from the threshing floor – 1

once, a cold that tore like nails:

twilight footsteps, frozen mud,



then, a string of lights in blue,

after cold, a hallway clatter,



hands by radiators warming,

television distant playing



special holidays in music,

laughter heard from faraway --



vane outside in hard wind spinning,

dinner never felt so good,



season of a new beginning,

glitter, garland, light and wood,



glitter, garland, light



and wood

Clara

Clara dreamed of being
Something other than a buffalo,
Maybe even living
In the tropics, in a bungalow,

Wearing cocoa-lotion,
Dressed in sandals by the sea —
Clara was a bison, but
An awful lot like me.

Clara lived in splendor
Mid the snowing on a mountainside,
Perfectly in freedom, and
Quite cozy in her fur and hide,

But she wanted sand for snow,
To trade the cold for warm —
Clara was a lot like me,
In slightly different form.

Maybe you are wondering
If Clara ever learned to be
Happy as she was, not always
Pining for the distant sea,

Yes, she did, the story goes,
For she had met a bird,
Who told her all about the beach
And much she’d never heard

About the way that buffalo
Would melt in that much heat,
And how there wasn’t grass down there,
So little, then, to eat —

So Clara dreams of something else:
Next summer she will be
A home for migratory birds
Who make it back

From sea

The Tale Was Told

The tale was told in cheekbones
Bright in winter,
The handed-down that lives
Within the heart,

The reminiscence of
A different splendor,
And those who stay together
Though apart.

The tale was long and thrilling,
Wreathed in sorrow,
But interlaced with comedy
And farce,

Until the day there wasn’t
A tomorrow,
And those few players left
Were few and sparse;

The day there was no twilight left
To borrow,
And there was but a heart
From what were

Hearts

{ the next inhabitants }

emptied of the cardboard crates,
the feelings that went with this place
are gone. the next inhabitants
will not know of the toys we found
in cushions, nor will they still hear
the songs we sang at bed.

the room transforms into the shape
of they who breathed and dwelt therein,
but now returns to resting form:
a moldy bit of wood and paint,
that shows no signs it ever housed
the living or

the dead

in waves of sand

i sing love love to no who hiking
strings and straws and loss of breath

to (and not much to) my liking
speak the word, the shibboleth

lost and found in waves of sand i
sing bath songs of who knows why

do two gandalfs make a gand-i?
can i get that ham on rye?

can i once, before our suppers
skate on fallacies like ice?

no no questions only uppers
worth the cost
at twice
the price

The night is waiting deer with eyes…

The night is waiting deer with eyes
As wet as stars that glitter on the lake
And we’re awake
To my surprise

The night is glowing though it stings
Like deer who stand upon the edge of stars
Which are not far
When you have wings

by products

A meditation on our role in the choices available to us

the world’s a store, and
we walk by products that are
arranged to catch our eyes;
our attention often fixed upon
objects not present, the
subjects of our current fixations –

and yet, if economics allow, we often
buy products that we know we may not
need or even want, merely from a sort of
habit of politeness; a feeling that
so much trouble was gone to for us, we
really should show some support –

bringing home these pointless objects, we
find ourselves leaving by-products, traces
of these and other half-optimal choices that
make up most of our days; the things we do, because
we must do something, and so we choose from among
the options available to us

if, of course, by “products” we are thinking of
things like relationship and career choices, this
only becomes more true – and more the
pity, since we frequently either don’t go to
enough stores to provide sufficient choice or
go to stores long after the right choice has been
purchased by someone else