Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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Thinning time

Seven mornings in a row
the early eastern light
has snatched me away from sleep
filling my eyes with huge slashes
of sunrise, dark angry and pink
The first was on samhain, and
I could see the hand of Rage
reaching slyly toward the thinning 
scrim of time’s divide
its camp follower Fire hoping
to slip through alongside
compressed to nothing
like the soft bones of mice
The whispers of my genes begged
shout No and cry many tears
They will thicken the dawn
refusing entry to this surfeit of evil
All you love depends on them

Audio: Read by the author.


Damselfly wings


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Reconciliation

I still wear it on my skin,
to conjure touch, intensely green
as if emeralds had visited,
every nerve end bathed in
the musk of an old perfume.
A hand there, and there,
thoughts bent down to mine.
Walls all twilight, music
tracing curves, the beat
of time slowed to gray,
and wanting it endless.


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For the taking

Perhaps the stars hold memories,
diamond pinholes punched in winter black,
life stretched across infinity, expanding
overhead, even as my focus
might be squeezing in and
only looking back, no counterweight
to shrinking time.
Well nuts to that, I’ll take
the milky way with thanks,
refusing blinkered days
or thoughts, and will not shut
all possibility away.
This heart and soul are
slated to remain
open for business
indefinitely.


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Next

I wear the cloak of having loved,
butterfly light, not hard.
Threads of life thrown on
to walk the path of next,
companion on the loops and hills ahead.
Grains of my allotted scores
falling through the hourglass neck of now,
descent soft breath to kiss my cheek
then drop away to join the humus
steeping just behind.
What colors must it hold, this cloak,
to lie so soft against my skin,
memories all skeined.
Some were nettles
leaving welts and tears,
others joy that grabbed me by the nape
and shook my soul awake,
then weaving strands of love
presented as a gift, no toll required.
Or so I thought. Glowing rich and warm,
elusive dancing beams
that stayed a while to walk among
wild golden flower fields
communing with my heart, until we faced
the sunset edge of certainty.
In dimming afterglow I saw
the dark cast Janus face of fear
instead of love, mouth open wide
to swallow all my peace.
Abandoning this portent of a frozen life,
I turned away before full night
without a backward look.
Eurydice sans Orpheus
shedding petal tears
but never love
walking fast toward the light.

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I have always seen time, carrying its map in my mind’s eye, a form of synesthesia. Personally I think it explains the sometimes weird but welcome linkages of time to physical space that pop up in my poems.