There is no "without you" though this is admittedly at present mostly a matter of language.
All day the breeze tumbles in from the approximate west, redolent with smoke, reminding me somehow of trout frying over an open fire at twilight, river humming a few hundred yards away, both of us bundled in sweaters.
Love the silence that asks nothing but your presence.
Most of what we do must later be undone though sometimes - no warning - there is a grace, an insight, there is a single maple leaf spiraling down through the dusk.
Oxen bellow in the far field then lumber over to us, restless and curious.
All morning clearing trails, coming back tired and sweaty, drinking cold tea and eating salad tossed with cider vinegar and a splash of red wine.
Some days your eyes are so far away it doesn't matter what I do.
T. said "my wife sure does love Florida in winter" to which I replied "mine sure does love working with fiber."
Pending decisions are merely opportunities to learn again - perhaps for the last time - that God provides.
And after I come into the side yard - shadow of maples and poplar, the old lawn chairs and table picked up at a tag sale - to write, exhausted but wordy, torn as always between the dual inheritance of hard labor and language.
The few years I lived in cities, I smoked, and my poems were long and almost always featured a mountain, the top of which I could never quite reach.
Last week I spent half a day in Vermont, mostly driving but here and there stopping to walk an old trail, seeing at last that so much of what I call spirituality is simply my resistance to relationship with writing.
Yesterday J. and I carried cold sausage and bread into the forest, working all morning near the brook, eating by the old cellar hole, and walking back without talking, as sometimes we do.
Distance forever consumes itself, as if to remind us that all means of identification and measurement are merely a convenience and should never be mistaken for reality.
Dragonflies, deer tracks, old nails in the riverbed, and an effort - surely not the last - to write a long poem with Jesus.
A good dictionary matters, as does a firm grasp of Latin and Greek roots, because we think in language - words shape our reality - and only in relationship with them - which is a question of attention, gently given in a sustained way - can we at last discern what is true.
How happy apples make me!
D. comes by with a wooden spoon he made, a gift before he leaves for California, and I hug him despite his aversion to touch of any kind, and he says quietly - as if surprised himself - "thank you."
Piano notes ascending - or flowing maybe - are forever the music that most intimates Heaven to me, as perhaps Chopin intended, my confused and beautiful brother who, like me, was never quite at home save in her glances.
The minutes pass while watching goldenrod in late summer sunlight, dreaming of a bear we might one day see together, and writing writing, this writing, for her.