Life With Horace

poetry & essays


clear sailing

there is no more fog
and I am soaring
through these brilliant stars
above an open sea,
memory reclaimed at last.
even as I leave you,
going on alone for now,
winglike glowing tendrils
wrap me in their light
and warmth, strands
of our shared time
that can never break.

there will always be
a part of me alive,
held in your
hearts, or seen
among the trees
joy fanned by wagging dogs,
an artist’s brush,
the feel of things well built,
soil deep tilled,
good stories told,
the pop of corks,
sure handed trimming
of a wind filled sail,
upright honor, honesty,
deep rooted, long felt love.

even as the world around me
faded for a time,
and I seemed lost,
a quiet spark lived
in my soul, fanned
by the breath of love,
my anchor in this final storm,
and in its light
I knew you all.

for William Eastman Janes, a cherished friend who set sail and left us this morning. crabtown won’t be the same without you Bill. vaya con dios.

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with thoughts circling,
ever faster whorls
of stinging noise and fog,
there was a voice
that said
listen. just listen.
quiet certainty,
accepted, welcome
yet not begged for
unless there was
a whispered
help me
living, waiting
in a corner of my soul
unseen, forgotten.
now I can hear
the quiet note
that is my strength,
the rest all falls away,
unimportant once again.
aware of almost-tears
of thanks and joy
I listen.


the other forest

my flower beds are throwing off
their compressed dimpled white,
and there are windy days
with teasing warmth
and vanguard migrant buzzards
chased by crows.
even as I gladly face the sun,
there are some things
to miss a little while
that left me breathless
in the cold, choked with joy
at seeing sudden beauty.
a first glance to the eastern ridge,
and brilliant blue first light
across a clear late winter sky,
blots of flemish clouds
that never come in summer,
scudding low and changing shape,
new snow like moonstone dust
lit by a full moon’s glow,
my other forest,
traceries of crystal frost
inside the windows on our porch,
mimicking the solid shapes
of tree and bush.
oh I am more than ready
for the squelch of mud,
and branches swelled with buds,
soft leaf and frond,
assaults of tender green,
the songs of
snow melt freshet streams.
it will not be a hardship
to accept all this,
no not at all.