Book by book I go, dusting, cleaning, reading, examining, inhaling, arranging. A library is a strange, quiet joy. It is good fortune, and in these times, when ignorance is vaunted, heralded, and prized, it is a reminder that wisdom and sanity are still alive in the world. And then when the rain stops, I put on even older clothes and go out and prune the fig tree, which, over the […]
Archive for January 2019
In Recently Banned Literature, there was a department I called Definitions. Written about a year and a half apart yet clearly related, “Life, A Funny” and “Hurry” are two brief entries from that odd between-the-ears dictionary I fall back on to make up for Webster’s occasional gaps and misunderstandings, while revealing my own. Life, A Funny Life? A funny kind of bark, on a funny kind of tree, and a […]
While cleaning up after a recent windstorm that pelted us with cones and buried us in branches, I noticed signs of life in the iris bed behind the house — lush green moss, rotting mushrooms, and something else. Haiku Shoes Sprouting irises — someone’s muddy footprints led me here. Poems, Slightly Used, March 19, 2009
Love, if I must speak, let me be brief, for the birds are singing. And Love said, Each to his joy, his grief, his responsibility — not as tyrant, or teacher, but as melody. Shepherd’s Song Your hour, my century, said the mountain. Your stone, my grief, said the man. Your words, my longing, said the wind. Poems, Slightly Used, January 16, 2010
I love the droughts in writing, the minutes that seem like hours, the deserts and barren fields, the dust bowls, the great depressions, the jalopies abandoned by the road like these hobo wayward notes. I love raindrops that take years to fall and then land acres apart, if they land at all. I love the peace of a dry well, the coyote’s howl, free for the taking. Dream The […]
To have in mind a line and find it in a face,
the mind must trace its grace in kind and find its place in space.
A few days ago, a red-tailed hawk swooped past the window and landed in the small bare maple opposite the front door. Not a very large bird, it was still too big for its chosen perch. With each move it made, it was poked and brushed by twigs. Finally it braved the maze and dropped to the ground. After investigating the muddy dahlia bed, it flew off across the driveway […]
We sit down, we go to work, the work turns out to be play. We stand up, we go out, we face the day. Tell Me, Grandfather Somewhere, long ago, a village, a woman, a broom. Here, now, this road, this hunger, this sweet-ripe orange. But . . . is there no dragon? Yes, there is, if you wish. And a bottomless well. Does the dragon fall into the […]
Speaking of past lives, it must be one of mine that brings Andy Lace to mind. As for “Heavy Metal Pews,” I stand willingly accused of variety. And I still have not cut my hair, even though there is time, or something that quaintly resembles it. Heavy Metal Pews So, John, I hear you guys just finished a new CD. Tell me, how’d it go in the studio? […]
On its side in a trailer at the curb, one bare Christmas tree.
Or is it a casket in a hearse, and a human tree?