the memory i left in another place    is it destroyed, or sleeping


a night train rises up inside of sleep    carrying the one left behind when you were born


year after year of pokeberries :: their ripening barely heard


in the pure mist of a distant mountain    the nest not seen for years

sunlight into water into blood into light    currents of calm in our bones

when night is full of holes    will i see what is in me from the first day of living


can a pine from the sea ever fall to the earth

if light is grave and motionless there is no distance to lying down

what i do not have looks for me :: and there is no place that is not someone else


time has come for that bit of life gone missing to turn my cornfields pale


windowpanes across a whole life overlooking the mists and cliff


even a heart in the hands of its children will grow snowy white


though the water is down on its knees :: many pass in a dry rain


when i look into the sky
i know the time has come
there is an old man asleep
in my mother's arms
with a heart i've learned to love


in the middle of the waltz, i do not know
the moon is amber when no one walks there
a mouth on the face scarcely seen in the dark
trying to breathe


there is a pause in the rain
a cool May afternoon, the
light in the room is winter
and the life present falls
into it like a secret into
its seed


this day
will never die
so long as God walks
without fatigue, but
if i grow
tired won't roosters
crow the beginning
of time
of the lingering
dream of being
alive, the being
eats its own shadow—
i wish i had
a scented rose
sum of all
not dead


begins again
in this way: as
a slight pull of pain
somewhere inside
another room
yet, the last page is there
and the lights inside water
and the thought not yet thought
where the moon will be hidden forever


we are here
eyes clear or unresolved
and the darkness of the body
is still darkness
and good
as our love as
the home soils of Arkansas under
midnight rains or lost
stars that wake me
every night talking
to the dark pool where
you are now
hearing this
at the base
of life's 


after the morning of her passing
she spoke with a low voice
death reducing life
to the size of life
until there is no sound
to occupy
we stood a long time there
like prayer books never used
in mineral silence
arrived in Ohio


the lights were put out
a long time ago
and the child laid out
in a small white house—
who builds a nest
with no room for existence?
and dead rains fell
from December to June
each moment of time impossible


it is there
looking into cold lives
with a longing eye
with long stretches of dead blue silence—
and i say the wrong things
about heaven and earth and
words that need love
when there is no need to see
beyond this existence


a thought hung in space
all the forgotten rains
nights when the moon doesn't climb the sky
the life you haven't made


            so what if life fades
there is a shadow of eternity
             that stays behind—
like a skylit hill in the forgotten
             no funeral will wear away


the truth you cannot see
            is about to end
and the years will lay
            your life aside
and the moon will cease
            to feather the sky


lying on my back
in the familiar
rumble of sky
shirt blue tear
swiftly hushed
by clouds and i
could be lost
not often heard
until the last
word said
on the last night


what i have has
no price and
what i don't
have can't be 
whether dream
or flesh
dawn itself
wears away
with time


i have only a small garden
understood and not seen
where i fail to plant a tree
where there is a universe of time
to watch the grass sleep


just before the grave
i see a life not
not noticed before
in the shape
of nobody missing
of nothing

i hear an owl kill
in the clear mind of night
and when sleep and silence return
there is a dancer in the moonlight

when sunlight becomes lost in the world
            it takes the shape of something terribly human—
like a child's face on an island under the sea


i see smoke leaking
into the sky, probably
a message for
else, and the moon
pretending to
listen to rain


what the voice in the spirit hears is how each responds—
            catalpas in unfinished sleep
the whisper of the night in a bunting's mind


crossing a field where the plows
have stopped turning
the air filled with the odor of black
of beautiful things no one loves
and other eternities


the hours of history passing by
            flow of invisible blood—
everywhere i go the beauty of nothing seems possible


my heart walks in sunlight and feels itself fade—
while chimes turn wind
into creation


some go away
before remembering what they
never knew—
and some go as seeds
filled with clouds and spent
winds and lands parched
for the future saint


from my window i studied mulberry branches—
             dormant rhythms of nights and days,
of unrepeatable worlds to be


the sole of the foot
treads on beauty—
those smooth tracks
across the sea
i couldn't
have made and
cannot follow


under other skies
            is there deeper longing
for the damp electricity from which we come


i hear the blood ask us
                         if we are alive—
the heart remembering what it does not recognize

      Vanishing points

where the apple tree rose
            from the earth
when i learned to live as a soul


a memory that opens the road is what we want :: honey drawn raw from the moon

when the windows of the bonfire seethed open :: not one of my old failures was there


that hollow in the west where the sun dissolves :: salt gathering in the ripples of life

winds hang silent and limp in the rain :: lives lived without having happened


in the weariness of spring :: all my fences fell asleep :: the unknown began speaking to its neighbor


the cup of my tulip is infinitely deep :: blood islands floating through murmurs of light