Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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the scarf

the eye sees silk, pale
green perhaps, hanging
loose over oiled
bamboo, and waits
for a breath to set
it floating, a sail
slowly calling to
the skin, conjuring
a weightless cover, settling
without fanfare, suddenly
warm when it rests on
breasts, 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,
remembering
touch, intensely green
as if emeralds had visited.
every nerve end bathed in
the musk of an old perfume,
a hand there, and there,
the shape of his head
bent down to me, walls
all twilight, music
tracing curves, the beat
of time slowed
to gray, wanting it
endless

the green veil


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the green veil

a scrim of green now masks the woods
and blankets its recycling brown
and fading winter tale

with upstart life rolled out
to mountain slopes
I know are there

another green veil lives
across the timegone paths
that memories illuminate

backlighting those
just out of reach
until we call them close

a flash of thought
to pierce opaque divides
and fill the mind’s eye arms

then hold them quiet and at peace
sweet moderation’s gift
remembering

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A poem for 5/8, mother’s day. The photo was actually taken much later in summer, when I was shooting the morning mist that comes off my garage roof after the sun comes over the mountain arm, and a series of remarkable night-built spider’s webs in the trees (one is faintly visible on the right).


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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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haiku for nearly

each day brings more green
apple tree buds grow fatter
the bear is nearby

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Day 12. each day brings us closer to an explosion of green. there are five bears up on the mountain flanks behind Bear Farm. they tend to visit this time of year.


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really

outside my door the guard has changed
a day of wet and gloomy gray
whisked off by racing clouds
abdicated winter steps in minuet retreat
the sullen blue gray glow of rained on slate
is caught by short lived slants of morning sun
and wind, a small all-hands treetop voice
is loath to roar (for now)
the dripping cloak that wraps this house
begins to dry and shed small gleams
the morning raven fly by
lacking winter urgency
green daffy blades push up
brash in return, migrating from the soil
no longer threatened accidents
almost time to prune and clear a way
for the celadon and smell of spring

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I’m mindful that March in New Hampshire is fickle, and for a good long while snow will be a possibility. the path to spring is never straight up here.