Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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woods whispers

once home directly to the woods
downhill into the shadowed green
ecstatic dogs all tails and lopes

they move from spot to spot
datamining smells and sounds
and leave their marks

feet silent on the needle drop
my harmony almost restored
ankles softly kissed by ferns

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a shortling to celebrate the gift of having woods to lift the day off my shoulders.


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countdown

there is movement
in the daily flow of green
to full on spring
as bud fists loosen grips
or fern nubs thrust up clumpy heads
and hillsides morph to verdigris

reminding me of childhood nights
spent time-stretched
jumping tick to tock
wrapped in wild impatient
longing for the morning
and its gifts to come

in truth the journey
through that wait
or days lived blossomless
are weighted to the same degree
because this moment’s beauty is
the only certainty we have

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a shortling for 5/5. spring has been excruciatingly slow this year for us. yet even as we creep along, just knowing the apple tree will blossom, or the lilacs bloom, is such a gift.


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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

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


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following awareness

coming up the hill
toward my kitchen door
on greening grass
almost tintless
in the growing dark
I chase my shadow
in moonlight
just strong enough
to make me glad
it is not chasing me

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Day 19. A shortling about coming home in fading light and a risen moon.


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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

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


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formerly dear molly

so it began
another opening salvo
written grapeshot
sibling letters
masking fury longhand
weighted by a lifetime’s
alkaline asides
presupposing mal intent
in every word
an older generation
hamstrung by
paper clad
civility

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Day 16 of NaPoWriMo, where the prompt was an almanac poem, one of the items being a scrap of a letter. clearing out my family’s place in Rhode Island (emptying a place filling my soul) we found hundred of letters, one of which began “molly, formerly dear molly”. while I found this amusing, clearly the writer, and one supposes the recipient, did not.


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corpus musicorum

to sing with my friends
brings joy to those
who hear us
but shoulder to shoulder
we who give voice
have earned
the greater gift
we stand inside
the living body of music
connected by
sublime resonance

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Day 9. A shortling about the gift of singing in a group. Day 9. The words wanted my attention, but not for very long!


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two days on

this morning life rose earlier
by minutes that felt wider
accordioning out the day,
winter’s pearl blue light
cut by blades of gold
cast from the ridge
revealed the snow well broken in,
squirrel byways clearly marked
seed leavings on white crests,
starter crystal stalactites
lipped from the roof,
evidence of romping dogs
mouse tracks
and my own red squirrel visitor
in a quiet moment

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immediate snow is always special, but some time out from its fall the evidence of life outside the house reveals itself.


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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.