Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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early quiet

in the early dark
my thoughts come to life,
slowly staggering from
their nest of dreams
to touch my heart,
stretching catlike,
looking for a sun
that is not there yet,
zig zag from long habit,
free to catch whatever
crumbs of memory or hope
lie in their path,
slowly reaching knowledge
of the day, moments
just ahead, moving through
the sleeping house by rote,
not yet ready
for the coming meld,
welcoming the warmth
that movement brings,
anticipating coffee,
craving music, upping tempo,
now in gear, they join me
to rejoice in this new day,
remember gratitude

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remnant treasures

they are lanterns
in approaching dark,
glowing shocks
of gold or bronze
out in our woods
where ferns lie routed,
wildflower remnants gone,
sucked back into earth
preparing for its sleep

lithe, lit from within
when seen up close,
winglike branches reach
in gently gilded layers,
some will hold this pose
their clinging leaves an echo,
sentries through the winter,
witness to the memory of green,
beautiful in snow

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color is now left to the beeches here. they are having a spectacular season.


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a haiku for ravens

thuggish calls in flight
swift and dangerous patrols
small creatures tremble

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we have ravens here, not crows. they rumble through, sweeping over the arm of Monadnock, always on the lookout. our feeders are sheltered in the lea of lilacs, canopied by a long suffering apple tree. when the ravens come, our small birds and chipmunks hesitate but do not run.


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sharing space

my mind has come to see
there is no yin
without its yang,
wherever I am now,
my form and spirit
are surrounded by the fabric
of that place and moment,
feeling solitary, sovereign,
yet part of nature’s
warp and weft.
today, rushing, late,
I stay departure
for a moment’s glance,
a look into bright sun,
finding clouds
just above the trees,
moving fast as waves
propelled by whooshing wind
pitched high, accompanied
by constant leaf vibrato.
I have a sudden sense
of place reversed.
is all this truly
passing over us
or are we sailing
upside down on
pulsing ocean white caps,
tree sails steering us
toward the sun?

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I am grateful for many things in my life, especially for the thoughts that come when my mind is free to wander and wonder.


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feasting on ferns

my eyes and heart
are drunk, replete
with shape and color
through the woods,
an honor guard
along our path,
by wetland neighbors,
freshet pools,
and roadside banks

tender fiddle hairs,
silver webbing over
curling celadon,
opening to graceful sweeps,
full green in summer,
waltzing, dipping in
the woody understory

the turn to fall is quiet,
flat headed fronds on stems
in bronze and rust
lead the march to
lush chrome gold,
an ostrich carpet
thrown across dark woods

the smallest feathered shapes
move to a quiet fade,
color ebbing slowly
as leaves and needles drop,
blanketing these remnant
bits of light and warmth

fortified again


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small voyagers

headed home at sunset
glancing west
to rosy afterglow, and
wetland maples
just turned scarlet,
I catch movement
just above my head

a flock speeds south
so few in number,
dark against the sky,
all dips and earnest flutter
seeking evening safety,
respite from their
star imprinted
journey south

my heart clenching, driving on
I whisper through my soul
to theirs, safe travels,
fly to sun and blooms,
leave advancing winter
here with us
but please return
with earth’s retilt,
we need you back again
to warm
our frozen hearts

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seeing very small birds flying south brings me worry for their safety, their migration a sure sign that another season of warmth and light is coming to a close.