Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine


Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine (after Hokusai)

Who knows where bird
begins and tree


which branch shifts
snow, which bears

eternity. This, too, will share

elusive green

and breath,
with no thought

of flight

and night’s

* * *

“Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine” is included in my forthcoming chapbook, From Every Moment a Second, which is available for pre-publication order until August 11.

The poem first appeared in Panoply in summer, 2016, and was subsequently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Many thanks to editors Ryn Holmes, Jeff Santosuosso and Andrea Walker for this honor, my first such nomination.

See the woodblock print that sparked this poem: Hokusai


15 thoughts on “Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine

  1. I purposely avoided this poem of yours in my review of FEMAS, as I would have written a 30 page thesis on how beautiful it is. And that photo of the snowy fence…all the secrets of music, art, poetry, Noh… Everything… are in that photo. The existential beauty is dumbfounding!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Daniel. It is a simple poem that relies on the reader’s imagination. I recently received a rejection from an editor who stated that my imagery was common, my poems lacked emotional resonance, and my writing could benefit by going weird. That editor may be right, but I won’t be jumping off of this train anytime soon. It took too long to get here. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s fair game that your work does not emotionally resonate with that one editor, and indeed you imagery is “common” (negative) to him while it is wondrously and numinously “common” to your fans. BUUUUTTTTT… his suggestion that your work would benefit from “being weird” is total and complete nonsense,

        What editor would suggest such an affectation?! People make things from their vision and their works are weird – after the fact – by some comparative (i.e. highly subjective) mensuration. Ornette Coleman was “weird” when he first arrived on the scene, and now long after his debut seems pretty “normal” compared to Albert Ayler or the Japanese noise-art people.

        No REAL artist sits down and tries to be avant-garde like it is some formulaic process. I even had a modernist classical composer decry my work in front of a conference audience for 10 minutes… unaware that I was sitting only a few seats away from her. My graphic score(s) were nonsense, bullshit, fakery, postmodernist crap, and so on. I loved every second of her harangue. What it lacked in eloquence it gained in passion. She meant every word of it. She truly felt I had INTENTIONALLY set out to make a mess of her pristine, logical world by launching my creative chaos into it. She HAAATED my work. And I was honored… because my effort was sincere… and I had earned her sincere resistance!!

        So please do NOT “weird” up your work. It is perfect the way it is… the probing stanzas of a gloriously uncertain man… and that is what makes you a genius.

        Liked by 1 person

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