New Poems

  • On Falling (Blue Spruce)
  • On Surmising
  • On Aging
  • New Year
  • Crossland & The Dusks
  • Givens
  • Givens

    We were given a book, and the book stripped 
    the world down to dirt and to rain, captivity, 
    color.  The sky must have followed us 
    into the grove where we sat and felt happy 
    that the grasses were empty, the olive trees empty.  
    We were given some salt, a warehouse, a river, 
    and when we rose the birds stayed 
    with us all night.  If you were given a burden, 
    if you were given a rock, an omen, would you know 
    it too could go missing, it too could be broken.  
    If you knew just what you were given, would the ache 
    break out of it.  Would it help you.  Would you open.

    _____________________________


    You were given a book and inside the book
    was a road leading to orchards and snow, 
    tiny dustings of sun.  You must have 
    followed the flashlights and felt you’d been given 
    proof or else hope, which itself is not simple.  
    There are great bays in the thoughts of old men, 
    there are winds that break leaves into cool wheels of shade.
    You were given a latchkey, an x-ray, you were given 
    the means to fly and the means not to crawl.  
    Why would you even listen for trains or pay attention 
    to branches.  Why would you root into yourself
    when the rain could, any moment, coax light into color.

    _____________________________


    I was given a book.  I was given two bells
    to make a pact with the air.  I was given 
    the smell of new rain, a small stack of paper, 
    some gold leaf and glue.  If you were given some yarn, 
    some wire, if you were given a whole night of snow, 
    would you even know how to hold it.  
    Go easy on that old red oak.  Go easy 
    on the man at the corner who just asked for money,
    he is probably hungry, and what would he do
    if he were given a boat, a breeze, and what would he 
    usher into himself if he thought life would help him.

  • Givens (For three voices, read by Megan Murtha)