Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Yard Work

The columbine grow everywhere. The bees

Pursue this with an appetite which bugs
Their eyes out, and the honey goes to feed
Those other bees, so they can churn the blue
Delphinium across the sculpted yard.
Sweetness and flight, the noblest of the bees’
Intrinsic obligations, comb-schooled: hives
Are where you have a duty, not a name;
And yet you bleed for the angelica,
Honeysuckle, and, late, the rose of sharon.
Flight in a buzz and whirr of obligation
Brings the columbine on, unto the fourth
And fortieth generation; and the queen
Invites you with the fittest floral set,
Even when brown and yellow do not go
With pink or with the silence of mid-June.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Unidentified Fallen Object

That light from underneath the wendy house?
Aliens praying for our human souls,
Which they use to recover old upholstery,
To plug the cracks in alien patios,
Through which they plunge for hundreds of alien miles,
And end up salting mines.  They keep a light
On day and night, hoping they will be saved
From alien fates by spiritual human stuff.
I don’t know if that ever happens, though.
Our lawn is littered with the crinkled husks
Of something other, something not like us
In flannel shirts and wool sweat socks, and hats
Stamped Alma Mater, Stabat Mater.  Pray,
You aliens.  I wish you all the best.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Epic in the Making

This was the edict: When the snow first fell,

He headed for the High Country, to stay
Until the bears took out their winter trash
And mockingbirds regained their higher range.
Meanwhile, he’d cover one royal family
In hexametric verse—Plantagenets
One January, Hapsburgs, though he fell
Asleep, spilling his ink, in staunching them.
The lynx, extinct, as all good families knew,
Admired declamation, and he fed
The shrews his extra feet. I say, he said,
Attempting the Romanovs, when comets fell,
Or airplanes, on his field of vision, there
Between his clothesline and the Finland Train.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The 7th Avenue Historic District

Up and down the street,

Committing daily errands,
Jogging, biking, joking,
My proximate gerunds.

The neighbors. They look busy.
So much ado to do.
I sit out front and read
Of romance and virtù.

But stay when I am placed.
I do not jog or joke.
Deflecting passion's flame,
I do not burn. I smoke.

Of that they disapprove,
Although they never say so.
They move along. I sit,
Half like them, and I stay so.

Thursday, May 03, 2018


If you’ve observed the IT ants prepare
Their toolkits, then it’s time to take a hike.
The summits where the spectacled bear holds forth
On Can’t & Kant, where wild bees value most
Black honey, jelly royals, and labor laws,
They’re good. Caves for a cloister, that might work;
But there, above the clouds, there are no gods,
No nymphs whose every kiss is percocet.
You’re on your own. The bear says, If you can,
You must. (He speaks in German, but you get
His drift. Where there are flowers, we must fail.)
His spirit leaves no footprints in the stream.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Beaux Bois, e.g.

The trains still run through small, eccentric towns,
Mostly at night, the children, brave in their beds,
Dreaming of sleeping somewhere else, so young
They think that Indiana is escape—
Trains still pass by the silos that are not
Mere symbols of desire, and they pass
What used to be a station, but is now
A home for unwed orphans, and they pass
Fireflies making fun of locomotives.
And nobody jumps the train. If it slows down,
That’s so the engineer can take a leak
On Illinois, grateful for the attention.
The children who wake up—well, more or less—
Will check if they are now emancipate.
They’re not; but tracks still run both ways at once.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Pleasure Comes In

from These Denver Odes

Pleasure comes in short supply,
grace and favor, bit by bit.
Who promises contrariwise
tells innocently blue-eyed lies,
believing she's believing it,
Philpot. Celinda made me cry

that once, but that was yonks ago.
Today I merely miss some sleep.
If this one tells you you are strong,
and she will love both sweet and long,
the little bit of pride you keep,
kiss it goodbye. I ought to know.