Friday, May 31, 2013

How Sweet That Kindness Was

What is expressed in love can be neither undone nor taken back nor does it long to be. There are lakes that only exist because we dreamed them. There are trails we find with others but follow alone.The form love takes is not Love.The thought that went before and said "maybe" is not Heaven. The Holy Spirit reminds us of every promise. In a sense we regret ends because of the beginning they imply. Question loss. There are days when our reflections appear more real than we are. And yet. The brook sings a little as it passes in the dark. What moves towards Heaven moves inside us even now. In Eternity mountains rise, highways uncurl and new fields appear, all begging walkers. That which is Love will not allow a single secret, dear one. Some mornings he cries, some he just walks and remembers how sweet that kindness was. The man without shoes never claimed to be wise, only that he listened once when Jesus spoke. The form that any writing takes is not the one who wrote nor - always - what he means to say. Most weather where I live moves West to East and then out to sea. Save nothing, okay? No moon rises but speaks of her, no light falls but he remembers.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why You Read This

Why do you read this?

Yes, you.

The confirmation for which you long is not mine to give.

Do you understand why you cannot leave?

The moon is silent.

The bluets are silent, too.

But in the morning the birds are very clear and loud.

One listens to them over tea.

There is no song like New England at dawn in summer.

I am deeply happy walking alone, studying and praying, and later writing.

I said yes a long time ago to it.

Some people think they want this life but they don't.

It doesn't matter.

For a long time the dead tried to kill me but a woman came.

There are many women, most who confuse me with my writing, but she didn't.

I understand why you left.

You have to sit still by the pond a long time in darkness before the moose comes, heavy and slow, to eat.

Not everyone can do it that way but I can.

I learned a long time ago the only solitude that matters.

That is why you read this.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shrouded And Without Intent

I remember in Ireland sitting with you while you played your fiddle. The long slow notes of Killala to start. We made love on hills where sheep browsed only yards away. I have been around the world to end up here. Acres of diamonds indeed. We are beholden to symbols, usually against our better interests. And yet. I remember leaping off the pier with my sisters laughing, the first summer after he went away. A lot can be said that isn't. And a lot goes unsaid that oughtn't. Well, sooner or later we all learn. There was quiet in how after you asked did I mind if you smoked. The clouds were fine that summer in Ireland, weren't they? I won't learn Russian but I will say yes the way you need. I always do, for the ones who are ready, even though it hurts. Night comes, and rain after midnight, and I go back inside, reluctantly. The grateful understand bonds. I fall weeping and she holds me without question or judgment. "It's your brother again, isn't it?" I cannot speak but only see him: alone, shrouded, and without intent: dead.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sufficient Unto Gratitude

Precisely the luminescence of dawn. Bright stars of honeysuckle, soft call of sleepy owls. The brook is a small cascade, the noun an emerging container. Nobody here knows what to do! The dog goes ahead and we linger, muttering but glad. The lilac evolves steadily. Bluets are more God than last year. How clocks roil the salty sea! And all our aimless wandering brings us finally to joy. Another clove of raw garlic please, another sliver of ginger. Oh for the woman who shares the warm slope of her shoulder! Kisses are flowers, caresses a river. But in the body one is never free. A glorious cage remains a cage. We do, in fact, "steal" our pleasure, mostly from eternity. And yet one heals, one does. Walking all morning, praying, thinking of the ones who helped us find the way. What envelope is sufficient unto gratitude? See the sun rise again. Who is beckoned, answers, and who answers calls all the lost ones home.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Outside of Thought

You have to write through it. And then you do and it all becomes clear. There are no mistakes outside of thought. I walk in the rain without a wife or lover and am joined instead by Christ, who steps quietly beside me in fading light. Oh green, oh spring maples, oh lovely newts scurrying to avoid our feet and the dog's feet too.

How many stories I have told! How many lies and truths commingle and then fall behind like nails abandoned by a hammerless carpenter. The twenty sentences are not what you think! There is no you in them and never was. How clear it is, or can be, when one is ready.

