then he asks, “Are you who I’ve come to see?”
“It’s not that I have to be,” I say,
“We’re doing things differently now.”

Inventing the chair, women used colors
men were afraid of. 
It worked.
Priapus dressed up, before he sat down.

I could see that the kids were busy,
out in the garden, weeding, 
so I said, “Alright, let’s got for a walk.”
We went around the corner.

“To fit me for a suit,” he said,
“We’ll measure this little world.”
“Then we can describe it,” I said,
            “as my own making, but another’s impulse.”
He smiled.

“You’ve rendered it well,” he said,
            “especially my fondness for light;
soon we will part the black flames
            dancing inside its heart.”