Monday, January 2, 2017


at 4am I cross the bridge
over the black water
the one that, like a vein, has carried
molecules of longing to our  hearts, 
etching the map of
our coming both together and apart,
winding east, then back upon itself as it carves
southward to the source
where water comes together with other water.

the wings of sand hill and whooping cranes
draw a line in the sky
tracing a path
from where we lay on our bellies
at secret beach, watching the fishing birds,
to the mouth of the bay
where at night the stars bore down
with fire
aching to be seen,
where once 
we beheld the slick backs of pilot whales
in the surf
illuminated by the moon.

is where I will always find you
searching for the wild part of yourself
that somehow remembers
what is was like breathing
the water.

Monday, October 10, 2016

lovesong at 6pm

it is just dusk
and my crazy heart is filled
with love for the flitting of birds about the yard
not noticing
here in this chair
bursting with desire

the screech owl awoke me at 4am; I swooned.
over coffee the wren, concocting a plan
to build a tiny nest on the porch.
sun set the blue of the jay and the cardinal on reddish fire
who am I but some lovesick
mad with longing for the settling light in the leaves
the barely perceptible breeze,
the birds,
the night

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

poem at 9pm

Roatan, 2013

the moon's slivered crescent
rises and the light puddles
 on the surface of the water
quiet except
for the breath
steady and calm and
 in the liquid ether
that is more home to me than air

can't I stay here
a mermaid
with tangled hair
and a mournful underwater song
in a wake of sorrow

sometimes I miss you
but here in the deep cold
no one can see the tears

Friday, September 30, 2016


shannon halley, oil and ink on paper

4,  finally sadness creeps in
I dreamed about you last night,
as usual, driving too fast
in an anger that only found its expression in traffic

I awoke relieved
not to be tangled in your quiet traffic rage any longer--

Am I happy now?
I think so, yes.
I feel alive, and the wanting pang of desire,
and the vast breadth of Being
that I had ceased to feel
with you.

there is sadness
but it must be much like the sadness
a chrysalis feels 
when emerging, with wings, 
and leaving behind
 its shell

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 herman pipkin, palo duro canyon, c. 1935

cool light slanting through dust
early morning Abiquiu
 silent but for
faraway thunder

piñon, red earth, and stones laid out along the sill like prayers

and bones--possum skull, blackbird wing, the twisted horns
of a mountain sheep

I have heard the whispered "bruja!"

exile does not translate otherwise
and you alone know why I have sought refuge
here in the desert--
 that my heart is aflame with love for things both fragile and wild

and that
each day requires a ritual of quenching the heat with the cool hues of canyon and water

You write, Come back to the City

and I wrap my shawl more tightly around my shoulders
strike a match and watch the parchment burn, your words shriveling like a spell

only here can I be what I am
a woman on fire

Sunday, September 18, 2016


for k.c.c.k (9.19.68-1.7.13)

It will always be winter as we walk down the dirt road with our chapped hands shoved in the pockets of our little checkered blue jeans
The wind is so cold it bites the delicate membranes inside our noses,
and our eyes sting in the bitter air

Geese clap into flight
We dare each other to touch the teeth in the grim smiles
of dead coyotes hung along the barbed wire
For some reason these are the things I vividly recall from our life in the old hotel on the plains
I remember your birth-
the fear I held within me that you would come
and break my heart

It will always be your call that wakes me up in the middle of the night,
Baby brother
child of straw hair and blue eyes
What does it mean to you now?
Can you hear the songs I sing when I am lonely or
the prayers I whisper in early morning dark?
Do you think of the cold, the rasp of dry bluestem, the sweet early morning call of the Sandhill Cranes passing overhead while we sleep, warm in our beds, just children, 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

a wild love for the world

In September I drove home alone from the Texas Panhandle. Driving in a desolate landscape has always brought me a strange peace. On this drive I listened to fifteen years of music I had collected, and as I moved through these mesas and dry creeks I have memorized after years of making this trek, it was as if the music synced up with the landscape and the shapes of both melody and terrain became the same fabric of some great weaving that extended beyond me into infinity. I was just this one fiber, one beautiful, anonymous strain of violin or cello.

Running just after dawn this morning I felt it again, only rather than landscape it was light, and all the variations the sky takes on as the sun moves through the movements of its symphony. I thought of Rilke and his evoking light and air, of the "infinite space we dissolve into," and of Philip Larkin and "rather than words came the thought of high windows--the sun-comprehending glass..." And of my dear friend y.o. and his exquisite video of the subway-window-light.

As I am running I feel the edges of my being dissolving into the infinite space that "tastes of us, then".