Courage VI

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor, nature and water

Things have a way of freezing
Differently. Mountains expose
Their bones, ribs of eruptions past
One over the other, ceasing
Only to fall in line with those
Fault lines Spring hides. Fast
And furious run your rivers
Racing ahead of those wintry blasts
Terrified of stiffening into slivers
That once were ripples, tearing
The smoothness of surface ice. Wearing
The grass that cold crisps into blades
The differently freezing earth brings
No herald of bubbling springs. The thaw,
If it comes, will escape on your breath
A defiance of death, the chill air
Your heart warms. Courage is the air
Your frozen blood sings.

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Courage V

Image may contain: outdoor

(With thanks to Anjan Ray for the astonishing image in which I found this poem)

If the road ahead is
Mottled, splotched in
Sun and shade; if
The helm you wear was
Once a net of steel
That held out even as
You held on; if
The green that greets
You slides back into grey,
Courage can be the dust
In the slanting ray.

But sometimes the peace
Of the branched tree
Shields your progress
Away from fright.
Promising shelter yet
Ceding ground in
An onslaught of
Unilluminating bright.
Sometimes courage
Is the flight of the bird
Startled out of its darkness
Into the indifferent light.

Courage IV

Image may contain: sky, mountain, outdoor and nature

I want to be the rain
That is driven up shields of glass
Against all laws of nature and grief
I want to know that as
I fall from skies shedding legions
Of such as me, over loaded over crowded
Bent on hurtling earthwards, that I
Will rise again, pushed onwards
On wings of air, knowing when
And where, the edge of glass meets
The skies. Not this me
Strapped and seated
Watching the road fly past through
Streaks of water. Strapped
And seated, not
Undefeated.

The sea, like grey silk

Image may contain: cloud, sky, mountain, ocean, outdoor and nature

The sea like grey silk
Clothes its depths in
Shimmering sadness. And
Grief is not a cliff that
Demands that you leap, but
Every shipwreck knows that
There is a limit to
How long it can keep its
Secrets in the deep before
The sea strips all veneer, and
They rise, cliff like, to crash
On unclothed shores.

On A Leash

Often you can hardly tell
It’s quite long, and extends as
You go. Almost unnoticeable until
The jerk and tightening at the
Throat. Having a dog is not all
About cleaning smelly bits.
Hold your nose, grip the leash,
And learn your frikkin limits.

For Audur, In Her New Home

A new house is always
A lovers’ dream. A consummation
Of pictures and walls, a yearning
Of spaces for filling. The many ways
In which a corner can touch
A small table, a tall vase; of
Such missed meetings as brass
Candlesticks too awkward to place
Near settees that need the light.
Such may also be the delight
Of warm floors and stockinged feet
Of open doors and a happiness to meet
Those who drink wine at your table
So that when you talk late into the night
And lights come on outside to kiss the sable
Your home is that moment when eye meets eye
And the crowded world settles down with a sigh.

Warriors I: A Reckoning Of Forces

A warrior is a funny creature
As much fierce and fire
As she is mud and mire.
As much tears as blood
As much ebb as flood.
And when once you have fought her
Seen the triumph you have brought her
You’ve done no more than teach her
That wars are won by no higher
Force than our daughters.