Sunday, January 31, 2010

unto thee i

unto thee i
burn incense
the bowl crackles
upon the gloom arise purple pencils
fluent spires of fragrance
the bowl
a flutter of stars
a turbulence of forms
delightful with indefinable flowering,
the air is
deep with desirable flowers

i think
thou lovest incense
for in the ambiguous faint aspirings
the indolent frail ascensions,
of thy smile rises the immaculate
of thy low
hair flutter the level litanies
unto thee i burn
over the dim smoke
straining my lips are vague with
ecstasy my palpitating breasts inhale the
of thy beauty,
my heart discovers thee
whom i

e.e. cummings

Saturday, January 30, 2010

in these quiet years

the fortune
of all that i know as
'my life'

i might not have seen
the subtle stroke
of a wildgrass paintbrush
on its canvas of new snow

in these quiet years growing calmer,
lacking knowledge of the world’s affairs,
i stop worrying how things will turn out.
my quiet mind makes no subtle plans.
returning to the woods i love
a pine-tree breeze rustles in my robes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

street ice

what story is written
in this softly threaded

did this water once pass beneath
the bow of a roman trireme?

perhaps it cooled
paul bowles' lips
as he sat in
a moroccan bar?

or could it have fallen as rain
on my parents before i was born?

here it is.

a thin cracked
frozen film
on a road.

filled with stories.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

the lonely winter wind

the wind
last night
low, cold and thin

i couldn't help listening
as the wordless sounds
found their way through
the cracked glass of the window,
across the softness
of the bed
and into my ears.

dulled with sleep
i heard the words
as wishes

"release me"

as winter comes,
the sound
from the valley stream stops,
and a wind from the mountain
visits my window.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a crystal sail

lifts a crystal sail
to cross the ocean window

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

david's birthday

fifty years ago today my little brother was born.
he's the little one on the left.

i doubt i was bothered by his arrival.

i doubt i was happy.

as time went on we learned
to have a real
and deep hate for each other.

i have memories of taking out
one of his front teeth with a bicycle pump.
i have little white scars on my left bicep
where he stabbed me
with an x-acto knife.

i have memories of our evening fight
- yep that's right -
every evening we had a fight
as soon as we were "tucked in".
we fought in silence
any noises that escaped us
would draw the attention
of our father
who art reincarnated.

the attention we received
from him
was far more painful
than anything either of us
could dish out to the other.

but you know what?
over time
we grew closer.

still leaving lots of space
the way neighbouring cats do
but close.

close enough for hugs,
close enough for
the truth of love.

so today
i think of my little brother
or "bruvver"
as i say
with love.

sweet day david!


Monday, January 25, 2010

the sweetest gifts

yesterday's posting
came from a memory
of experiencing
the wistfulness that comes out of
a sense that things could
be better or different or better suited to my needs.

i felt that feeling a lot in my first three decades.

over time
i've accumulated so many
some very small
and some very overwhelming in their scale.
they all
find a place in my

i love
to fall back on them
when my daily experiencing
is more than i can bear
or when i feel
i can learn something
from a moment
long passed.

but the most special
and magical
are those unbidden moments
that appear
without rhyme or reason
and fill my mind
their long past presence.

the loveliness of forms and thoughts and colours,
a moment marked and then as soon forgotten.
these things are ever near us, laid away,
hidden and waiting the appropriate times,
in the quiet garner-house of memory.

such gifts are sweetest when unsought.

all italicized words archibald lampman

Sunday, January 24, 2010

a simple place

walking home from work
through the snowy streets of the city

lost in his thoughts

paul signac snow, boulevard de clichy, paris

he slowly climbed the stairs
to his tiny apartment

gustave caillebotte rooftops under snow

catching his breath -
a glass of wine in his hand -
he found himself
that he had
climbed the side of a hill
at the end of which waited
the place he called home.

a simple place.

alfred sisley a village street in winter

with a view
that left him breathless.

theodore robinson winter landscape

Saturday, January 23, 2010

the gift from the manor

not long before christmas
a gift arrived

an oleg cassini crystal paperweight!

in my letter of thanks
i included a commitment -
to photograph the crystal through the seasons.

here then
is winter.

my blessings and gratitude willow!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

a stone for a pillow

a frost-fractured

spooning lovers.

using a stone for a pillow
I drift toward the clouds

Thursday, January 21, 2010

when silence becomes singing

an icicle
outside my window

the sun fades
below the horizon

the beautiful whole
inside the beautiful part

i am a little church (far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish) at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the sky through fingers

the sky has been
with clouds.

trace amounts
of snow
falls from them.

i keep looking up
for more
and what i see
is the sky
through the fingers
of trees with more patience than i.

the wise
winter trees
whose voices say
that what is


winter trees

all the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!

a liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.

thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

down stream

snow-swallowed valley
only the
winding river . . .
black fluent brush-stroke


not very far from here
a stream
makes its way through
the woods

fed by the countless springs
that trickle
down the valley sides

its shallow body
flows over
water rounded pebbles
making a music
that can't be contained
in words.

the sound of the stream
is as gentle
as gentle can be.

each pebble
feeling the water
flowing over its polished body
rings a tiny water chime

and in the clear air
of a winter morning
with the water's stony chimes

it's the
slow gentled
of my heart
i hear.

Monday, January 18, 2010

wind fingers

silver-white fingers
of wind

winter trees

cold caresses

the warmth

bitter winter wind --
blowing now
yet no leaves to drop

Sunday, January 17, 2010


it's not so
very far

to my mother's

the journey allows
for a blurring of worlds

to a place
we know as


Saturday, January 16, 2010

yes is a pleasant country

this morning’s listening comes courtesy of
swiss singer susanne abbuehl.

her disc, “compass” is breathtaking in its ability to take complex text
and place it in a very listenable and yet challenging musical frame.
the music is sparse and economical,
giving susanne’s voice the opportunity to slip in and around,
through and under the assemblage.

go here to see and hear a sample of susanne’s work.

listen here to a work written by ee cummings and sung by susanne:

Friday, January 15, 2010

not a breath

snow clouds in the sky

not a breath of wind moves
in the winter woods

through the trees
a doorway

blending with the air
i pass through

into a hushed


where treasures
in the form of
water, snow
and dried leaves

form the currency
of a world
within this world

Thursday, January 14, 2010

gently worn

near my mother's home

at the water's edge

ice and pebbles
backwards and forwards
in the ebb and flow
of the waves

much like lovers

each others destiny

as much
as they are being shaped

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

shining wings

on my walk to school
a form in the snow.

i stop long enough
to catch my breath -
for it had escaped
without my knowing.

oh give me wings
for my back,
shining wings
which seek
only virtue

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the bridge

i was making my way through a valley
alongside a small stream

still running
in mid winter!

my heart leapt
when i saw this

i leaned against a tree

in wonder.

first snow
on the half-finished bridge.

Monday, January 11, 2010


mornings like this
i wake up
make my way
down the stairs.


i think -


here i am.

my coming, my going --

two simple happenings

that got entangled.