Tag Archives: Poems

Some haiku from November

after the last train a man works the floor polisher alone almost

snow calculus — the slow accumulation
of almost nothing

turning the corner into the sudden warmth of sunlight

in a light rain
a woman pushes a shopping cart, singing “Wish You Were Here”

new glasses: all of my mistakes now painfully clear

the wool smell
of grandfather’s army coat –
frost-tipped leaves

(contributed to the 1,000 Verse Renga Project)

Backlash

One thing follows another,
as sure as teeth mesh
with teeth, the pinion turns the gear,
the axle drives the wheel and the world
tumbles forward on its pivot:
Some things are reversible,
allowing for the unavoidable backlash,
a little play, a wiggle in the works,
a slap in the gears, the jerk of each car
as the train gets underway,
the taking up of slack
and the moment
just before reversal,
the holding of breath, the gasp,
the lash, the slop, the stop.

7/28/2009

Chamber Music Society

The rosin dust on the violinist’s
oldest violin is white,
like the chalk beneath the words
where children learn to write
the equations that will define
the arcs and angles of their work.
Rosin is the trace of a hundred
thousand notes, silent, no spark
remaining but the sense that all
has come to rest: the scratches
on the indestructible stands,
the shabby folding chairs, matches
in the composer’s tweedy pocket.
His music, a spent and silent rocket.

7/24/09