TURNING THE YEAR
Lights on the tree,
Stars in the air,
Days in the year
When we can see
Past and future
Now more clearly,
Still being here.
There goes the sun,
Here comes the moon.
Let’s hum a tune
’til we are none.
There goes the moon,
Here comes the sun.
How near is soon?
HOPE FOR THE NEW YEAR
I wear every minute on my wrist.
I watch what binds me. In snow,
outside the frost-framed window,
twisted limbs frozen
in defiance of gravity,
tonight trees seem wise.
Awaiting the New Year,
I can see forgiveness rise
like failure steaming from the shoulders
of an old rifle-struck stag,
broken from perfect wholeness,
terrible in beauty, out of time.
We are out of time. Yet we go on.
The new year arrives. It isn’t new.
Are we as snow falls and fog lifts?
Hope says yes.
3 NEW YEAR’S CHARMS ON A BRACELET
FROM PLYMOUTH’S POET LAUREATE
If you walk through Burial Hill
& see someone whose glares could kill
With Pilot pen & Moleskine page
Decked out like writing’s all the rage,
Who stops to copy words & fill
Their notebook with another age
Idyllic if quite gory, it
Is them: the Poet Laureate!
From White Cliffs to the Town Hall green,
From Russell Street to Suosso Lane,
From Herring Pond to Morton Park,
& High Cliff Landing after dark,
East Bay for lunch, Dunkie’s at dawn,
From Bramhall’s to the Mayflower’s ark,
In West Plymouth & Manomet
They’re home: The Poet Laureate.
To track our times with language wrought
From all the best of truths we’re taught;
To give us words we yearn to say
At weddings & our dying day;
For strength to cope with what fate’s brought
& when we find we’ve lost our way
& there’s no telling where we’ll get:
We need a Poet Laureate.
VOICES / SEASONS / WATERS / LIGHTS: FOR PLYMOUTH, 2022
air’s archive wide open:
see from here to Holmes Field,
see Gurnet gleaming
seams of waves out past the Point
where we walked this morning
and now watch from a porch across harbor.
That way, West
to California, this way, East, the bay,
Provincetown monument, a gas tank
two horizon rifts, then water
for a while, Europe—
but in here jetty
and beach, low-tide sandbar afternoon.
A fishing boat needles past moorings,
another coming back in the channel;
cold air warm light,
we can see further:
objects way out there feel closer—
relativity of scale and distance. Memory.
Red and black tanker peeks out behind Gurnet. Little oblong bead
on abacus horizon.
At the herring run
in plague time I wanted to
escape my body
swim through that water
as a reliable fish
alive with purpose
but our bodies will
not unhook our souls without
violence, so doubt
though I said thanks aloud for
the herrings’ return.
Bluegreen water in Plymouth Bay
bluegreen negotiations w/ time
prescient present and eternity
bluegreen waves perpetually
ask how can you hold fast the past?
Bluegreen intermingled patches a gradient
bluegreen primeval fog boiling above
bluegreen always the same changing
bluegreen viscosity of dream
bluegreen below a rotund monthly moon
bluegreen blinking fireplug at channel’s turn
bluegreen lightning bugs on my notebook
bluegreen the open-page ocean.
When wind fills sails whips flags taps chimes talks to fishermen, beachcombers, poets,
bluegreen seam of pure ol’ sooth me oh leviathan.
Mystique of purity,
And then went down to the ship…
Poetry sand blows over dunes.
We keep returning to water.
We keep going back to shore.
Faces toward eternity.
While our blind sea
All roiling mirror?
Waves of paper curling white.
Longing, water and local light.
the locked red lighthouse shines regardless
this saltgrass necklace