Life With Horace

poetry & essays


2 Comments

Connection

In song, music puts
its hands around my heart.
My words think tears
are a puddle to splash
through shoeless.
Color often stops my breath,
and I am held its willing
prisoner. A sudden memory
might need release.
Any of these call up joy
or tears, and I don’t mind.
When the signal comes
they might glide to me
in a waltz, or whirl up
on the skirts
of a wild mazurka.
Better yet, ride in
on the smoothness
of an alto sax.


2 Comments

Restland

Olivia’s obelisk sits in tailored green
behind an iron gate and arrow pointed fence.
Jumped-up gold letters on the arched black sign
declaring Restland. Stand near enough
in late afternoon shimmer and her voice is clear,
restless words reaching for release.

It is spring, but where are the lilacs I asked for?
No rounded shapes, or shade, or not to be forgotten scent.
A bit of rest here and there would have suited,
but this place? That name? The gods laugh.

Where are the staccato horse clops and soft whuffs,
wagon creaks, quiet words from walkers,
children playing hoops, the church bell?
Only constant gliding rumbles, impatient horns,
blares of sound, no suitable rhythm for a hill town life.

Where are the visitors? None inclined or left to come,
not family, not him anymore. Is he here too?
Years doing women’s work, all the time seeing color,
rearranging light, and wanting paint and brush
to show him what I saw, wanting to say his given name,
not Mister, nor Mister Baker darling.

Where is the promised release of death? I lie,
still in my stays, oh god for a knife to cut their laces,
walk and breathe unbound, not go about exactly as a man
but with a woman’s eyes, much better.
Will he meet me here in moonlight,
pull my fingers to his lips, and say my name?


Leave a comment

Late present

The moon brought me a gift
last night, before the
solstice rain moved in.
I left the crispness
of my northern woods
to walk the dew off grass again
with you. It’s late, the
house lights dark, the night
all midsummer lushness,
bell buoys ringing softly.
We know the way by feel
across the lawns and
down the hill to home,
but cannot pass the garden
with its flat topped walls.
We sit, shoulders touching,
stone still warm, and let our
breath find a rhythm together
after days apart. Then on
our way again, to soft
lamp light on varnished
wood, and pick up where
we were before the first
mosquito bit.
This morning I still feel
your hands, your skin on mine,
and smile.

 

 


Audio:
Read by the author.

 


Leave a comment

Flat light early

Some mornings present themselves
before my second eye opens,
no warmth, flat light,
featureless gray untrimmed.
Tight woven canvas hangs
edge to edge at the top
of the sky, and the living world
makes a new plan,
carrying on oblivious.
My patient dogs don’t
care a fig about the sun,
arriving bedside to present
mouth-damp slippers,
and we go out
to open up the day.


2 Comments

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


4 Comments

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.


3 Comments

Sans Bliss

We were long split atoms even then
the possibility of us had ricocheted
echoes of competing thoughts
into a white sound mask
Inexperienced, I flung my satin stole
of certainty over each shoulder
So wrong headed, ignorant of
the deeper dance of lust and love
that shook its head
and left to visit other lives.
Tantalizing milkweed silk,
a fluted thrush note fading
every time I would have
ventured back.

____________________________
for S


Leave a comment

Down to the trees

This old house sits well below
Monadnock’s western arm,
embraced by friendly woods
above a part-time stream,
where sunrise is a straggler
with extra feet to climb.
In winter, light leaves fast
East Hill, across the pond,
brings sunset much too soon,
but night time is a glory, with
no clouds or dimming light
the brilliant heavens send us
our reward, a rain of stars
down to the trees.