Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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Insistent messenger

A mourning dove in my apple tree
looks through the window
its message meant to prod
sun shrinks as the cold returns
woods maple tops spike leafless now
bronze oaks and candle beech stand guard
water lilies sink into the pond again
a scooped out moon brings frost
bears already denned up the hill
not quite past time for seeds but hurry
or jays will bring their beaks



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A kiss when it’s clear

I was convinced she would never leave
even though the truth of it
ran alongside faster
as she slowed
in the end a quiet moment
took the comfort of her large dog self
and tucked it in the sky
now her gaze is a soft kiss on clear nights
when the stars are watching


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A way through

Birds perch on the balding arms
and bud knobbed fingers
of the kitchen door apple tree
There is a flashing gleam
from the eye of a jay
the sun finding unlikely passage
My mind blinks in disbelief
that such a thing could be
My heart knows better
and begins to sing


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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.