Thursday, October 25, 2012

remembering what you don’t know

Tomorrow is segaki,
the time to feed the hungry ghosts
open the door
tell the world good morning

Today two monks stir
at the mountain cabin temple  
open the door
tell the world good morning

Tonight we roast
pumpkins, stuffed like turkeys -
open the door
tell the world good morning

Tomorrow, a remembrance list -
ones known and ones not
open the door
tell the world good morning

This starless morning, snow
weights frayed prayer flags at the pub
open the door
tell the world good morning

Day after no day, the nameless ones
rest - more or less -
open the door
tell the world good morning
Any hour, remembering
stuffs the heart, just like pumpkins
open the door
tell the world good morning

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

rites of way

Two hundred years down the road
I take a right, stopping for no man. 
No traffic light blinks at me, even
in the dark. It is the first storm

after a million other storms, and
the traditional season for whining.
There’s snow in that rain, I smell it.
It’s the same water Joseph drank,

and sweated out climbing down
the trail to the Snake.  Evaporation
mends a multitude of sins, but not
necessarily all of them.  My great

grandfather brought Old Joseph hay;
my grandfather dined on fatal down-
wind dust from Hanford; my father
died under anaesthesia; my stepfathers

eventually could not be bothered. Planes
fly overhead, except when they don’t.
Two hundred years back down the road,
she took a left, and stopped for a man.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

what flavor is your landscape?

the crashbang of wild onions
the keening of cous greens, a
tender shiver of miner’s lettuce - 

the rasty bitter of this, the raw 
straw of that - there are things
you can’t smell but your dog can -

the bitter shine of mouse pee, the
metallic spore of hunting residue,
a world of mess and residue. so -

what flavor is your landscape,
what raucous sound, what
symphony, beyond the bland?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

it may be spring

digging wild strawberries and
picking up
debating the sociology of Coors and
Keystone and whether
genetic mutation
is the reason 
for twins and groupings
of muddy bottles in snow melt.
something has scratched around
the base 
of a bug-ridden 
all the while,my friend's dog
chases the same rabbit
around and around
and pretends
we are wearing
cloaks of invisibility
when called.
a stellars jay pretends to be a begging
redtail babe. all this and a three-weeks

Sunday, February 26, 2012

februas (ritual purification)

It is at last the month to wash off
the grievous old, and then we’ll see
about on with the tender new. Or not.

Choosing something to clean up,
it’s tempting to select the big thing
that engulfs your life completely.

I am told it is important to take the
biggest bite possible, or why try?
Last time, it resulted in breakage.

Still, it’s time, so here’s a ritual nibble.
Instead of mea culpa, this is the season
of I forgive, I forgive, and all blessings.

This may or may not be good enough.
However badly, I will do it over and over,
until memory’s scent is only sweet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

small things

just a few birds
tracking, tracking -
and mice
over the snow. . .

let live, let love, let live

Monday, February 13, 2012

point five sonnet for cavity nesters

in a park-like forest of birch and tepid water
teeming with wrigglers and three wood ducks
we hear it – the dap, tap, phap! of chips
flying through the air. it is the expansion
of a starter home for chickadees, those
apretentious residents, those consumers
of remodeling inspiration sans permits!

dinner at any moment: insects tartare.

half sonnet for trash pick up

My old trash can elegant with pavé frost
crystals, and no bad scent yet on the wind -
it must be deep in January, and
the Sunday night, before the arrival
of rough gloves to trip the lid to dark.
Nothing for it: all the neighbor dogs

must go sniffing for other adventures.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

feeding time

hoof to ice, hoof to ice, hoof to ice
a bale of good hay, the goal
but let’s be watchful

Sunday, January 22, 2012

tasting preserves

it’s last summer’s sweet jam.
the jar is officially half empty.
if you’re wondering – over there
is the evidence of guilty pleasures.

item: one slathered spoon; item: a

slash of red; item: cheap bakery
bread.  to one side: soggy black
tea bags; steam rising from
an old stained cup with one chip.

close your eyes. taste a raspberry

sun. stand perfectly still by the
clouded window, watch sparrows
quarrel over heel-end crumbs.

with luck and illiberality, they claim

spring will come back around again,
on the very day you scrape
the last sticky bite from the jar.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

another odd winter

another twisted jet stream -
unmatched mountains of snow
in Anchorage - its
snowy owls far afield.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

be it resolved

Make a statement: “This is the year I’ll...”
(insert fear here) - Then take a hammer 
to it, or just add wings, or walk away
muttering, “Maybe next time…” Scratch
that! To be or not to be brave and
fearless and sweet and bold (pick
any two) is a very good question indeed.
Meanwhile, you get to make up your
own mind. Will you heal what needs
healing, fight what needs fought, advise
what needs wisdom, learn what you
really, really want, and above all be -
(wise, for choice; joyful if lucky).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

happy new year. 
they say the days
are already longer.  

raise your sweet 
cider - but keep your
lemons by. you may yet 

need ammunition.