Rooster Enters Decline Phase

“I know of no gentleman” he replied, “who has what might well be called an extraordinary cock.

—Herman Melville, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo! Or, The Crowing of the Noble Cock Beneventano

This morning, the sun
Rose, at last, before you stirred
But you’re not dead yet—
So crow on, O noble cock!
O glorious cock

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Two Kayaks and a Space Rocket (for Davy Weale)

I posted an article on facebook the other day about evidence being found for water on Mars. Davy Weale hilariously commented, “I’ve got two kayaks if you’ve got a space rocket.” So this is his fault.

Two Kayaks and a Space Rocket

Ground Control and Major Tom
Are still arguing back and forth
After all these years about the true
Position of Galactic North

But there’s a guy in his space rocket
Halfway between Earth and Mars
With two kayaks bunjy-corded to
A tin can with meteorite scars

They say he took his Westfalia
And stood it on its folksy ass
On top of an old grain silo
Seams all welded tight with shiny brass

Cause he’d kayaked all this planet
And was desperate for more
And heard a possibility
He couldn’t just ignore

He had some finite sum of dollars
Burning holes in his pocket—
Converted it to volatile esters
And built himself a rocket

There’s a pretty little planet spinning
Outside the asteroid belt
It’s a little light on gravity
But there’s some hidden ice to melt

It might only have a monsoon season
Every couple million years
And the water running then
Might be saltier than his tears

But he says any water running wet
Enough to leave salt stains in a coat
On soil is still water more or less
Sufficient to float his little boats

So he’s calculating mass and vector
And opposite accelerations too
That’ll land him softly down on Mars
And let him paddle until he’s blue

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In Camera

In Camera, Harbour in September.

In Camera, Harbour in September.

The camera holds more and less
Than I see on September mudflats.
It holds the count of gulls and crows
Scattered on the light-scattered film
Of water trickling back toward
Shore as the afternoon tide turns.

It holds the sky and clouds. It holds
All of this at once—still—without
Discernment or pity. It holds,
Just beyond the tideline, in shallows
Slowly deepening with distant
Ice melt, the curve of the heron’s neck.
But it knows nothing of intent,
Of fear and hunger. Violence.

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Acts of Love (wedding poem for Laura and Rayan)

Some mornings while the coffee brews
Silences may settle around a few
Repeated phrases of birdsong
Drifting through the open window.

Remember there’s no need to measure out
Precisely, like flour and eggs and salt,
Any perfect ratios of words
To sift and stir into these moments.

We think of murmurs, sighs, laughter
As what draw hearts together, but
These silences, too, are acts of love—

They are the white spaces between thought
And movement that define the routines
Widening and enriching tracts of love.

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Limerick #2

Geese loud overhead at sunrise
Tell me autumn’s come to revise
All of summer’s green myths
Into blackening drifts—
Corpses of these fucking fruit flies.

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Once September Held

Once September held
The sound of rain on canvas,
The taste of woodsmoke
On your lips—but I only
Think of you now in past tents

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I know a dancer used to dream
The wind in bare gray trees at night
Till, she says, in a twilight field
She laughed with the pale moon rising.
The grass was wet beneath her feet,
And down a gentle slope of hill

The river, like a stream of piss
That fall, ran warm, steaming mist.
Far behind her the old farm fumed
From chimney and manure pile.
A flicker in a window grew
A voice crackled as old radios.
She danced a joyous dance then while
Bright fireflies surrounded her.

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