Poetry

Embers
November 13, 2006

Poor summer, it doesn't know it's dying. A few days are all it has. Still, the lake is with me, its strokes of blue-violet and the fiery sun replacing loneliness. I feel like an animal that has found a place. This is my burrow, my nest, my attempt to say, I exist. A rose can't shut itself and be a bud again. It's a malady, wanting it. On the shore, the moon sprinkles light over everything, like a campfire, and in the green-black night, the tall pines hold their arms out as God held His arms out to say that He was lonely and that He was making Himself a man.

A Winter Night after Transtromer
September 11, 2006

The storm puts its mouth to the house and blows to get a tone. I toss and turn, my closed eyes reading the storm's text. The child's eyes grow wide in the dark and the storm howls for him. Both love the swinging lamps; both are halfway towards speech. The storm has the hands and wings of a child. Far away, travellers run for cover. The house feels its own constellation of nails holding the walls together. The night is calm in our rooms, where the echoes of all footsteps rest like sunken leaves in a pond, but the night outside is wild.

Atlantis—A Lost Sonnet
March 20, 2006

How on earth did it happen, I used to wonder that a whole city—arches, pillars, colonnades, not to mention vehicles and animals—had all one fine day gone under? I mean, I said to myself, the world was small then. Surely a great city must have been missed? I miss our old city— white pepper, white pudding, you and I meeting under fanlights and low skies to go home in it—Maybe what really happened is this: the old fable-makers searched hard for a word to convey that what is gone is gone forever and never found it.

How It Was Once In Our Country
March 06, 2006

In those years I owned a blue plate, blue from the very edges to the centre ocean-blue, the sort of under-wave blue a mermaid could easily dive down into and enter. When I looked at the plate I saw the mouth of a harbour, an afternoon without a breath of air, the evening clear all the way to Howth and back, the sky a paler blue further to the south. Consider the kind of body that enters blueness, made out of dead-end myth and mischievous whispers of an old, borderless existence where the body's meaning was both more and less. Sea-trawler, land-siren: succubus to all the dreams land has of oce

Nighttime Begins with a Line by Pablo Neruda
May 02, 2005

So my body went on growing, by night, went on pleading & singing to the earth I was born to be woven back into: Love, let me see if I can't sink my roots deeper into you, your minerals & water, your leaf-rot & gold, telling & un- telling of the oldest tales inscribed on wind-carved rocks, silt & grass, your song & prayers, your oaths & myths, your nights & days in one unending lament, your luminous swarm of wet kisses & stings, your spleen and mind, your outrageous forgetting & remembrance, your ghosts & rebirths, your thunder stones & mushrooms

The Want Room
December 20, 2004

I want to unshroud my desire for desire now that I've plumbed midlife where nothing nimbles the heart numbed. So that the most I can do is long for longing, hanker for rank hunger, thirst for raw thirst. I want to kneel at the foot  of this desk, bed, life and pray I can still pray for something. That the blood and breath of this body can still rise and pant for someone. That even if it's taken all day to unfold these few minutes accordioned in before I snap on the body- suit of Mother, the Goodly housewife at the sofa, the table, the range that the Want Room will still open for me with my bl

Yellow Jackets
June 07, 2004

I was in awe of the way they lived in both the ground and air, both digging and flying, both demon and angel. I was ready to kill them with gasoline when I noticed my neighbor's burning eyes across the street.

Modus Operandi
May 03, 2004

The curtains drawn, all rectangles are blue. Four morning pigeons wheel in the school glue. I hate the treacherous light of December. Cold. I eat pumpkin soup out of the blender. The central heating grumbles: “You, get out.” Right.

Hurricane Hymnal
March 22, 2004

"Put your trust in sea-glass," whisper Lovers, kissing. "Lay a towel out For shells." A good Anthology To have handy once New Jersey's swept away. "Just stay Inside the eye, you'll be Safe. I once was Saved that way."  This poem appeared in the March 24, 2004 issue of the magazine.

Backyard
May 05, 2003

It didn't rain. And it didn't rain. And it didn't rain. Returning, after a month away, from a place up north, the yard was parched and dying, the horse coiled like a snake— As if the present were past, I walk from this thing to that, touching dry leaves. Here is the dogwood that bloomed when T. was dying. Here is the sunflower, ravaged by July, and here is the Rose of Sharon, coming, in August, into its own.Here. Here. And here. The arbor.

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