tanka

tanka--
small songs I sing
to join
my voice to other voices
hidden in the grass

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

the woods road

Sunday morning
jack-in-the-pulpit
his silent nod

climbing the gate
into no-sound
thick under hemlocks

birch and boulder
around the hill or over it
the path

on the granite boulder
tongues of lichen
the scraped knee

stony hillside—
even the cow paths
drenched with light

mother and child
the cows
always at  home

sweet fern
crushed between fingers
the scent of time

blackberry tunnel
round the oak’s bones
emptiness

empty acorn
under one white oak
a whole new forest


shades of green—
hairy-cap moss
five fingers deep

filling
her picnic basket—
seedling, shadow, leaf

scarlet
wintergreen berries
for winter’s glass house

red-headed
soldier moss marching—
the far end of a twig

pipsissewa—
holding its name
in her hands

bracket fungi
in earth-scented duff
concentric circles

the woods road
never going
to the end of it

   

Friday, December 7, 2012

[my only keepsake . . .]

my only keepsake
from a house of grand pianos
tiny brass Pan
piping a reedy tune
no-one else can hear


A Hundred Gourds 1:4, Sept. 2012




Saturday, December 1, 2012

[braiding . . .]

braiding
her sister’s hair
after the rape
so many
long dark strands



Ribbons 8:2, Fall 2012


Monday, November 26, 2012

[at the edge of a deep wood . . .]

at the edge
of a deep wood
an old couple
waltzing without music . . .
leaves spiral to earth


Ribbons 8:2, Fall 2012


Friday, November 23, 2012

[turkey]

my Thanksgiving
turkey carcass
feeding the vultures—
a blue holiday mood
lifts on outstretched wings


Atlas Poetica 11, March 2012


Friday, November 16, 2012

[three deer . . .]

three deer
bedded down in the meadow
rising early
to browse the frozen stubble
I hunt for poems
Multiverses 1:1, June 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[a fish . . .]

a fish
flips itself
out of the water
for the space of a breath
I see what it is to be you


Friday, October 26, 2012

[feet bound. . .]

feet bound
in silken slippers—
writing nushu,
sworn sisters
free their muffled voices


GUSTS 16, fall/winter 2012


(Nushu was a secret writing system used exclusively by women in a remote part of China.) 

Friday, October 19, 2012

[the diagnoses . . .]

the diagnoses
roll in one by one
beached by storms
together we build
small castles in the sand



Ribbons 8:1, spring/summer 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

[in the jumble . . .]

in the jumble
of her jewelry box
my father’s
wedding ring—
a closed circle



GUSTS 16, fall/winter 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

[a passport . . .]

a passport
stamped long ago with characters
I cannot read
the mute Pacific ocean
of your gaze



Ribbons 8:1, spring/summer 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

[creases . . .]



creases
in an old letter
the holes left by words



Frogpond 35.2: spring/summer 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

[the news . . . ]

the news
of death enters
softly
the women speak
of childbirth


red lights 8:2, June 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

[among the names of God . . .]

among
the names of God ringing
like empty bells
the distant stars
sound their white silence


Moonbathing 3, Fall/Winter 2010-11

Saturday, September 8, 2012

[after speaking . . .]

after speaking
of the diagnosis
he kneels
to take a photograph . . .
one white Atamasco lily



Simply Haiku 10:1, summer 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

[peach blossoms . . .]

peach blossoms
against the slate sky
of her blindness—
she asks
when will they bloom


red lights June 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

[locked in the curio cabinet . . .]

locked
in the curio cabinet
of my heart . . .
a Dresden shepherdess
still spilling summer flowers



Simply Haiku 10:1, summer 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[every summer . . .]

every summer
an orioles’ nest
suspended
at the tip of a branch
my dreams of flying



Simply Haiku 10:1, summer 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

[goats' eyes . . .]

goats’ eyes
deep marbled spheres
of blue and gold
the cosmos
tugging at my zipper pull

Atlas Poetica 11, March 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

[caged tigers . . .]

caged tigers
marking territory—
they too
believe the world
belongs to them


Atlas Poetica 11, March 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Litany of the Nearly Lost

Listen:  their names
carry news of the places they live:
Tooth Cave spider and Virgin River chub,
Red Hills salamander and Bliss Rapids snail,
Eureka Valley primrose and Lost River sucker.

Maybe once, before they vanish,
they will rise up out of their subterranean
caves, come down from islands
in the sky, leave forest pools and relict
prairies, leaping, swimming, sidling,
soaring, scattering seeds and petals
over the knotted highways
and into the halls of Congress—
the map turtles leading the way.

Tumbling Creek cavesnail.
Kneeland Prairie pennygrass.
Peter’s Mountain mallow.
Delhi Sands flower-loving fly.

Slithering, sliding, crawling, gliding,
let them come, singing with one voice
This land is our land—
Let it not vanish away.

Laguna Mountain skipper. 
Ash Meadows sunray, Salt Creek tiger beetle.
Santa Catalina Island fox.



Written River 3:1, summer 2012


Monday, July 9, 2012

[meeting the eyes . . .]

meeting the eyes
of a captive maned wolf—
sharing
a taste for watermelon,
the prospect of extinction


Atlas Poetica 11,  March 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

[so many tickets . . .]



so many tickets
to foreign lands
when will we travel
the inside passage
of the heart



Moonbathing 6, spring/summer 2012
AHA: The Anthology, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

[bonsai forest--]



bonsai forest—
a pool of water
among the roots
wishing
I were two inches high


Multiverses 1:1, June 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

[listening all night . . .]



listening all night
to the mockingbird sing
borrowed tunes
I wonder which
voice is mine


Atlas Poetica Special Feature: Snipe Rising from a Marsh, April 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

[the hornets' nest . . .]




the hornets’ nest
broken open—gray and silver
bands of paper
everything I want to write
between the lines


GUSTS 15, spring/summer 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

water




the sound of water
from the spring
on the hillside
my mother’s voice
reciting poems

at a deeper spring
in times of drought
I discover
a frog-prince
on emerald moss

a dowsing rod
seeking a source
of water
that will never run dry
I teach myself to read

I sit
with a book in a tree
by the river
flowing past roots
it generates power

at dawn
soft rain begins
the sound
of words
mingled in dreams



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

[all day long . . .]



all day long
moving words on paper
hunting
what I meant to say—
a hazy moon


Moonbathing  5, fall/winter 2011

Saturday, May 12, 2012

[listening . . .]



listening
for the silence
between raindrops
yesterday’s blunders
wash out to sea




GUSTS 15, spring/summer 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

[words in a dream . . .]




words in a dream:
things beautiful,
broken,
and without fear—
tomorrow I’ll make a list


GUSTS 15, spring/summer 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

[illusion . . .]


 

illusion—not seeing
mirrored in your own eyes
the bamboo lemur,
the amur leopard,
the river of stars


Ribbons 7:3, Fall 2011