Life With Horace

poetry & essays

BH in the field


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Elegy

And with his end all lifeline letters stopped
akin to clocks hushed at a death,
leaving smothered laughter or kind words
confetti-chopped to ricochet at will.

Those daily orts grown into thoughts,
inked heiroglyphs sardined with scattered
pencil nonpareils, bright chrome
yellow sheets, they will come no more.

He lived for wordy news, recounted histories,
rich mirrors of our minds, but people hanging
on a vapid phone were never tolerated
much beyond a minute any day.

In all of this we saw and felt the gifts his
writing brought, quiet kindness in our grasp,
connection, palatable family glue,
admonishments or clapping hands.

He never did hold back bursts of rant
against extinction of a simpler life
or razing of an older barn, sunblot
politic dizziness, or inept modernity.

Today we hold those pages fiercely
knowing he is gone, and reread again
to briefly feel his warmth born of quiet
brilliance, a rich legacy of love disguised.

__________________________
Day 3. the prompt was to write an elegy, and a particular facet of the person or thing mourned.


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clear sailing

there is no more fog
and I am soaring
through these brilliant stars
above an open sea,
memory reclaimed at last.
even as I leave you,
going on alone for now,
winglike glowing tendrils
wrap me in their light
and warmth, strands
of our shared time
that can never break.

there will always be
a part of me alive,
held in your
hearts, or seen
among the trees
joy fanned by wagging dogs,
an artist’s brush,
the feel of things well built,
soil deep tilled,
good stories told,
the pop of corks,
sure handed trimming
of a wind filled sail,
upright honor, honesty,
deep rooted, long felt love.

even as the world around me
faded for a time,
and I seemed lost,
a quiet spark lived
in my soul, fanned
by the breath of love,
my anchor in this final storm,
and in its light
I knew you all.

___________________________________
for William Eastman Janes, a cherished friend who set sail and left us this morning. crabtown won’t be the same without you Bill. vaya con dios.


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The child within

She calls me now where once she hid frozen,
afraid of dark paned windows,
conjured menace staring blankly in.

I first returned to grasp at shards of understanding
and found instead a small hand needing mine,
we stood together, unafraid.

There was a magma shift, the hard and inky dark
shape-changed by love’s reagent into brightness,
the bond of trust rewarding us with grace.

 


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The Stuffing Bowl

Once spied up on a dusty shelf
and brought home as a prize,
the stuffing bowl sits quiet,
holding memory in its curve.
The sisterhood of early rising cooks
assembling the ingredients
of timeless celebrations,
ingatherings of family and friends
all linked by common filament.
It waits for careful hands
to lift it down and fill its heart again
with love and thankfulness.

_______________________________
my sister Annie and I have always called each other on Thanksgiving morning, up early, cooking.