Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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haiku for a kiss with notes

gold eye of the sun
reaches over mountain arm
gentle morning touch

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the position of the sun in late August here makes sunrise a delicate process. you see, the sun has already “risen” by the time it comes to Bear Farm. We are tucked into one of the mountain’s arms and the first sunlight edges leaves and needles of the tree crowns. gently.


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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

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


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opaque dawn

light lies flat and gray behind my pines
no emerging blue with morning star
nor sailing clouds with rosy blotted core
a morning to rejoice because it’s mine
and I am able to give voice

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a shortling gift from an early morning, with gratitude for another day.


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on approach to lighting a tree

The Whites are singing the morning awake today, as the dogs get fed, as I make some tea and watch things busy up out the window over the kitchen sink. Today I am grateful, as always, to see another sunrise, listening to music, in a place that I love deeply. Writing is on my mind this morning, I have had little time or energy for it this week, and it feels luxurious to anticipate the smooth feel of my pen on paper.

Day by day the house is looking a little more Christmas-ish. Favorite memory rich things bringing light and color to December’s squeezing down days. I am riding a wave of work that began the day after Thanksgiving and won’t quit until just before Christmas. It leaves my thoughts dim and cloudy in transition each night, muffled by tiredness., unless there is music to open my heart’s inner ear and let feelings out to air.

Happily this time of year is rich that way. Wednesday night found me singing with the Fitzwilliam Occasional Singers, rehearsing for Sunday afternoon’s tree lighting on the Common. Roughly fifteen of us, friends and fellow singers, gather every year to do this, and my city emigre heart is glad to sing again in a small village, and be part of a gift to the children and families of Fitzwilliam.

It will be full dark as we walk over from the church, just before five. The village windows glowing with candle lights. The tree waiting, unlit. Bustle. Portable lights get turned on. People begin to arrive, drifting into the glow from the recesses of the Common. Children sit on the ground in front, a wide crescent of small bundled up figures and smiling faces. It will be cold (but not as cold as last year, when Deb’s accordion froze up and we had to sing a cappella).

And then we will begin. Walden reading A Visit From St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas), Bill leading us through the carols we rehearsed, accompanied by Deb on her accordion. Then a carol sing for everyone (first verses only, and lots of laughter for Rudolph). At last Santa will roll in on the Fitzwilliam Fire Truck to light the tree, and talk to the children.

After there will be hot cocoa (so good in the cold) and home made cookies, while folks visit, then slowly disperse as the evening’s trappings are loaded into cars and trucks, along with us. Dark and quiet will settle on the Common again, except for the tree, its shining presence standing sentry until the new year.

 


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haiku for Sunday with notes

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

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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!


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morning gifts

this morning, safe here
in a house in sight of woods
that are my paradise, enriched
by nature, friendship
and by song,
I fly the carpet
of the past to places
rent apart by fear and hate,
cities come full circle,
back to the boil,
remembering too many
older furies,
scars of fire and rage,
spurred on by tragic news
that opened wide
the throat of anger,
again. and yet again.

is there a morning gift
to move a child,
in that beleaguered place
to see beyond, to hope?
perhaps a bud about to burst
rather than shattered glass,
a snatch of song
instead of shouts,
the momentary joy of play,
a quiet hug and loving words?
oh how I wish it were
a simple thing to banish hate
this way, and seed our future
with small scatter shots
of peace


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one way aubade

daylight prompts a kiss,
waking up my foggy
heart and brain
to sunrise clarity of thought

and know an echo cannot
keep me, having heard
and felt full throated love
if only for a time

flypaper’s hold, that ersatz
grace, lacks true regard,
whereas the fearless know
that reins kept loose hold tight

now looking out toward the sun
and craving freedom’s light,
I wave and turn away from here,
whispering goodbye to night

_______________________________
For day 6 of NaPoWriMo, the prompt being for an Aubade, or lovers’ morning farewell.


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as the day appears

out the kitchen window
tree shapes firming
into open sky, no clouds,
no stars either when I woke,
odd perhaps, but then it is
September, morning mist
that snakes through lip and rift
of mountain arms we sit below.
no birds yet, they are coming,
morning racers like my neighbors
on their way to work, engines
smoothly powering along,
except for one white truck,
rough run noise his signature,
not quite glass pack,
loving laying rubber
when he knows I’ll hear,
turning to the town and work,
the squeal is saved for later
and a certain audience.
I am grateful,
smiling.


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smaller pleasures

a dropped verbena leaf
is rubbed to bring the scent
of summer’s idle moments.
my kitchen window
frames a silver hand
that holds an instant’s light.
the soft delighted snorts
of dogs in greeting
as the day begins.
and at the kitchen door
I sip from morning’s cup
grateful for another rising sun.


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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.