Monday, April 04, 2011


I found the blue one on the bottom of the cage,
dead in the way that only birds can be,
a feathered husk. It weighed no more
than the memory of an unremarkable day.

I might have worn it on a thread, an ornament
of sky and sad curled feet. Things die. 
We are such unheeded orphans, afterthoughts
at best. Our histories are barely mounds 
upon the earth’s resilient back. Our stories

find no audience. The long nights consume
the heart, the heft of bone, the light
that someone might have cherished. 
We are fistfuls of feathers, so insubstantial 

we fear the wind and the crush of wheels.
It would take so little for us to fall,
to be wrapped in a shred of lace
with only a suggestion of blue to mark
an epoch that once was winged.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The bones of your dory rest under the pines.
Untouched since last August,
she gathers webs and shadows.
She should be long done, painted, varnished,
 graceful in the bay.
The wood sits beneath the sky,
bears the sun and moon, the rain
and snow. The wind hums through her, 
echoes her emptiness. Always she aches 
for your hands to finish her.

Anne, who would be queen

Oh, that I might be tidy, sky blanched,
fields ribboned, trees skinned of bark.
But all is a-jumble, tangled and on fire.
Your fox-grin is torn away by a gust.
I am left to imagine your chattering jaw.

If I were neat you would be buried
behind the flat stones, courted
by cockroach and pin-light. 
But you are a shattered goblet, here
and there, sharp and eager for flesh. 

My shelves are rife with such stories,
spines rotten and pages loose.
I will never pick them up again.
I leave them for the flood, for the blaze,
for the blind-eyed moon. Let the tragedy

play out once more to the song of glass
and wind. Remind me what to regret.
Then perhaps I will disinherit
this chaos, my birthright of disarray.
I will let you go like a handful of dust.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

a winter day

Morning breaks, cut-glass bright and rife with winter
birds. I hear the stars shift just beneath the day’s blue
fa├žade, a whisper as silvery as the icy creek’s refrain.
I miss the umber twilight, the grackles penciled in, charcoal

and sepia suggestions of movement. It is too keen,
this early light with shadows as sharp as calligraphy.
There remain no pine swept paths, no sugar-sand ways
where sea oats bow. There is only macadam and limestone,

a sleet-glazed cliff, a dull scene daubed on its craggy face. 
Thankfully, the day is brief, a snowy trillium trampled
by the coming dark. By four there is iron on the wind. 
I paint in this poor light, in hues gleaned from a well.

Familiar, this darkness. Sweet, the absence of truth’s cruel light.
I paint a door as black as these bare window panes,
imagine a room behind it where even the night gleams
golden and claims dominion over the sting of frost and fear.