Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Leaves

This appeared in Poetry Proper 3.

Look, have I mentioned how the winter leaves
Resemble bronze? That statue of a tree,
It is a tree. The art of standing still,
Of keeping still till everyone forgets
The name you had when swords were haute couture,
When bronze was for an age, and dryads slept
With bark for blankets, that you still possess.
Have I not watered you when it was dry
And promised that the birds would love you, too?
Some day a god will build his nest from hair
He took as a trophy. Some day he will kiss
Confusion into legs and roots, some day;
And men will cut themselves on winter leaves
And swear eternal love, day after day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


The first snowdrops are showing.
Carol loved them dearly,
Under all that snowing.
Carol marked them yearly,
Said when they'd appear,
"Through another season, safe another year."

Saturday, January 03, 2015

On the Road to Little Pacification

By stage, the journey, shorter than you think,
Consumes with interest the time. Those heads
You pass, for instance, stuck on rusted pikes,
The burning martyrs praising their foul judge,
Half-naked women selling anathemas--
Where is the like in leisure, safely sound,
Petting the family dog or boiling grits?
It takes a trip like this to fill the mind.

We stop at The Remorseless Inn for brunch,
One price fits all, relieve ourselves, then wash,
And head for the Humble Counties, home of black
Kine and those hunting dogs bred out of wolves.
Consulting our horoscopes, we do not pause;
Our journey has the urgency of faith
Beset by trimmers, little men, and gray
Ecclesiastics. Soon it starts to rain,
Thus mud prevails. We are above such things.

Thatch is espied, then woodcocks, and the tang
Of peasants burning wintergreen: they keep
Their spirits up, sure, broadcasting the fate
Of unbelievers in a weal of woe.
We have arrived, credentialed, to be kissed
And flattered, and we order each a grog,
A sandwich, and a leg of wench. Ah, home.
Someday it will be home. The savages.