Plodding Taurus [ My Poetry]

DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Take this moment.
Take what you see.
Expect the unexpected.
This changes everything.
It's just some place you haven't been.
What are you supposed to do?
The loneliness of a foreign land
is a remarkable tale you've yet to write
and please is the only word you know.
In a moment of weakness you may
magnify the sounds of animals,
deer in the field, little sharp hooves,
round bellies, ears unfolding
the way irises in your garden unfold.
Be familiar with your surroundings.
Be excited -- single knots
tied along a nerve cast out
like a fishing line.
Count each knot like stars.
Words do not matter when you are
this close to home.
That photo on your desk.
Tell me:  what did you love?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Next Day

The Next Day

For Herbert George Wells, Time Lord 

Everything that you think is here, is out there.  You live
surrounded by The Past., waiting for The Future,
for the events stored as holograms on the edges
of the universe to flow from your lives
on a continuous beam of light,

waiting endlessly for Forever, for Godot,
for the Right Man, for Superman, for the signs  
that will keep the Terrible Silence at bay, for the
Right Moment, for Jesus to return, for the bus,
for the elastic wormhole that will  tear down the walls
and take you from Now to Then,

you wait, knowing you are,  and are not part of it.
It is in no rush, although you think it is.  It passes
or it does not pass, slowly, or quickly.  You wear it
on your wrist or in your pocket, and in the lines
and wrinkles on your face.  It beats in your heart
like a drumline.

They tell you everything happens at once.
You know that Tomorrow is relative
to where you are Now and to how fast
you are moving.  You step across a threshold
and marvel at the way it all holds together.

So.  What will you make of it, if after the rain
the curtain is never drawn, and like a Time Lord,
you find you have endless expectations?

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Gull

The Gull 

Light and lacking focus
but committed to air

the gull
is blown south,
steered by a north wind away
from whatever is fixed.

Who can understand
the truth of it
but someone arbitrarily reborn
in a stranger's nest?

Who can understand
the exhilaration of feathers
above all the graffiti 
of civilation,

like a soul glimpsed,
leaving the body done?

Friday, November 09, 2012

For the Holy Spirit Loves the Rat

For the Holy Spirit Loves the Rat

Praise be to the rat at her birth
in the dim rain of the sewer, her lungs filled
at the first roll of the dice, with the Good Wind
of God, the Holy Spirit.

Jubilate, from Him will she learn
to run for her life from the cat's long teeth
and the owl's claws.  Jubilate, she will await
the Good News of her own small teeth.

And her own small eye beholds
what she cannot say, and her small ear
makes music of noise.  In the everlasting
geometric light of winter, or

in the slow, flawless light of summer,
the Holy Word of the God who loves her
leads her on the path of crumbs
into the pastures of garbage,

where she becomes Vermin,
who, if she cannot live, in His absence
can always die.  Beseiged,  she will venture
onto the decks of capsized ships, will flee

with no notion of the dark water downstairs,
nor of the wire cages upstairs, where she lends
her precious flesh to the microbes and vaccines
of Science.

At Judgement she will be blameless,
for her sweet trust in the Promise
that if any of us do,
she will live forever.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

To a fisherman in a small boat:

To a fisherman in a small boat:

Old French fisherman's prayer:  O God, Thy sea is so great,
                                                     and my boat is so small.  

no wayward nets
     where sea-gulled winds sing
     darkling in the glassed-off sky,
     where muffled oar-blades pull and wane
          across ice-netted waters

of familiar sun
     the shadows grow
     in silence from damp-caved dooms
     that cannot feel the dripping cold
          nor hear the sodden safety

of the bells.

In Mary's Web

In Mary's Web

The spout of every tide
from green weathers
speaks of shafts of ships
with lost sailors
where the sea rings
in the spinning stars
in Mary's Web

And voices unbidden
of ghosts under capes
suck water
and bubble
and echo again

O receiver
of sailor's bones
run down lost shores
and weather in the shell
until this myth
of silver seabirds
tilt's the Oracle's
spent hammer

After the Close Woven Touch

After the Close Woven Touch

After the close woven touch,
thorn and velvet tongue-tapping
spindrift night,
after the firm dove-tailing of nerves,
gunner, crack-shot, shell and ball
bridging the half-way halves,
 the seeded flesh finds
the inhaling womb.

galleries of man-shaped boys
kicking a bellyful of heels.
roll, grasp, leap toward the burst light,
tear through thickets of bent bone
and drowned dark, crush
and wane in the cruel, sweet and endless
forever, and empty
in the capsized bed.

the salt and watery boys,
riding the shipwrecked waves

Candle Behind the Eyes

Candle Behind the Eyes

The candle behind the eyes
lights, hanging fire bright as tears
that spin of waters where the salt gushes wide
down in their sunny tracks,
down in their seas.

The starved candle burns the bolts,
the fire at the lock consumes
the anchored, frozen, stone-set stare.
Alone and naked in strange waters,
summon out of the sea a lantern, a bell,

and a high, wild harbor.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012



This morning
the defenseless eye of a calf
catches my eye
through the bars of
the slaughtering pen:
Help me.  

At noon
the bruised doe floats dreamlike
across the Honda's hood        
like a constellation floats
across the sky at midnight.  Her eye
looking grievously
into mine  is the eye of
the Archer looking into the
dark heart of the galaxy, seeing
the End of Time.  Help me. 

In our bed
my old cat purrs softly
in the bend of my body,
the sound coming
from some plaintive internal tunnel.
Her eyes are cancers.
They have shaved her to the skin.
Her sad pink body gives off
a kind of light.
She shudders with the explosions
of her own sound, claws working,
heart beating.  The wave of it
climbs and then plunges her
into cat dreams.  She sleeps.

In the dark of night, we sleep
my cat and I, our heads together,
filled with winged things:

          angels and archangels,
          white cabbage moths,
          and slow, incautious sparrows.  

This is another story.

Although the moon
shows no trace of them,
they still exist somewhere in
the memory
of the universe.

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.