Wren canyons down the morning’s edge, proclaiming dawn.
Unpapered, unfettered, fearless, he abides.
I say “he,” but sexual dimorphism is not apparent in the species.
Accepting signals, we process and choose, freighting gender aside.
Listening requires contextual interpretation, as does belief.
Shrilling to the porch screen, he spears a moth, veers outward.
An acquaintance claims birds are soulless, existing only to serve God.
As temple bells exist solely to announce, and rain, to water lawns.
Faith’s immensity looms in the absence of proof.
Spherical and hollow, suzu bells contain pellets.
The search for truth without error does not preclude fact.
Even tongueless bells ring.
“Diverting Silence” was published in Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art in February 2017.
Letter from Insomnia
Accepting Li Po’s tragedy,
apocryphal or not,
we embrace her imperfect
rippling in the breeze,
but manage to surface.
I once thought I would name a child Luna
and she would glow at night
and like Hendrix, kiss the sky.
But that was whimsy
and only candles light this room
at this hour
on this particular day
in this year of the snake.
And what fool would reach for a stone orbiting at
1,023 meters per second?
There are clouds to consider, the stars
and the scattering rain
and of course wine
and the possibilities within each glass
and the drops therein.
We must discuss these matters
under her gaze, where smallness gathers.
* * *
This originally appeared in Middle Gray in October, 2013. It was written in response to a poem my friend Michael sent me, replying to this poem.
In Praise of Darkness
Night falls, but day
breaks. A raw deal,
no doubt, but fairness
applies itself unevenly. Who
chooses weeds over
lies, flowers over truth?
Last night’s rain fell, too,
but didn’t crack the drought.
Again, we think injustice!
Again, we consider falls.
“In Praise of Darkness” last appeared here in March, 2016, and is included in my chapbook If Your Matter Could Reform.
“Balance” first appeared here in February 2016, and is included in my micro-chapbook Only This, available for free download from Origami Poems Project.
“Nightdreams” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
What Happens Next
Another night with the frost,
she says, and you’ll know
the half-life of cold.
Which is not to say enjoy,
or pity, or pretend.
It is the sheath of God’s
gaze, an unsuspected lump.
The harvested curse.
You grasp what happens next.
“What Happens Next” first appeared here in November 2017.
While Walking My Dog’s Ghost
I spot a baby rabbit
lying still in a clump of grass
no wider than my hand.
It quivers, but I pretend
not to have seen, for fear
that the dog, ghost or not,
will frighten and chase it
into the brush, beyond
its mother’s range,
perhaps to become lost
and thirsty, malnourished,
filthy, desperate, much
like the dog when we
found each other that hot,
dry evening so long ago.
This first appeared here in September 2016.
Light and Dark and Light Again (crawlspace)
Not hopeless, but without hope. If I could
capture my shadow, would I
imprison it in a cell of light
or release it to roam free among the dense cedars,
knowing always that I might betray myself again?
And other repetitions. Doorways beyond other
doorways leading to more openings, like
mouths releasing words in the random
silence, awaiting their return.
What lives under the house but another
darkness, another tale of contrast
and spent energies? Answers move swiftly
from point to point, refusing to be
pinned down. The questions remain.
This first appeared here in February 2015.