Life With Horace

poetry & essays

gift of sudden light


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gift of sudden light

morning brings the flowering world
to wait outside my door again
its gift complete
an honest bounty within reach

I glance away, and in
that moment sun arms
leap above the mountain ridge
to cast breath stealing light

and startle me to unexpected joy
when happiness, no simple thing
arriving first was present
and most certainly enough

light’s twin is thought
conjoined with time
its tipping point
arrived at step by step

the pilgrim mind walks on
until the heart is open
and able to receive
the sudden glimpse of truth


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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

_________________________________________
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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looking through

the apple tree has given up its leaves
sightlines to the treescape skyline
of the mountain ridge are visible again
skeleton beauty skirting stripped down
lilac oak and beech, embracing stolid
pine arms, needles feathering
this morning’s straggler sun
a wedge of brown and gray and light
this small world peaceful
waiting for the snow

__________________________
this is one of those mornings when the contrast between the world outside my kitchen window and places of violence and sorrow is very stark. I am grateful for this peace, even as I mourn another shattered night and pray for France.


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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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catching the light

however it comes
we want it all, that light,
bright understanding
to open eyes,
illuminate and warm
our world, and free us,
so we think.

on light filled, sunny days
our spirits lift and soar
on updrafts,
hawklike, hunting
promise in those beams,
the source of what
is possible.

but with no sun and open sky
do we still sense
the light there for us
brought in different form?
that it still shines,
its power now diffuse
but no less ours,
and can we grasp
with raptor talons
all the glimmers due us?

much harder then
to have to work
for something often
free of effort, easy
to absorb, enjoy,
yet if we persevere
there is reward,
brilliance, no less a gift
for being indirect.

_____________________________
this ornament was a gift brought by my sister from New Zealand. it always catches light.