poem

Myself in an Old Photograph

Myself in an Old Photograph

That was the day.  This is the final record,
me before the change.  It’s fantasy
to search out the expression of a word
in lips still motionless—how can I hope
to read a cheek’s subtext, identify
exactly the pigment, shadow, line or shape,
the gaze’s drift, the impossible unblurred
flicker of anguish in a printed eye
that means I did not know, but I would learn.
Nobody can be loved on his own terms.

Across a Crowded Room

Across a Crowded Room

Chimborazo Hospital

Chimborazo Hospital

           (after the Battles of the Seven Days)

Nothing but Blue

Nothing but Blue

Thoreau calls the merlin
a tenant of the air
but such a metaphor
requires clouds—nesting place
for almost weightless wings,
the swooping heart and eye
that know the sky. Too bad
this morning’s spotless reach
of blue above the pines
suggests no fanciful
boarding house for bob-whites,
no breezy porch to perch
a speckled thought.

Found Objects

Found Objects

Dog Days

Dog Days

Winter Stand

Winter Stand

Boy at Play

Boy at Play

Girl at a Keyboard

Girl at a Keyboard

Villanelle of His Poem’s Penury

Villanelle of His Poem’s Penury

                                 after Ernest Dowson

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