Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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The Morgan

It could have been
a silver mercury portrait,
but a horse appeared
displacing stiff poses,
mane flying, neck muscles
bunched in effort,
galloping through
a glimpse of the past.

 

 


Audio: Read by the author.


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A marvelous photo of a Morgan mare by the photographer Deborah Glessner brought up the last two lines of the poem. 


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The Scarf

The eye sees silk,
watered green perhaps,
hanging loose over
oiled bamboo, and waits
for a breath to set it floating.
A sail slowly calling to the skin,
conjuring weightless cover
settling without fanfare,
suddenly warm when it rests
on cheek, or arms, or flanks,
then sparking shivers as
a hand pulls it slowly away.

Damselfly wings


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Reconciliation

I still wear it on my skin,
to conjure touch, intensely green
as if emeralds had visited,
every nerve end bathed in
the musk of an old perfume.
A hand there, and there,
thoughts bent down to mine.
Walls all twilight, music
tracing curves, the beat
of time slowed to gray,
and wanting it endless.


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For the taking

Perhaps the stars hold memories,
diamond pinholes punched in winter black,
life stretched across infinity, expanding
overhead, even as my focus
might be squeezing in and
only looking back, no counterweight
to shrinking time.
Well nuts to that, I’ll take
the milky way with thanks,
refusing blinkered days
or thoughts, and will not shut
all possibility away.
This heart and soul are
slated to remain
open for business
indefinitely.


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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.

 

 


Audio: Read by the author.


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aftermath

all eyes and
single voices
become
this great body
balanced on
a razor thin
tipping point
we sing
full throat
to ecstasy
the music stops
I fall into
the abyss of silence
tears flowing

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the moment after the end of a great piece. for Cailin Marcel Manson, who took us there.


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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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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
data-mining smells and sounds
then leave their marks.

Feet silent on the needle drop
my harmony mostly 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.


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countdown

there is movement
in the daily flow of green
to full on spring
as bud fists loosen grips
or fern nubs thrust up clumpy heads
and hillsides morph to verdigris

reminding me of childhood nights
spent time-stretched
jumping tick to tock
wrapped in wild impatient
longing for the morning
and its gifts to come

in truth the journey
through that wait
or days lived blossomless
are weighted to the same degree
because this moment’s beauty is
the only certainty we have

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a shortling for 5/5. spring has been excruciatingly slow this year for us. yet even as we creep along, just knowing the apple tree will blossom, or the lilacs bloom, is such a gift.


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night lit

my woods are hung
with lamp lit moonlight
shallow beaver wash
turned into opal pools
picked out by
beams that launched
diffused through
vapor rings we know
are ice but touch
us softly

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Day 22. We have just had a full moon, fitting for the week of Earth Day.


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following awareness

coming up the hill
toward my kitchen door
on greening grass
almost tintless
in the growing dark
I chase my shadow
in moonlight
just strong enough
to make me glad
it is not chasing me

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Day 19. A shortling about coming home in fading light and a risen moon.