Tuesday, November 23, 2010

in the still of the

Dancing so civilized with no recourse to fail,
she bawls with blanket clutched in woolen sweat
where, under a darkened porch, the play reveals
a paisley counterpane of ghostly pale barely lit,

her crystal d'arc of thirst a shadowed octagon.
The opaque prism is fast gulped clear of passion
and the night's caffeine pulse that greeds upon
a mattress flopped is the restless turning ration.

Vertical blinds quickly turned too dusty creaked
for the woolen blanket's dreaming seams to settle
against a random chance as rising dawn is peeked
with orange streaks dimly bounced on colored metal,
these slats that fail to seal a frontal vision leaked,
his leering spiked by turns of sharp edged nettle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shadowy Salvation at Rest in Transit

The fluted profile that greys in shadow
over the imaginary Ionic column,
who sighed at sin for grinning over
the rumble of cracked macadam,
he utterly changes every time
the light bulb flickers in the creepy breeze.

The roar of the glasspacks is the wet fiction
that has been prophesy
in your purple tense of every instant instant
that might never even happen,
not unless in a thinly minded white conrer
just behind the flowered pantry door.

You're in good hands, he said,
it's only the squeak of a mouse.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zouave Ghost at Antietam Creek, 2010

Across the wispy creek with vast fingers of mist all grasping
and braiding the twisted boughs whose leafless remorse
looks moonward to expose a stare at pitted metal rasping
and blankly downward on a slowly moving reflective course,

where perfect steel reports echo and pierce again a perfect day,
the muscles that no longer ache shimmer beneath the tatters
of once buttoned epaulets over an open jacket's scarlet fray
in moving mist both blue and grey where flesh has ceased to matter.

With no lost home warmth longing in winter snow to pretend to
it wanders adrift in memory's aching realm along the lonely banks
with no needs from its drained and scattered flesh to attend to
searching in vain in the moonlit mist for its blasted missing ranks.

If it turned to grin the beige chill would freeze your core:
those hollow eyes that once saw yellow now see no more.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hogg Rock Vista, 2010

A notice of runes carved by worms under the bark
of a stripped and fallen trunk is the first sneaky clue
along the mild ridge-line that a forest has hidden marks
that are easily missed in late autumn's leaf filtered dew.

Distracted at first by the scenic view of fog ruled tides
made by white mist in the rippled murky vales below,
it's hard to tell the blue sky from blue ground, besides
patches of bright hiker nylon then rise and voices echo

not as humbly silent as the voiceless creatures underleaf.
Working sideways sans the fussy serifs of civilized noise
but slowly across the rotted and wooden hole-filled sheaf,
the runes are a sonnet where no clock wound and poised

is ready to rudely tick and tock the climb to something new:
atop the crags of Hogg Rock, under heaven, with nothing to do.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snavely Ford Trail, Antietam Creek, 2010

There is a place so oddly named though bloody stained
it does not roll easily from unschooled in local history lips
as other embattled places that have been less sadly drained
by a curving creek that perfectly mimics an unplanned trip.

What rolls behind is green, brown, and pastorally sound
and the trail from the bloody bridge to the bubbling ford
is quiet and sun-dappled from the banks to a rising ground-
silver pools leave half-leaved trunks through mirrors pored.

Walking noiseless as possible despite the autumn crisps reborn,
still no way not to flush the rutting stag to quickly sprint uphill
or cause the sleek grey owl to spring and sweep across the corn
as the nascent oxbow turns against the muddy banks and spills.

Around the yellow bend other magic may suddenly appear
but, ahead and alone in hazy fall, it's wonderfully quiet in here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wolf Rock, 2010

From the clouding gray of leafless endless branches
it bursts into view along the timber sprawled borders
of a hushed path where a rock wolf on granite haunches
was what was most guessed to prize the image hoarders,

a suddenly there dramatic cliff that yawns with height,
an immediate rise of quartzite from soft brown sponge
and green moss, the scattered snowlike sense of white
that catches the eye's corner and, almost deja vu, plunges

into self a sense of something to be scaled and divined.
There is no sense of the wolf in likeness to apprehend,
only the makeshift joy of hewn thrones under scrubby pines
and a crevice table spread with apples, cheese, and pita bread.

The faint sliver of a crescent moon over gray veins diurnal
is the howl of a wolf that stays a howl though mutely internal.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Harper's Ferry, 2010

There is a door just up river painted green
where two white torrents clash with spray,
inside where wispy rope fray curls unseen
that bound the wool wrapped corpse that lays

just down river in the bent autumn reeds
with black boots and face turned downward
looped with sisal and gauntly hidden needs.
Who would dare to turn that grey face skyward?

Behind the quiet door that is painted sickly green
the deed completed as the candle's scarlet dripped,
the pierced body wrapped and silence dragged unseen
to the rushing river with rough wool shroud unripped,

hidden until rosy springtime when the flood
will rinse the clues without a trace of blood.

[Note: I really don't care much for explanatory notes re: poetry since
I believe the poem is just the poem but, in this case, I will allow for an
exception. At Harper's Ferry, while strolling along the river, just at the
point where the Potomac and the Shenandoah rivers meet, there is a
corpse shrouded in a woolen blanket wrapped in sisal rope. I suspect
it's part of the exhibit, but it was shocking to see and there is still a
nagging doubt in my mind.]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Brunswick Line, 2010

Squeaky ache of squat wheels on cold steel track
departing near dawn with breath amber haloed
by vapor light from green poles of an earlier time,
a journey begins on rails ended by bolted plates:
there is only one direction in which to travel now,
south to the city of mausoleums and white stone.

The posted grid announces a three departure limit,
there are no good clocks for leaving smoky warmth-
all three hands are dark antique before the sun,
blue vinyl seats split in spots to soiled foam,
frosted cornfields grazed by shadowy deer
near grey tracks bent by the crescent moon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Assateague, 2010

See now the yellow finch of bullet sleek and
flitting over a steep place of rocks and scrub
where against steady white crashes so tightly cling
tufts of aqua sea grass washed velvet by rhythmic tides

in a place where blond ponies strut and breed
among dunes with crusted sap loblolly pines
bent by constant wind across the salty marsh
where the storm has cut an inlet to be sure.