Life With Horace

poetry & essays


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dawn reflected

unaccustomed light beams up from my small pond
a gift I grudge our downstream beaver cadre,
shermanesque repurposers of woods and mud
whose path had thinned the eastern trees
this morning’s sight was not the sliver moon
pendant under brilliant venus
that had called to me in bed
but dawn with spikes of leafless trees
in shadowed counterpoint

the possibility of future treats looms large
even as my mind resists this change
reflected moons and shooting stars
crusted ice or waves of snow
morse code tracks from there to here
so as I fight to deconstruct
the engineering feat that threatens
to engulf beloved trees
I whisper thanks for fallout gifts
and pray that what comes next is peace

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the back boundary of my land is a named brook, with a small seasonal pondlet cum mudhole, which was quickly becoming a full on pond by the time I realized what was happening at the end of this summer. beavers are amazing engineers, cross layering branches and twigs to make their dams, and excavating existing banks for mud to wall new water in. taking all this down is not easy, and I was quite sad about having to do it, until I discovered that there was no lodge out back but only “land grooming” for future expansion. I suspect this is merely the latest skirmish between the beavers and the owners of this house since it was built in 1796.

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venus waiting

from my pillow, just awake
I saw the eastern sky,
spread clear and pale behind
still leafless trees,
hung with a glowing light
among their limbs

I first thought to deny
this star so close to sunrise,
then felt its beacon’s pull,
guiding me to daylight
from the darkness of a dream
so gladly left

________________________________
the first view of the day ahead is often evocative for me. This morning Venus was hanging in the trees, as though waiting for me to wake up. She gradually faded as the sun drew nearer and my dark dream receded.