Walking until it is dark you feel the envelope slip away and the mail you are within unfold beneath his sacred eyes. At last I am read! How many women have praised my writing and shared their ankles and shoulders! How many bad writers have sent their sentences and lines, pleading for help! What can one say but thank you?

I ascend slowly as night falls up to where the rain starts. You want to reach the source of thought - it's not what you think. We remain strangers but not to the One who knows. And that doesn't mean what you think it means either but no worries. It takes a long time to get the pronouns where he wants them.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Begin Again

We make mistakes. Or we seem to. It's okay. There are no consequences in Truth. We begin again.

We face the old emptiness, the one we try to fill with women. The ones who study Derrida, the, ones who follow Jesus, the ones who want to be writers. Praise echoes in a hollow shell. It's okay. We wake alone and walk the dog and remember: this is where the gift is, this is what I am.

We pass the old homestead. Bluets litter the leggy grass. The past is heavy but little by little we learn to let it go. Writing projects are like cottages - you dream them, you make them, and then you begin again. There are always sentences.

Who secretly cherishes purity becomes skilled in the art of defiling. Yet who practices honesty will realize God. All morning walking in rainy dark I remember I am not alone and there is nothing to forgive and never was. One returns to their quiet room to listen and pray and write again. That was given to me long ago, and it is only there that I am whole.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Who Has My Heart

One ponders the limits of forgiveness. One sends a letter and it comes back undeliverable. We travel, all of us, and only share the way a little while. Yet happiness matters. For a while there was that at least.

We drink wine beside the river and talk about dogs and god and have a good cry. There are so many ways to die! We arrange things to work a certain way and they do, mostly. But still. In my dreams you are the woman who waits.

Everything but that was fiction, often elaborate. Who waits is faithful, who yearns remains a student. Lush violets initiate awakening. Doors open, hallways are lit and one turns to poetry to make sense of it. How insistent memory is!

God is beyond conception - ha ha. We think our way into tight corners and expect someone - a parent, a lover, Jesus - to save us. Unfold again, won't you? Who has my heart knows it and needs no more. And yet.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Often at 3 a.m.

The neighbor's rooster assumes a throaty cry. Dawn exists without him, yet he insists on the raucous signal. We go forth stumbling with little to say. I think of her often at 3 a.m. and can't believe she's gone. And yet.

One beholds the barn and the lilac as somehow contingent. One recalls summer afternoons in Albany. Love that depends on the body for expression is what? We say "yes" and add "but" and so it is all a lie and always was. Swallows swoop and soar and make me happy, as they did when I was little, and many of the now-dead were still alive and played with me.

What ends continues. That truth, seen and accepted, dissolves all suffering. Who refuses me as a teacher is left with a shell that satisfies no one. Last words don't ever stop echoing. One writes, one does.

I too have accepted the loneliness of refusing to confuse the symbols of Love with what is. No more metaphors! Some trails are good for walking, others just mess you up. How many dandelions this year, so leggy and bright, as yellow as what's not to like. Meanwhile, everywhere I look: you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Only Kindness, Only Beauty

One thinks of her: and wonders. At three a.m., three nights running, she is there, patient but insistent: this is. You try to make it about the body - to desecrate the holy with fantasy - but it only works a little and not for long. Eventually there is only kindness, only beauty. You want it all - still - and know you do. When we wait we bear witness. The trail crosses a desert and winds through a forest and ascends a mountain and keeps going. Just because Jesus says the crucifixion was an illusion doesn't mean we aren't going to find the ruins of a cross somewhere. The river sings a little in darkness and he lends his own cracked voice. A bushel and a peck, a hug around the neck. Yet sadness is an illusion too. Can we cry ourselves awake? One thinks of all that went unsaid and walks a long time trying to find a way to say it still. Is it like finding the right radio station while driving at night, Aroostook County Maine, late May? You see the moon, you see the gap - the dark - that any light presents. Deer step slowly through the shallows, elegant and alive. I sit a long time beneath pine trees, listening to the wind. What goes unsaid remains, patient but insistent. A moon song, a God song, a love song. I go home and write it: again.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Arranging Wednesday

