Tag Archives: change

DUMBFOUNDED

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dumbfounded is a place
cut like a chasm in the gut
a sharp and instant color of
the space between two moments
dark and seeming without cause

one goes there not by choice
but as the pawn of psychopomps
whose garbled voices suddenly
make clear demands from under
customary drapes of gauze

then nothing is the same
not the piano or a slice of bread…
to breathe is stunning…one cannot
remember the cat’s name…one moves
slowly like a walking bruise

who said time heals all wounds?
who said time wounds all heels?
it matters not…with time the place
dumbfounded turns to so much sand
easily shaken from the shoes
.
.
DUMBFOUNDED

IT’S MADNESS

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“…it’s madness to live without joy.”
—Czeslaw Milosz
.

It’s madness to live without joy, to will
to wake and look forward to nil,
to drag a dull clod through the day
with little to give or to say,
to keep going nowhere, uphill–

to look out and dream by the sill
of elsewhere and elsewise until
the traveling river has trickled away–
it’s madness to live without joy.

Beyond the forest of chill
is a clearing–quiet, sun-filled.
It awaits. Go. Not to pray
but to listen for what to obey.
There’ll be things to destroy. Still,
it’s madness to live without joy.
.
.
IT’S MADNESS

NOTES FOR A SONNET

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I fall in love with
what cannot be mine

a lilt of violins

mellow moonglow
glimmering over
freshly fallen snow

a bugbit maple leaf
a pale pink columbine

I want to grasp and hold
the glint and shine of
sunlight on the lake

that look I’ve known
in loving eyes

to never let them go
to own and keep them
evermore enshrined.

Not possible.
Impossible.
It cannot be.

Why even now
I fall in love again

with you

impossibly.
.
.
NOTES FOR A SONNET

SONETTO INCREDULO

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There used to be a wish for your return
here in my heart, a craving for your smile
so I could bask in it again, a little while
and know the worthiness for which I yearn—

the love you brought, that taught me to unlearn
all anger, sadness, sense of alien exile
and know a place where we together could beguile
from seeming ashes, embers, constancy of burn.

But so much grief has been, and change,
a certain strangeness I believed could never be
has crept into my unbelief and now seems true:

you would not want this world, so rearranged
by time, which once so cruelly stole you from me,
and now, incredibly, is stealing me from you.

.

SONETTO INCREDULO

AWAKE, MY SOUL

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Sniff the bitter grass
teaser on a passing breeze.
Shall we plant sweet peas?

Snow lies still in the garden.
Clouds hang heavy from heaven.

Stiffened hands and feet
yearn to cut loose from their wraps
to wriggle in sun.

See how the day lasts longer.
Chickadee, where have you been?

The sun has spoken.
Shadows caress the mountain.
I call out to them

we wait for the lulling of
night crickets rubbing their wings.

Feather in my hand
crisp leaf that skitters windborne
nowhere in my head

what is this song of paper
singing itself to itself?

Now it is April
the frail old stoop-sitter smiles
but he says nothing.
.
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AWAKE, MY SOUL

IT’S MADNESS

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“…it’s madness to live without joy.”
Czeslaw Milosz

It’s madness to live without joy, to will
to wake and look forward to nil,
to drag a dull clod through the day
with little to give or to say,
to keep going nowhere, uphill–

to look out and dream by the sill
of elsewhere and elsewise until
the traveling river has trickled away–
it’s madness to live without joy.

Beyond the forest of chill
is a clearing–quiet, sun-filled.
It awaits. Go. Not to pray
but to listen for what to obey.
There’ll be things to destroy. Still,
it’s madness to live without joy.

RETURN TO A LANDSCAPE

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This morning north
and east of what
was once my home,
the dusky mountains
trace their frozen
undulations mystified
against a salmon sky.
In the middle distance
cozy little houses
tuck themselves among
deep mounds of snow,
exhaling from their
brick red chimneys
all I know
of them or theirs.
Nearby the pointed firs
point up, to pointlessness
through january air.

Nowhere is home.
So home is everywhere.