Autumn Rains




In the forest

white caps ignite a dark sea

and as the weeks go by

skins split apart at the edges

torn ragged like flowers,

yet among the sweet decay

a red skull appears

etched with a loosely drawn “Y,”

perhaps for “Yield,”

or maybe “Yes, Yes, Yes!”



this room quiet tonight,

my heart still

in the shudder of rain.


This morning

a new appearance on the fallen fir—

tongues of translucent gel,

springy to my touch

and Thoreau’s words come back to me

from a time before speed was everything:

We must know what we want;

How much is enough?


The rains have stopped,

blue sky above the tops of trees

and in this morning light

puff balls spring up in milky pods,

white lace dresses the forest floor,

such growth in the month of death,

underground the earth alive with spores,

and some heaviness lifts,

the song the stream makes

a soft bell that plays continuously,

ocean in the bell

and all the streams like this one

sounding too.

Without darkness, we wouldn’t see the light.

Our lives pass through us to the other side

where we cannot reach them,

every breath taking us there.


(from Rocksalt, published by Mothertongue Publishing, 2008)