Thursday, January 31, 2013

Withered Things

Through a barren field, where frost coats the ground
Cold footsteps lie imprinted in the dirt,
Silence---if it was a sound
Is ignored and thought inert.
Against the shadow of a scarecrow in the air
The winds of promise and the thoughts of sun
Gather there, while ravens unaware
Perch upon his shoulder, dark to dun.
Away through amber clouds, away through honest skies
The passage of a heron traces wings
Calligraphy of light before it died
The novel of a life past withered things.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Somewhere a light burns through mist gray waves,
The stars are lost like forgotten graves,
And a single ship, past the silver shore
Bobs and banks, and is no more.
I shielded my eyes there a summer by,
When the foam was brown like a drunkard's dye;
The heaving of breath in the heart of the sea
Seemed like the lungs that were lifting in me.
Somewhere the clouds crack the broken moon;
There is silence---the silence before a monsoon---
But the gulls drift on, and the soft wind sweeps
Waking the winter before she sleeps.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Windowsill Winter Plant

How do you live inside the spring?
When the ice is thick on a sparrow's wing,
When the wind is harsh with the breath of God,
And a beggar mutters on frozen sod.
How do you live inside the spring?
By taking a jar of dying things,
The seeds of kings and the buds of queens,
And watching them sprout to a tender green.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Every day that the white snows blow,
Bright against the tarnished rust red of the sun,
Specks on the plate of the moon at dusk,
A tree bends against a sky of dun.
How many fingers felt moisture in the air
Holding the earth, still wet from the rains?
How many hearts beat softy as one
When seeds still specked the burnished grains?
Every season that October cries,
Though the years draw by and the grasses die,
Pieces of life seem to come undone,
From the crooked tree in its browning sky.

An Irish Slumber

Sleep, sleep, when the sun is burning on the western sky,
Gold, scarlet, gray, blue, dipping the world in silver dye;
Dark crosses silhouetted in the fading light
Churchyard spires fires made eyes within the night.
Slumber sweetly in the heart's forgetting,
When the last soft swipe is dimly setting;
Dream, dream, of soldiers who went before,
Sleeping in the heath, then dying on the moor.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When the Summer Was Young

A little bluebird spoke to me
Long ago, in a sycamore tree
When the wind was soft,
And the summers sweet
And the children played in the shining creek.
"Winter is old," he sang to the sky,
While the breeze blew the clouds and the sunlight by
And a meadowlark swayed in the heart of the rye,
"Winter is old, and summer is nigh."
A little bluebird in a crooked limb
Sang a song that made sense to him
But now all the trees are dark and dim
And the silence of creeks seems somehow a sin.