Let One Skittish Robin

Approach the window.Let one skittish robin triggera flock. Starlings, juncoes, jays,a few gaunt sparrows will allupon a shadow split, as ifamong them a hawk had slipped. It is morning again. Shake offyour red-tail night as they —with chittered alarm, a fury of wings,and all that vexed your harried sleep,as you stare through a window,will flee... Continue Reading →

Elastic and Bound

None the wiser, trampolined pigsdisgorge the sty, and all the rocky run steam,swirled in basins, churned in the mud of the Missouri ormisery or the confluence of all them slumtacks dulled in a stream - up there - not North -not skybound like frogspring - but face firstin sweltered weltered fate. We stay up latefor... Continue Reading →

Once Upon the Watertower

Once up in ‘63, or‘62, or —Some nimble cat crawledthe ladder with a can in its jawand sprayed “Class of ‘64” — durable —like gold or lichen, like rust,the year it was spit into the world,or would be — vertiginous —spit out over corn and alfalfa sheets,spit out over the twelve mile linewith its black... Continue Reading →

Away My Love

Come away.Come away and slurinto hovelling gray,away from the heatshummed low - away. Come, let us carrythis mute owl nightfar from burgeoning day -away - far from the furyof gospel - far -far from the scurryof commerce - away, Into some bold and barrenmoon scraped glen,smoothed with teeth and talonand then, away - awayinto the... Continue Reading →

On Cloud and Hope

Bringers of rain and scour -Bringers of harvest and deluge,drift gently over this land,We beg you!We know not the grain of our toil,though we furrow the soilwith thick dumb handsonly to scream at our nailsprised from our fingertips. Is it not enough to put seed before youand hope? Is it not enough to visionfat larders... Continue Reading →

Hope Refused

From once to somehow to somewhere,The brittle language of hope cracksBetween my teeth, much as iceCracks beneath my boots as I,Unhurried on a wax gibbous morn,Make my way to the car. For what is hope but an admissionThat what is is not enough. Take this -The assertion that on this day,In this winter, it is... Continue Reading →

The Crumpled Snow

The orange slim line of the chopper overheadMeans only one thing here - certainty.Certainty that northeast of where I standIs a near departure,Perhaps wedged behind a wheel.I will count the minutesAs I count thunders and strikes.I can do nothing else. For in the next thick hourIn the next thick breath,A mother may weep a son,A... Continue Reading →


Fist upon the sun gods. Seek among the goddess earth. Chant and clang before icons: oh please, good fortunes, new birth and wealth. Sacrifice a goat - the blood will dry at the foot of the temple. The blood will dry and still no rain. Scream into the night for a pittance of hope demanded... Continue Reading →

Never the Headlamps

Again today a study proves our immortality. To run, however long, reduces the risk of death by twenty percent in a sample of two hundred fifty thousand. And now they are running. Running against the certain stone. Running slim trails of hope, gathering ticks as they brush the closing blades. The path gets thinner, old... Continue Reading →

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