from Parsimony

The Hills Are Giving In to November

No external change will suffice,
we had said. And yet.
And yet the path runs ahead of us,

blazed in white paint, up the oak-orange sail
of the Holyoke Range,
and we follow. Promises, promises—

a pulse of sun, a pulse
of cloud,
a quick rain-spat and five minutes of stillness,

perhaps. Perhaps
enough time
to shed a layer and meet peace

with peace, here, on this little nameless prominence.
The river and the valley
and the hills and the sky lie at ease,

my love. Even now, as every leaf itches
for the fall,
the river and the valley and the hills and the sky lie at ease.


from Lancashire Notebook Poems


The color of
the sky over the town over
the river this evening

recalls my niece, the
sockets of her eyes
red like roses from crying,

& the eyes of a man
I knew once who reappeared
yesterday after four years

in prison for mischief,
he said—red
like two roses

from something the opposite,
the perfect inverse, of crying
—the way the river

sometimes pulls the sea
into itself &
its surface blossoms with war.