An austerity of angles sprouting from wild grasses

A beach house in the Pines

Along windswept edges of town
amid stern midcentury angles,
a bright unsunny light filters and glances;
limns the geometric emptinesses between things
on a weekend in shoulder season
on a slip of land off the coast of Long Island.

The color of the wood sea-silvered— salt boxes
beheaded, re-envisioned by exacting minds,
rise out of a low wild landscape to divide,
bisect, and generally make sensible for city dwellers
the unfathomed abundance of sky above the breakers.

No quaint adornments, no flower boxes, finials,
no lacy curtains dance on ocean breezes, flutter out open windows.
Floating panes refract the vast surround until at dusk velvet dark
the reflected scrims inverse— reveal interior stages of we-scale dramas;
unveil views on strict styled stages beneath linear precise prosceniums.

In the deeper hours, silhouettes of deer move among the low pines
grazing, and foxes chase along the sanded strand beneath a
dull-bright moon, unfettered by the intrusion of angles in the
wild grasses, unheeding of stories not their own.

A Fire Island Pines beach houseFire Island Pines houseA Fire Island Pines beach house

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The shapes created by the spaces between things

watercolor painting of poppies in sunlight
Poppies in sunlight (watercolor)

One of the reasons I enjoy poetry is because it comprises all of my favorite ways of making. It’s creating images with words, yes; a kind of storytelling. But it’s about so much more than just the correct or precise words —more than denotation or connotation— it’s also about design.

It’s about how the words interact with the space around them; make a composition, make aural and visual rhythms; remainders as important as omissions.

As in any kind of composition, the negative space is crucial.

watercolor painting: fraternal twins
Fraternal twins (watercolor)

To visitors who’ve recently discovered this place

self-portrait in EdinburghWordPress Discover did me the honor of sharing one of my recent posts yesterday, for which I’m grateful. I’m happy to say Hi! and thanks for reading my work. It means a lot when my words or images connect with people. So, thank you again.

As a number of you’ve just arrived via the portal of a recent Thunderstorm*, I searched through the archives to find other posts that have a similar tone, timbre, or general feeling. Below— a few bits n bobs that may also resonate.

Enjoy! Also, if you like drawings, urban / rural photography, explore the rest of this site.

The bird in my kitchen, and other prophecies

Some thoughts from April in Baltimore

Returning from Riis Beach after a light rain warned of a coming storm

From here I can see the curve of of the earth

A quiet wander through a green wood (part the first)

A Spring rain, soon forgotten

A telegraph from Elysium

Like smoke suspended in the calm

Scaffolding for memory

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*It is odd timing that a post I wrote about a thunderstorm gained a wide new audience so shortly after the dreadful Hurricane that has done and continues to do so much damage in Houston. I’m sure the last thing anyone there cares to think about is rain, or storms, for a very long time— my heart and sympathies go to all who’ve been affected there.

Spaces

Photo of old book pages

In the ellipses between
drops of rain
In the space between pale night’s end
and grey morning

I find you.
I find forgotten things.

Between lines of writing
in the pages of books
yellowing in drawers
and on shelves,
In the leathery slips
between their bindings—

And in the spaces
between the notes of songs
not yet written.
In the dry crack
precipitating the death
of an incandescent bulb,
that moment the knob twists
(an old brass lamp)

I hear whisperings,
stories long forgotten
and faded—
or things confused
with memories or dreams,

hauntings.

I find everything, and
nothing.

In the spaces between
things, now, I find
space.

From here I can see the curve of of the earth

Here are the days—
Heat, haze
on the horizon like a
matte painting, wavering

This part of summer
finds me un-hungry.
I have no appetite.
My desires simplified,
bleached
like the half-shells of
bi-valves, left hollow on the sand.

The sounds of waves,
shrieking gulls, soft wind—
And the gradual granular erosion
of my skin, cell by cell.
A pretzel taste on dry lips.
The penetrating tiredness,
and how sun-soaked skin
feels temperatures differently now.

The monotony of waves,
endless motion
that results in a kind of
pounding stillness,
a loud silence,
a dense-packed solitude.
Time stops for a few hours.
There is a profound reassurance
in these contradictions.

Tide in, tide out
Salt and sand—
abrasives
that soothe, and erase.

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Leave(s)

portion of a Calder sculpture

People disappear

Sometimes all of a sudden
without warning.
Sometimes gradually

like sunset on the longest day of the year,
or how long it takes some trees
to become naked
in the face
of
oncoming winter.

One way is like hitting a brick wall.
The other is more torturous.

An ongoing awareness
tracing the slow serpentines
through the empty air
and then the gentle, condescending
landing
on the dry sidewalk

of
each
brittle

leaf.

Then you
Brace for winter, and dream

of springtime.

 

A Spring rain, soon forgotten

The morning, bright and grey,
has brought that soft, all-day rain
peculiar to certain regions, like here.

Neither dire nor gloomy;
gentle patterings on the sill
And out the streetside window—
Wet roads that sound like
crushed velvet or old dresses,
piled flat in a secondhand store.

No slantwise wind or biting air
Just a fine steady parade of silken threads
falling from bright skies

Sequins and bright baubles
gather on the lips of things,
then parachute one by one, to
Join up with silvered rivulets
in the mud of backyards, or
the sunken spots in the pavement.

Inspiring of bookish pursuits
or, maybe, a walk—
The streets are quiet and empty.

Only the swishing of tires as they pass,
pressing unforeseen creases
into the faded dresses—
a jazz brush accompaniment
for a quiet grey spring day,
soon forgotten.

May 22, 2017