Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On Christmas Eve The Animals Speak at Midnight

Photo by Kyla

On Christmas Eve the animals speak at midnight.
Children creep into the barn
hoping to hear what they might have to say.

My father would have told us,
when the animals, after all, stayed silent
as always, that we must have just missed them.

We would question him closely, demand to know
if he had ever heard them himself,
and he would spin one of his tales.

He was skilled at keeping the magic alive
while not leading us ever to expect
results. We didn't have a barn, though

and that always disappointed me. We also
didn't have far woods and fields to run out into
and explore freely. Dad always felt

it was somehow wrong that he couldn't just go exploring,
walk anywhere his curiosity led, that landowners
frowned on his rambles as trespassing.

Where he grew up, it was wide open then
and he never got over the closing down
of all that expanse. But he managed

to keep it alive inside, and display it
for children, at times like Christmas,
when the hunger for mystery takes us

to the place where we can believe even
all those stories we know are not true.
Just for a day, a night, just for now.        

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Seeking Refuge

Detail from Houdini by M. Regelson. Photo by Kyla

Language is a shapeshifting beast
that patrols the borders of silence.

Articles prowl, poems
extend their claws.
Novels snarl, texts growl,
sweet lyrics seduce you
sideways with surprise,
conversation lurks and trips you
and if that doesn't stop you
there is the final titanium
memory tangle of stray phrases,
a concrete cacophony jangle
gridded against your path.

Break through if you can
and have a look around.

Breathe in the vast

You may decide
not to return.


But then,
what is refuge to you?
You will always return

here is where magic
gets its smoke.
It wafts away off elsewhere
faster than fire
and leaves behind
mere evidence
and a thin vapor
of impossibility.

Here at the edge
if we're lucky
silence bleeds through
and burns traces.

Don't look.
Don't look away.
Just open your mouth
and speak
and drink
and write down
what you didn't
mean to say.

All photos by Kyla

Friday, December 4, 2015


Photo by Kyla

we have word
of a credible threat
credible word
meaning you should believe us
as we might believe it
as we believe we see
accurately the lineage of the eyes
of a perpetrator or
pedestrian protagonist
perfectionist prevaricating
prestidigitator paraplegic and
why not
everything is true
in the place of fear
looked at a certain way
and that is
the way we look:
like believers
like honest men
and a few women
as long as they don't
do certain credible things
as well as incredible ones
so that we are not
or lost in their eyes
of stars
of pollen dust
of moldering leaves
of graves and birthblood.

Let us be credible
together and let
the threat which is now
credible become
incredible as stars
as firelight flickering on
cave walls
as memory
as distant gods
and let it come
no closer
to our precious things
of belief and reality
upon which we most fragiley

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nab's Blessing Before Food

Let Me In.  Photo by Kyla

(Nab is a young cat, a skilled hunter, very sociable and affectionate and also impatient. He pretty much comes and goes at choice; some mornings he is in and out of the kitchen door five or six times in a half hour. The other morning he was sitting on a table under my window, crying to come in. I translated. And let him in, of course.

Enjoy, for a little change of pace.)

I been cryin' at the window I been cryin' at the door
but the people won't let me inside no more!
I been consortin' with opossums
I been dancin' with racoons
and now I really want some catfood!
I want to hear those clickin' spoons!
Let me in! Meow meow meow
let me in!

Oh I think I hear the kitchen
make some foodie foodie sounds
oh I been so hungry ever since
I ran that squirrel to ground
but that skinny old squirrel just don't
taste good anymore,
oh please please you people just
open up the door and let me in!
meow meow let me in there now!
Let me in let me in meow meow

Obviously starved and miserable. Photo by Kyla

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Death Threats

Neighbors. Photo by Kyla

If the way you shine
is invisible,
then polish it in secret.

Many of us
are in your tribe.

We go about the world
feeling the same things
you feel:

lost, cornered, threatened
by the visible
and the wrong.

Here, anywhere,
lit by this street lamp perhaps
might be the alignment
of space-time

able to receive you, reflect you.
What you'd like to kill
will be its needed agent.

If you succeed
in destroying your nemesis,
you will never know
who you are.

Our tribe will diminish
by one.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Shelter. Photo by Kyla

a storm
gathers itself
the sky frowns down
and we can't move
fast enough
or at all:
we think we're safe

every fold in those clouds
spells trouble
in a language
we never learned

the weather channel
makes it simple
minded, sheltered
we've got our supplies
or we don't
and afterward
there may be
life as usual,
or no pieces
to pick up

Photo by Kyla

Sunday, September 20, 2015

One Machine Dream Down

Photo by Kyla

(On seeing an abandoned earthmover in a field.)

my driver gone
only rust
moves me
into the dirt
it's too slow

I'll never make it
to the sea now