(Dear Everyone: This small collection was written up by Lake Superior in the United States while living in my canvas wall tent with a wood stove, studying, drinking tea, and listening…)

For AmyJo

 

 

 

 

Pine Wind

 

In my canvas house

the color of snow

no windows

only winter’s music to light the inside of this shell

through the woven cotton panels

like a woman reading futures from a burnt scapula bone

held to a fire

With my eyes closed it seems as if the Nuthatches

with their bright bugles

have found a way into this home

Pine wind

Whose breath is this

strong enough to reach me

in the center of winter?

 

 

 

 

 

Ever Appearing

 

Expression is revelation

just like bones

just like the rain of stars

You can’t love God unless you love

your own wrinkles skin and scars

like diamond birds bent by being reflected

in the ever-arriving river

The ridges of your brain are only so the birds

can dig deeper

in beneath the wind

coiled like a heating device

full of fat for softening new skin

and making old costumes like evolution

pliable like leatherwood again

singing away as the forest rises and falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking Poem

 

George Jones Memorial Graveyard

Just after the rain

The same flowers I see winter or summer

Look as if they have grown

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing Beneath The Moon

 

Moon peering down into my canvas house

not caring whether I’m waking or sleeping

but always knowing that I’m home

and a painter’s witness

like a telepathic friend

and bender of form

braving the halo

Spring Peepers are a serrated edge of a night comprehending—

In the lack of silence

I’m nowhere to be found

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dream

 

Last night

three people work on a story

two famous artists

and an older woman servant

surrounding a table with papers

before them

The servant points to a metaphor

used deep in the story

to set a mood

And she is like a diviner

uncovering a hidden spring

And it is like a flood comes from that metaphor

and changes everything

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night Summer History

 

This frog trail song

I think I’ll follow it

So many have probably tried to moor their ships to it

and venture into land

only to find that the people had built their villages

on the branches of trees

One man long ago came

and they dropped enormous eyeballs on his armies

and happily returned to their improvisations

He wore expensive armor

and the retina jell melted even all his clothes

Even if he didn’t have webs on his feet

being a human he had the innate ability

to join the music

of every

thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Full

 

just each other’s night to sing

just each other’s warmth and elegance as if formed from moonlight

your nipples dark upon the raft of silver breath of silver earth

as coyotes sing wilder in the moon-stenciled forest you move

as Icarus through his love of life transformed his wings and dove into the sea

over and over as the story is told I travel into you and look down to see

the moonlight walking into the sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tracery

 

Shadows like petals

arch in moonlight

and fall all night

until they climb again unseen

These lineages are like limbs forming a body

molded by light

born of mycelium

yet beneath this network of strewn stars

of salmon shedding fish bodies and milk

is the engine run on moon and wine

everything fermenting

into itself

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Moon Itself

 

I glimpsed the inner pattern of life

in the vast shimmering waves of thousands of frogs

and I stood outside my tent where the moon shines

through pine needles like a painting I’ve hung

for just myself

just because I love poetry

and the reason I love poetry

is because I hung the moon

But what makes all this art so different than a museum?

Or is it just that suddenly stepping outside

the museum is in the moon itself

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Audition

 

No shadow here

except pine bows

alders and blackberries

Waxwings riding high in Saskatoons

All so real

as if the sun blew through them

and created this arrangement of colors

Fallen peony petals from the first farmer’s market

of the season

become my floor

I’m trying to grow into my shadow

the older I get

but sometimes it’s nowhere to be seen

off crooning with the catbirds

like prompters

in the trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Poem of the Night

 

I blow out my oil lamp

and suddenly the moon paints my canvas house

with alders

and pine boughs

It only took me blowing out a light

for more artists to appear