Thursday, June 28, 2012

the weight holding back the void

It is no longer
lowered at times together with you
into the hour. It is

It is the weight holding back the void
that would
accompany you.
Like you, it has no name. Perhaps
you two are one and the same. Perhaps
one day you also will call
me so.

--Paul Celan

Sunday, June 17, 2012

the memory of winter trees

The memory of winter trees

The season’s news was bombs and numbers killed.
The river tied and untied itself, slipping
the grip of rocks and hiding one icy wing
under another -- then another -- prolific and wild
as bird or angel, not fallen but felled
and rapt with attention to its own nothing --
the shifting yield of depth and current, in-folding
down, earthward, sky on its back sheer and rippled.

Snow gleamed. The little I walked past formal trees
that stiffened their veins against frigid air
and held life close, a wet thread through the core.
The nest of wire in my chest rang and breathed
a cold that burned blood from my lungs, that grieved
my mouth to silence like the gasp of distant war.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

what we ask for before we know we're asking

six a.m., the coolness of late spring

i have walked out alone into the world
where we pray together
young naïve monks
though we are not monks
and we do not pray

first light is a very old hammer
and mist a very old bell
that shimmers and rings
above water on stones
through the branches of early memory

i would turn back to you now
i would pray my mouth on your mouth

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


A beginning

--Lake Salamonie, Wabash, Indiana

Hieratic, the heron paces the shallows
like a serious pastor with hands folded

against his spine, meditating the lessons
of small fish, the choreography of frogs,

and at my approach flaps from the water’s edge,
a poor construct of scrap board and paper

rigged with wire and pulled slapdash
into the wind, fighting for a moment

the weight of earth, heft of body, but rising,
easing now into grace between the wings.

I ask him disappearing to pray for us,
and turn, having tired of the wind.

The heron sways away across the lake
into the late sun on this day of clouds and rain.