Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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truth bag

being somewhat deafer now
imagined sounds dodge out of sight
bird noises, then coyote yips
creatures speaking to the moon
beavers stripping bark
soft words at night
wood thrushes as the day begins to fade
those I care about and want to hear again
a ways away, surrounding me
ear uncupped, not straining
that would be a marvel, singular gift
tears come just imagining

there is sometimes respite, when
the steeply rising road
is muffled deep in snow
no one singing in my trees
and outside silence is complete
ears freed up to hear what’s close
damned mouse scratchings in the wall
dogs nesting into warmth
wood timbers easing into sleep
unfrenzied thoughts
words emerging into verse
I call a truce until it stops
and plows cut through to rescue, me
ungrateful for release

none of this is worth a moment’s pain
but silence in the face of
evil, senseless, stupid acts
everyone can see and hear
(the instant truth of emperor sans clothes)
becomes a drawn out screaming wail
that grabs me by the nape
and shakes things loose
my voice plinking rage
words landing on the floor
about to skitter off, afraid
I snatch them up
so many jacks without a ball
and throw them in my truth bag
to pull out at will, tamed
for my answer

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a prompt from last night’s writing group with Doug Anderson: silence


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meringue

crunch under
my steps
over ersatz
spread snow
replenish
the feeder
cast seed
for the crew
doves hogging
the bounty
let others
go hang
this fool’s day
with icing
starts off
with a bang

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NaPoWriMo 2017 day 1! We’re off to the races, rabbit rabbit rabbit. This was a fun prompt since I’m not much for rhyme, but it always comes (slowly) if given some time.


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first morning

the world is wearing snow
and early morning tracks
curve down from thicket
to the brook
imagination wishing fox
resigned to squirrel
doves and jays arrive
the platform feeder full
it took a while to lace
warm boots with pjs tucked
then clearing step and path
of weightless white
which even now begins
to fly from coated trees
as spoil sport winds
step up their game
a dove remains
breast puffed among the seeds
they gobble down so much
but do not stay
to crack and eat
(anticipating husk heaps
deep in the woods
come thaw or spring)
a friend is coming soon
to break new trail with us
ecstatic dogs and
snowshoes joining evidence
of daybreak journeys
annotating
this first morning


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haiku for a winter saturday with notes

snowfall perfection
singular joins the many
floating from the sky

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saturdays mean one can exhale. today there are no chores or projects in an old house always in need. today will be spent with friends, mingling our joyous and foolish dogs, and gathering for a meal. there will be much laughter. the mind will stretch. a gift.


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snow terrarium

I stand stock still
snared by this
unaccustomed silence,
backlit in a pool
of warmth and kitchen light,
looking out to darkness
now made intimate
by thick falling snow,
soundproofing all
beyond its edge
until a car appears,
creeping down the mountain arm,
headlights reaching through
lace curtained flakes
wheels soundless on
the road now masked by white
a traveler almost surely blind
determination understood
and much admired by me,
we share this moment
and our quiet space
until my door is shut again
and he has passed us by

______________________________________
the world is well lost and soundless when it snows here. like an infant’s view of life our boundaries shrink for a bit.


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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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moonset

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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lemonade vignettes

even though the days
have turned a corner
and the sun shines boldly
on my pillow once again,
I am stalled in
longbone chilling thoughts
lusting after green and heat
until bursting out to tramp
the blues away, I hear
the white pines talk,
waving over snowbound roots,
the creaking cold of boots
on crystal flakes,
see the angled sun
illuminating dusted white,
a swirl of snow
blown off a tree,
a swarm of frozen gnats
in winter air,
a multitude of hungry
upside down buff teardrops,
our mourning doves in
bundled rows awaiting seed,
ruby pendant berries,
blinks of color over monochrome,
faithful evergreens
protecting buried nubs of spring,
I turn for home
longing sated once again,
and know I will regret their
passing


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but it is

not my loss I thought
a friend’s friend gone
under snow
sent down the mountain
by pleasure seekers
without thought
of lives below
or dreadful consequence

this sudden gap
where once a friend
stood in the heart
is feathered now
with small things
precious bits
of cloth or lace
dug from the snow
song and image
remnants of a
rich creative spirit
its light now dimmed
but not to be
forgotten, no

all sensed and felt
by strangers like myself
who at a distance
mourn her leaving.

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the loss of a creative soul is universally felt, whether we realize it or not