TSM 144

With holes in their necks
where they might have last kissed 
or nuzzled,
not one, but two deer, frozen,
gently surface 
from a dune on the shore.

Their empty eye sockets
gaze upon each other –
bridal veil of sand pulled back 
by the sea –
ritual minister of joy
and last rites.

Were they driven from their families,
a hunted Romeo and Juliet?
Did they come down to this water
like you and I
to drink and die together from the beauty 
of sunrise?

My black jacket flapping
in the wind,
I join ravens
picking at the choice bits.

I hear your voice –
snow owl, prophetic wife, 
your scorn stiff with salt
and rime.

The Sunday Muse

TSM 143

A white-tail deer moons me, 
disappears behind clouds,
and I'm moon walking in the stumble-light
Tripping on potholes of moonman craters 
and astronaut seas 
mirrored in puddles
It is way past bedtime for stoats and voles,
they watch silent horror films of hawks, 
shadows that flicker on silver screen leaves
The taste of time on my tongue, 
my gloves soaked and cold 
from this morning's sleet
I trace a line to the Pole star, 
but is my filmy world a negative, I have it all 
backwards? Am I headed South, not North?
I walk in light, old and yellow as sticky tape,
peeled from b&w photos 
off the bottom of the sea

The Sunday Muse

FF 55

Christmas Nor'easter,
waves crash-landing
from wind's broken navigation,
I kneel on the beach and dig 
for Amelia Earhart's bones.
Yes here, yes now,
my arms sweeping sand
like Electra's wings,
to answer just one death
of the tall and the lost.
Next to me
the cadaver-sniffing dog,
furious, frenzied,
finds a baloney sandwich
from WWIII. 

Friday 55

TSM 139

This will be about rope.And so?
Turk’s Head knots
for eyes.Just because you say “trefoil”
doesn’t make it true.
Braided X’s.Like eyes sewn shut. Whipstitch is it?
Coils and splices.You are spliced to me, yes.
Coils of smoke. I gave up my Marlboros
when you were four.
You are bent in death.Bend – to join one rope to another. What ties us?
Our rigging of blood.
of us make correct use
Why are these nautical, I was a cowgirl.
Arroyos to the Panhandle
look like the bottom of the sea.
You would have meYou would
the solstice.me with the sun.
Blocks and sheaves to lift
Swing me
from the crack of noon.
the dawn.
Bight, cordage, knot,
Bite, pull, thread, lash,
tangle what is
from you.
You know you do not mean that.
into every strand.

The Sunday Muse

TSM 138

I guess just throw it
on the compost,
this dead swan at the bottom
of the road.
So much larger here at my feet –
a dead, feathered cello,
neck bent around to bow
a low moan.
It was never white, I can see
it was a living light,
bright silver now brushed with death
to mottled grey. 
Prisms of dew 
bead the wings –
tasting flights of fine oil
feeding mites.
No prayer 
I roll like a dog
in dead words. 

The Sunday Muse

TSM 137

Winter rain splats like an egg 
in a cold frying pan.
This morning my mind 
is refrigerated, congealed,
a rictus of cheap margarine –
I scoop fat substitute thoughts
with a spatula. They splat in the pan too,
alongside the egg.

Isn't there meant to be
an order to things? Heat 
first, then butter, then egg?
Kitchen mullions rattle
as the Nor'easter tests their strength.
The vacant house across the way –
Is this the year the windows break?
Will it give up the ghost
in a final shiver of broken glass?

Outside in the storm, as with the world,
birds have abandoned flight.
No flying south to depilate winter,
the bikini waxing of dreams –
no tweezing the snow moustache
from elderly Florida swans.
No way to take the hair 
off it all.

You toss me a frozen bagel and laugh –
hardtack or life buoy 
for a morning's survival, 
my shipwrecked words 
wash ashore this deserted island.
The rain slants, cants,
through these old portholes. 

The Sunday Muse

Quadrille 117

as dragon fruit

There can be no aubade,
no gentle lifting
the morning light

Paring back sheets
like skin of soft plums
to abide this leaving

the heart of fire
like the sun 

In my palm
burns just to say

dVerse Quadrille

TSM 136

A poem plunged into the seaI hear you singing
I row to where the words riseThe Water is Wide
moil, roil 
in columnslost in time, escarpments, translation from the Malagasy
The return of the Sargasso Comet 
The Salt MeteorIt was hard to tap the sky
and break through clouds
quarried of marble 
Are your tatters of seaweed
meant for wings?I am tired of sinking ships and sailors
I fly the slick and rope of sorrow
And soAnd so
Were you ever Icarus?I’m sorry, no
And soAnd so
I return to shoreYour oars are oak and stripling ash
The forest has no place at sea
I press the ore blades across my chestI will bring the lightning
Restart my heartOne hundred hundred times
For this I love you

The Sunday Muse