Umbrella

Here the wind is a country.
Rain flags hills.

Trees refugee
the borders of their creeks.

The wind’s air
the body doesn’t breathe,

The body that’s not the body,
the you that cannot be

Just a window, more or less a door
a storm left opened

As if you were never here,
returning to the you who left

Her umbrella here,
the favourite one I can’t find.

Today

A drive to another city.
Getting lost in a forest.
Your stillness
in the grass.
Birds again.  
Sumac
in your
hair.

A River Passing

This is the way
you must look to birds,
nothing but a breeze.

Which rounds the hand,
loosens fingers’ memory,
how in your hair they digress.

To the other life
behind the trees,
overhead, a river passing.

Poem to a deer

There is an apple orchard that leans against a crest,
A shadow of a road

The horses from the barn sometimes wander there,
Scenting fruit

Breaking branches on the dull horizons of their backs,
The chase of scrub light

Mixing with you,
Loving where you take us

Wading into trees, marvellous in the thickets of wind,
To bring back

The appetite of anger
The hunger for forgiveness

To love as these crabbed branches, their clenched dark fists,
Ached in compositions of lightning

We long to join you
Your likeness to us

Though we wary of your appearances,
Vanishing in all your countless directions,

Tear-aways between the thrashed exits apple trees make
Grown too heavy, our lives unpicked in the divots of your poems,

The sky urging branches to be its roots
To go further, to leap back

And land, momentless, upon an untouchable earth.

I loved you before

Like the world that came to us,
claimed itself a sphere,
despite the sun, a spirit level,
nights laid between you and me.

Like the poem you love;
on the tip of your tongue,
its truth,
its desert flood,
no mouth to say,
its taste swallows you.
No synonyms for why,
but word by word,
the course it sets from you.

But you are not a poem,
of course.
You are stuck in traffic,
frequently.
Like trees, you pretend
not to unlonely,
not restless. 
You wait for things to happen,
for your life to mean something
besides the earth that shines and rains
and circles in your arms.

So, let us pretend this, instead:
you are from some other place
where beauty comes from.
For now, let us say poems are 
how to breathe there. 

Love of a Dirt Farmer

How does
the breeze make you new
under the old sun?

How can your perfect blue words shine
from the eyes of your black sea?

How do you turn your body
into morning
in the entranceway’s night?

And the fields and fields of chrysanthemum
dried in the small vase on the table next to you
that would bend to be scented again?

Nothing is beautiful as it was,
but let’s say you’re a breeze
who can fly
while I, like a dirt farmer, waits
for your smile, for instance,
your smile, the rain of it.

Bird Dog

You cannot save me.
I’d wish you try.

To glimpse the torches’ dusty eyes.
To hear the church of their wild dismay
alight the smoky tongues of creek.

Like a braille of us,
which said, at least,
you came near.

Headache

We are so much
alike, you misplaced, me
put in mine,

your dress of dirt,
me, a suit
washed in

carnival flies. Maybe
we deserve nothing
other than

each other,
you who
delivered me

here, me
delivering you there,
I say,

putting words in your mouth,
worms rhyming
silly rhyme

wetly
glistening in
our heads.

First Day of Spring

Are you the lake of two rivers
and, melting, is this the river speaking
for the light?
Is highway 60 ok with
your beauty?
What I mean to say is,
is your face breaking apart
across the car’s Tamarack glass,
opening up like
the womb of a moose
taken down by wolves on
the first day of Spring,
already pregnant with sun
and ice and asphalt.