Over the Heath

The truck grinds by
and pumps out grit;
the road glints and
goes still.

The barn owl that
had not finished here
returns. But with
its fill

of scavenges,
face ruffled in mulch,
the vole is lost
and safe

so the silent specter
flits away, its
moon face to
the moon

and rears unknown
against a copse,
claws tipped for
the strafe

and something dies
too soon.

He filled her between
the hay bales in
that Dutch barn, now

At the End of My Hours


here I’ m here I’ m here I’ m

here here here here cricket

pulse — the katydidic tick

(and then a pause) tick

(and then a pause) in greening trees — tales

of a gratitude for water, the hollyhock’ s

trumpet Yes, Tenderness

her glove and hoe — her bad trip

love/grief, her medic tent

talking me down, kissed fissures

in the world’ s despair, what I’ d

loved — alive for a while — a day called

Rip and Brood, a day called

Glorious Hour, the long hunt and the worm found

Studies of an Ox’s Heart, c. 1511 – 13


The long incision. The incipient voyage from aortic arch to thoracic inlet. Small-particled is the corpuscled city. (Bustling opuscula.) A city of animal electricity. A lowing cycling mass. Calm the cowed heart. Still the browbeating heart. Cool the controversial hearthstone. Let the blade intervene where the divine intersects bovinity.


In the Year of “No Work”

I would drive the pre-dawn dark to stake
my spot to fish for dinner, to numb my hands in the ice
bucket, to pluck, from the neat stack, a herring,
to fit the skullcap and pierce the eye with a toothpick,
the body double-hooked, my fingertips glimmering
with the scales of the dead while the line whined free
from the reel, and the bait arced out over the tidal current
on a point in view of   the town where I lived,

Not Horses

What I adore is not horses, with their modern
domestic life span of 25 years. What I adore
is a bug that lives only one day, especially if
it’ s a terrible day, a day of train derailment or
chemical lake or cop admits to cover-up, a day
when no one thinks of anything else, least of all
that bug. I know how it feels, born as I’ ve been
into these rotting times, as into sin. Everybody’ s
busy, so distraught they forget to kill me,
and even that won’ t keep me alive. I share
my home not with horses, but with a little dog

O, She Says

O, she says (because she loves to say O),
O to this cloud-break that ravels the night,
O to this moon, its mouthful of sorrow,
O shallow grass and the nettle burr’ s bite,

O to heart’ s flare, its wobbly satellite,
O step after step in stumbling tempo,
O owl in oak, O rout of black bat flight,
(O moaned in Attic and Esperanto)

O covetous tongue, O fat fandango,
O gnat tango in the hot, ochered light,
O wind whirred leaves in subtle inferno,
O flexing of sea, O stars bolted tight,

The Famous Tay Whale

’ Twas in the month of December, and in the year 1883,
That a monster whale came to Dundee,
Resolved for a few days to sport and play,
And devour the small fishes in the silvery Tay.

So the monster whale did sport and play
Among the innocent little fishes in the beautiful Tay,
Until he was seen by some men one day,
And they resolved to catch him without delay.