The self is not precisely what is experienced, nor is it what experiences, if that makes any sense. Krishnamurti remains helpful. If I decide to make some money, what then? D. writes, whose poems included that lovely baby fox at the dump. We are what we read yet often confuse ourselves with authors. A kiss can mean anything but not nothing. When you called the other day and we spoke briefly, arranging Wednesday, I saw again the straps of your sandal which held too tightly the hinge of your ankle and so asked what shoes you were wearing and you laughed quietly, knowing me, and said "as I fear you are bound by what you read." We arrange our selves in sentences of all kinds, don't we? D. blushed when I read her notes about Dickinson but it gave me great confidence in teaching that morning and for days after. Who is focused on offering is focused on salvation. Like Christ, bluets don't die, and even in winter you can put them into a poem. Tcherkassov was a dissident which you suggest is only possible if one is a lover first. How hard it is to avoid the pulse of certain ideas! As foxes do run through our field of vision, and you do step in and out of the lake with such delicacy, and I cannot decide whether to plant tomatoes or read Bohm or simply write . . . Chains everywhere, all radiant! The first cup of coffee is best but others always follow. In spring I begin to sleep outside, waking up now and then to billowy stars, and at dawn the smell of lilac. The new poverty is not so different from the old one, is it? Tcherkassov wrote "everything is not so bad, as long as the people have freedom to think, to discuss and to choose" and he begged the West to "not lose faith in us and our revolution." One lingers a while where the dream turns, one anticipates Wednesday, the happily given Да.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who Walks Towards Heaven (Never Walks Alone)

What we do when pushed matters. How grateful I am to those who helped me here. You have to walk certain valleys by yourself. I fear no evil and heft the overflowing cup for all to see. Who honors, accepts, and who accepts, blesses, and who blesses, loves. Tea instead of coffee, a short walk instead of hour after hour in the forest. How long one can stand beneath lilac as the sun rises! We discover we are worthy of peace and a thousand years of journeying ends in a moment. The man without shoes bows to nobody in particular, happy at last to be truly alone. All one? All in for Jesus! One studies slugs beneath fallen trees, one pauses by the old fire pond to look for moose. There is no trail and only you can find it. Prose beckons as always. Unfailing love does indeed pursue us all the days of our lives and we do dwell in the house of Love (though we sleep and dream of exile). Of course I fall and of course I stumble back to my feet and of course my brothers and sisters are there waiting as in time I do - and have done - for them. Who walks towards Heaven never walks alone. We are lightened by forgiveness always. And push on. Before the quiet waters - the greening fields - one learns again they lack nothing.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Resonant and Universal Solace

One elects to write a certain way and is at home. Influence matters! But we are drawn to voices - as in the mode of articulation, not the sound. Again one grapples with meaning, understanding at last that it cannot be avoided. I do not question my attraction to immigrants, nor the way in which together we manifest a resonant and universal solace. One appreciate the slow evolution of lilac blossoms in May. And reminders that the soul when it takes to grass renders the earth exuberant. I have already entered that particular desert and learned there is nothing to save or retrieve. And yet I do appreciate - at what feels like a late juncture - a relationship that allows me to delve into Russia and the whole history of thought. Hence this, hence now. Question everything, including questioning. Bohm is unimpressed with insight, which makes its impersonal nature less intimidating. Flow in writing can be problematic if not handled well. The plumbing is not as efficient as it used to be! And again I visit the doctors who say if you do not make certain changes . . . Well, one accepts a last Spring happily. Right understanding means you could follow a bluet to the same effect as following Jesus. And I do. It is not endings we fear so much as the apparent beginning again. You comforted me at the lake, and when later we were naked said, now the Divine kisses you, now it bends to take you in.

