Solstice, Pouvrai

From Hunger Moon, American Moons, recently published and available on Amazon

Solstice

In the neighborhood
houses loom and lighten slow,
shadow sliding down the yards.
Chimneys breathe against the snow.

Every day I climb the chain
link fence, weaving stanzas.
Shapes bend and figures
interlock in winter dances.

Mice scamper in the wall,
nibble at the raveled hour along
old thoughts, old shell of wasp,
beam suspended like a song.

Panes laced in rhyme – the ice
has hardened – starlings
beat against the window, climb
wing by wing of feathered daring.

Pouvrai

You were a language I took
delight in. Some words
laughter – some eager
like the river of your voice.

We walked in Pouvrai’s woods –
I asked for French – la fougere,
le buis, l’argile. We found a stone
cottage, its roof curled like fern.

Inside, a scallop shell
of pilgrimage carved
in the hearthstone.
Mourning doves settled

on that broken stoop
lowing, then scattered –
every strut a hieroglyph.
We could have stayed.

We could have healed
the lintel, reglaxed sunfired
panes, mended the leading.
We might have made do.

Alley Song

Selected from Long Night’s Moon, in American Moons, recently published and available on Amazon

Old window full of sky
and the back of houses – angular
bays, roof slates that nudge their edges
down to sunripe bricks –

recalls the ragman’s cry,
his wagon gathering remnants
over cobblestones tamped down by cold
on mornings when time lay fallow.

Now, towards midday, barrels
scrape cement. The trash truck
whines and swallows, moves
along the alley. Still

I cherish piecework there
to pattern thoughts – gaunt cats
that slip close, drift away
through chalky wooden fences.