Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Road to Pescadero

Outside my element, inside a different beauty.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Clouds in the River

Swift and full, the Housatonic carries itself to the Sound, while its riffled waters hold the sky that's right here going somewhere else. So many changings, yet such stillness.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

One Night

I stood at the upstairs window and threw the curtains wide. A dull light fell into the room. And there was the street, quiet and monochrome, yet it had a glow.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Not Waiting

The big wheel of life has rolled me to a new place. There is no way to sum up the past or figure out the future. I stand here on a threshold this moment and say—what is this?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Open Spaces

The air is brisk today and cold; I will not let my heart close down. I feel it taking in the wind—sounds just like the bloodrush. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Hard Spring

The crocuses pulsed up through layers of leaf and persistent snow. They became tall, like gawky adolescents. Temperatures stalled, then plummeted. Some fell over without ever opening.

[Note: this was written March 22, 2013, but not published at that point.]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainy Day

Dark skies, distant thunder, blowy trees, dry sidewalks. Then...ropes of water drop onto the streets and the asphalt becomes a river. Rain slams into leaves. I go to the porch to watch the show.

The clouds pull apart. The light that falls is gray-gold, same as the sky-color. But in a few moments, another pounding of rain. This time, the sun also pours through the small rents; a bright forest of rain appears—a grove of beaded curtains, hollow stalks of bamboo chimes. I run out to look for a rainbow—find a faint one tangled in the phone wires and chimneys, a low arc going from nowhere to nowhere. I take pictures of the lake that has formed in the yard: ripples carved by hard drops, shaky reflections of sky-trees-buildings, an indistinct rim of old junk. A layerer’s paradise.

In the sky now a gigantic white cloud retreats to the east; the bluest emptiness fills in the space it leaves, another generous pouring. Each is the purest tone, as though both cloud and sky were made of sound. 

It rains again. I video the silver rivulets that run down the dark gray trunk of the copper beech, the mercury slipping from its branches. Finally, evening lowers itself over all the glimmering dampness.

These storms come and go without meaning or intent; here is just occurrence, and its by-product, beauty. I think about griefs that return, love that wants to be spilled, something unfinishable that needs to be stated over and over. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The two robins who live in my sky and trees, they draw lines in space. Fast lines, color of stretched air—all the morning long the redbreasts arc and shuttle! Soon I must walk back to the house through that thick silk.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I like to be outside at night with the flowers. What do they do, not under the sun? Some close at night, making their interiors a privacy. Some remain as cups or dishes, as though a bee might still arrive, or a moon. Does the moon matter to a tulip?

One night they begin to fall apart. How does it feel to be loosened of petals?

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Last night a long drive on unfamiliar roads, the destination unrolling little by little under headlights. Comfort in being nowhere but there, and there again.

This morning, a fog; only the near is visible. Again I am placed inside now.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mountain Roads

This spring followed a small winter, drew a fast line from crocus to maple bloom. Not yet May, but even the hilltops are frilled. Hesitant or confident is only for drivers swerving around the curves.


[Note: this is a piece I wrote last year and didn't publish then.]

Early morning, and the cats are already impatient to get out there under the cold rain. The world is full of meaning, in fresh bloom of mice and voles.

I am reading about regret this morning—the difference between regret and remorse. Regret etymologically arises from old words for weeping and groaning. In a state of regret, we swim in the shallows of recirculating emotion. But remorse goes to the depths. The dictionary says remorse is "a deep and painful regret." It means, literally, "to bite again."

"Remorse chips away at actions done from a place of insufficient wisdom and gives a fresh imagination to them." (Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul, p. 297.)

To feel remorse implies the presence of conscience, the guiding knowledge we have within ourselves about what is meaningful to us, what needs our attention. To change regret to remorse is to move from bemoaning to awareness and new understanding. Remorse asks that we attend, reflect, look further, sink deeper.

Cats do not appear to have regrets.

April, Onota Lake

Sunday, May 29, 2011


The pasture is messy. Clods of overturned earth flounder in afternoon heat. Intransigent field weeds fountain between the plots and rows. Mud puddles in the tractor path wallow in their own mire. In the field's anteroom, two giant damp barns shelter rusty machines, every curve of pitted metal, every peeling board weighty with time's passing. So much work to do, my back crumples in the face of it—and it isn't even my work. I walk way out in the fields and face the mountains that do no work. A breeze comes up. I can see it in the distant trees and feel it on my shoulders.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May in the Mountains

Cold rain continues. Adamant windows let the wet air penetrate the house and bones. Why doesn't the person close them? The windows insist on remaining open to the possibility of Spring.