Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Mute Pain of Trees

Cezanne’s rough, jutting trees
slashing the blotted sky,
at the dark bridge at Mainte,
stone arches stoically standing
as scarred trees hang low,
over the still, black Seine;

while in the Grove of Heroes
an ancient redwood

twisted trunk,
tense muscles,
aching, rising,
spiraling past scars,
past clean cuts of
amputated branches,
beyond the tops
of lesser trees,
all pain forgotten,

spreads its green crown
and shoves the blue July sky
a little higher.

Monday, January 23, 2012


a photograph by Sonja Bingen

You breathe, and my lungs 
rise and fall like winter trees
swaying, sure of spring,

like water-drops, cells
twisting, galaxies pulsing
with  abundant life. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

First Rain

Vincent Van Gogh: A Public Garden with People Walking in the Rain

first rain, wind driven,
soaks my hair; into my face
flies cold grace, fills the

narrow gutters, streets,
eager fields, with life revives
this gray winter world.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

fatal night

deep in the night lights
rise and fall, convulsing clouds
fill the sky with death's

blighted breath, my heart
thrills, my blood fails and leaves me
undone, breathless and

blind, 'till in the dark
your eyes ignite and lift me 
out of fatal night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No Reason

The Call

It happens in the morning
When you least expect it.

You’re sitting at your desk
One day, answering the phone,
When the call comes,
Your brother saying
That your father
Is dying.

You try to answer, to call her,
To make plans to fly
But breathless
You can only
Drive, drive

The flight

And later
That night on the plane
You gaze
On the cities of the South,
And the moon is so close
You can see your own face.

The hospital

In the morning
We drove to the hospital
To pick up the brown paper bag
With his things in it –
A watch, some clothes,
His glasses. I waited
In the no parking zone
While you went inside.

When the guard walked up to me
I explained, and he nodded,
And walked away.


In the stillness of his face
We try to find reasons

But the flowers are too bright
Violet and red and white

His face does not move
His eyes are pressed tight

And when I touch his hands I
feel ice, the ice of rage quieted.

So close the bright lid
For the wind is cold

Though the sun still shines
For no reason, no reason.

The Call

Over Missouri
A green mist beckons.

I refused the river, the dark stain
On the spreading prairie;
I refused St. Louis, though the trees themselves called.

To the sea it rushes;
I cannot refuse.

Magnolia Poem

Slender magnolia, radiant shaft
Piercing dawn’s darkness, embracing
The frail light of October;

Even the promised night
Cannot disperse this fury,
This joy of the soil.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gleams a Light (revised)

Across the darkness
on my windowpane
breaks waves of lace
splits night to color
that night cannot understand,
bright hope ignites
My soul's aflame
‘till the unseen hand
breaks the link
and night fills 
my sight again;
yet I’m content
for deep in my core
the fire still shines
and hope still soars.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gleams a Light

Gleams a light
across the darkness
casting waves of lace
on my windowpane,

breaking night into colors
that night cannot understand.

Hope ignites,
my soul's aflame!
but when the unseen hand
breaks the link,
unbroken night
fills this space between.

Yet I am content,

for deep in my soul
the fire
still glows.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dappled Sky Horse

image courtesy of Sonja Bingen

black veins at the source
wide; narrow as limbs taper.
gaps of dappled blue.

from the black earth, heat
of life rises, flows up
to the folded sky.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This House

In this house

walls vault
rise to high windows, 
arch to sky and tree.

See the bright table,
gleaming plates!

Onions are steaming
in the fragrant air; Oh, hear
the happy clatter
of dinner

in this house.
AN: Photo is of my childhood home in Silverton, Ohio