Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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Floaters

Parachutes for certain bugs
I can’t bear to kill.
The one too many ones
the wrong kind of spider
the waving scuttlers.
The latest ugly
makes its entrance,
bringing on a rush
to scoop up elbowed legs
and angled hairy parts, 
run the mercy packet to the door,
wanting to fling, instead just letting go,
the tissue wrapped passenger
floating down to land
on a bed of violet leaves.  

 

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The right kind of spiders? Thin bodied long-legged spiders that look like Charlotte. 


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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 right note

Tomorrow might have been fifty-two,
not just thirteen since thirty-nine.
The day, aligned with family and gratitude,
always reflected joy, the heat of our love
folded into stuffing.
The missing of him has gotten harder,
but it seems he knows. I came upon
the sound of his small gasp,
that wrapped me up each time
in beauty gauze, when finally ready
I presented myself to his gaze
before our evenings out.
Deliciousness itself, just knowing
that he would, when I did,
that he always meant it.
And I can smile now, the memory
a pitch perfect gift.

 

 


Audio: Read by the author.


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Connection

In song, music puts
its hands around my heart.
My words think tears
are a puddle to splash
through shoeless.
Color often stops my breath,
and I am held its willing
prisoner. A sudden memory
might need release.
Any of these call up joy
or tears, and I don’t mind.
When the signal comes
they might glide to me
in a waltz, or whirl up
on the skirts
of a wild mazurka.
Better yet, ride in
on the smoothness
of an alto sax.


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Restland

Olivia’s obelisk sits in tailored green
behind an iron gate and arrow pointed fence.
Jumped-up gold letters on the arched black sign
declaring Restland. Stand near enough
in late afternoon shimmer and her voice is clear,
restless words reaching for release.

It is spring, but where are the lilacs I asked for?
No rounded shapes, or shade, or not to be forgotten scent.
A bit of rest here and there would have suited,
but this place? That name? The gods laugh.

Where are the staccato horse clops and soft whuffs,
wagon creaks, quiet words from walkers,
children playing hoops, the church bell?
Only constant gliding rumbles, impatient horns,
blares of sound, no suitable rhythm for a hill town life.

Where are the visitors? None inclined or left to come,
not family, not him anymore. Is he here too?
Years doing women’s work, all the time seeing color,
rearranging light, and wanting paint and brush
to show him what I saw, wanting to say his given name,
not Mister, nor Mister Baker darling.

Where is the promised release of death? I lie,
still in my stays, oh god for a knife to cut their laces,
walk and breathe unbound, not go about exactly as a man
but with a woman’s eyes, much better.
Will he meet me here in moonlight,
pull my fingers to his lips, and say my name?


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How to darn a heart

If mending is the only route
then hold it safe, to
dance its beat
against your palm.

To brace the fraying edge,
thread light with memories
and run their warmth
the whole way round.

Bottom up or top down,
the strongest strands of love
comprise the weft, running stitch
to running stitch.

Then left to right or right to left,
hope forms the warp
needled over, under
in between.

It will look different darned,
the rend lightly scabbed,
dozing as it heals, until the next
onslaught of love.

 


Audio: Read by the author.

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NaPoWriMo Day 1 (my view of time being elastic), the prompt was to provide instructions on how to do something.