Life With Horace

poetry & essays

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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.



Read by the author.


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sideways view

I can see you, all of you
from where I sit
a few thousand miles
up or out, take your pick
your lives are match flares
as we pass away from light
small bursts of color
flaming out, why green
or red or blue tonight?
my whims connect the dots
entertaining tales that may be
lies or just bad guesses
we know you watch us, singing
songs and writing maudlin verse
to our cold rocks and shifting shape
light breathed in and out to wax and wane
you could not know that we are joined
silly schizoid world, for you
it’s either his billboard smile
oddly neutered, hardly male
or country place of, me
who lives to hunt, a
woman with a wicked bow
one would never see us as
a pair much less coupled by
love up on our pockmarked
fluorescent lighted sphere
sling shot surfing
to the beat of star pulsed
fragments of forgotten gravities
we have a running bet to see
which way you leap as
we sail by silvering the clouds
our tote board running neck and neck
for half a million years

Doug Anderson’s weekly writing workshop has us all digging deep, and laughing a lot. the prompt: a myth from other lips.

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night lit

my woods are hung
with lamp lit moonlight
shallow beaver wash
turned into opal pools
picked out by
beams that launched
diffused through
vapor rings we know
are ice but touch
us softly

Day 22. We have just had a full moon, fitting for the week of Earth Day.



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.

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haiku for Monday with notes

moon’s afterglow fades
star shapes sink into the trees
Orion still hunts

living at the foot of a mountain means a casual glance outside is usually framed by tall pines, or stars dipping below the horizon just above the house. the seasonal sky shift is here, with winter favorites like Orion returning. the night sky has been clear most nights, and the stars have been bright in spite of the recent full moon.


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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.

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sleeping in moonglow

a whole moon
without stark relief
or angles
perhaps hanging
in a mist I cannot see
its clear light
muted and opaque
entering my room
by stealth
air brushing
walls and shapes
and sets them floating
in the glow
along with me

a shortling, about the moonlight that found every corner of my room last night. it was so different, I couldn’t help but notice.

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bright shadows

a snowless moon, if full
is no less bright
with patterned shadows
stretching over grass
and creeping up the outer walls,
those dark, strong arms
that cast their reach
like rod and line
out over streams,
a weightless overlay,
yet angular and hard.
my room is bright,
the window’s echo
stands in bold relief
against the wall,
angled down in stark perspective
as the moon begins to set.

the moon, nearly full last night, cast amazing shadows both inside and outside, which stayed with me until I woke up this morning. Day 18 of NaPoWriMo 2014.