Everything I know about the sea and sailing I have learned from and with Marike. She does not speak in this piece, but, as in Nightwatch #1, is everywhere implied. Beneath the sound of the waves and the wind in the sails and the hum of the engine I am listening for her breath, for the sound of her stirring. I move quietly in the dark hours, so as to let her rest, every hour logging our position on paper so that should something go wrong with the power systems on the boat, we know (more or less) where we are. She does likewise as I am sleeping, sailing sailing sailing into the light. Continue reading Nightwatch #2 (on boredom)
Night or day, when at sea we are always on watch, Marike and I.
She is the skipper, the one who oversees and takes charge of the whole vessel–without her there would be neither vessel nor voyage–and I navigator and cook, but we make all of the important decisions about what to do on a passage together, including how and when to spell each other off. Continue reading Nightwatch #1 (on demons and ghosts)
A rainy morning in Ohio.
I’ve not seen my brother for many months. Yet here he is,
on the porch, plucking out a tune.
Waiting for me to wake. Continue reading Brother poem
We gathered rhubarb from our neighbours’ patch and close by, in a dell, I found a broad scattering of violets, the last of the season. I plucked them and dropped them into my hat; I wanted to try to make violet flower ink. Continue reading An alchemy of violets
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
We are seized by the yellow light of the fading afternoon: the way the islands flame before the setting sun. Here is winter, but there is light. Continue reading What is seen in a season of darkness
Most days, water holds the light. Why then have even the puddles turned bleak? Continue reading When we [will] have [been] remembered
Recently someone–a student who is also a colleague– sent me a list of words that begins with the word collaboration and ends with the word crisis. The list is a request for a collaboration as well as a compilation of many of the varieties of chaos, computational and not, introduced into our lives by COVID-19–or more precisely, by our confounding, cranky, critical and community responses to COVID-19. Continue reading Sound Collaboration–To listen for the shapes of words
No doubt about it, I’m having trouble doing my work. Trouble getting things done. Trouble sleeping. Trouble waking. How my eyes ache. And my joints. My heart feels funny. It is as if neither my eyes nor my brain can focus–as if the frame glitches and slips just a little, the visible world doubling at the edges. Continue reading Songs of an anxious mind
Like so many since the Nova Scotia massacre in mid April, I have been having nightmares, and am often awake during the night. This terrible event has awakened all the old traumas…When I do finally sleep, waking each morning is like crashing into a low wall. I am editing a poem I had begun to draft before the massacre called Elimination Round about big game hunting in Mexico and its relationships to tourism and other forms of collecting, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of missing and murdered in Mexico these last few years, and I can hardly face it. The spent metal casings of .223 rounds are a debris field scattered behind and before us, the horror of so many lives lost and hearts broken a scorching flare turning the hours to ash. Continue reading Bodies in Pain–on hurting and being hurt