the moment stood
and faced the sea; we called it
faith-breaker, the hiss
of sand’s what god? where?

we held our freedom in both hands
shook it out: to walk slowly on
wave-wise; to curl in again
with mountain-root song

Thanks and apologies to Kerfe, because I stole from her poem.

Sun in February

it’s the light
flooding everything—
kind yet defiant, treestrong—
pouring into blue, lording over
cold, even now-death, tatters
of overwintering—
everything! from here
basking in glassview
our hothouse growing
what can withstand
(everything!)—fed liquid light
earthtaste of warmth
and wood, green always
within and again always

I had just drafted this poem when I learned of the death, much too young, of one of my husband’s colleagues. It re-framed this poem, and this sunny day, for me. Wishing you so much kind yet defiant sun, my dear readers and friends.

Disgusted is not too strong a word

Well. We know they have power
and you have sometimes said to me
That’s a strong word
when certainly I meant it.
I don’t wield them like weapons
but I try to have a point.

after splurging on thought
(time travel, what life
we could know before TV)
and a surfeit of sad violins
nothing left for it
but cleaning (the deep stuff)
as if scrubbing might solve
this damned spot

The sudden recurrence of grief

When I shouldn’t be wasting my time, he is before me
in the funny thing that aches his disappearance all over
again. Now convinced that the closing of my heart
dates to that winter day, along with all the distance
and shell-layers of brittle lacquer, the lack of warmth
in laughter, the need to say again in print it’s not fair
how we each carry in our cells some pain that spreads
dark cold


This morning thinking of my dad, not exactly related to but folding in with last night’s reading of W. H. Auden’s “In Memory of W. B. Yeats.” I used three lines from his poem as a kind of word list:
1) He disappeared in the dead of winter
2) The day of his death was a dark cold day.
3) And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,

Generation Skips

The odd thing that reminds me
how much you are alike
how you would have been friends:
my son is singing The Sound of Silence
and I’m back in the station wagon
8-tracks, lie-la-lie, troubled water
the whole bit. He’s tall but dark
like you, your humor, logic, computer
in the blood, story-need—
see how I build the archetype
man of brains and gentle justice
embracing quiet and I think
we would be glad to go home
if you were still there


NaPoWriMo Day 14, off-prompt. For my father, who died suddenly a few days before my son was born.


And what should we expect
in this darkling time but more
darkness? The earth hurtles on
life hurtles on, this quick descent
to what end? All nature gathers in
her own, colors flare then fade
to gray and white. We retreat
to our caves of ache and grief
and fall from there.

Do you tell me there will be sun
today, that somewhere it is spring
and this shadow will pass, too meager
to blight that distant faith in light.

Tell me again.