Watching birds lift noiselessly after an explosion (Postcard with Ilya Kaminsky)

The house cracks with cold and I wake as if gunshot, veering from dream into thumping pressure on my eardrums. I am inside Ilya Kaminsky’s republic of the deaf watching birds lift noiselessly into the sky after an explosion. The news coming from the Ukraine, from Odessa and Kharkiv and Lviv and Kyiv is uniformly terrible. Continue reading Watching birds lift noiselessly after an explosion (Postcard with Ilya Kaminsky)

Nightdark loonsong heartswail

I let out the dog and stand in the air, inhaling lungfuls of land and sea smell. A damp breeze circles my ankles. Suddenly nearby a loon cry and then another and another. On this shore we say that means a change in the weather. Usually rain. But I also hear: company in the darkness so eloquent that at once it pierces and names your loneliness. Loonsong the stitch that knits life and death and every isolated sorrow, the sound for which I’ve forever waited at the water’s edge, neither coming nor going nor yet surely staying. Continue reading Nightdark loonsong heartswail

Into the thrill

We walk in the rain at dusk along /a broken black road frogs chanting/in the ditches…

This poem is one of a series of shortened sonnets, in which I test what happens if I compress the sonnet into 13 rather than 14 lines. It feels as if, sometimes, hurry is what happens–the poem dashes off, like a dog into the night. Continue reading Into the thrill