Thursday, January 5, 2017
Monday, November 21, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
I fall asleep to the briar songs of witches,
Leaving their brood of green,
Abandoned a cave of fern
To follow the invisible horses
Of human longing
Where the sky broke open
To reveal the furnaces of heaven.
It was an infatuation with the sound
Of tiny bells that drew them out,
Wishing only to join the spirits of the meadow
With green lamps hitched to their tails.
Still the sun blistered their eyes, stunned
Them into forgetting their green, fractured world.
Among the hemlocks and the yew,
In the black and mortal forest
Came an indelicate rising of ghosts.
Even so there was a leafy
Dampness to their skins,
Clasping hands like braided flowers,
They vanished to join the weird
Elixirs of the moon.
Ivy and Fern, with names divine,
How they died in the grass like dew.
Monday, April 30, 2012
And the wind is as cold as dirt under a slab.
There is only a faint misting in the trees,
An angel's gun-shot eye black with mold
While the other stares down like a bald moon.
Does she blink? Get real, someone says, no one stays,
It is only the imagination that creeps
Through clouds of ragged sobs, darts of dark ivy
That close as do the bones
in a hand? To stand here
Is to stand in a sewer of discontent,
as roils of sky race over headstones
wafer thin. A marble child,
delicate as a fetus, lies down with a lamb.
So where is the little carved heart?
Under the ground and making a fist?
No matter now. Touch the stone
Where death once had her forehead pressed.
Nothing, nothing here human, just murmuring,
A few interruptions of weeds and rocks.
This is not some garden for the overslept.
It is not the soul that is being kept.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Our father had already vanished in his black jeep.
Skinned-ghosts floated over darkened houses
As we kicked away the hard, green skulls
Of walnuts scattering our path.
In the flickering rains, our grocery sacks burst
While candy in bright paper fell like gems.
Out of evening’s brew, an old woman in red, velvet cap
Led her hunchbacked whose eyes turned inward
As if focusing on bumblebees. We tried not to scream,
But ripped past in long skirts made from pillowcases,
Escaping the cabbage soup smell of unwashed bodies.
Street lamps eked a frosty, plum-colored light.
Doors squeaked open even before knocked on.
Screens of black and white TV sets fluttered, framing
The grim face of Russian gypsy Maria Ouspenskya
As she opened a clumsy actor’s palm to reveal a star:
Even a man who’s pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when wolf bane blooms,
When the moon is full and bright.
But that was Hollywood and this was forty miles
West of Left-Hand, West Virginia.
In the nearby woods, the orange eyes of a barn owl
Blinked mechanically. Tiny bats mewed in the eaves.
In our black clothes, we were angels
Already fallen once we spilled into the streets.