Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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black hole hollow

ordinary dirt with ruts
this road winds down
to swaddling trees
restrained by boulder walls
stone guarding stones
upright story flags
pocked with black moss flecks
lichen crumbling scratchy
under finger tips
shallow letters with
bare bones accounts
I want to know
the face the runes
and numbers represent
his life was short
did he know love
or solitude
while free to live
above despite
hard scrabbled days
if not him whose
heart still glows
coals flinging out
the half life rays
that drew me here
to hollow’s end?

______________________________
a cemetery and its road on the New York – Vermont border.


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intentional space

there is a place
now blank, erased
by grief and purposed
brain reset
wild pigment
bits of memory
color orts
of what had been
a heady time
inevitable yang
disguised
by yin’s rose lens
the peace I’ve earned
tells me straight
to recognize
the mis-steps
scrubbed away
yes child
snatch that pink
lensed pince-nez
from your nose
when new love appears
to see necessary truth
and only then jump
into its depths
with joy

__________________________________
sitting on my porch in early morning, bird songs on all sides.


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heart of the matter

heart (hart) n.
chambered, steady
quiet presence
headwaters
of love’s river
laced with
endearment
and courage
lost sometimes
mended often
freely given
ready always
for encounters
with joy
my soul lives there

_________________________________
Day 17. A little behind, but no matter. A definition poem.


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the tree inside

here I/we all stand
our own distillation
helixed fragments
of the gene pool
simmered shards
determined memories
all but one disembarked
insistent immigrants
spread thin
through years of passages
via quiet windblown sails
or coal smoke belching steam
origins enough
for hands and heart
and feet and voice
spit out at landing
to be absorbed
reshape and move again
never stagnant,
hardly captive flow
sometimes I glimpse
a layered, pungent silt
swept down time’s stream
to keep my forbears
dreaming thoughts alive
and pass along
another twist of bone and flesh
in lovely recombination,
and in hope
trusting what comes next
and so we grow

_______________________________________________
NaPoWriMo 2016 day 2: the prompt was a family portrait. Sometimes you just have to go small.


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the onion revealed

with all its skin removed
and moonstone lotus arms pulled back
the onion has no center
only tear provoking sharpness
seeping from its pores
but you and I have hearts
that feed our souls and break sometimes
laid bare in throes of love
or simply listening to the echoes
of a whispered thought
a memory of longing sweeping back
to fan regret at loss
we wear our years like onion skin
the proof of who we were opaque
of how we danced or soared
looked at the world from eyes that saw
time infinite us invincible
too quick to jump into the flow
of forces greater than our will
to hold them back
where war or danger
grabbed us by the throat and shook
tossing what was left aside
or living tamer slower lives
bumps and buffets taken as they came
no matter what our start
we all arrive at later’s trailhead
wondering where our eagerness and joy have fled
energies no longer at our ready beck
resignation sometimes held at bay
and yet our beating core
holds all of it on layaway
to draw on if we can
so when I lie with moonlight
shadows raked across my skin
and you reach out with forge hot hands
time falls away leaving elemental us
certain only of this moment
and its gift