Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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The Morgan

It could have been
a silver mercury portrait,
but a horse appeared
displacing stiff poses,
mane flying, neck muscles
bunched in effort,
galloping through
a glimpse of the past.

 

 


Audio: Read by the author.


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A marvelous photo of a Morgan mare by the photographer Deborah Glessner brought up the last two lines of the poem. 


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the flow

I dream of deconstructing beaver weirs
layered dams of branch and mud

fiendish things set up by stealth
to drown my woods

and work to draw up plans,
a personal peninsular campaign

fought in the boots of wellington
besetting toothy bonapartes,

guerilla skirmishes to win release
of chokepoint water pools

allowed to stream again towards
the pond beyond its sapling fringe

growing up we know some barriers too,
thrown up to block our childhood path
casual injected freeze,
anti action dollops of impatient noise
thoughtless shards from adult tongues
that carry all the power
of their world, and leave us
with no voice to tell them no
unconscious joy leaching from
young porous souls, replaced by dust
to render us no longer fully vested
in our birthright gifts

oh we will feel creative pull
and try to move toward its warmth

each with our signature routine
to step around the wall,

with time and luck that sidestep waltz
will lose appeal, prompting us

to search out understanding,
mighty antidote to doubt

and let it heal our hearts
armored with new energy and joy

thoughts free to wander where they will
we ride the flow

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there is a vast difference between thoughtful words to guide and tossed off criticism. as adults we often forget the power of what we say to a child.


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movement

I’d rather think of
ripples smoothly curving
from a starting point of action,
than of progress, a patched together
plastic shape, often cloaked in force and
negative pronouncements stoked by fear.
movement as the path of thought
takes on the form and palette
of decision, effort made whole
by many different voices,
each at their own beginning,
listening, open, ready for
a mote of truth, floating
weightless in the light,
until in recognition
and with eager hands
they hold it safe,
linked together,
solid in intent,
flowing forward,
enlightenment
made real.

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I’ve been thinking recently about how agreement is achieved, and the difference between change by consensus vs the forward march of progress by decree.


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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

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