You think you’ve put it all
Together — calcified the walls
And filled the amniotic with
Fats, cholesterol, and albumen;
Enough structure to initiate
And sustain life
If only for a little while.
And so you go on
You breathe and walk and laugh
You watch chimney swallows
Explode from a church’s stack,
Rapture in the evening before
Slipping back down all at once
In silence before the rising full moon.

Some time later you find
Yourself lying in a soft bed
Beneath a clear city sky
In a yard between a fence
And a parking lot
The air is cold
But the down and your breaths
Keep you warm, and just then
A thin rift cracks through
Banding the yellow with the white
Into permanent, ecstatic deformation


I’m sitting in a room in Prince George
Where the sun is starting fires in the trees
While Canis Lupis hunts its last vole
Without worry of veils of snow
Or the balance between keeping warm
And spending precious joules
So important for a svelte figure
This far from New York.

In this room the talk is of spring
And how the veil is lifted
Allowing new kindling to be crystallized
And the coyote’s carcass to bleach
to feed the raven
Perched on the stop sign
Outside the window
Of the room
Where lunch is now served on
Clean stoneware. Where the tomatoes
Glisten in oil threatening to conflagrate
The spring salad mix.

Heart Throb

There will be silences
when the only sound is
of soles scraping leaves
on wet cement sidewalks.
You’ll breathe through your nose
and swallow thick half-words
that hang up in your throat
while scanning the grey sky for
texture to alight an idea on.
The bonds between flex and crackle
unsure of their command to grow or dissolve
in those quiet moments.

new era

When the new millennium came
The population quivered
In cold-gel anticipation

And I slept under the
solid winter sky
with nothing but wind and groaning
trees and ice and yesterday’s travel
to remind me where and when I was.

Until morning, when
I woke
in all-forgiving sharpness,
how would I have known?
Civilization doesn’t talk to you
when roads and phones and television
aren’t at hand.
It would not be able to say that
everything fell
to the ground,
and all the computers too,
and the only thing left is family.
Which is the best thing after all.

I tuned my ears and imagination
to that line
and was lost for a minute.
Then, overhead, a roar
like the sound of a hole
cut into the sky up to the vacuum of space.
A jet on its way
at 8:00 AM
on this new day.
That solved it.

But today there are no planes.
Everything is at hand,
but not in it,
and most of us are OK,
There is still family.
Yet, I find myself trying
to tune in
and am only getting
an emptiness too big
for anyone to be found in.