Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Bluegrass Festival on the Hillside

Midnight campfires
twinkle under the summer stars.
Someone tunes a mandolin
in the warm July darkness. Then
a harmony of voices begins.
Further up the hill
a battle of banjo and fiddle
under a canopy near the trees.
The sound of your guitar
draws me to our campsite.
The propane lantern on the table hisses.
You stand in a tight circle
of friends, following the thread
of the song. Without a pause,
you smile as I move
into the circle of light.
The musicians are fired up -
you will play until sunrise.
I slip out of the lamplight.
In our little tent
I listen as the shifting breeze
takes the songs drifting up the hill
and composes its own music.

Published in the Spring / Summer 2004 Issue of Pine Island Journal of New England Poetry.

These Are Just Words

You aren’t my muse anymore.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
My therapist is pleased.
Not about the writing (I didn’t tell him),
but about the strength of my grip
on reality, now.
“You were living in a fantasy, as I recall,”
he said.
Thinking of course that I
agreed agreed agreed.
I was yes probably.
But you aren’t my muse anymore.
(I haven’t written a poem in months.)
And I’m happy, of course.
Peaceful. Sort of.
Not ecstatic or passionate or out of control.
You aren’t my muse anymore.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
My therapist wants to make me
a poster child for the talking cure.
I haven’t written a poem in months.
You aren’t my muse anymore.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today's revision

I just added an earlier version of night ride mountain to that post. I wanted to see what they looked like together.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bull Riders

The bull always wins.
The bull will throw you.
Do bulls want riders?
Or are they just straining for the long grass?
Would cowboys still ride, if they could choose?

In the ring,
wearing fancy chaps and bravado,
what’s in the heart
that needs this ride
and not another?
Do you love the bulls?

You take the horns - no metaphor.
You hurt no one but yourself.
Not even the bull,
who leaps
when you hit the dirt fast and hard
when you come up bruised, scrambling for the fence.
The bull owns the ring,
for a moment.

You were strong
you fought hard
you took the fall
you will ride again
once that arm heals.

This will never heal.
There are too many fences.
You and that bull
push those fences down.
The bull knows it. You know it.
The fences come down a little
every time you ride.
You and the bull.
No fences.
No struggle.
You ride toward that.
The bull and you.
Riding hard
real hard.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

September to October

And beckons.

Geese fly to blueness
On wings of blue wind.
On wings of black wind.

Call back to the blueblack wind,
sky lover sighs.

Just beyond the horizon
the body of my lover,
And calls.
I walk. I run. I fly.
Blue cuts my heart
out. Almost out.

Star of my navigation.
Bleed me
in the sky.

night ride mountain


The Night We Rode Through the Green Mountains

  “Boys and girls, come out to play,
  The moon is shining bright as day.”
      Mother Goose

Past midnight
You drove
Toward the high bright moon
Through rising mist

  You drove
  I practiced ignoring ghosts
  You drove
  Everything in your hands now
  You drove
  I anticipated endings

 Can we outrun ghosts?
 Can we run them down?

You flicked the headlights OFF
Sent us flying up the dark
You drew the moonlight in
Dared me

You asked
Was I frightened? Was I thrilled?
Both, I said.
Can’t it be both?


night ride mountain

furnace       heart
not       light
moon       highbeam
off       up
ghost no ghost
After -