Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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High summer in an
old house occupied by 
an army of visiting bugs
brings dreams of parachutes
for those I can’t bear to kill
and must evict.
The one too many ones,
the wrong kind of spider.
A waving scuttler brings on
a rush to scoop up elbowed legs
and angled hairy parts, 
run the mercy packet to the door
release the tissue wrapped
passenger, and watch it float
down to sanctuary on a bed
of violet leaves.  


A very old house. In the winter we have critters. Summer brings the bugs The right kind of spiders? Thin bodied long-legged spiders that look like Charlotte. 

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I wear the cloak of having loved,
butterfly light, not hard.
Threads of life thrown on
to walk the path of next,
companion on the loops and hills ahead.
Grains of my allotted scores
falling through the hourglass neck of now,
descent soft breath to kiss my cheek
then drop away to join the humus
steeping just behind.
What colors must it hold, this cloak,
to lie so soft against my skin,
memories all skeined.
Some were nettles
leaving welts and tears,
others joy that grabbed me by the nape
and shook my soul awake,
then weaving strands of love
presented as a gift, no toll required.
Or so I thought. Glowing rich and warm,
elusive dancing beams
that stayed a while to walk among
wild golden flower fields
communing with my heart, until we faced
the sunset edge of certainty.
In dimming afterglow I saw
the dark cast Janus face of fear
instead of love, mouth open wide
to swallow all my peace.
Abandoning this portent of a frozen life,
I turned away before full night
without a backward look.
Eurydice sans Orpheus
shedding petal tears
but never love
walking fast toward the light.

I have always seen time, carrying its map in my mind’s eye, a form of synesthesia. Personally I think it explains the sometimes weird but welcome linkages of time to physical space that pop up in my poems.