The Lou Harrison Shelf




Last night, across
A dusty street corner
I reach
A junk shop
The sort whose racks & shelves of
Old tools & metal signs
Are dragged daily outside

& eventually
Realize
I’m perusing Lou Harrison’s bookshelf.

The owner
Walks up
& explains he’d once
Been hired
To clear out Lou’s home

In the middle of one side
Of the shelf
There’s a staircase
Which I follow
Up & into
A modest
Concert hall mezzanine
Inside the house

I find myself casually
In the presence
Of Lou’s friends
Who seem not to know he has died

Perhaps, an earlier time, before
He’d gone


September 14, 2021







Hoping It Was Thunder




I was hoping it was thunder I was hearing
& soft joy when I was certain
& then   a few assuring flashes signal
More   to come

Sudden recollection
As of a voice that was forgotten
Or the morning’s dove cooing from Maryland
Could it have been years since I noticed this?

Night
Pattering   on the gutters
& trees & roof
& even the steady drip through the ceiling
Onto two attic steps

Makes me want to be silent

To give   all the space
To low rumblings


March 18, 2021







No Wonder




It is no wonder
No spirit
& no magic
Are alive

In a house
Without cracks
In the floors   or folds

In old
Upholstery
(For it)
To hide   in-   side


March 17, 2021







Half ‘Cross The Bridge


Half ‘Cross The Bridge
Over swampy Totopotomoy Creek
A place we’ve never been   or heard of
But come to
Driving aimlessly

Now singing
Luke Kelly’s Raglan Road
Half ‘cross the bridge
August & I, running,   laughing
After chatting with a Scottish man
& his dog   who’d come
From the opposite end of the trail

Incidentally, a Robert
Incidentally, a fiddler
Whose wife called
At just the same moment as Kate


March 15, 2021







Reading Over Your Shoulder The Whole Time




After one
Solitary yester-
Day of observation

This one
Is filled   with communion

Mostly unexpected, but
None   more so

Than when on the metro
As I star the corner
Of a page of poetry

The guy
Sitting next to me
Says:   wait,

You like that one


July 9, 2021







Transplant




One green wrap
On near-black
Backdrop
Twisted
Around a barren branch

& another strand
Outstretched & swaying
Just an inch
(Or two) away
From a second
Leafless limb

Watering   the mimosa tree
Recovering in the evening


June 8, 2021







While You Nap


I am sitting still
All around   leaves shift

Nearer,   further

Breeze spins   the dappled light
Dancing
Over   & around us

I am hungry
My eyes   are open

The world   ’s dreams   turn,

Entrained


July 13, 2021







The Upstairs




The Upstairs
Has grown dark
Since we left it this morning

We climb,
Stair by stair,
Into a feeling   & the sound
Of the radio
Still playing Christmas music


December 4, 2020







First Blossoms


It’s late winter   or early spring
One of these drizzling misty midday walks
Where the colors shine
Saturated, under gray skies
& auto exhaust hangs   in the air

& the first blossoms lay   scattered neatly
Around the bases of eager trees—
Orange-browns, auburn-reds,
Skirts of near-translucent
Yellow-green

& more than usual
The traffic   sounds
Like an oceanshore

At times   needing
To breathe sparingly
Waiting for fumes to dissipate
Taking detours
Around wide puddles
While the songs of sparrows
Flood the air  above the alleyways


March 18, 2021






This Is What I Want




I see your face
While   you’re away today

& Mary Margaret O’Hara warbles

This is what I want

Life   in the picture
Of your evening
Your smile
Your stamping yellow
Rain boots on the sidewalk


April 10, 2021







Whisper Wish




This
Whisper wish
Falls short, as when
My singing voice
Or violin
Melody unfolds, almost,

Almost
Like music
To your ears


January 10, 2017







Pale Imitations


Here
I am,
Here,
Casting

My
Piggyswill
Before
The wisened


September 30, 2021







Too Lonely For A Mansion




It could not be congenial—
Even with some
Magic windfall—

To live
In luxurious isolation

I am too homey
(Of a person)
To guard
Any fortune

I am too lonely a person
For a mansion


October 4, 2021