"A Meander in the Winter Valley of the Crooked Run" 

A single bright cluster of crimson berry stands
against the dusky tones
and taut dry chill of early winter

The scents on the grey wind are hard to taste,
as the consequences of the season
have taken firm hold of my sinuses

The hedgerow pops with near-iridescent blue flashes
as the flocking bluebirds forage
in barren twig, and naked underbrush

A lone Osage Orange clings to a branch,
like a grotesque leftover
of Halloween weeks ago

The cow cabin clings barely to the steep hillside,
slowly losing its battle with gravity…

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"I Will Not Hate" 

I will not hate
because of how you look,
who you love,
where you were born,
who or how you worship
or whether or not you worship at all

I have no room for hate in my heart,
or in my life

Some who do not share my views
of how the world works
or theories about nature's mysteries
or how humans should treat each other
might insist
that I belong
in a vision of vitriol
faceless anonymous masses marching
under some banner of some other side
"those who are filled with hate"
I simply smile, and say "I'm sorry that you feel that…

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"A Circle of Four Women" (for Madeleine Rose) 

Welcome to the world, dear daughter, welcome

I stand in a circle of four strong women
their stories intersecting,
through time and space
the first three united not by blood
but by choice of men married

This new one,
Madeleine Rose
holds all three within her tiny body
born in the care of nurses
compassionate angels
like the one whose name she bears

The first of the four
the nurse
giver of life and comfort,
her great-grandmother
my beloved grandmother
my mother's mother in law
the one who stood…

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"A Piece of Moon Pie" 

An old favorite, short and sweet, from the seasons of the long dark nights, and perhaps more aware of our celestial companions

There is a shiny sliver of a moon
hanging in the crisp clear southwestern sky,
like a piece of cherry pie
through a freshly cleaned counter glass
that you'd ram your nose into
by accident
because you'd never see it...

And it feels like blackberry winter is here
the mercury is curling up
in that low part of the thermometer,
huddling together for warmth

Does mercury keep itself…

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"Al Mar Pacifica" 

Panama, August 2004

El Bohio de la bahia
rainy season relieved
if only for the hour
Azure ceiling fleeting
teasing the constancy
of limitless horizon
and infinite Sea

The lovely Señora Gringita
emerges like the mermaid
alone with the surf
and the observer
muscles rippling
like one who is in constant motion
beneath the surface
of the Sea

High tide lapping at her toes
tracing her return
just as I would
if I were the Sea
I would be with her
as far as I could reach
and I would swell and pound the sand

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"Anna's House" 

We had the luxury of having a beautiful old Vermont house to ourselves on a warm spring day. Sort of like being lost in time, with the world all around. I hope this captures the essence of the lives chronicled in the art and decorations in what could easily have been a quaint country inn on a sunny mountainside.

Anna's house sits on the marblemount
   where the houses of used to be
      still leave their footprint in the thicket

Anna's house brings the world to her
   from Honduras to the Himalayas

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"Before the Summer Morning" 

A summer sunrise in the south is a sacred happening - the sounds, sights and smells of dew covered greenery, birds awaking, and the sun slow to lift from the eastern fields.

I lay with my lover in a predawn
Sundrop awaiting the alarm
that will end this embrace
for the moment, alone
   with our thoughts

Of each other
fresh in the wrinkling sheets
and folds of our minds
where all the time in the world
seems safe in this rosy sunrise bubble
      with us

There is no rush until
the radio awakes
except this…

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"Doppler Hum of the Highway" 

When I was small
I dreamed of following every road
 to its logical end
 and its surrender to nature

Living on my high hill
 on clear windless nights sometimes
I could make out the far-off sounds
 of the interstate
In the valley below

When we would go to visit
 my aunt and uncle
 in their leafy subdivision at Damon Farms
Backed up against the never-dimming roar
 of the Massachusetts Turnpike
I would fight sleep listening
 to the Doppler hum of the highway
Dreaming of all those night travelers passing

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"Echoes Etched in Sandstone" 

Inspired by the heartening but likely premature discussion about the future of the huge Glen Canyon Dam, which for over 40 years has drowned one of the most spectacular canyons of the Colorado and drastically altered this magnificent desert river's ecology

The ruins of Glen Canyon Dam
How many centuries hence?
Will its end come as its beginning did in human hands?
Or will it slowly crumble in the absence of its builders,
Long after we have returned to dust and salt?

The raven's song will echo,

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"First Frost" 

An early October tour of northern New England was predestined to include some inspiration amongst breathtaking fall foliage in the White and Green Mountains

Crystallization returns
absent since springtime
teepees on the Ammonoosuc
tourists departing
final glance at leaflife

Boulderfield riverbed
floodplain spread
crowstalk cornstubble
shadow of summer shortsweet
Sunheat of October
fleeting and misleading
for those misreading
its meaning

Maplefire autumn
dancing tremblebranch
skipping down the…

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