In Ireland There Was A Certain Relationship

One pisses next to the lilac and a little steam rises. In the distance a crow cries, and closer one answers. That was my first real line of poetry, and it emerged from a lonely and difficult time. I am always reading, I am always writing. The old dog waited for me when I stopped in the forest to pray but not this one. Dandelions unfold slowly. An abundance of blue jays, raucous at the feeder, signify nothing. As a bear is never not welcome. Perception matters! Your parents still live in Novosibirsk, and write often but hate the phone, which we both agree speaks well of them. I am not your story though I do visit from time to time. In Ireland there was a certain relationship with music that one regrets giving up. Even movement is an illusion. One longs to deepen and can only do so alone. Letting go is easy once you see there is nothing to lose. It made you cry a little, knowing I read Doctor Zhivago without being asked. One makes contact with what is and is relieved. The stranger beckons, always, and we incline in that direction. I remember Him marking the dust, as if working through some interior puzzle before rising to speak with such clarity, such wisdom. The circle widens, becomes luminous, and opens.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cleverness in Play Always

Walking, one is struck by how near the owls are, or seem. The horizon brightens, and the hill is where it always is. The range of our awareness is forever dim compared to, say, deer. Absence is not restorative. And yes, unexpected travel invitations are dancing lessons from God. Say yes? One smiles at all the visitors, both invited and uninvited. Our mistakes are just another way of seeing what is. Three nights running now - or is it four - one sleeps without dreaming and wakes in a state of rest long ago surrendered as not-for-me. You write and always include a reference to Dickinson, which makes me happy, as cleverness in play always does. Well, we are all happy, all the time, mostly. In the morning, the brook makes a certain sound which somehow lingers throughout the day. What needs forgiveness cannot meaningfully be said to exist. It is a question not of what is offered but of what we are ready to accept. It is all offered, all the time. You translate me helpfully (which, when pointed out, you suggest is related to being Russian first and an immigrant after). We move in the direction of what the world calls intimacy but it mostly feels like a long quiet walk. I will never look at this lake the same way again! To which you respond - channeling ArkadiTcherkassov - it is impossible to do so anyway. You are not precisely the owl, nor the confident hollow of its singing, but the dawn does unfold in you, as I do, muttering and scribbling, joyous at last.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Against Tradition

It rains hard and I step outside to see. Rivulets stream across the patio, blue jays watch from the side yard honeysuckle. Welcome, sister. One can play any song as if sad, even happy birthday. A turtle can move quite quickly if it wants, and if water is near. The heron rises on the pond's far side. A flurry of emails - a flurry of kisses against tradition - and what have you got? Something resembling Emily Dickinson's lovely obituary, penned by Sue, a sort of love letter. One finds moose tracks pointing North and follows a while, thinking about nothing in particular. You read Bohm as well ("and not just nominally"), which helps. One dreams of a pottery shop in which many bowls and mugs can be found, all covered in dust. Desire is not blue but green, or so one thinks, facing the pond as the sun rises. Ducks often circle before landing, but the heron leaves, sort of like intuition while making love to a strange woman. You held my hand at an inopportune moment and I wondered who might see. And yet I liked it and held back and now what. We are all in motion amid so much movement. Redwinged black birds, chickadees, crows. Dandelions fold against the downpour, as if intelligent, as if possessed of preference. Well, maybe. I turn back, as always, lit from within.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chances to Remember

The ankle is the hinge. We travel upon it. Are lifted by it. It blurs in water rising slowly beyond it. Emerges silver, with little rainbows from the light. Where, one asks, are we going when there is always this perfect here? You shrugged out of your jean jacket and left it on the shore, a singular movement still shining in my mind. We stand together in cold shallows, watching my children. One recalls again Charlotte Wolfe on possession. You folded your arms and gave your head a little shake as if to clear it in order to ask, may we meet again? We who are lost are never without chances to remember we are home. The world scuttles all symbols and in the end we are left with love. One watches the landscape more closely while driving in an unfamiliar car. One hears the sound of water from long ago and smiles. A kiss delivers nothing a touch cannot and a touch merely confirms the neutral container. One asks, shyly, if they might touch your ankle. You lift it gently - moved - and sigh when my lips brush the hollows. Thus this. The lake was covered with catkins, the voices of children fluttered beautifully across it. And now we are here, now we are home.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Uplifting the Unfiltered Dawn

