Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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longing for blue

longing for blue
for the swell of
waves at noon
wind changing
light flaking
on their crests

lunch at a glass table
over hot flagstones
flesh still warming
we rode ice sharp water
round the whirlpool’s
seaweed walls

wine in the blood
languid tune in my bones
we sit shoulders touching
shaded corners
of a sea green room
calling


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The Night Ship

There are times the moon
invades my room,
as opal fingered fog
touching eyes and skin.
And as the night sets sail
around me into sleep
I sense joyous dreams
that dance just out of reach,
or sober trailers on the fringe.
Unwelcome memories to push away
tear welded flashes
from the day just lived, but
not now not yet, as
life’s flow starts
to telescope.
Slow, sinuous, twisting
to its vanishing point.
Each night explodes with color
and a shadow life
of longing,
whose breadcrumb bursts
stay with me
as the sun returns,
in counterpoint
to unquiet rest.


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Over The Hills

In and out of light, driving
on a road into the hills.
To the left, a wall of rock
with innards blown away
to upright face. Brief travel
with a hawk. Its shadow leaps
onto the road, then
passes over me, and for a flash
I follow him, to fly out
over still-leafed rising shapes,
light-footed mist escaping
from their folds, bits of thought
deposited by rain, caught on
the arms of trees. Memory tucked into
shadow, waiting for the sun
to lift it clear and dance again.


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long shadow morning

the day starts clear
and weather sits the fence
undecided voter between
sultry and first frost
the hummingbirds have gone
and small flocks pulse
from ground to tree to air
some landing in the shelter
of my apple tree
across the road bright reds
appear to punctuate
short timer green
the usual pangs are there
as warmth and light
begin to turn away
but less robust somehow
each summer moment’s heat
soaked into bone and soul
defense against regret

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for me seasonal change has always been about being observant, and the aggregation of small events. september has a clear, long slanting light. my favorite month.


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haiku for a kiss with notes

gold eye of the sun
reaches over mountain arm
gentle morning touch

_______________________

the position of the sun in late August here makes sunrise a delicate process. you see, the sun has already “risen” by the time it comes to Bear Farm. We are tucked into one of the mountain’s arms and the first sunlight edges leaves and needles of the tree crowns. gently.


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mountain mantle

cloud blanket from the mountain top
reaches all the way down to me

gentle gray in ebbing light
enwraps the shoulders of my soul

the night and what awaits
are gone and I am hid

a shiver in response
at best cloud rain is gentle

settling on the skin
its spider weight unfelt until too late

deed done a feather light ganache of truth
glistens over every inch

just as tight shut childish eyes
imagine invisibility

this passage through no more than respite
as I emerge so does the world

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driving home last night after a day’s most welcome rain, at the last steep open hill, most of the mountain was hidden by clouds and mist, reaching low, a thrilling sight.


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woods whispers

once home directly to the woods
downhill into the shadowed green
ecstatic dogs all tails and lopes

they move from spot to spot
datamining smells and sounds
and leave their marks

feet silent on the needle drop
my harmony almost restored
ankles softly kissed by ferns

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a shortling to celebrate the gift of having woods to lift the day off my shoulders.

sunset in a small town


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passing through town to home

the day has changed from bright
to scrims of clouds washed sky blue pink
backdrop to summer quiet playing fields

further south a sidelong glance
at underbelly clouds thick swathed peach red
flying over marshes at the river curve

in town the day is winding down
cars and people move intent on fuel
and food and rest for it’s been hot

and by the time the single light releases me
to turn due west deep pink to purple blasts
are shouting over pines and spires

I steal a look into our cafe’s glow
observe last patient walks for dogs
church supper signs and flags

the colors quickly leach away
though day’s end light remains enough
to cover hilly rattle roads

then rollercoasting mountain arms
a final sling to home beside the pond
in time to greet a rising moon

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even though going through town takes longer, I love to observe and watch along the way. the other night the stages of what proved to be a spectacular sunset were a marvelous backdrop to my small country town in the middle of summer.

sun turtle moonstones


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moonstones

countless shed
in rage and grief
for loss of life
and love’s escape
but know my friends
that tears
rejoin the earth
to fall again
as rain
and with these
moonstone drops
comes life renewed
a moment’s chance
to heal and wash
the stench of hate
into the sea
and pray
the only swords
we need are
gentle arcs
of green
sun turtle lines
of remnant tears
safe havens
for our memories

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a poem for a day that always brings the echoes of a loving grief. I send these words to join those voices raised to shout aloud their sadness in the face of tragedy.

and then


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and then

standing still
feet feeling steady rock
in unfamiliar balance
time stops it seems
a blink really
the stream
of then to next
flowing over and around
and somehow through
bones in a shiver
of recognition
no longer straining
to spring free
of oz like cages
revealed as
weightless frauds
their power merely dust
looks ahead
so curious about
what comes next
but firmly rooted
in this moment
and leaps from
rock to rock
given over to
joy at last