I have survived one day without you.
I am strong.
Today the sun is real.
The wind is not rising.
The cries of the crow are sharp
and my ears are deep.
I do not hunger for you and this
Whatever name you were
I do not speak.
I make one tally
on the calendar.
(first pub. in Negative Capability's
Life on the Line Anthology, 1992)
“Life and time are a spiral, then, rather than
merely a circle with its endless repetitions”
To Be a spiral then—Be the turning—
the entering and evolving—Be the
going and arriving in the
and the staying
since one is the other and it
is you in your own momentum
of existence... I knew this spiral when
falling asleep as a child—I knew it then
and it frightened me. Now I know it as the
journey of the moment into nothing—all is
one sensation—a dot on the map.
THE WINTER LOVE
That day there was a storm—a quarrel
of sky and sea—a division of force.
The clouds broke, the rain blew down,
churned under, and belonged to the sea.
The sea gathered and rose into the sky,
but there was no taming of either.
We walked along that shore to feel the
fury—answer our moods—our silence,
building now to the clash of power:
one fed the other, the whole winter of us,
daring—and uncaring of outcome.
This was a love to the finish.
WINTER AFTER WINTER
After "Wild Swans" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
It was not swans, but the dark birds of
misery that went over—over the wild sky,
claiming themselves lost.
What could we do
till they faded.
Such were the storms of winter,
arriving and arriving
till we were wildly crying—
and beyond them,
winter after winter.
Thus love was broken, at the heart—
at the heart and mind,
and all the habits of forgiving.
Dearest—not a fault—but a failure.
This day is but another, and another
the way we are long parted.
Death and living.
Memory and forgetting.
And, oh, these birds of sorrow
bearing everything through
the terrible skies, finding their way.
The young man from River City
arrives with his pencil
full of signatures
to the desk
to receive his shipment:
bones of love
sent broken to his arms.
They, too, are useless.
He will lay them
on a water bed and watch them
gleam beneath his distant looking.
On the walls are others.
It took years.
All over his life he found them,
first as habit then obsession.
(first pub. in Vignettes Mini-Chap, 2002)
TO THE ADDICTED
I, too, dread light
with its indifference
though I offer it my dark future,
my expendable suffering.
I am the one with hungers,
insatiate and unnourished,
as one who starves for love,
And you, my old addiction—
foe or friend—
we kept each other alive
by our mutual torment,
each dependent on the other,
made of such need.
We are so difficult today,
caught up in more domestic fray
than we can handle though we love.
Dare we leave, or dare we stay—
old battles lost, old battles won—
their truce—their same old killing done
with not much more we’re guilty of?