Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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a haiku for the first world (with notes)

cyber monday comes
these hours of grasping chaos
a no contact sport

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today being the second busiest day of the run up to Christmas, I could not resist a poke at it. I will be in the belly of the beast today, determined to keep my sense of humor intact.

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a single voice

a single voice in open throated song
its beauty and intent a gift
can open hearts, tap into tears of joy
waves of brilliance sent out to meet infinity

a single voice can speak of love
tendrils creeping softly to surround the soul
spun strands of shimmering delight
to last forever if only as a memory

a single voice can crush
the spirit of a trusting child
or shower it with all it needs
to grow and light the world in turn

a single voice can stand against the dark
one simple flame of truth to push back
those who hate and would destroy
and join with other sparks to light a torch

a single voice can cry for help
from frozen valley shadows
faith laying bare all fear and need
certain that another voice will answer

I am here

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music often moves me to tears, and listening to a brilliant young singer recently started me thinking about the power of just one voice.


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haiku for Sunday with notes

winter morning’s dark
dogs wait blots against the rug
bach fugues dance softly

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music and sunday mornings go hand in hand for me. the dogs are stretched out against the soft jewel tones of the old oriental rug on the dining room floor, in the soft lamplight of early morning. baroque music on the radio. coffee next!


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looking through

the apple tree has given up its leaves
sightlines to the treescape skyline
of the mountain ridge are visible again
skeleton beauty skirting stripped down
lilac oak and beech, embracing stolid
pine arms, needles feathering
this morning’s straggler sun
a wedge of brown and gray and light
this small world peaceful
waiting for the snow

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this is one of those mornings when the contrast between the world outside my kitchen window and places of violence and sorrow is very stark. I am grateful for this peace, even as I mourn another shattered night and pray for France.


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the muse as foot warmer

horrie on my footIt turns out that I do have a muse. His name is Horace (Horrie) and he is my shadow, fetcher of slippers, foot warmer, and writing companion. A smart three year old black lab, he knows I am his work, is pretty sure that if I go out he should come along, and much of the time he does.

The other lodestar of his universe is Aggie, my steady, wonderful Newfie. Aggie raised him. They are inseparable, except when I’m writing, but Aggie sometimes honors us with her presence in the kitchen (my writing place).


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dawn reflected

unaccustomed light beams up from my small pond
a gift I grudge our downstream beaver cadre,
shermanesque repurposers of woods and mud
whose path had thinned the eastern trees
this morning’s sight was not the sliver moon
pendant under brilliant venus
that had called to me in bed
but dawn with spikes of leafless trees
in shadowed counterpoint

the possibility of future treats looms large
even as my mind resists this change
reflected moons and shooting stars
crusted ice or waves of snow
morse code tracks from there to here
so as I fight to deconstruct
the engineering feat that threatens
to engulf beloved trees
I whisper thanks for fallout gifts
and pray that what comes next is peace

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the back boundary of my land is a named brook, with a small seasonal pondlet cum mudhole, which was quickly becoming a full on pond by the time I realized what was happening at the end of this summer. beavers are amazing engineers, cross layering branches and twigs to make their dams, and excavating existing banks for mud to wall new water in. taking all this down is not easy, and I was quite sad about having to do it, until I discovered that there was no lodge out back but only “land grooming” for future expansion. I suspect this is merely the latest skirmish between the beavers and the owners of this house since it was built in 1796.


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haiku for Monday with notes

moon’s afterglow fades
star shapes sink into the trees
Orion still hunts

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living at the foot of a mountain means a casual glance outside is usually framed by tall pines, or stars dipping below the horizon just above the house. the seasonal sky shift is here, with winter favorites like Orion returning. the night sky has been clear most nights, and the stars have been bright in spite of the recent full moon.