You have been painting, and find you can still pray

clear-coat me, Lord
with carillon and birdsong
or peel through the yellowed layers
bubbled, of what has been

self-applied, find in me
that thing unfounded:
clear heart, clean brush, blank page

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the world tells you again

in this fountaining the flutter
wing-dust and scattered
seed, greening

why should you not return
to heartening beneath
your one-note lament

and need for salt don’t say
it’s always the same
for when have you ever noticed

roses blown open to rain
robins food-screeching
in your window-tree?

April Gifts

i.

the cardinal sudden like words
from a friend, bright unexpected
against leafless sky, same sweet
song and soul-balm

ii.

not faith but a kind of pride, your belief
every day should offer something
like this dirt finally warming,
hand-crumbled, enough?

iii.

if the pansies survive
this record cold, it is no god’s bow
to the balance due, nor even
to your impatience

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on the end of poetry

(lakeside)

and it turns out water
is only water. it may slosh
and splash, undulate, crash
and okay, sparkle, shimmer
gleam gold. or gray
in shadow, green in light
right down to the rocks
it caresses, rounding
here, near the shore—
or out there, sucking sand.
see, the dog will flail and swim
kicking up white froth, biting hard
at each wave (they never cease)
long tongue licking water
long-legged deliberate splash.
(no creature more prosaic
than a dog) so here I sit, done
with words. why bother noting
it dazzles? the boats drone on
and past, in deeper blue
seagulls scatter