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

Sunday, February 12, 2017


closing behind me
the blue door of a dream
I hear the words
don’t forget the absolute
yet love the leaves & branches

and shafts of silver light
in the pine wood
the owl glides through both
with unruffled wings

of the last bright leaf
of ego
my bones sing harmony 
with the winter wind

~red lights 13:1, Jan. 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Forge

I had a ring once, made from a horseshoe nail.  Made for me by an Irish blacksmith, a wiry little man with a musical brogue, sinewy forearms, and a leather apron. He’d cradle a hoof on his knees and trim away the horny overgrowth with giant nippers, tossing aside the parings for the dogs to gnaw. Then he’d choose a cold shoe and slap it on, sizing it up with an expert eye.

The acrid smell of coal smoke . . . I can hear the whoosh of the bellows, see the flames blaze up as he waits for the iron shoe to glow red-hot. He holds it edgewise on the anvil with long-handled tongs and beats it into the perfect shape for this particular hoof, bouncing his hammer in a ringing diminuendo after each blow: BANG BUTabutabuta, BANG BUTabuta . . . He plunges the hot shoe into a bucket of water and fits it, still sizzling, onto the hoof, nailing it in place with just a couple of blows for each of the nails he holds handy between his lips. He clinches the nail points and shifts his shoulder to the mare’s flank.  I study my battered store-bought sneakers and inhale the heaven scent of hay.

the last syllables
into place . . .
the rhythm of hoofbeats,
the lift of white wings

~Haibun Today June 2015