The ferryman carried me, (married, me), buried me there in the Underworld, he spied me and pried me, (belittled and mocked, me) beat down and rocked, I was round I was ground into hardwood floors, wanting no more; so as I lay dying, as I was lying in that boat’s greasy water, so sorry to … More Charon’s Younger Brother Brings Me Back Across the River Styx
the queen is dead long live the queen I kneel in the twilight river my knees on the sand I plunge myself under and break the surface to the north I baptize myself I am a new creation the water rolling into the water the water taking the water back again the light shattering across … More coronation
Don’t try it. If you try to sail by poetry, you are lost. You will wash up on shore 10 days after you drown, face down with a spavined copy of Keats’ poems in your back pocket, your heart a stone that does not burn, instead of gliding into a harbor with the late afternoon … More Shelley Sailed By Poetry
We do not speak of the outside world – we whistle at the sun nosing around the fraying stratus clouds, lifting and dropping golden rays that splash our ankles and the winter-dead grasses – we call out to our dogs sniffing one another in turn, then exuberantly rolling in the dead carp that the bald … More By Tacit Agreement, Sunday at the Sensiba Trail
Sometimes you are hauled backward before you can move forward; you get on a plane in the dark in Nashville and head south to Atlanta before touching down in Milwaukee where someone you love waits in the sleeting rain to drive you back and pour you into a warm, flightless bed. Sometimes the moon draws … More The Insufferable Logic of Tides
October rain ebbs and flows and falls and falls and falls on the crooked pine trees and the roof, on the old swing set and the black driveway, on the cold, wet burn barrel and the American flag at the hundred year old house on Shady Lane where my parents live still. In the basement, … More The Disobedience of Rain
A pied-billed grebe has already paddled madly halfway across this cove (its crested head sporting a half-hearted mohawk, its body a sputtering vector moving toward the northwest, Lake Superior swollen like a too-observant eye) before I realize that it has darted out from under this porch that hangs over the water where I stand holding … More Somewhere, Another (The Pied Billed Grebe)
One common tern hovers high above Lake Michigan, then dives under the waves and back again, its path a ragged stitch from sky purpling like a bruise into water smooth as a mirror, and then back to sky again, pulling together heaven and earth like the closing of a weary eye.