Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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Outriders

There are days I see
the broad shape of earth
in the clouds
arriving ahead of wind and snow
tails feathered to a point
evaporating ether like
in ice clear sky
We can only guess
at the cold
they announce
racing battle pennants
for a promised storm
The rattle of their casting bones
driving us to shelter


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Non pareil

The kitchen basket is almost empty
a single red tomato moated with sunlight 
waits for my touch 
Time is short, blooms of mold 
will soon claim it and I don’t want to lose
this object of my tongue’s lust
Perfectly ripe, its sleek skin 
hints at a tantalizing split 
ignored for now
and I dismiss the temptation
to ravish without finesse
preferring the small pleasures
of anticipation
Slices fanned onto a blue moroccan plate
dressed in a squeeze of lemon, green olive oil
and basil slivers
become lunchtime’s non pareil
Each piece a grapeshot burst against my lips
already parted in pleasure


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Among giants

At night the woods world
rises up in vast formation
as the dogs and I
walk among giants
in the cool cocoon
of my headlamp
They are eager
oblivious of our escorts
seeing with their noses
unaware that we are not alone
Sunless, the axis of this space
has tilted on its side
there are no open reaches
to the mountain base
well known trees or brook cuts
calling birds or fresh
snow yielding fox tracks
The quiet that blankets
sight and thought
is only in my head
this place is never voiceless
even in deep winter
I follow in the wake
of wagging tails
and steaming breath
breaking trail into the dark


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Originally published in Dancer in the Mist, 2015
Revised 12/2020