One is grateful for quiet. You meet to talk about one thing - gunwales on a canoe, say - and it is more than that. It is always more. We ate slivered cantaloupe in your car and you urged me reread Yeats. The best lack all conviction, indeed. It is important to see what is being offered. Walk with me? There are things one doesn't talk about - speech defects, say - and then finds one with whom they can. The result is quiet. There are many things we can do in a car, you said smiling, and we did do several. The past only intrudes when we say. The one who writes publicly longs to be found, and is, and then accepts or does not the gathering in. We shared a bottled water, then sloppily - happily - hungrily even - fell into a kiss, a laugh. There is always time. For Yeats and lakes, for awakening and grace, for driving through Vermont, talking. Thus one writes it. There was a clarity in the way you stepped through the water. So much depends upon the ankle! And now. For you a block of solid prose, for me the familiar and uplifting - the unfiltered - dawn.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In the Shallows

When one writes publicly, one wants to be found. At midnight or just after, one reads the familiar email. "Your oldest daughter looks like you." Are you reading this yet? Have you found the more hidden sentences?

One pays special attention to the way she rolls her pant legs up. Her ankles in the shallows, and the way she looks out across the water. Yesterday a bald eagle was seen, hunting for unlucky trout. One anticipates a certain form of dialogue. One is ready finally.

Bohm demands attention and community, and frees one from the specialness that attends the personal Jesus. Psychotherapy was a critical invention, but misses the collective aspect. We are not alone. In your email, you reach, and I want to answer, but outside of want. I know my son is funny - I know that he makes hearts glad.

God is not contingent, an idea that can liberate the one who rightly sees it. We walked to the fire tower talking about narrative, and came back agreeing that good stories make "all the difference." Levels of healing rarely align,  you really need to just be open, and as helpful as possible, and not worry what works or what doesn't. We create the way out, is what we never quite manage to learn. Your invitation - even now - awaits answer.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What We Have Forgotten

One braves the cold, the wind coming roughly north and west across the lake. Little whitecaps rock the ducks who for all appearances don't care. In the cattail, redwinged blackbirds call to each other, or warn other birds away perhaps. Projection remains a risk. And the brain does yearn for - and then yield to - complication.

We are what we have forgotten. Sexual standards are perhaps best when left deliberately vague. Hoof prints facing east, another pine tree felled by beavers. She wore a denim jacket, most sacred of all clothing, and in the moment, it mattered. We are always entering the church of total recall, we are always kneeling to honor regret.

Time passes, or seems to, and it amounts to the same thing. One takes a new lover and immediately begins to imagine a newer one. Your sentence is my long weekend. One studies the shoulder and composes a brief essay in its favor. Behind clouds, the moon, and behind the moon, God.

Well, that is one way to see it. I stay up late reading David Bohm and rewriting an old novel and in the morning feel something new enter, something open. Drinking coffee while the kids wade through shallows I talked about canoes with a woman who asked after - shyly but with clarity - was it possible to continue at another time in another setting. One skips rocks - studies the ripples - and considers again the symbols of love. In the wind are voices, many, at least one of which whispered yes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Path Between

The inclination to define things begins where? As the sun rises, orioles.

Barns need paining, letters need editing. The dog rolls in fox scat, and comes back reeking.

The movement is toward verbs, away from nouns. Four orioles, not three.

One is attentive to lilac. One senses the flexibility a border desires.

Context matters! And is fluid, evolving.

Thought, too, moves. What is external is always neutral.

Absent a shared language, devolvement is inevitable. Despite a forecast for sun, rain.

Rain and wind. A path between primrose bushes, curling gently away down the hill.

The movement is all there is, and what impedes it is our incessant effort to identify with some part of it. Definitions damn!

And one does long to escape. Yet prayer centers, as always.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Against Long Odds

Letting go is okay. You get good at it. And nobody is ever really alone.

