Poetry

Lantern

In the predawn cold and darkness, it was only a pinch of light, not more than a cup of warmth, as a farmer carried it over the snow to the barn where his dozen cows ...

Bitch

Now, when he and I meet, after all these years, I say to the bitch inside me, don’t start growling. He isn’t a trespasser anymore, Just an old acquaintance tipping his hat. My voice says, ...

To the New Year

With what stillness at last you appear in the valley your first sunlight reaching down to touch the tips of a few high leaves that do not stir as though they had not noticed and ...

New Year’s Day

The rain this morning falls on the last of the snow and will wash it away. I can smell the grass again, and the torn leaves being eased down into the mud. The few loves ...

Big Blue

Santa made his rounds and I see lots of folks were blessed with fishing rods and reels and lures and guided trips and such. Most of you were fishing around under the tree, giving and ...

To Jesus on His Birthday

For this your mother sweated in the cold, For this you bled upon the bitter tree: A yard of tinsel ribbon bought and sold; A paper wreath; a day at home for me. The merry ...

Mikayo and the Gulf War

to Mikayo, an emperor among cats I went to bed early the night we attacked Iraq, was awake an hour later as if someone had tapped my shoulder, said, It’s war. I’d had a war ...

In August

We sit on the sun porch and watch the storm roll in from the Rock River, he with Jane Kenyon’s Otherwise, her luminous poems about dying, cradled in his lap, a book I bought him ...

Advice from a Caterpillar

Chew your way into a new world. Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt again. Self-reinvention is everything. Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging bristles. Don’t get sentimental about your discarded skins. Grow quickly. Develop a yen for ...

Phoenix, September 1977

Standing naked in the front yard of my girlfriend’s house, 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning, a small, delicious defiance, air smelling clean, temperature in the 70s, breeze like cashmere across my skin, each pore open to ...

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