A Speculated April Sky

Blue April days
These crows thicken the sky.
The last thoughts of winter cluster
And cleave.

Blue April days
These crows thicken the sky.
Last thoughts of winter cluster
And cleave.

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Throwing Stones Into Still Water

You do not know before it happens
When the day will grow so silent
You can hear the slow creak of expansion
As your pores stretch and beads of sweat
Swell through to gleam upon your skin.

You walk alone on a green hillside,
A slow stretch of ankle tendons
Measuring the angle of slope. The sky
Above you is as blue as the vein
In your neck at dead of winter.

Below you a pond is a mirror
Set in the low marshlands before
The sea. Everything is reflected there.
Even the flat stone you will throw high
Enough to cut the devil’s throat.

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North Wind In Mid-March

I can smell it already on this wind
Scraping still at trees it spent all winter
Wearing thin—it carries from the distant
Dust and gas-filled gaps between the stars
The inky, rum-sweet scent of magnolia
We will stagger home reeking of in May.

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February Moon Over Iowa

I hunker down long after dark
And stare out over the sea.
It’s—what? two hours earlier
In Iowa?—a long way from
The winter-faint scent of salt
We once carried through the night.

The moon there is still moving
Through its slow arc. Here it pulled
At my eyes along with all
The other waters of the earth.

The moon there is moving now
Over the snow it made from
My tears and gave to the wind
To scatter around your stone.

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The Whale in B minor

The sea only exists because
His long song sang it swollen
Full from the ice of comets
Melted on warm and restless stone.
All the sea is tenuous, blue,
Tasting of salt and rock and dust.

I don’t know if you have listened
Ever to the sea, heard that voice
Ranging around the planet
In exploration of octaves,
Finding its ragged notes often
Wavering out of the blue

Glaciers, the crystalled teardrops
We can hold back no longer.
We hear them fall, vibrations
Trembling through astringent
Harmonies with gravity
And a hum of thermodynamics.

We are children still, hearing
The sea whispering in dark strands
Winding in tangled masses
Between us and other shores
While the tide rises slowly
Under us, lifts us towards the night

Hanging over us, the dark
Flowing and foaming among
The stars as evening waves
Deepen upon the shingle
To slow clicks of collision
Resonant with urgent chance.

The sea has become glass now,
And all that moved in it is still—
Look at you walking on water,
Soft hands clasped behind your back.
Your footsteps clatter and clack
As you peer down into the sea,

Peer down at all that it holds
Suspended, magnified, bright.
There is gold gleaming down there
Out of your reach. There is a long
Curving shard of blue falling,
A piece broken out of the sky

As the glass is cracking now
Towards you. A sharp white froth
Daggers the crest of every wave.
The whale has breached, a quick arc
Of moon, and dives again to sing
His long blue song while you drown.

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The North Wind Offered All

Awake all night again he stood
And stared up at the sky.
The north wind offered all its good
In a crow’s faint harsh cry.

His mind was filled with sticks of wood
And nine ways to tell a lie
So well it stacked as truth should
In stove lengths, high and dry.

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An Unfurling Petal in May

Oneness only exists from a distance,
A figment of the calculus of photons
Destablizing the angular
Momentum in rods and cones of our eyes.
This doesn’t mean you must, nor even can,
Trust the photographer’s intimate
Portrait of a bright bee precarious
On an unfurling petal late in May.
No, what we really see is January
Midnight snowstorms in the inverted
Cones of headlights; a cigarette glowing
In the rearview mirror while the radio
Murmurs static, and snowflakes become
Stars veering apart in the far cold dark.

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