I long to be lost in smoke on water

Drifting a canoe instead of

Doing things I ought to.

Slipping through shapes that twist and shift

To be absorbed and released and slide

Through sculptures made of wind.

I can escape here just yards away

From shrouded backyards

Chores and responsibilities.

And searching in the thickest, all closed off,

Paddle poised midair,

Sun rising somewhere,

I might just look ahead and see

The shadow

Of what is me.

Trees pop like pistols and the snow drifts and whispers

As I wade through the morning, ice growing in my whiskers,

Snow bombs dropping from the trees.

I’m up to my knees with a chain saw on my shoulder

And I don’t know as I’ve ever been colder.

Guess I’m just older.


Cause I’m thinking I might leave that woodlot alone

And go on home

Sit by the woodstove and read.

 
Ah, but here’s a visit to chase away the lonely,

This antic and cheerful little crowd of chickadees

Come to play by me and make me wonder:


How can it be these tiny creatures survive

Weather that would drive me inside?

Shouldn’t they huddle? Shouldn’t they hide?


Maybe while my toes still stay and my fingers yet flex

I’ll just step on this saw and give it a pull

And if she’ll catch …



Well, I’ll just get to work I guess.

OWLED

LISTENING TO MIST

INSPIRATION

YARD SAILING

Monadnock Literary Festival
Monday, 9/14/12
Colony Mill, Keene, NH

DRIFTING AWAY

Cruising strange neighborhoods following

the crudely crayoned arrows of

hand-printed homemade signs along back roads,

rolling down shady lanes, round cul de sacs

on a hunt for secondhand treasures.

Browsing odd offerings arranged outdoors,

piled on picnic tables, laid out on grass,

dusted off curios, metal, wood, plastic and glass

nestled in old cassettes, stacked next to paperbacks.

Picking through baby toys, jigsaw puzzles and baseball bats,

searching and purchasing unexpected bargains,

an anchor, a chain, a picture frame, but

once again not the thing for which I came.

The morning is drifting,
into dawning light
and the loving touch
of mist that gathers, gathers …

gathers to caress these leaves,
and collect, collect …

collect to form drips
that grow and grow …

grow to hang, hang …
hang and let go,

drop on those below
bounce, dip, and flow,
dancing all through, all through …

all through these woods where
invisible fingers tap, tap …

tap out a visual tune
I strain to hear.

Looters

Lace of mouse tracks

Freshly stitched in new snow

Ends with wing prints

Crows come for my compost

gliding in to sort and sample

my table scraps: stale bread

with lawn trimmings; leaves

and fish heads peppered

with woodstove ash.

Sometimes flapping fast

loud and raucous

chasing away thieving jays,

ofttimes cautious, swooping in

on a whisper to keep a distance,

dark sentinels standing suspicious

of a lunch free for the taking.

Perched on trees and toolshed eaves

surveying their surroundings

they keep watch in turns to mine

the pile and fly off one by one

boasting of their plunder.