part of speech

twist of tongue

touch words—words forgotten

 

words to express more than a meaning

 

the galloping stride of horses

the measured throat song

smoke burning

 

this nuance of age, sex, color

eyes locked in hopeless fascination

 

              where will my words go

              when I am gone?

              and where the world

              in each morpheme?

 

the dog’s language is a language of scent

sent over miles and marks of dominance

she twitches her nose and listens

 

birdsong is a tongue of tones

crows call in the darkness of dawn

robins have a song for rain

 

            where will my words go?

 

words to express the meaningless

 

an order to the random

a name for the unknown

 

whispers in firelight

smoke rising

 

             when I die

             cut out my tongue

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stone 9

I shoveled snow

light as feathers

like a man adrift

in a sea of down

and coming in

found my pocket

was full of snow

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stone 8

cooking an alchemy

of disparate bits of flavor

into something new

the goal

to make poems

in this way

 

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stone 7

birds’ footprints

wingtips on snow

are a strange calligraphy

I wish to read

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stone 6

there is truth

within cliche

mind’s eye is limited

by all this

uncertainty

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stone 5

snow soft in flightless fall

I can count each flake

for now

simple tasks become meaningful

 

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stone 4

squirrels have stripped the bark

from branches long bare

in long rows, pockmarked

dust settles uneven

in places left untouched

how long before the random looks

deliberate?

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