Once again in Boston with a woman! And pigeons, those self-directed angels of all cities everywhere. One remains grateful, despite the tidal suck of past and future.

Reading Bohm on the porch while bees guzzle the phlox. Dialogue is not always within our control and you either make peace with that or you don't. Headstones, mailboxes, primrose, tea.

And later, walking, one felt again the dim wonder that always attends and cannot be compromised or surrendered. We are always left with photographs! And phases of the moon, like a well-read book, showing up on the nightstand.

I remember watching cows amble slowly away from me on dusty paths in summer. My daughter talks to her chickens. And you can't kill a bluet, not really.

Purpose is as purpose does! I remember sipping wine with you, watching the Saint Louis streets darken, and struggling - as we all did in those days - to understand line endings. Who goes, goes in peace.

I skip lightly in darkness, over this puddle then that. Rain falls, and I sing a little, the way you do when you're happy, against long odds.

Friday, May 10, 2013

In the Kingdom of Upside Down

At 3 a.m., rain clouds drive quickly east, leaving a vast table of stars, beneath which one walks, breathless.

The man who has no church anymore pauses by the honeysuckle to breathe, slowly and deeply.

There are patterns to our lives, no one of which is arbitrary.

Coffee, my writing chair, and the familiar habit of rearranging words.

You seem to insist on hurting me, or at least on making space for the possibility, or likelihood, in response to which I try to open more, as if to say: all you can manage, all you can muster.

The North Star flutters, apparently over the cemetery, apparently for me.

What the world says we are is not what we are but that doesn't mean we know ourselves.

One falls to sleep imagining the upper pasture filled with daisies, neatly avoided by patient cows.

Not all writing aspires to "oh."

Part of sadness lies in knowing one's motivation, and seeing - again - the fruitless pursuit ushered to crescendo.

But I like trails, and walking companions, even if they are quiet dogs, or flitting chickadees.

Yet at the perfect moment you arrive.

Willingness heals.

There are always alternatives but not the way we think.

One wonders will there be photographs in the Kingdom of Upside Down.

Or poetry.

One longs for the expression that ends our separation from God, and ends time and space, and even the us that inevitably hurts.

Is it a decision or a sudden clarity, an insight outside of thought?

In giving - in truth - we neither end nor begin, and it is enough.

It is.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Itself Teaching

I woke to rain, a soft thrumming on the roof, and when it stopped, went with the dog outside. Already one or two stars were visible between clouds. And you could hear rain drops still falling, from one tree limb to another, from one leaf to the ground.

When I am sad, I am most attentive. What is beyond this? Our capacity to question is a gift, is itself teaching.

I have never not written, never not thought in terms of "how does this fit into writing?" We walked to the brook and back, stopping only once and not to pray. In the distance, one or two cars passed, fast and grumbly.

Metaphors enable discourse, but also resistance. What is needs no explanation. Teaching is what then?

Can I work the word catkin in somehow? Many miles fell under our legs yesterday, the only true happiness. Who is with us earns our love and that is forgiveness.

The dog mutters falling to sleep. As always I turn to words not to make sense of things - not anymore - but simply to pass the time. My fingers curl naturally into holding a handgun, maybe a hoe.

Thus, this. Again.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Webs Both Inner and Outer

One reclaims writing, the movement of it. All morning walking, tearing at webs both inner and outer, tormented as always by bibles with black covers. The sheath hides the blade. And hearts do break, and sorrow is never not in waiting.

I push past the logging trails, out to the old fire pond, and see deer grazing on the far shore. In last night's dream, fawns nuzzled my hand, exactly the way the calves once did. What leads anywhere goes nowhere. And yet.

One adopts a certain tenor depending on the audience. Expectations are resentments under construction. Seek only the movement that underlies all things, even thought. Beneath familiar pine trees, I cry softly, inventing again what never happened.

The study of history is simultaneously the study of confusion. But psychology is no better. One climbs a long flight of stairs to touch the stars only to learn they would have preferred to come down to us. We earn the capacity to forgive, but forgiveness itself is always given.

