A Selection of Poems
Poetry from collections
The jet stream dipped down like a gourd,
ladling away summer, putting out fireflies
and spilling the language of barriers:
trough, ridge, pressure.
Though it makes no sense to say
the weather is wrong or
out of sorts, we insist on tying
common rags to the tail of its numinous kite:
outburst, rage, calm.
A high cloud like a cold morning word,
followed by an arid week of silence.
Still, the weather feels strange today,
sleet ticking my nylon jacket as I
range the same miles of field and woods
I do almost every day, no matter.
Seventy degrees yesterday, and a sky as blank
as the green screen behind a weatherman,
figures ghosted on a small monitor,
every forecast an illusion.
-Published in Pisgah Review
THE NEW CONSTELLATIONS
Blue points of light suggest
a Milky Way below: the faint
prick and surge of headlights,
quasar towers, a nebula of mall.
A quick throttle‑back, a second
of weightless coasting; the head's gyro
corrects the winglight's dip,
argues direction out of darkness.
Details effaced, memory configures
a slash of freeway, a grand opening's
searchlight taper. Imperceptibly,
this lower galaxy thins to patternless glints.
The new constellations emerge:
All we are flies with us.
-Published in A Carolina Literary Companion
THE JIGSAW PUZZLE FROM THE SECOND-HOME THRIFT STORE
is missing seven pieces, now that we can count
the unaccounted for, amorphous cousins absent
from this family mottle. Their truancy reveals
brown amoeba voids in our panorama of cowboys
chasing mustangs, a splendid Palomino shattering
sage and cactus as it flames around chuckholes
dark as the dining room table, little misshapen caves
of knobs and sockets, a Freudian mosaic with
discrete omissions, none touching, none
betraying the gray underside of desire.
Still, we miss the cousins who cannot see
the space we built for this reunion, how we
laid out a level floor, squared up corners and
framed the sides, then carefully raftered clouds
into a turquoise sky. They leave ghost shapes hovering
in the high plains air, a beautiful horse
slipping the uncoiled lariat.
-Published in Montana Mouthful