fungus, canker, beetle

the old refrain: if I had known…
I tried to tell you gently
but naturally
everything eats at us

what use to say we might have saved it—
the fruit, the root, the tree?
still much remains for tending
by clean cut, green try


life is the network, 2

broad summer is no time for poems
not with sunflowers nodding, laden
garden spiked with color
dart of wings and cicadas singing

rather, all this haymaking over dreams
while the sun shines

some poetic justice though, heart-pause
for rabbit nestlings in the carrots


…and huddles in the marigolds

on this falling edge

tell your autumn self, this fountained day
of wordy unmusical frustration is nothing
to regret. ask your winter self, who will make
work of the past? what is your spring self
but an ideal to grope for, in sympathy
with the young? you let those hours go.
(see the spiders already moving in, rose-hips,
crickets?) no need to reinvent or be clever
in your acts of love. your voice—broken,
burning, sleep-rough, shrill—will be here,
a sun-pledge.

watching the neighbors

dreaming crabapple, pomegranate-bright
paired cardinals, redbud, tulips bobbing
in tattered sunlight—I see people—
outside!—discussing the trim of a tree


how nothing in pendant birch-pods
questing tendril peas nor even flight of bees
suggests an asteroid skimming past
only five times farther than the moon


…but it happened…asteroid info here.


given: what have i/what can i/what could i have

for M., A., & P.C.

first, life—but what of it
life is all around, this collection of cells
bodies coming together
time and time and time

love—have you always known
not adoring eyes but daily bread
and fencing to keep you safe
how you shook it, railing
doubt and doubt and doubt

some lesson—what is it
that mistakes can or can’t be
forever, a path misstepped
can be straightened and lead where—?—
it always wanted to go
(regret no and no and no)

being every summer’s pledge
to keep tomato vines trim
zucchini picked small
what luxury are we, unpruned
and what cruel joke of divine design
that we bloom fully
only in the eye of the tearing wind