Shutters IV


The fourth in a series of twelve poems written at a shuttered window. Originally published in the anthology Terra Firma.

Shutters IV

Only in their upper extremities
may we find primacy,
blue being dominant and interspersed

with clouds, a map folded to join distant reaches.
But borders share more than edges. Their
shapes denote subtlety, the material

strength of reason and the untouchable,
an unmeasured practice brought to bear, like
depth of passion, or the concept of containment.

Width is merely a symptom of device.


Shutters III (another oldie)


The third piece of a group of twelve written at a desk fronting shuttered windows. The series originally appeared in the anthology Terra Firma.

Shutters III

As they rise we see the change
in motion, abstractions returned
like wingless birds at the edge of a garden

where only shadows grow. Or, closing,
the declination provides a glimpse:
false densities, sudden

claims to the wind’s eye,
a stuttering at twilight,
the symptom of another mistaken turn.

Their lines, divided and concealed.


Shutters II: Another Oldie


This is the second of a series of twelve pieces written at a desk in front of a shuttered window. I was taken with how a simple adjustment of the slats affected perception – that what I saw was only a disjointed portion of what there was to see. The series originally appeared in the anthology Terra Firma. I posted the first of the series on April 19th:

Shutters II

Of them, children seem the least
affected, being closer to the earth’s
grasp. How they

double then recede with laughter,
little forms flitting by the embrasure
like unwary birds or small

dogs. They too arrive in innocence,
intent in that fragile moment of interest
and play, focus of another.

Still or moving, the eye captures them.


To Tu Fu (after Li Po)


Yet another adaptation. This was a bit more difficult than other recent pieces, in part because I wanted more detail in the first line. With some difficulty, I refrained from adding it.

To Tu Fu (after Li Po)

I arrive, finally, at this:
above me, Shaqiu City
among the ancient trees
and the autumn winds at sunset.

Lu wine can’t make me drunk,
These songs do nothing for me.
My thoughts flow to you like the
Wen River on its journey south.

And here’s the transliteration on

Sent to Du Fu below Shaqiu City

I come finally what thing
High lie Sha qiu city
City beside are ancient trees
Sun set join autumn sounds

Lu wine not can drunk
Qi song vain again feel
Think you resemble Wen water
Mighty immense send south journey