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Image Credit: Michael Cory

Who Was the Young Woman Enjoying the Evening Scenery From the Doorway?

Thinking the hearts of men are too rough?
Sunlight has passed through her window;
She has stopped sewing hems and buttons.
Desire, she thinks, is her heart's disease. 
Tomorrow she will visit her mother's grave.
The flowers she leaves are precious and rare,
Centranthus Roseus, the keys to heaven. 
Tonight, in the mousey darkness, 
His hand will touch her small bare breast; 
She will think of the weeks before the wedding,
A fire at an orphanage, the Russian missionary
Who lost his youth in a soldier's tent. 
When she married, she remarked his large hands,
His shame, his apologies to God, the shyness
He carried daily into the quarreling rooms. 
Vivid and heavy, she hears him thump
Through the kitchen, never tasting
The apples in the bowl, or if tasting
Never thinking of the apron holding them
When picked;  on the cutting board,
The apple skins peel and pile;  she studies
The knot of her knuckle, remembers
The one who found her lips at night,
Her own breath rising like mist at morning.


An Epitaph for Someone 

Picture snow on this grave,
The tracks of a small animal,
A stone scroll bearing an old message:

Hurry home;

Someone you know

Turns the pages of an old book.

Meditation at Baw Beese  

Olivaceous and grayish-white
Contours fixed in lemon-silk light
A precocial crane stands
Silently in pantomime, poised
And nervously nimble In odorous pools, reflecting
More than any other scene
The world grown more lovely,
Pure like dead children.
One wet vireo eye shuts obscurely,
Opens, goldenly focuses,
Discursively sees swimming
Littleness in grass and weeds
Concealing caravans of movement
Flashing and scattering light
As feathers, small oblivious
Shapes left vacantly behind,
Like spotted pickerel paring
Imperceptibly away in rhythmic
Waves, private parts of a World ended and not ended,
Centuries turned slick and flat,
Rogations hidden under river
Banks, evading metaphors deep
Along the muddy, alluvial bottom.

Grinning at the Camera 

The picture says something about himself,
Caught wandering in Arizona,
A larrikin, good word, both arms waving
All akimbo like saguaro say your are oh,
Holding though a ton or more of water.
It prickles his grin to think
Of dancing with a cactus so
Some times he eyes words dancing
Down a page groping for the aperture,
Grinning for the camera a cameo.


Where blue songs swell across the shallows
And salt deep in the blood crisp,
So the mind warms itself alone
With wave motion, meridians of least resistance. 


He waits for the return of unfaltering speech,
Patience--the symptoms by now  well-known-
Without which all is obscene with blushing green. 


But here there is an intimation of grace-groomed;
Sea birds herald, southern thunder-clouds drift,
Sea-scours coral sand, soft comings-on of change. 


A heavy-breasted woman walks by the sea,
White feet, swaying hips, and re-birthed proof
The margins of the world are clear, simple
Measured by reflected light across the surface.

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