If I ask you to be naked, what will you say? One stumbles in the forest a long time before finding a trail which may - or may not - be the trail one was looking for. The honeysuckle blooms, and bluets riot in still-damp grass. Words are one way, touch another: is there a third?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What is Parched in Me

A thin wedge of moon - mallow-colored - rises just as I pass the second beaver pond, a sort of fish hook lifting slowly through the stars.

In early May, one hears deer crashing the bracken, and even the heron's wings as it too lifts.

One stumbles.

We don't want to be forgiven, is what we don't want to say, but then somebody comes along and says, I forgive you, and then all we want is the grace.

In other words, we are allowed to be naturally intensely happy.

May I fall at your feet and weep?

How strange that one person should love another so unconditionally.

Yet our surprise at being loved is itself surprising and must be questioned.

As if crumbling were merely another fold.

Sex is simply another level of body confusion, as harmless as the others, but not necessarily helpful.

The cardinals are first at the feeder this morning.

The pine trees are early too.

A certain gold light at the horizon, a tension that resolves at last.

Each word from you is like a drop of water.

And what is parched in me softens, aspiring to green.

What season is this, that I should finally consent to be healed?

What letter arrived from what place saying, now?

In the blurred picture - where your daughter is the clarity - your smile is freest, most magnetic, and speaks clearly of how meaningless any distance is, or can be.

One senses at last how Heaven works, which is essentially that no adaptation is asked or required.

Words are futile but for a little while longer will suffice.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Where I Settle Most

At one point - after saying goodbye - I stared dizzily up between the branches of the Dogwood tree and could not say - literally - whether the stars were distant enormities or small brilliances shimmering at the tip of each unfolding leaf.

And saw for a moment that the whole sky was your shoulder.

Yet there is loveliness in not talking.

As after, hearing the soft pop of nightcrawlers emerging, and the low whisper of the distant river, and the owl - insistent, sonorous - the familiar boundaries begin to melt, to dissolve.

Dissolution of what is not real is the objective.

And: objectives impede the given.

And the given . . .

Well, later I dreamed, and in the dream we were young in an old - in an ancient - space and I made the case there for us, and you listened.

Is there anything you cannot forgive?

What loveliness cannot  - is there a loveliness that cannot - be reduced to a photograph?

In the morning, one wakens slowly, and is surprised by who is not there and - at another, at a deeper level - Who is.

Who and what we name matters.

As in, ophthalmos.

Or better, calypso.

One cannot contain the fullest breadth of what a bluet is, or how it is, or why even.

Mother's anger.

The butterfly liberator!

The woman who says, it's okay, I'm here, I'm coming too, where the others say: no, I can't, but I'll be here - maybe - if and when you make it back.

Thus a sigh, thus a cry, and thus a hungry kiss!

Between words, Love, and in your hands - where I settle most - rest.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Space We Naturally Occupy

We are moved to tears together, or can be.


Doubling down on certain stories yields only anguish.

Blood was spilled on this hill.

Yet I long for ascent.

We relate differently to weather, yes?

It is meaninglessness we are called to confront.

But it is not possible to be a miscreation.

Where did time go?

I reach one hundred pages of a difficult narrative and now what?

There is a dark place to which I sometimes go and I'm there now, with a stubby candle you said take, and some prayers I wrote what seems like lifetimes ago.

Who cry together, find a way forward together.

Activism is interior is the only lesson.

"Confront" is the wrong word.

I remember swimming naked with M., listening to loons on the lower lake, and later walking back to our camp site, incapable of speech.

The infinite is neither a guest nor a sudden visitor.

This side of Heaven, we learn it as we go.

Access is not the question, but rather what is done within the space we naturally occupy.

Twenty years later I am still confused - hopelessly so - by grief.

I go alone as always, as if because I can I must.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Twisted Call for Love

A tiny hoof print beside the road (deer).

You point North and think: not again.

The lilac is coming, the bluets have arrived.

Spring is all at once and considerably healing.

Walking this morning - crescent moon low on the horizon - I began to see how stories don't end, you let them go and like milkweed dander they simply drift away.

