Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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Tipping Point

Not the moment
you came down the stairs
that first night and
I recognized the future

Not the sight of you
after a year apart
walking out of the airport fog
with love on your lips

Not the joy of raising children
our hands clasped hard
to speak love in silence
our shield against their fledging

Not the words
that turned time finite
and wanting to leave I stayed
knowing you would have

The love that whispered
its long goodbye, until
I found you one cold morning
and knew your heart
had left without me

It was this

________________________________
For Mike


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Thinning time

Seven mornings in a row
the early eastern light
has snatched me away from sleep
filling my eyes with huge slashes
of sunrise, dark angry and pink
The first was on samhain, and
I could see the hand of Rage
reaching slyly toward the thinning 
scrim of time’s divide
its camp follower Fire hoping
to slip through alongside
compressed to nothing
like the soft bones of mice
The whispers of my genes begged
shout No and cry many tears
They will thicken the dawn
refusing entry to this surfeit of evil
All you love depends on them

Audio: Read by the author.



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Floaters

High summer in an old house
occupied by an army of visiting bugs,
brings dreams of parachutes
for those I must evict
The one too many ones,
the wrong kind of spider
A waving scuttler scooped up,
all 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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Sans Bliss

We were long split atoms
even then the possibility of us
had ricocheted into echoes
competing thoughts composted
into a white sound mask.
Inexperienced, I flung my satin stole
of certainty over each shoulder
and stormed away, convinced
I was right, but too young
and wrong headed, ignorant of
the deeper dance of lust and love
that finally shook its head
and left to visit other lives
Leaving behind memories of touch
by tantalizing milkweed silk
of hearing a fluted thrush note
fading every time I would have
ventured back

____________________________
for S


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Still

What visits me today?
A lullaby in baritone
and funny bits of song,
dreadful jokes
in nuanced tones,
bearded bristle, paired
with a million kisses,
all too human shoulders
I thought and hoped
were everlasting granite,
long held friendships both
a gift and an example,
the pungent scent of cuban leaf
lit anywhere but in the house,
a feel for speed
and open road,
the skies he loved
and flew so well,
laughter, books and music
with the color, light and form
he looked at every day,
these brought him peace,
the certainty of love
from open eyes,
straight told advice,
his caring deep,
his spirit so ingrained,
that now, whenever
need is great
I conjure loving echoes
of an imperfect
perfect father,
to see me through
the dark.

_______________________________
Nine years ago today, my father died at 89, suddenly, but blessedly not alone, my sister was with him. His legend looms large in our lives, to quote a beatle, and I know we all miss him, need him, still and always.