Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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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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witness

morning light slants through spring woods
and the grass grows green again

three blue bags of roadside trash
and the grass grows green again

air is soft at dark’s approach
and the grass grows green again

screams of trees ripped from the earth
and the grass grows green again

early birdsong noisy joy
and the grass grows green again

news of rising hate brings dread
and the grass grows green again

summer stars the hunter gone
and the grass grows green again

prayers whispered for the world
and the grass grows green again

truth is not a skin we shed
and the grass grows green again

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Day 26. A call and response poem.


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haiku for nearly

each day brings more green
apple tree buds grow fatter
the bear is nearby

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Day 12. each day brings us closer to an explosion of green. there are five bears up on the mountain flanks behind Bear Farm. they tend to visit this time of year.


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green dreams

the catalog arrived today
injecting green into my thoughts
lush garden dreams now underway

vast lettuce rows not puny pots
rich hills of beans with tongues of fire
espaliered trees of downy apricots

splashed color stokes my fierce desire
until the bubble pops and I fall back to earth
my garden plot is small, the barrow needs a tire

a reset needed for this year’s rebirth

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NaPoWriMo Day 5: the prompt was exotic seed names, using one in a poem. I had a yen to dabble once again with rhyme and a bit of humor, and chose the terza rima: aba bcb cdc d. A simple yet rewarding form. Enjoy!


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pole stars

outside an open window
long slanting bones of morning light
stretch out across new green
and under petal floats
my mind’s eye leaping past
advancing spring
to still brown woods
snowdrops hanging white in quiet
broken only by the calls of jays
or arcing cardinal voice
I ache for home
those starker hills
and life lived on a wilder scale
with brook flow ambient song
in counterpoint
to raven growls and beaver slaps,
the shouting silence of the stars
that touch my trees
small-hours communion with the moon
cupped softly by the dark,
my homeward journey’s pull is strong
yet it will still be hard to leave
a house so filled with love
and people of my bones,
twin pole stars
anchoring the heart

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I love and miss my adult children and their respective clans and look forward to the chance to share their lives. Yet after a day or two the siren call of home begins its chant, and I am torn, no less grateful for these gifts.


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really

outside my door the guard has changed
a day of wet and gloomy gray
whisked off by racing clouds
abdicated winter steps in minuet retreat
the sullen blue gray glow of rained on slate
is caught by short lived slants of morning sun
and wind, a small all-hands treetop voice
is loath to roar (for now)
the dripping cloak that wraps this house
begins to dry and shed small gleams
the morning raven fly by
lacking winter urgency
green daffy blades push up
brash in return, migrating from the soil
no longer threatened accidents
almost time to prune and clear a way
for the celadon and smell of spring

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I’m mindful that March in New Hampshire is fickle, and for a good long while snow will be a possibility. the path to spring is never straight up here.


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the other forest

my flower beds are throwing off
their compressed dimpled white,
and there are windy days
with teasing warmth
and vanguard migrant buzzards
chased by crows.
even as I gladly face the sun,
there are some things
to miss a little while
that left me breathless
in the cold, choked with joy
at seeing sudden beauty.
a first glance to the eastern ridge,
and brilliant blue first light
across a clear late winter sky,
blots of flemish clouds
that never come in summer,
scudding low and changing shape,
new snow like moonstone dust
lit by a full moon’s glow,
my other forest,
traceries of crystal frost
inside the windows on our porch,
mimicking the solid shapes
of tree and bush.
oh I am more than ready
for the squelch of mud,
and branches swelled with buds,
soft leaf and frond,
assaults of tender green,
the songs of
snow melt freshet streams.
it will not be a hardship
to accept all this,
no not at all.


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mother nature’s version of make up sex

Chill, okay? No gag-me stuff. Just some observations about the marvelous Spring we’re having.

It’s safe to say we all had a crappy, long, drawn out winter, weather-wise. So imagine my surprise that when the new season finally arrived, it wasn’t one of those slam-bam slots wedged in between freezing and roasting.

Up here, at the foot of Monadnock, there has been a delicate progression, a slow introduction of green at our feet, buds ripening, canada mayflowers carpeting our path through the woods.

Fiddleheads thrusting up and unfurling, daffies and tulips bringing the first color in months.

Daylily leaves are curving gently, rambling roses sending out new shoots, flower beds repopulating. The rhubarb bed is lush. The weeping cherry and plum tree are full of color.

[I didn’t know that plum blossoms smell, well, plummy, but they most certainly do.]

The apple tree outside our kitchen door is now in flower, and the lilacs have just emerged.

Many years this all happens like a collapsing telescope, but not right now. The temperature has crept slowly, slowly upwards. What a gift.

Added to all this largesse there are the new birds. Brand new. To this place. At least since I’ve been here.

Indigo Buntings, Pine Grosbeaks and Baltimore Orioles have joined the line-up this year. Wonderful flashes of color, especially the Indigo Buntings.

We live at the junction of piney woods, the mountain’s lower reach, Fassett Brook delta, and Perkins Pond, so we see some nice birds year round. Lots of Ravens. Bears too. Ahem.

The slate colored juncoes and cowbirds have moved north for the summer.

The usual suspects have all turned up to join the winter jays, woodpeckers, mourning doves, titmice and chickadees — American Goldfinches, Purple Finches, Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, 6-plus varieties of sparrows, Catbirds, Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, Bluebirds, Red Wing Blackbirds, Tricolor Blackbirds and Evening Grosbeaks. Grackles too.

Great blue herons cruise by, with their unmistakable wing beat and are all over the wetlands. Thrushes are singing in the woods at twilight.

The butterflies and moths are making their entrance too.

So I’m feeling pretty flush right now. Livened and renewed by MN’s wonderful Spring, after the fight this winter proved to be.

Grateful too.

Most certainly.