The only activism is internal.

Often there is nothing to say.

My pain is mostly a question of specialness, a confusion of where - and what - is Christ.

I'm going to let that go soon, too.

I am - in you - oddly unshakable, happily sure.

Soon I will drive into Vermont to scatter Jake's ashes, two years after I said I would.

Distance is no impediment to love, and love is not about bodies.

Yet pay attention to who you name - and why.

When I was little - for reasons that are not clear to me - a number of stories were given to me in a sort of ceremony, a secret one.

Yet the true gift is for giving.

Only lately - very recently - has it occurred to me that the stories were not a blessing, but a curse, laid on me in a twisted call for love that I was too young to manage.

Allow me to question my worthiness, okay?

And be vigilant always.

I see the Christ in you.

I reach: say yes: I fall to my knees.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Other Longings

One craves ballast.

And is wrong about the moon.

Walking as the sun rises, one's thoughts turn to what is when both past and future are accepted as illusions.

Killdeer pass, then crows.

A day is never as long as when you are silent in it.

Great bales of hay torn at by does as sunlight lit the horizon.

Turtles remind me of the need to be held that hides itself beneath a shell.

The greater intimacy is the creation of shared space in which touching of any kind falls so quiet and naturally one barely notices (and yet cannot - ever after - live without it).

Sunlight on the horse's haunch.

Dandelions everywhere!

Like that, but sustained, through dusk and then darkness, through night.

Other longings include: to bring you tea, buy you a book, watch you order a muffin, drive in the rain, sit by an open fire, get you a sweatshirt when it's cold.

If fewer than twenty sentences arrive, can I stop?

There is always another curve in the road, and always another road.

In the afternoon, thoughts of death press crazy against me, and I push them away, angry and desperate.

I am not fluent in the language of need.

The thought of you opening, and slow afternoons that begin at your shoulder . . .

Yet biking I thought of nothing but how the heart strains, a blunt muscle swollen behind ribs.

And Lavender.

And all of you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

All But Untrackable

Rain coming.

No moon tomorrow on my morning walk.

Also phone calls, too many.

And dirt on my knees, after digging and burying, and half a dozen somersaults to make the ones who fear death smile.

To be worthy of the prayers of a fourteen-year-old!

Cannibalism in Jamestown . . .

I pay attention to what I resist and gently pursue it.

In you.

Sometimes when I look at pictures of your face a long time I remember what it feels like to cry when you let a thing go.

I step lightly around the idea of nakedness, all kinds.

One waits, patiently, confident now in all kinds of blossoms.

Imagine a glass of wine, a hotel window overlooking a city (possibly rainy), and how the resultant conversation would end.

Would it.


The delicate balance is best though difficult.

It is when I want to relate through the body - hold me, kiss me, suck me - that redemption clouds and becomes all but untrackable.

And yet.

One begins to sense the meaning of distance, the loveliness of giving, and - finally - the long-term plan in which we will not go without.

Who is named is in relationship, that's why.

So: yes: my love: yes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Underlying Structure of Want


Discarded lace of violets.

Swift greening grass turned over by robins.

Noted, verified: first turtles: western Massachusetts: May first.

The lake that your father named remain unappealing.

We who possess the blessing slowly if at all.

The loveliness of falling to one's knees: in love, in lust, in repentance, in penance, in seeking, in rest, in joy.

Shifting landscapes implied by pronouns.

In my dream you spoke quietly.


While I - happily, productively - skimmed rocks across the mostly still sea.

What arises from the depths?

I want to know: the first time you wrote "melty" with respect to my writing: did you mean for me to respond the way you know now I did?

Of the sea in dreams, of the young woman in the ice of the lake?

Face yourself as what is given by God to love.

One faces the last sentence and - for a moment - nearly sees through it.

What details of my life - now, then - do you resist?

I dreamed of you: you are the woman I dreamed of.

Lines - not sentences - often strike me as reckless.

It is not the object of wanting that is problematic but rather the underlying structure of want itself.