• Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

    By James Wright (1990)

    This came across my virtual desk today. Loved it.

    Over my head I see the bronze butterfly
    Asleep on the black trunk,
    Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
    Down the ravine, behind the empty house,
    The cowbells follow one another
    Into the distances of the afternoon.
    To my right,
    In a field of sunlight between two pines,
    The droppings of last year’s horses
    Blaze up like golden stones.
    I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
    A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
    I have wasted my life.

  • She is Gone

    She is gone, gone, gone. The last. The Elder Moon. The Mother.

    Sweetly fierce about where to place her own feet.

    A deep and gentle current, lingering upon the banks of kindness.

    There are adumbrations of her etched in children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Whispers and anthems. They walk among us, lamenting the sudden night, trying to forget the arrows that pierced her heart before she fled to chase the sun.

  • Transformation isn’t Gentle

    Spin and die,
    To live again as butterfly

    — Christina Rossetti

    Does the worm twist and groan as it sheds its shape or sprouts a new one? Does it occasionally weary of the effort, or of time hemorrhaging in its tear-shaped retreat? Does it ever succumb to the unraveling?

    The longest months of winter are not the ones in which one sleeps—would that we could hibernate through scarcity and severity—they are the ones in which we are melted and recast in the kiln no one sees, perched beyond reach of our kin; our nerves exposed to every finger of weather, our fragile homes to every disturbance.