The Very Last Fall on Earth

or why the brilliance
or why have we not
noticed not grabbed
and held in our hands
ideal of ripe life
with no trace of crumble

enough? for the eye
to skip from sky
round crimson clusters
and still green grass
gem-strewn with

that light we can’t
(it has been before)
too warm too dry
too full
to take in
deepest breath
of the day held
and held
to bursting

All these geese

basking roadside, pondside, sun-
side, ignoring thunderous trucks,
whizzing cars, even the thump
and whine of the garbage collector—
but humans are something else
altogether, and all together, uneasy
at my approach, they turn their heads,
long necks, move in smooth unison
closer to the water. A few startle,
take wing at a runner’s passing
breeze, plunge into the pond,
three white furrows and four more
behind, wings wide then down,
tail feathers shaken into place—
and what a goose I am, trail-walking
roadside, pondside, sun-side,
to startle as the first man runs up
and past, and again to turn my head,
uneasy, when the second, walking,
overtakes me.


A thousand years buried black beneath king’s
mound; ribs, timbers rotting, our ship—
oarsmen long fallen, scattered like their gold

Bread, beer, sword—but never enough gold
in blood-spattered piles, enough to make us kings
so bold and glory-lusting we fitted our ship

shields hung out, oars locked in, then how our ship
sang the waves toward the sun’s own gold—
land ripe for plunder and death to their kings!

All now ghosts: gold, kings, and ship…


Imagination fired by a field trip last weekend to see the Viking ship, sailed from Norway to Chicago in 1893 for the World’s Columbian Exposition and now residing in Geneva, Illinois. Viking was modeled on the 9th-century Gokstad ship, excavated in 1880.

The Remotest Island in the World

To say nothing of myself
or the self-contained teen
in the other room, of our place
in vast, fragile space
dwarfed by our sun, dwarfed
by other suns—

but let me tell you of our life
with penguins and potatoes
our southern seasons lonely
off the grid, yet in the global trend
(internet at the café, supply boats
twice a year). We’ve embraced

a taste for our own vodka
for homespun wool. No avoiding
your neighbor at the seaside
or singing below the volcano
though indeed no one knows
how I detest eating lobster


I read this article about Tristan da Cunha, and my imagination ran away just a bit.

Here: Mid October

I lay on warm grass
sun reaching long gold fingers—
a perfect mushroom—
listless, blue-sky studying
resolving to welcome shade

Once more, with feeling

It is precisely this time, more/less
the pit opens, not underfoot
but close enough to catch you
with tricks of sunlight/shade
fallen leaves, sharp red
beauty, failing—
you can’t help
but glance

The Little Things

fall browns down backyard
prairie waves goldenpurple
goodbye, hummingbird