Life With Horace

poetry & essays


Leave a comment

first morning

the world is wearing snow
and early morning tracks
curve down from thicket
to the brook
imagination wishing fox
resigned to squirrel
doves and jays arrive
the platform feeder full
it took a while to lace
warm boots with pjs tucked
then clearing step and path
of weightless white
which even now begins
to fly from coated trees
as spoil sport winds
step up their game
a dove remains
breast puffed among the seeds
they gobble down so much
but do not stay
to crack and eat
(anticipating husk heaps
deep in the woods
come thaw or spring)
a friend is coming soon
to break new trail with us
ecstatic dogs and
snowshoes joining evidence
of daybreak journeys
annotating
this first morning


1 Comment

the first present

there are trees here too
grown out of deep soil pockets
heads above the hardy root dug
mountain friends of home
this gathered woody host a nest
to hold a house containing
every one I love
still sleeping as the light
creeps up all cloudy
through the rain
a christmas only minds eye white
no clear skied sunrise
catching tree tops
by surprise
red bronze briefly
glistened by those gone ahead
dropstrings of love and memory
beams creak awake
almost the hour
for letting loose small bodies
counting moments since last night
behind me thumps and sighs
two sets of eyes meet mine
my patient dogs
the first gift of the day
belongs to them
and we are kitchen bound

_____________________________________
a small gift of words, a time filled with more love than things, christmas as it should be. my heart is very full.


2 Comments

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
datamining smells and sounds
and leave their marks

feet silent on the needle drop
my harmony almost restored
ankles softly kissed by ferns

_______________________________
a shortling to celebrate the gift of having woods to lift the day off my shoulders.


Leave a comment

morning as palindrome

as words begin their dance
glancing out at spring
sitting down at last to write
confident of its receipt
asking for serenity
another day a perfect gift
reflecting and give thanks
I close my eyes to sip
hand cupping warmth
coffee and the ritual of smell
checking lilacs apple buds
birds scatter at the noise
opening the outer door
woods featureless and flat
moving softly hug the quiet
slightly damp delight
one slipper at a time
morning work for dogs
stretch sloughing sleep’s cement
a feather shawl to float away
night journey remnants linger
as clouds replace the sun
light diffuse and gray
dog nose to tail against my arm
first awareness as I wake
a dream departs

________________________________
Day 28. I loved writing this. The prompt was for an event or story in reverse.


2 Comments

haiku for a winter saturday with notes

snowfall perfection
singular joins the many
floating from the sky

_____________________________________
saturdays mean one can exhale. today there are no chores or projects in an old house always in need. today will be spent with friends, mingling our joyous and foolish dogs, and gathering for a meal. there will be much laughter. the mind will stretch. a gift.


4 Comments

moonset

the still bright reach
of setting moon on snow
slender plum tree shadows
reaching from the west,
coyote yips and calls
caroming off the mountain
through black ice
ribbon wrapped woods,
snaking through
my open window arrow slit,
rousing the defenders
of this sleeping winter bastion
to make their voices heard
our pennant flown in answer

________________________________
nothing gets dogs up from sleep to full on barks faster than the coyote pack at night.


Leave a comment

haiku for Sunday with notes

winter morning’s dark
dogs wait blots against the rug
bach fugues dance softly

_________________________
music and sunday mornings go hand in hand for me. the dogs are stretched out against the soft jewel tones of the old oriental rug on the dining room floor, in the soft lamplight of early morning. baroque music on the radio. coffee next!


Leave a comment

the muse as foot warmer

horrie on my footIt turns out that I do have a muse. His name is Horace (Horrie) and he is my shadow, fetcher of slippers, foot warmer, and writing companion. A smart three year old black lab, he knows I am his work, is pretty sure that if I go out he should come along, and much of the time he does.

The other lodestar of his universe is Aggie, my steady, wonderful Newfie. Aggie raised him. They are inseparable, except when I’m writing, but Aggie sometimes honors us with her presence in the kitchen (my writing place).


Leave a comment

the empty hour

driving south with dogs and moon
my sole companions
through a world now shuttered, faceless
not quite dead, a piece of time
between the dregs of night wound down
and any thought of lighted day
no nameless lurkers crowding thoughts
as unaccustomed full face brightness
pushes back those waves of menace
rushing from the black hole dark
until their clinging dread recedes
then trickles off the shouldered road and trees
fades dark blank glass and shadowed cars
to question marks, a thousand lives imagined
in the moments we pass by
my honor guard lies nose to tail
the comfort of their smell and noisy dreams
has wrapped my shoulders well against the chill
and we move on

_____________________________
we all know this time of night, and driving through it in the light of a full moon changes everything.


1 Comment

tess

bright eyes watching
so much energy
open joy
loving creature
certain of the
care and patience
that surround her
born for running
and she does
leaping, bounding
through the trees
a blur of white
with red bandanna
sailing over
the high snow bank
at woods edge
unrestrained
but fast returning
to the simpler path
no hesitation
the voice of love
is calling

____________________
written during a visit to a friend in North Bennington, Vermont, where I finally got to meet her wonderful young Llewellin Setter, Tess.


Leave a comment

first quiet

the morning’s first quiet
this time to myself
is precious and needed
reflection and energy
both brew with my coffee
music a backdrop
dogs fed and peaceful
warming my feet
this moment’s soft hug
the day’s work ahead

______________________________
an early morning shortling.